Ethics News

Global Warming (Supplement)

 

Radical Thought or Dangerous Dissembling: Earth Day Yields a Rosy Look at Global Warming (980422)

Pollution ‘biggest influence on climate’ (980423)

The facts about the Kyoto protocol (National Post, 020829)

10 years in the battle against climate change (National Post, 020829)

Canada: Kyoto to be ratified in fall: MP (National Post, 020830)

Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Has Shrunk, Split in Two (NRO, 021001)

Ottawa finds Kyoto cost 30% higher (National Post, 021121)

Kyoto plan like ‘lipstick on a pig’: Ottawa says it has listened to critics (National Post, 021122)

Brave New Climate: Mr. Genome takes on global warming (NRO, 021203)

Middle Ages were warmer than today, say scientists (Daily Telegraph, 030406)

Truth melts away faster than Arctic ice (National Post, 030418)

Global Warming: The Movie (Foxnews, 040326)

Eco-Imperialism’s Deadly Consequences (FN, 031205)

Global Warming Not a WMD (FN, 030801)

Global Warmers Admit No Solutions (FN, 021101)

Hotter-burning sun warming the planet (Washington Times, 040719)

Sir David King’s Queenie Fit: Shutting down dissent (NRO, 040723)

Enforcing the Kyoto Protocol (Washington Times, 041124)

Essay Claiming ‘Scientific Consensus’ for Global Warming is Ridiculed (CNSNews.com, 041207)

Global Temperature Graphs and Data

Research casts doubt on global warming theory (Daily Telegraph, 030407)

The Myth of Catastrophic Global Warming (Website, 020829)

“Fatally Flawed”: Key players in the climate-change debate are coming around to Bush’s position (National Review Online, 041215)

Warming cadre waning? (Washington Times, 041216)

Science Fiction: Michael Crichton takes a novel approach to global-warming alarmism (National Review Online, 041221)

2004 Fourth-Hottest Year on Record (Foxnews, 041215)

End of Kyoto (National Review, 041231)

Fear and fear mongering (townhall.com, 050103)

Environmentalists Surf Tsunami Tragedy (Foxnews, 041231)

‘Global warming’ hype reaches fever pitch (WorldNetDaily, 050124)

Caving in on global warming (Washington Times, 050110)

Reaping the Hurricane (American Spectator, 050121)

Kyoto and the End of Hot Air (Weekly Standard, 050222)

Give me a break: State of Fear (townhall.com, 050401)

Second Global Warming Treaty Makes Less Sense Than First (Foxnews, 050318)

Gassy Senators (National Review Online, 050621)

Bush stands firm on Kyoto pact (Washington Times, 050707)

Mulling Global Warming With A Hurricane Expert (Newsbusters.com, 050829)

Katrina Conceit: Global warming and Mother Nature. (National Review Online, 050830)

Bush, ‘global warming’ to blame for hurricane? (WorldNetDaily, 050830)

Green hotheads exploit hurricane tragedy (townhall.com, 050908)

Pascal’s Blunder: Miscalculating the Threat of Global Warming (Christian Post, 050913)

The Global-Warming God: Must it now be appeased? (National Review, 051010)

Blaming Bush (townhall.com, 051005)

2005 Ties for 2nd Warmest Year Ever, But Cause Still Uncertain (Foxnews, 060109)

New source of global warming gas found: plants (WorldNetDaily, 060111)

Big freeze leaves trail of deaths across Asia (The Scotsman, 060109)

Green Evangelicals Stand Against Global Warming (Christian Post, 060209)

Why liberals fear global warming far more than conservatives do (Townhall.com, 060620)

Report: Earth Hottest It’s Been In 2,000 Years (Christian Post, 060628)

Public Disservice: Melting myths. (National Review Online, 060726)

U.S. Defends Stance on Global Warming (Christian Post, 061107)

Experts: Global Warming Threatens Archaeological Sites (Foxnews, 061108)

Study: Global Warming Killing Some Species (Christian Post, 061121)

CO2 and alarmism (Washington Times, 061219)

Christian Scientists Counter Popular Warming Beliefs (Christian Post, 061219)

Over 1,500 Young Evangelicals Take On Global Warming Issue (Christian Post, 061219)

Canadian Ice Shelf Breaks Free, Forms New Island (Foxnews, 061229)

Scientists Say 2007 May Be Warmest Yet (Christian Post, 070104)

Warm December Pushes 2006 to Record Year (Christian Post, 070110)

Evangelicals, Scientists Team Up to Battle Global Warming (Christian Post, 060116)

Global warming policy perils (Washington Times, 070117)

New Report Backs Evangelical-Scientist Global Warming Claims (Christian Post, 070125)

Blame It on Global Warming? (Foxnews, 070129)

Of nuts, Chicken Little and global warming (townhall.com, 070131)

U.N. Report: Global Warming Man-Made, Basically Unstoppable (Foxnews, 070202)

Global Warming and Other Urban Legends (townhall.com, 070202)

Political Agenda? (Foxnews, 070205)

Planet Gore (National Review Online, 070205)

Global warming ethics, pork and profits (townhall.com, 070206)

Congress tackles global warming (Washington Times, 070212)

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change (Times Online, 070211)

Global warming is our friend (Washington Times, 070216)

Global Hot Air: Part 1 (townhall.com, 070214)

Global Hot Air: Part 2 (townhall.com, 070214)

Global Hot Air: Part 3 (townhall.com, 070215)

The global-warming hysterics strike again (townhall.com, 070222)

Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame (townhall.com, 070227)

Warming a cold fact? (Washington Times, 070227)

Americans: Global Warming a Big Future Worry, Not Pending Doom (Christian Post, 070313)

MIT Weather Expert Not Worried by Global Warming? (Foxnews, 070409)

Let Them Eat Tofu! (Ann Coulter, 070301)

Global warming labeled a ‘scam’ (Washington Times, 070306)

Global Warming: Caused by Pepsi, Coke, and Al Gore? (townhall.com, 070306)

Evangelical’s Global Warming Stance Disturbs Some Christian Leaders (Christian Post, 070307)

HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today’s obsession with global warming (WorldNetDaily, 070301)

Evangelical Board Affirms Concern for Global Warming (Christian Post, 070312)

Scientists: Gore Goes Too Far in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (Foxnews, 070313)

Global Warming Report to Warn of Drought (Foxnews, 070310)

Scientists Debate Sun’s Role in Global Warming (Foxnews, 070313)

Global warming resilience required (Washington Times, 070316)

‘Anti-greenhouse religion’ scorched by Czech president: Klaus says environmental extremism modern equivalent of communism (WorldNetDaily, 070321)

Czech president’s rebuttal to Gore: Calls former VP’s claim ‘one of the most dangerous arguments’ (WorldNetDaily, 070322)

Gore’s faith isbad science (Washington Times, 070327)

The coming Ass Age (Ann Coulter, 070321)

The Cost-Free Catastrophe: What will new energy policies cost? (National Review Online, 070323)

Turning Up the Heat on Gore: The former VPOTUS wants to change attitudes more than he wants to solve problems. (National Review Online, 070323)

Taking Gore Seriously: The compounding probabilities of climate change alarmism. (Weekly Standard, 070323)

A Tale of Two Europes: Al Gore exaggerates Kyoto’s success. (National Review Online, 070328)

Global Warming Heresy (townhall.com, 070328)

Chilling Intolerance for Free Speech on Global Warming (townhall.com, 070328)

The Global Warming Industrial Complex: There are a lot of jobs riding on global warming. (Weekly Standard, 070328)

Global Warming on the Hot Seat (townhall.com, 070402)

A Convenient (and Excellent) Truth: The benefits of free trade are settled science. (Although that won’t stop the deniers.) (National Review Online, 070402)

Report: Millions Face Hunger from Climate Change (Christian Post, 070410)

Celebrity Gasbags: The unintended consequences of the celebrity global warming movement. (Weekly Standard, 070417)

Warming pols should cool it (Washington Times, 070417)

A Convenient Fiction: Steve Hayward’s rebuttal to “An Inconvenient Truth” won’t thrill either the environmental crowd or Hollywood’s liberal elite. (Weekly Standard, 070418)

We’re Not Going to Melt: Reports of the apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated. (National Review Online, 070420)

Keep a Sharp Eye on Warming Zealots (Townhall.com, 070530)

Why is the Vatican Backing Climate Change Theory? (Christian Post, 070525)

They call this a consensus? (National Post, 070602)

NASA chief silenced: Michael Griffin aired his doubts about climate-change politics on National Public Radio. Under a barrage of criticism, he recanted (National Post, 070608)

Forget warming - beware the new ice age (National Post, 070615)

NASA Blocked Climate Change Blogger from Data (Townhall.com, 070817)

The marketing of lies (WorldNetDaily, 070821)

Canada will not push for greenhouse gas targets (National Post, 070907)

Harper looks for less rigid climate change agreement (National Post, 070924)

Study: Evangelicals Least Concerned about Global Warming (Christian Post, 070918)

Ozone: The hole truth (Washington Times, 070919)

Global Warming Hysteria (townhall.com, 070926)

Sun still main force in climate change: Rebuts widely publicized study this summer by UK scientists (WorldNetDaily, 071003)

Questioning 20th Century Warmth (worldclimatereport.com, 070925)

Study finds CO2 didn’t end ice age: Counters major premise of global warming theory (WorldNetDaily, 070929)

British Court Rules Al Gore Film Exaggerated Climate Claims (Foxnews, 071011)

Al Gore told there are nine inconvienient truths in his film (London Times, 071010)

Gore, U.N. Panel Share 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for Climate-Change Efforts (Foxnews, 071012)

Environmental Gore: Further damage to a once prestigious award. (National Review Online, 071012)

Nobel Peace Prize (National Review Online, 071015)

Cold Water on Consensus: Lomborg debunks. (National Review Online, 071012)

Gore gets a cold shoulder (WorldNetDaily, 071014)

“Gored” By the Nobel Prize (townhall.com, 071015)

Gore Wins, Facts Lose (townhall.com, 071017)

Things the Nobel Committee Doesn’t Want You to Know (townhall.com, 071017)

Oslo Syndrome: The Nobel Peace Prize ain’t what it used to be. (Weekly Standard, 071023)

Global Warming’s Inconvenient Truths — an Interview with Fred Singer (townhall.com, 071023)

The Global-Warming Debate Isn’t Over Until It’s Over (townhall.com, 071024)

U.N. Panel: Climate Change Accelerating, Action ‘Urgent’ (Foxnews, 071117)

Shocking: Scientist Commits Heresy (townhall.com, 071102)

The Nobel Peace Prize for Gorebal Warming (townhall.com, 071102)

Coldest winter in nearly 15 years ahead: Environment Canada (National Post, 071130)

Is a warmer world a better one? (National Post, 071103)

Bjorn Lomborg on the Environmental Consequences of Technological Progress (CIO, 030922)

Anglican Head Urges ‘Moral Vision’ on Climate Change (Christian Post, 071212)

Global warming and Christian discernment (WorldNetDaily, 071212)

Al Gore’s ‘Energy Pig’ Tennessee Mansion Goes ‘Green’ (Foxnews, 071214)

EU-U.S. climate impasse easing (National Post, 071214)

Rhetorical excess undercuts the case against global warming. (Paris, International Herald, 071217)

“A Solemn and Prolonged Farce” (National Review Online, 071218)

Hurricane Forecasters’ 0-for-2 Record Reveals Limits of Climate Science (townhall.com, 071218)

Green hero slammed as climate heretic (Deniers, Part 39) (National Post, 071120)

EU proposes deep cuts in auto emissions (Paris, International Herald, 071219)

Hundreds of scientists reject global warming: Basing policy on carbon dioxide levels ‘potentially disastrous economic folly’ (WorldNetDaily, 071221)

Has global warming stopped? (New Statesman, 071219)

Christian Agencies Actively Engage in Climate Change (Christian Post, 071204)

Global Warming: The All-Purpose Farce to Control Your Life (townhall.com, 080121)

Greenest Countries in the World Ranked (Christian Post, 080123)

Unusual winter weather hits both coasts (National Post, 080128)

Prairies in winter deep freeze (National Post, 080129)

Severe snowstorms batter China (Paris, International Herald, 080128)

Playing Politics With Tragedy (townhall.com, 080208)

Cold Water on “Global Warming” (townhall.com, 080228)

A change in the climate discussion (townhall.com, 080228)

In Norway, Global Seed Vault guards genetic resources (Paris, International Herald, 080228)

Europe’s leaders warned of big rise in migration (Paris, International Herald, 080307)

An inconvenient winter (World Magazine, 080322)

Climate change dissidents differ at meeting (Paris, International Herald, 080304)

Global Warming Doubters Strike Back (townhall.com, 080306)

Weather Channel Founder: Sue Al Gore for Fraud (Foxnews, 080314)

What snow? This year could be one of the warmest on record (National Post, 080319)

Eastern Canada finds long, snowy winter a trial (Paris, International Herald, 080331)

Scientist: Forget Global Warming, Prepare for New Ice Age (Foxnews, 080423)

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh (The Australian, 080423)

How Global Warming Brings Heavier Snows (London Times, 080423)

Hurricane Expert: School Silencing Me Over Global-Warming Views (Foxnews, 080429)

Think Tank: Climate Change May Spark Global Conflicts (Foxnews, 080423)

Global Warming: Playing It Cool (townhall.com, 080516)

U.K. Bishop Compares Those Who Ignore Climate Change to Austrian ‘Horror Dad’ (Foxnews, 080602)

Senate Votes to Begin Global Warming Debate (Foxnews, 080603)

Flat-Screen TV Gas ‘a Climate Time Bomb’ (Foxnews, 080704)

Industrial nations endorse halving emissions by 2050 (Paris, International Herald, 080708)

Mysterious California Glaciers Keep Growing Despite Warming (Foxnews, 080709)

One Debate Is Over (BreakPoint, 080717)

New Global Warming Documentary Challenges Gore’s ‘Truth’ (Christian Post, 080911)

The Right Kind of Fanaticism? (BreakPoint, 080929)

EU carbon trading system brings windfalls for some, with little benefit to climate (Paris, International Herald, 081109)

Obama team primed to push climate change agenda (National Post, 081222)

Only 50-50 Chance of Saving Planet From Warming Catastrophe, Scientists Say (Foxnews, 090309)

House Passes Milestone Energy, Climate Change Bill (Foxnews, 090626)

Al Gore: Climate-Change Fight Like Battle Against Nazis (Foxnews, 090707)

Global Warming Could Forestall Ice Age (Paris, International Herald, 090903)

China and U.S. Seek a Truce on Greenhouse Gases (Paris, International Herald, 090607)

The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China’s one-child policy (National Post, 091208)

The worst carbon-reduction scheme ever (National Post, 091215)

Zobgy: Americans Turning Off on Climate Change (Newsmax, 091214)

EPA Employees Silenced for Criticizing Cap and Trade (Foxnews, 091117)

Industrialized Nations Unveil Plans to Rein in Emissions (Paris International Herald, 091119)

Billions in Canadian assets at risk from global warming: report (National Post, 091123)

Boxer: Hackers should face criminal probe over ‘Climategate’ (Foxnews, 091202)

White House Science Officials Defend Climate Change Data Amid E-Mail Scandal (Foxnews, 091202)

Researcher Reportedly Threatens to Sue NASA Over Climate Data (Foxnews, 091203)

Attempted breaches show larger effort to discredit climate science: researcher (National Post, 091203)

Do Smoking Guns Cause Global Warming, Too? (Ann Coulter, 091202)

U.N. to Investigate Leaked E-Mails in Climate Data Scandal (Foxnews, 091204)

Evangelicals Push Back Against Climate Change ‘Hoax’ (Christian Post, 091204)

Lawrence Solomon: Canadian concern over climate change plummeting (National Post, 091102)

Belief in Global Warming at All-Time Low — BEFORE Climategate (Newsmax, 091206)

National Post editorial board: Honk if you hate global warming (National Post, 091208)

Global Warming Caused by Solar Radiation, Argue Some Scientists (Foxnews,091209)

U.S., China, India reach climate change deal (National Post, 091218)

Climate Deal Announced, but Falls Short of Expectations (Paris International Herald, 091218)

U.N. Chief: ‘We Have a Deal’ on Climate Change (Foxnews, 091219)

Copenhagen winds down with non-binding agreement (National Post, 091219)

The hole in the heart of Copenhagen (National Post, 091224)

China Defends Climate Talk Stance (Paris, International Herald, 091222)

Pope Denounces Leaders’ Failure to Reach Climate Change Treaty (Foxnews, 100111)

First Climategate, now Glaciergate (National Post, 100120)

Climate: Is the Copenhagen Accord already dead? (WorldNetDaily, 100214)

Top Science Journal Calls for Climate Science Reform (Foxnews, 100210)

Where’s Al? (Christian Post, 100220)

U.N.’s Global Warming Report Under Fresh Attack for Rainforest Claims (Foxnews, 100128)

You Can Call Him Al ... But Al Won’t Call You Back (Foxnews, 100226)

The Winter of Global Warming (townhall.com, 100218)

Scientists Retract Paper on Rising Sea Levels Due to Errors (Foxnews, 100222)

Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate (Paris, International Herald, 100302)

After Climate-Gate, U.N. Submits to Independent Review (Foxnews, 100310)

Embattled U.N. Climate Chief Apologizes for Response to Criticism, Won’t Resign (Times of London, 100327)

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, Space Agency Admits (Foxnews, 100330)

Don’t Think That Cap-and-Trade Is Over (Paris International Herald, 100411)

Who Cares About Global Warming? (townhall.com, 100415)

**Confirmed! Global warming is ‘settled’ – as a scam (World Net Daily, 100422)

“Change” Is Not New (townhall.com, 100330)

Contentious climate talks end with deal to do more (Foxnews, 100412)

Climate Scientist, Heated Up Over Satirical Video, Threatens Lawsuit (Foxnews, 100426)

Citizen’s Group Plans Extensive Audit of U.N. Climate Report (Foxnews, 100428)

What Alarming Sea Level Rise? Observational Data Reveals No Change, Scientist Says (Foxnews, 100519)

Scientists Retract Paper on Rising Sea Levels Due to Errors (Foxnews, 100222)

Dutch Point Out New Mistakes in U.N. Climate Report (Foxnews, 100205)

Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons (Paris, International Herald, 100524)

Sinking ‘Climate Change’ (townhall.com, 100603)

Climategate probe proves nothing (WorldNetDaily, 100709)

Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause (National Post, 100715)

Global warming ‘undeniable,’ world report says (National Post, 100729)

 

 

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Radical Thought or Dangerous Dissembling: Earth Day Yields a Rosy Look at Global Warming (980422)

 

WASHINGTON — As environmental groups mark Earth Day Wednesday by drawing attention to the threat of global warming, a new organization based in Arlington, Va. is saying that, contrary to the dire predictions, global warming could turn out to be good news.

 

The group, Greening Earth Society, is launching a campaign to educate the public about what it describes as the benefits of a warmer Earth. Higher global temperatures, the organization contends, can increase crop yields, produce healthier trees, increase biodiversity and produce a more robust animal population as a result of increased vegetation.

 

This rosy outlook is in stark contrast to the majority of the world’s scientists, who predict that the ongoing rise in global temperatures eventually could raise sea levels, melt glaciers and ice caps, produce devastating floods and turn farm soils to dust.

 

“We think the science of apocalyptic global warming is simply wrong,” Fredrick D. Palmer, president of Greening Earth Society, told an audience of skeptical journalists at the National Press Club. “More carbon dioxide in the air means a more robust biosphere. Humans, in short, are creating conditions on earth for more humans to live better along with more animal life.”

 

Mainstream groups dismiss Palmer’s organization as the latest in a series of organizations that promote unorthodox environmental ideas and bear pseudo-environmental names that can confuse the public.

 

“This group has no scientific background,” said Brandon MacGillis, director of campaigns for Ozone Action, an organization formed in 1993 to educate the public about atmospheric threats.

 

Background or no, the group certainly has panache. Palmer’s Earth Day criticisms went right to the top, with a shot at Vice President Al Gore. Palmer says Gore is promoting a “vision of apocalyptic global warming” based on bad science and is wrongly characterizing as “dysfunction” America’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

 

“The Vice President stood at Glacier National Monument and blamed the loss of ice on global warming,” Palmer told reporters. “There is zero warming at Glacier. The end of the ice was caused by the end of a little Ice Age which occurred between 1450 and 1860.”

 

The release into the atmosphere of heat-trapping gases, in particular carbon dioxide, is widely thought to be the cause of a rise in global temperatures over the past 100 years. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil produce large quantities of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere in the same way that a greenhouse keeps plants warm in winter — by letting in sunlight but preventing heat from escaping.

 

Palmer, who is described in a Green Earth Society press release as the “outspoken leader of the environmental ‘contras,’” is chief executive officer of Western Fuels Association, a non-profit cooperative of companies that provide coal for the generation of electricity. The cooperative itself also operates coal mines.

 

MacGillis of Ozone Action says this affiliation should speak for itself.

 

“The member companies of Western Fuels are the ones who have added a lot to global warming,” MacGillis said. “Palmer’s a little hard to take seriously, although the amount of money he has at his disposal is a little worrisome. He can use that money to spread misinformation.”

 

Publicity materials for Greening Earth Society state that the organization is the creation of Western Fuels. In addition to Palmer, four members of Western Fuels’ board of directors are directors of Greening Earth Society. Membership fees and donations provide the bulk of the group’s operating revenue, the materials state.

 

Greening Earth Society relies primarily on observational science to back its views, criticizing most computer-generated climate models as inaccurate and based on false assumptions.

 

Greening Earth Society plans to train activists, publish educational materials and fund research on the relationship between plant growth and elevated carbon dioxide levels. A 28-minute video produced by the organization, “The Greening of Planet Earth,” already has been distributed to 20,000 individuals and groups, Palmer said.

 

Palmer said that his group would fight any efforts to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Kyoto accord. He noted that restrictions or prohibitions on the burning of coal, a relatively inexpensive fuel, would only result in higher energy prices for consumers.

 

“I say that warm is good, cold is bad,” Palmer said. “I also like to play golf.”

 

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Pollution ‘biggest influence on climate’ (980423)

 

THREE of the past eight years have been the hottest since at least the Middle Ages with the rising temperatures firmly linked with global warming, scientists say. But the rising temperatures of the late 20th century are firmly linked to man-made causes.

 

Whereas natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, changes in solar irradiation and El Niño, shaped the weather for much of the past 500 years, recent climate changes have been caused by rising concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, research published in Nature says. Three of the past eight years -1990, 1995 and 1997 -have been the hottest on Earth for at least 600 years.

 

Michael Mann, of the University of Massachusetts and one of the research team, writes: “The anomalous warmth of several recent years appears likely to be related to human influences on climate.”

 

Herman Zimmerman, programme director at the National Science Foundation’s atmospheric sciences division, which funded the research, said yesterday: “The balance of evidence now firmly supports an important human influence on the global climate system.”

 

The Nature study, which has plotted the planet’s temperature to a fraction of a degree, has used a range of natural climate indicators, including tree rings, coral, ice cores, ice melt and rainfall, coupled with more recent readings, to chronicle the climate back to 1400.

 

Gabriele Hegeri, of the University of Washington, who has reviewed the research, says in Nature that this reconstructed record indicates that, for the Northern Hemisphere, “the warming for the 20th century is unprecedented at least since 1400”. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were now about 25 per cent higher than pre-industrial levels.

 

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The facts about the Kyoto protocol (National Post, 020829)

 

In December, 1997, world leaders met in Kyoto, Japan, to discuss how best to act upon the promises they had made at the 1992 Earth Summit.

 

GREENHOUSE GASES

 

Global warming occurs when carbon-based gases — mainly carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane — accumulate in the atmosphere and retain the heat of the sun. They are called greenhouse gases because the effect is similar to the retention of the sun’s heat in a glass-walled greenhouse.

 

KYOTO’S GOALS

 

Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy agreed to bring their emissions of greenhouse gases to 5% less than 1990 levels. They also agreed to foster energy efficiency in their economies, promote the development of cleaner energy sources, and employ agricultural practices that have a sustainable environmental impact. Overall, there was an agreement to co-operate internationally in these policies and to share reports on progress.

 

HOW IT WORKS

 

In addition to domestic goals on pollution reduction, the Kyoto Protocol provides countries with three other ways of earning credits toward their stated goals:

 

- Clean Development: countries can earn credits by investing in emission reduction projects or clean energy production in developing countries.

 

- Joint Implementation: countries can earn credits by investing in emission reduction projects in developed countries that have taken on a Kyoto target.

 

- International Emissions Trading: developed countries that have taken on a Kyoto target can buy and sell emission credits among themselves.

 

WHAT CANADA AGREES TO DO

 

Under Kyoto, Canada agrees to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. This would represent a 26% reduction from projected 2012 levels. Two years ago, Canada had surpassed its 1990 levels by close to 20%.

 

SIGNATORIES

 

As of this week, 86 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol — roughly half the number that attended the Kyoto conference. The United States has said it will not ratify Kyoto.

 

STICKING POINTS

 

Canada has argued it should receive greater credit for “carbon sinks.” This is the term used for forests and other vegetation that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, store it and produce oxygen. Canada has also asked for more clean-energy export credits for the natural gas and electricity it sells to the United States. The Canadian oil-and-gas industry has also argued that the economic impact of sweeping emissions reductions would harm the Canadian economy, while a flight from Canada’s oil and gas would not necessarily mean a global reduction in the burning of these fossil fuels.

 

COSTS

 

The government of Canada has made a total commitment of $1.1-billion to address climate change over the next five years, compared to $850-million over the past five years. These figures do not include the economic effects of ratification, projections of which vary widely.

 

LOOKING FORWARD

 

The protocol will only become legally binding when it is ratified by at least 55 countries, covering at least 55% of the emissions addressed by the protocol. The 55-country benchmark has been passed, but the 23 industrialized countries that have ratified represent only 36.6% of 1990 emission levels. Canada represents 3% of these emissions.

 

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10 years in the battle against climate change (National Post, 020829)

 

1992 The United Nations Framework on Climate Change is created. Also known as the Rio Convention, it called for the world to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions by 2000. The agreement, signed by more than 180 countries including Canada and the United States, took effect in 1994. But it called only for voluntary measures to reduce industrial country emissions by 2000 to 1990 levels. The measures did not work. Global emissions rose 10% in that span. Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions are 19.6% higher today than in 1990.

 

1995 The countries that ratified the Rio Convention start to hold a Conference of Parties each year. Commonly known as COP 1, the first meeting took place in Berlin, Germany.

 

1996 COP II takes place in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

DECEMBER, 1997 The third meeting in Japan establishes the Kyoto Protocol to set legally binding targets for industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse-gas emission. Canada’s target is to lower emissions so that the yearly average between 2008 and 2012 will be 6% below what it was in 1990. The federal government estimates that if no action were taken in Canada to address climate change, emissions would be about 33% greater than they were in 1990. The cost of implementing Kyoto has been estimated at about $20-billion. The protocol will only become legally binding when it is ratified by at least 55 countries, covering at least 55% of emissions from industrialized countries.

 

NOVEMBER, 2000 At the sixth meeting, ministers and delegates from 180 governments meet at the Hague attempting to finalize a framework for countries to meet their Kyoto targets. That attempt did not succeed and COP 6 breaks up, suspending its work.

 

MARCH, 2001 U.S. President George W. Bush announces his government will not ratify Kyoto, calling it economically irresponsible.

 

APRIL, 2001 The federal government conducts an internal poll, finding most Canadians are not very concerned about global warming and many a lack a solid grasp of the problem. Only 7% of Canadians mentioned greenhouse-gas emission, global warming or climate change as the most important environmental issue.

 

JULY, 2001 Due to the failure of COP 6, governments decide to hold two meetings in 2001 because the mechanism for implementing Kyoto is still unclear. Leading up to the seventh meeting in Bonn, Germany, it appeared Canada would follow the United States and withdraw. However, at the meeting, Canada joins the European Union and more than 170 countries in giving life to the Kyoto Protocol, committing to ratify the global-warming treaty possibly by 2002. Canada is successful in getting credits for green space, called “carbon sinks,” it can use to meet its emissions targets. According to the plan, Canada wins points for the way forests and agriculture absorb greenhouse gases. The trade-off was there would be penalties for non-compliance with the treaty.

 

NOVEMBER, 2001 At a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, Canada pushes for more credits, this time for clean-energy exports to the United States, as well additional points for carbon sinks. David Anderson, Canada’s Environment Minister, says it is waiting for the United States to establish an environmental policy before deciding whether to ratify the protocol.

 

FEB. 14, 2002 U.S. President Bush releases Clean Skies initiative, proposing 60% reductions in sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. The plan also introduces restrictions on mercury emissions linked to birth defects. The initiative is expected to reduce acid rain and air pollution. Regarding greenhouse-gas emissions, the United States would link the amount of reduction directly to its gross domestic product (GDP). Under the proposed plan, the United States will produce an estimated 183 tonnes of emissions per million dollars of GDP in 2002. This would drop to 151 tonnes per million dollars of GDP by 2012.

 

FEB. 21, 2002 The government of Alberta releases a study showing ratification of the Kyoto Protocol could cost Canadians anywhere between $23-billion and $40-billion a year.

 

APRIL, 2002 At a meeting of environmental ministers in April, the European Union angrily tells Canada to stop asking for more lenient treatment.

 

MAY, 2002 At meetings with EU leaders in Spain, Prime Minister Jean ChrÈtien argues Canada should get credits for the clean energy, such as natural gas and hydroelectricity, that it exports to the United States. Mr. ChrÈtien says Canada will not ratify the protocol if these issues are not clarified.

 

AUGUST, 2002 On the closing day of the premiers conference, Alberta’s Ralph Klein spars with Manitoba’s Gary Doer. Mr. Klein says signing Kyoto could make Alberta a have-not province, bringing down the rest of Canada. Western premiers, except Mr. Doer, support Mr. Klein. Quebec and the Atlantic provinces support ratification, with Quebec’s support the most enthusiastic. Ontario is undecided.

 

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Canada: Kyoto to be ratified in fall: MP (National Post, 020830)

 

Treaty will go ahead over Alberta’s objections: Support for deal declines as people learn more about it, Ottawa’s own studies find

 

ZURICH and OTTAWA - Parliament will be asked to ratify the hotly contested Kyoto Protocol on climate change before the end of this year despite opposition from Alberta and large parts of the business community, the chairman of the House of Commons environment committee said yesterday.

 

The government’s own testing of public opinion, meanwhile, has found support for Kyoto declines when people find out more about the implications of the treaty on the economy and on their own lives.

 

Extensive focus group testing, which has not yet been shared with Cabinet members, warns that support for ratifying and implementing Kyoto could evaporate quickly. The testing found that many people are not prepared to see substantial public spending on the issue and are not prepared to be inconvenienced themselves.

 

Charles Caccia, a long-time Liberal MP and the chairman of the environment committee, said the Prime Minister will bring the accord before Parliament for a vote late this fall whether or not consultations with business leaders and the provinces have yielded agreement.

 

“I would bet my last dollar on that,” he said. “I am convinced we will ratify, so it is only a question of when, but by the end of the year. That is my understanding of what is in place.”

 

The treaty will be ratified over Alberta’s objections, he added.

 

The Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday the government will finish its consultation process before moving ahead, quashing speculation Jean Chrétien would announce Canada’s decision to ratify the accord at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next week.

 

“The Prime Minister has said he will continue to consult with the provinces and other stakeholders,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said.

 

The protocol would commit Canada to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Scientists believe the emissions — caused mainly by burning oil, coal and gas — are causing the global atmosphere to warm up, leading to more extreme weather events like floods, droughts and storm swells.

 

Alberta says the Kyoto accord would put too heavy a burden on its fossil-fuel-driven economy, while business groups worry the requirement to cut emissions will put them at a disadvantage against the United States, which has said it will not ratify Kyoto. Both say the federal government promised them more consultations before ratification.

 

Mr. Caccia, who is travelling with the Prime Minister, said it is clear to him that while consultations may have to continue, the result is not in doubt.

 

“The process has to have its full course, fine. But the substance is there. At the end of the process is ratification,” Mr. Caccia said.

 

Cabinet is set to consider an implementation plan on Sept. 26, then present it to the provinces at an October meeting. The plan would include $500-million in funding to offset business costs and the continuation of Canada’s demand to receive credit for exports of hydroelectricity and clean-burning natural gas.

 

Business leaders are expecting the ratification announcement at a key meeting on Oct. 23 of the Kyoto parties in Delhi, India, giving the federal government the months of September and October to consult with provinces, environmentalists and industry.

 

“The schedule we’ve been hearing is targeted toward an announcement in Delhi,” said Skip Willis, vice-president of ICF Consulting, a company that advises major companies like Alcan and Dupont on greenhouse gas strategies. “Our sense is that the critical decision has been made and now it’s a question of putting together a reasonable implementation plan.”

 

“There is a commitment to conclude the consultations. That I understand will be in October,” Mr. Caccia said. “Once that is done, then the process will have been completed and then the substance will be decided upon, and that’s when the ratification is likely to be approved by Parliament.”

 

The Canadian Alliance, the Official Opposition, is against the treaty, but the New Democratic Party, Bloc Québécois and the Conservatives support it.

 

Mr. Chrétien, accompanied by Mr. Caccia and Senator Nick Taylor, Liberal chairman of the Senate environment committee, stopped in Zurich to attend a conference on federalism before continuing to South Africa.

 

Mr. Taylor, an Albertan, agreed with Mr. Caccia that ratification will come before the end of talks with the provinces.

 

Mr. Caccia, a veteran environmentalist who has served in Parliament since the 1970s, said fears that Kyoto will cost the Canadian economy too much are overblown. He said business would be better served by certainty.

 

“The lesson can be drawn from the acid rain experience,” he said. “Acid rain did not prove to be the business disaster everyone predicted at the time and it will be the same with greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

“Business was very nervous at that time. It wants to be given assurances about timetables and targets.”

 

The focus group testing found strong support for the principle that industries and regions causing most of the greenhouse gas emissions should bear the cost burden of reducing them. This “polluter should pay” principle runs contrary to the Prime Minister’s stance that the burden of combatting climate change should be shared by the whole country.

 

The probe, the result of 26 focus group sessions in 13 cities, involving more than 200 people, was conducted between June 17 and July 4 on behalf of Environment Canada. The work was carried out by public policy research companies Créatec of Montreal and Earnscliffe Research and Communications of Ottawa and delivered to Environment Canada in early August.

 

Among the key messages of the focus group sessions is that the public has a very limited understanding of the treaty and the issue of climate change.

 

“When asked about causes, there was a large amount of guesswork, much of it incorrect, and many people simply couldn’t muster a thought about the causes [for climate change] beyond ‘pollution,’ “ the report says.

 

The main thing people understand about the Kyoto Protocol is that the United States doesn’t support it and won’t sign the treaty, a draft report on the focus group results said.

 

But, as focus groups were presented more information, this additional information raised concerns about job losses and reduced economic growth and fears that Canada would be put at a disadvantage economically to the U.S., the draft report said.

 

Support for a Canadian alternative to the Kyoto treaty is stronger in the West than in the eastern part of the country, the report said.

 

The focus groups split evenly on the question of combatting climate change through the Kyoto treaty or working with the U.S. on policies to reduce greenhouse gases, the draft report said.

 

“While many believe that ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is the ideal scenario, the more prudent scenario is generally believed to be a made-in-Canada/made in North America approach,” the draft report said.

 

Any policies on climate change need to embrace the principles that they won’t increase government spending significantly, or increase the cost of living to citizens or cause a lot of inconvenience in people’s everyday lives, the focus groups said in weighing different policy options.

 

As well, the groups said the policy to be adopted by Ottawa should not damage the competitive position of Canadian business or the health of the Canadian economy.

 

The focus groups also expressed support for the idea of consultations with the public and the provinces before the federal government takes a final decision on whether or not to ratify the agreement.

 

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Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Has Shrunk, Split in Two (NRO, 021001)

 

WASHINGTON — The ozone hole over Antarctica is markedly smaller this year than in the last few years and has split in two, government scientists reported Monday.

 

The so-called “hole,” actually an area of thinner than normal ozone, was measured at 6 million square miles (15.6 million square kilometers) in September. That compares with around 9 million square miles (23.4 million square kilometers) on September measurements over the last six years, according to researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Agency.

 

Click here for larger version of diagram.

 

While ozone at ground level is considered a pollutant, the layer of ozone high in the stratosphere is vital to life because it blocks dangerous radiation coming from the sun. Thinning of the ozone layer could lead to a rise in skin cancer, experts warn. Aerosols and other chemicals are blamed for the thinning, and treaties banning those ingredients are expected to help the layer recover over time.

 

This year’s improvement was attributed to warmer than normal temperatures around the edge of the polar vortex, or circular wind pattern that forms annually in the stratosphere over Antarctica, according to Paul Newman, a lead ozone researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

Craig Long, a meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, said the stratosphere over the southern hemisphere was unusually disturbed this year by the wind, causing the hole to split into two separate holes.

 

In 2001 the Antarctic ozone hole reached a maximum size of more than 10.2 million square miles,(26.5 million kilometers) larger than the entire area of North America, including the United States, Canada and Mexico combined. In the year 2000, it briefly approached 11.5 million square miles(30 million square kilometers). The last time the ozone hole was as small as it is this year was in 1988, and that was also due to warm temperatures.

 

Newman explained that while “chlorine and bromine chemicals cause the ozone hole, the temperature is also a key factor in ozone loss.”

 

The coldest temperatures over the South Pole occur in August and September. Thin clouds form in these cold conditions, and chemical reactions on the cloud particles help chlorine and bromine gases to rapidly destroy ozone. By early October, temperatures typically start to warm and the ozone layer starts to recover.

 

An Australian study published two weeks ago reported that chlorine-based chemical levels in the atmosphere are falling, and the hole in the ozone layer should close within 50 years. Although the ozone layer has not yet begun to repair itself, the hole would probably start closing within five years, said Paul Fraser, of the Australian government-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO.

 

Ozone in the air overhead is measured in Dobson Units. The ozone hole is the area with total column ozone below 220 Dobson Units, as measured by satellites and balloon-borne ozone measuring instruments launched from the South Pole station.

 

In the tropics, ozone levels are typically between 250 and 300 Dobson Units year-round. In temperate regions, seasonal variations can produce large swings in ozone levels, reaching as high as 475 Dobson Units in some areas, and as low as 300.

 

A reading of 100 Dobson Units means that if all the ozone in the air above a point were brought down to sea-level pressure and cooled to freezing it would form a layer 1 centimeter thick. At that scale a reading of 250 Dobson Units translates to a layer about an inch thick.

 

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Ottawa finds Kyoto cost 30% higher (National Post, 021121)

 

Study says losses underestimated; final plan won’t guarantee compensation to provinces

 

OTTAWA - The federal government is underestimating the cost of implementing the Kyoto Protocol by as much as 30% in some sectors, an Industry Canada study says.

 

The new study predicts Canada’s energy industry in particular will see tremendous losses in investment, employment and output by 2010, two years before the treaty is supposed to be fully implemented.

 

Meanwhile, the federal government’s final plan for implementation of Kyoto sticks to its previous estimate that the total impact will be less than 0.5% of gross domestic product and will not be felt in the average household.

 

The final Kyoto plan, which is to be made public today but was obtained by the Ottawa Citizen yesterday, also will not guarantee financial compensation to the provinces for possible economic losses under Kyoto.

 

It will instead set up a fund to help provinces pay for projects to reduce greenhouse gases. No amount has yet been specified for that fund.

 

The Industry Canada study blamed the federal underestimation of the costs on the type of economic modelling used by planners.

 

Although completed early in the summer, sources said the study has been kept under wraps because it contradicts the rosy economic picture painted by earlier federal government economic forecasts of the cost of implementing Kyoto.

 

The report, entitled Economic Impact of Carbon Abatement Policies and Market Structure, forecasts the coal industry will suffer with investment declining by 48% and employment dropping as much as 21%.

 

In the crude petroleum and natural gas sectors, investment is forecast to decline 33% and employment by 14%.

 

In the refined petroleum sector, investment in the sector could decline by 55% and employment by 27%.

 

Jean Chrétien wants to have Parliament ratify the treaty possibly as early as next week. Major energy-producing and -consuming provinces including Alberta and Ontario want to delay ratification until an implementation plan and its costs are better understood by the provinces and the public.

 

The Industry Canada study is based on simulations of the impact on 13 sectors and takes into account the full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. The international treaty requires Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below the 1990 level.

The federal Kyoto plan aims to involve every citizen in reducing one tonne of greenhouse gases from their cars and homes. It will also commit the federal government to negotiating greenhouse-gas reduction targets with individual industrial sectors, an attempt to overcome a stalemate between industry and Ottawa.

 

The plan will be a boon to the ethanol industry, which makes fuel from distilled grain. The government promises to create regulations so that 35% of the gasoline sold at service stations across Canada contains 10% ethanol.

 

The new plan refuses to concede to three of the 12 provincial demands: that Ottawa pay for any economic losses attributed to climate change initiatives; that it bear all the financial risk for its climate change measures; and that carbon credits from forests and agricultural land, which absorb carbon dioxide, belong to the provinces.

 

The government’s latest estimates reveal Kyoto would cost at least 200,000 jobs and a GDP reduction of 1.5% over the next decade. Estimates from other sources, such as the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters organization, peg the cost of full implementation at 450,000 jobs in manufacturing alone, and a 3% decline in GDP.

 

However, the government’s estimates were based on reducing greenhouse gases by 170 megatonnes after claiming credit for clean energy exports — which it has been denied — a figure 70 megatonnes less than the target set out in the Kyoto treaty.

 

The model used in the new study is thought to be a more sophisticated attempt to measure the costs of the treaty and its impact on investment decisions.

 

Previous studies by Environment Canada and the Climate Change Secretariat were based on a modelling idea that accepts the notion of perfect competition in the marketplace. But the Industry Canada study argues that modelling using a concept that markets are imperfect and don’t function in reality as they do in theory is an improved method of analyzing proposed measures such as Kyoto.

 

“Our results highlight the importance of incorporating an imperfectly competitive market framework in estimating the impact of compliance to the Kyoto Protocol,” the study said. The study refers to some recent modelling work in the United States using the concept of imperfect competition. They show that predicted impacts were much larger than expected.

 

The Industry Canada study, although limited to the impact on 13 sectors, is nonetheless important, the paper said.

 

“To our knowledge, this is the first forward-looking, dynamic equilibrium model that incorporates an imperfectly competitive market structure in the analysis of the Kyoto Protocol, not only for Canada but also for any other country,” the paper said.

 

The price of carbon as a commodity in the study is $29.20 per tonne in 2010, according to the study. This is contradictory to earlier estimates by David Anderson, the Environment Minister, that carbon credits covering a tonne of emissions will cost $10. The government study also indicated that at the high end, the carbon credits could cost as much as $50 a tonne.

 

The reduction of greenhouse gases — mainly carbon produced by burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas — will raise the price of energy significantly, the study said.

 

“Energy sectors are the most affected ... these sectors undergo large contractions,” said the study, claiming the largest decline in output will be in the coal industry with a 33% fall, followed by decreases of 28% and 21% in the natural gas and refined petroleum sectors, respectively.

 

The study, which has still not been made public, concludes that it is “highly desirable” to incorporate its modelling concept into any economic analysis of the Kyoto Protocol. “We found that the underestimation of the ... costs, assuming a perfectly competitive market structure, may be as high as 30%,” the study said.

 

The paper cautions that it will be necessary to compare whether the economic costs of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol will outweigh the benefits of having a lower level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

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Kyoto plan like ‘lipstick on a pig’: Ottawa says it has listened to critics (National Post, 021122)

 

OTTAWA and EDMONTON - Provincial politicians and business leaders were more than skeptical yesterday toward Ottawa’s updated Kyoto plan, slamming a strategy they say was cooked up secretly and sprung on them through the media.

 

“It’s a clear breach of trust,” Lorne Taylor, Alberta’s Environment Minister, said, describing the plan as “lipstick on a pig.”

 

“They’re not working in collaboration with the provinces when they release to the press and the public without even discussing it [with the provinces].”

 

Federal officials, who spoke on background yesterday, said the new plan will limit the burden on large companies that are the main source of industrial greenhouse gases. It will also ask individual citizens to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by a tonne a year.

 

The federal officials said the plan would mean only a 0.4% decline in gross domestic product and by 2010 would cost about 60,000 jobs.

 

Companies that cannot meet targets will be given flexibility to meet them after 2012 if they invest in energy-saving technologies. One of Alberta’s arguments against the treaty has been that current technology does not permit companies to reduce greenhouse gases within the Kyoto time frame.

 

The plan requires automakers to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles by 25% by 2010.

 

The government would also take steps to encourage people to buy more efficient cars and appliances, and make new investments to increase use of public transit.

 

Home-energy audits — to ensure households are running efficiently — would be “cost-shared.” It’s not clear whether than means consumers would pay part of the cost.

 

Ralph Klein, the Alberta Premier, was as vituperative as his minister, saying the new plan fails to address a key demand of the provinces — a guarantee they will be compensated for any economic losses as a result of the accord.

 

Mr. Klein, who has already taken personal shots at the Prime Minister over Kyoto, took aim at David Anderson, suggesting the federal Environment Minister lives in a fantasy world when it comes to climate change.

 

He said Mr. Anderson should read a recently published book lauding Canadian industry’s efforts to protect the environment. “That’s assuming he can pull himself away from Humpty Dumpty or Alice in Wonderland or whatever he happens to be reading,” he said at a gathering of rural municipal officials in Edmonton.

 

Mr. Klein also attacked Mr. Anderson for releasing the plan before showing it to the provinces.

 

“Ottawa talks about consultation and working with the provinces, but what we have here is a plan crafted by federal bureaucrats behind closed doors in Ottawa,” Mr. Klein said. “That’s not consultation, that’s not working together and that’s what’s been so frustrating about this whole exercise. Everything that has been put on the table has been put on the table by the federal government.

 

“This is not a Canada plan. This is a Liberal, Ottawa federal-government plan. Period.”

 

Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have led the fight to have in place a detailed, costed implementation plan for greenhouse-gas reduction before ratification can take place.

 

Gordon Balser, Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister — who co-chairs the provincial ministers’ group on Kyoto — called the plan “less than we had expected, and not at the level of detail that we need.

 

“We’re going into this with a healthy skepticism and a sense of disappointment,” he said.

 

Business groups were also lukewarm. “The document acknowledges some of the concerns that have been raised by industry and by the provinces, but provides little more detail than the framework released last month,” Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, said. “Canadians deserve a detailed plan that spells out the costs and necessary actions on the part of industry and individual citizens for Canada to achieve its target.”

 

Only Paul Martin, the front-runner to succeed Jean Chrétien, expressed optimism.

 

“I must say that they appear to have made progress in certain areas. I certainly think providing certainty is very, very important, but I’ve not had a chance to take a look at the report,” he told reporters after a campaign-style meeting with University of Toronto law students.

 

“I have been a supporter of the Kyoto process for a long time now. I think it’s very important that we establish a partnership ... that will enable us to do what Canadians want us to do, which is to build a strong economy and protect the environment.”

 

Despite the lack of agreement, Mr. Anderson said yesterday Ottawa will go ahead on Monday with a motion in the House of Commons asking MPs to support ratifying the treaty.

 

Ottawa issued a draft plan on Oct. 24, but the provinces rejected it, saying it failed to outline the costs to the provinces, industry and citizens of lowering Canada’s greenhouse gases to 6% below 1990 levels.

 

“We have responded to the concerns of the provinces and territories and adjusted our plan to minimize the economic impacts on particular regions and sectors of the economy,” Mr. Anderson said.

 

Herb Dhaliwal, the Natural Resources Minister, said Ottawa has listened to the main complaints from large companies that are being asked to make an annual cut of 55 megatonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2010. The government plans to seek agreements with companies rather than impose a regulated cap on emissions.

 

Ottawa’s plan calls for 180 megatonnes of greenhouse-gas reductions, but does not state specifically how Canada plans to reach the further 60 megatonnes required to meet the target of 240 megatonnes.

 

Big industry wants some certainty Ottawa’s plan — based on carbon priced at $10 a tonne — will provide the economic basis for planning reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

 

The details will be worked out as the plan unfolds, Mr. Dhaliwal said.

 

Federal officials admitted there were still no details on the costs of implementing Kyoto and no sense of how the burden of reducing greenhouse gases will be shared. Mr. Dhaliwal said Ottawa hoped to arrive at a more detailed plan in 2003-2004.

 

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Brave New Climate: Mr. Genome takes on global warming (NRO, 021203)

 

By Patrick J. Michaels

 

In any competition to determine what living person will be most influential in the next decade, J. Craig Venter, president of the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, surely is at the top of the list. After decoding the human genome, he’s now on a project to genetically engineer the planet’s temperature.

 

Technologically, this might not be so difficult, and Venter makes no bones about what he is after: a homogenerated bacterium that reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide. Increasing carbon dioxide is the likely cause for a small rise in planetary temperature in the last 50 years of about 0.4ºC. Despite the fact that the warming has consistently been far beneath the early alarmist projections, there’s no other environmental issue that generates such emotional heat.

 

Also neglected in public discussion is that the physics of this process correctly predicts that a disproportionately large amount of this warming should take place in the coldest, driest air, such as in Siberia in the winter, and this has been observed. Further missing: The world’s mid-latitudes, which is where most of our food comes from, should receive slightly more rain, and therefore produce more food. Both have been documented.

 

Smart money says Venter will be successful. The ramifications will be mind-boggling. First and foremost, it will provoke an honest discussion of global warming.

 

For years, enviro-luddites have assumed that anything we humans do to the global temperature is bad. The implication is that the earth’s climate before the industrial revolution was somehow the Garden of Eden.

 

Hardly. Much of the northern hemisphere, if not the world, was at the depths of what climatologists call the Little Ice Age. Winters in Europe were miserable. Thomas Jefferson, who, among other things, was fascinated with the notion of climate change, wrote that the oldest citizens of his time recalled that the snow in Virginia would lay on the ground for months at a time, as opposed to the few weeks that characterized his day. Now it’s more like a few days. Whether the Little Ice Age was the beginning of a natural progression to the next big ice age (which is overdue by some calculations), is an experiment that cannot be run. However, the reality is that human-produced carbon dioxide has warmed things up a bit.

 

Is this all so bad? I sincerely doubt that a panel of the most esteemed ecologists would argue that we should bring planetary temperature down. Perhaps the most logical temperature would be the average since the last big ice age, 11,000 years ago, about a degree warmer than today. The flowering of human civilization and its co-evolution with the earth’s biota are the hallmark of the post-ice age regime. Consequently, it’s a pretty good argument that the mean temperature during this period is a salubrious one.

 

One could hone it a bit more: The actual dawn of civilization occurred in a period climatologists used to call the “climatic optimum” (before the current era of “climatic hysteria”) when the mean surface temperature was 1-2ºC warmer than today.

 

So where do we set the thermostat, once we realize the technological inevitability that the control is in our hands?

 

That’s going to be the real debate about global warming.

 

Who decides and how we decide will be one of the most delicious ironies of the modern era of environmental politics. Right now, there’s a great divide between America and Europe on just about every aspect. It’s about to get bigger.

 

Nowadays, we don’t even notice that almost all of our ubiquitous soy-based food products are genetically modified, even as Europeans would claim to break out in hives just for looking at a Pria bar. We believe that the Kyoto Protocol won’t do anything about global warming except cost its adherents a fortune. Europe disagrees, tilting at ugly windmills. Europe savages the Bush administration for inaction, while the president, along with Dr. Venter, recognizes that effective climate technology has yet to be developed. Euros will hate the notion of genetically modified organisms engineering our atmosphere, even as probably 60% of the protein that comprises the American body now comes from the same.

 

Perhaps the genie that is about to emerge from Craig Venter’s petri dishes will finally bring the world to its senses, not only on climate change but also on the inevitability that Homo sapiens chooses and engineers the planet and genetic ecosphere that it desires. It’s been happening for hundreds of years, and only the pace and the technology are accelerating.

 

This was predicted a long time ago, in Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth”.

 

Craig Venter is likely to provide the key to that prophecy. But determining how we fulfill it, and with what wisdom, is going to occupy an awful lot of our time in coming decades.

 

— Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of the book The Satanic Gases.

 

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Middle Ages were warmer than today, say scientists (Daily Telegraph, 030406)

 

By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent

 

Claims that man-made pollution is causing “unprecedented” global warming have been seriously undermined by new research which shows that the Earth was warmer during the Middle Ages.

 

From the outset of the global warming debate in the late 1980s, environmentalists have said that temperatures are rising higher and faster than ever before, leading some scientists to conclude that greenhouse gases from cars and power stations are causing these “record-breaking” global temperatures.

 

Last year, scientists working for the UK Climate Impacts Programme said that global temperatures were “the hottest since records began” and added: “We are pretty sure that climate change due to human activity is here and it’s accelerating.”

 

This announcement followed research published in 1998, when scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia declared that the 1990s had been hotter than any other period for 1,000 years.

 

Such claims have now been sharply contradicted by the most comprehensive study yet of global temperature over the past 1,000 years. A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today’s temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather - in stark contrast to the claims of the environmentalists.

 

The review, carried out by a team from Harvard University, examined the findings of studies of so-called “temperature proxies” such as tree rings, ice cores and historical accounts which allow scientists to estimate temperatures prevailing at sites around the world.

 

The findings prove that the world experienced a Medieval Warm Period between the ninth and 14th centuries with global temperatures significantly higher even than today.

 

They also confirm claims that a Little Ice Age set in around 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up again - but has still to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.

 

The timing of the end of the Little Ice Age is especially significant, as it implies that the records used by climate scientists date from a time when the Earth was relatively cold, thereby exaggerating the significance of today’s temperature rise.

 

According to the researchers, the evidence confirms suspicions that today’s “unprecedented” temperatures are simply the result of examining temperature change over too short a period of time.

 

The study, about to be published in the journal Energy and Environment, has been welcomed by sceptics of global warming, who say it puts the claims of environmentalists in proper context. Until now, suggestions that the Middle Ages were as warm as the 21st century had been largely anecdotal and were often challenged by believers in man-made global warming.

 

Dr Philip Stott, the professor emeritus of bio-geography at the University of London, told The Telegraph: “What has been forgotten in all the discussion about global warming is a proper sense of history.”

 

According to Prof Stott, the evidence also undermines doom-laden predictions about the effect of higher global temperatures. “During the Medieval Warm Period, the world was warmer even than today, and history shows that it was a wonderful period of plenty for everyone.”

 

In contrast, said Prof Stott, severe famines and economic collapse followed the onset of the Little Ice Age around 1300. He said: “When the temperature started to drop, harvests failed and England’s vine industry died. It makes one wonder why there is so much fear of warmth.”

 

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the official voice of global warming research, has conceded the possibility that today’s “record-breaking” temperatures may be at least partly caused by the Earth recovering from a relatively cold period in recent history. While the evidence for entirely natural changes in the Earth’s temperature continues to grow, its causes still remain mysterious.

 

Dr Simon Brown, the climate extremes research manager at the Meteorological Office at Bracknell, said that the present consensus among scientists on the IPCC was that the Medieval Warm Period could not be used to judge the significance of existing warming.

 

Dr Brown said: “The conclusion that 20th century warming is not unusual relies on the assertion that the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon. This is not the conclusion of IPCC.”

 

He added that there were also doubts about the reliability of temperature proxies such as tree rings: “They are not able to capture the recent warming of the last 50 years,” he said.

 

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Truth melts away faster than Arctic ice (National Post, 030418)

 

Elizabeth Nickson

 

Some adored friends handed me research on their projected film on the fabled Northwest Passage which, given global warming, is about to materialize. CNN reports that by 2080, the passage — that dream of explorers since Elizabeth I — will not only open up occasionally, but permanently. And ships will be able to start using the Northern Passage in 10 years, which would sheer thousands of miles off the trips of supertankers, which would no longer have to use the rusted out Panama Canal. Canadian grain shippers would save millions. Trees would actually grow — money would grow on them — new towns, new businesses, natives with actual jobs. People wandering around dazed, hats out ready to catch all the money falling from the sky. Global warming appears to have a definite upside — and not just getting rid of those inconvenient Eastern winters.

 

Because the Arctic is melting, isn’t it? Not only CNN, David Anderson and Leo DiCaprio say so, but The New York Times and every other news outfit. The BBC, with great alarm, reported in December that warming has produced a 20% loss in Arctic sea ice since 1978. The planet has warmed only one degree Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, but in the Arctic three or four degrees and it’s about to get warmer. The story was picked up by Time magazine, The Vancouver Sun, etc., and seemingly every single mainstream publication has since reported the thinning of Arctic ice as fact. All of this heavy breathing is supported by the United Nations’ climate panel, the IPCC, the mother of all sky-is-literally-falling research.

 

But what if this is just part of what eco-critics call the Big Benevolent Lie — that deliberate conscious lie at the heart of all system-changing, left-wing environmentalism? Does anyone remember the Leipzig Declaration of ‘97, signed by 100 atmospheric scientists and climatologists? The Leipzig Declaration states, in small part, that “the dire predictions of a future warming have not been validated by the historic climate record.” Or the more recent, ongoing, Petition Project, signed by 19,000 working scientists from all over the world? The Canadian government, bolstered by media hysteria, found it convenient to ignore the 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists; and 5,017 scientists from other disciplines in the United States alone. Why? Because the Petition Project, as published in the journal Climate Research, eviscerates the Big Benevolent Lie, by stating “the large temperature increase predicted by the IPCC has not happened” and “contrary to the conventional wisdom, there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide.” Has Time reported that? Has anyone?

 

Not recently. Too darn dull. Let me remind you from whence the story of Arctic ice melting arrived. A group of tourists saw clear water in the summer on an icebreaker and told a reporter from The New York Times. The Times reported in August, 2000, that the North Pole had melted for the first time in 50 million years. Everyone’s head spun around, especially Leo DiCaprio’s, but it turned out that the ice melts every summer. No one reported that inconvenient follow-up fact on the front page. Since then, all Armageddon, Arctic-wise. For instance, the CBC reported in March, 2001, that “winters will cease to exist.” Really? How soon?

 

Actual science labours on underfunded and unnoticed. As Ross McKitrick and Christopher Essex make clear in the brilliant and useful Taken by Storm, The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming, if, as a scientist you aren’t crying wolf these days, you might as well take a nighttime job at the Golden Arches because your funding will evaporate just like that putative ice. Luckily there are a few who keep the torch lit, and evidence keeps coming in. There may be a warming trend in the Arctic, as there was early in the 20th century. There may also be a cooling trend in both Alaska and Greenland. Three out of four temperature indicators say that the Arctic is stable or cooling slightly, one says it is warming. But most importantly, science is still researching. Are there oceanic causes? Is it the Arctic Oscillation or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or the El Niño-Southern Oscillation? In actual (not UN) science, data is gathered and observed. Hypotheses are tested, and studied. Statements are issued, disputed and corrections are made. Knowledge grows.

 

Not the least of this knowledge is that, as McKitrick and Essex point out, there are more temperatures than there is room for thermometers. There are infinitely many temperatures in the Arctic, in the ice, on the bottom of the ocean and in the many layers of the ocean and the ice. There are temperatures in the mountains and in the clouds. Temperature is a field, not a single value, and no one temperature or any set gathered can actually predict temperature into the distant future. Temperature change of one or four degrees cannot be predicted even to the next season. Will spring come early? Will winter be cold? Everyone who lived through this last Eastern winter knows that no one knows.

 

What is lost by the Big Benevolent Lie is respect for scientific inquiry. The Big Benevolent Lie is created to effect social change, to interrupt, then harness what’s left of our system to the desires of those who would change the very substance of our inner lives for our own, as they see it, good. By any means necessary. All such lies funded here.

 

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Global Warming: The Movie (Foxnews, 040326)

 

Coming to a multiplex near you on May 28 is the global warming disaster movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.” I’ve only seen the trailer, but my money is on the movie, not global warming, being the disaster.

 

Featuring sensational but implausible weather phenomena ― such as tornadoes ripping through Los Angeles, a blizzard in New Delhi, grapefruit-sized hail pounding Tokyo and a single day sweltering-to-freezing temperature change in New York City ― the movie’s unmistakable purpose is to scare us into submitting to the Greens’ agenda: domination of society through control of energy resources.

 

This column has addressed Green extremism and global warming many times in the past ― “Eco-Imperialism’s Deadly Consequences” ; “Global Warming not a WMD”; and “Global Warmers Admit No Solutions,” for example. So suffice it to say that there’s no credible evidence humans are altering global climate in any measurable way and, to the extent that global climate is changing ― as it always has and always will ― there’s nothing that humans can do about that change except to adapt.

 

The oldest movie marketing strategy in the world is to tie in to some swirl of controversy ― it sells tickets. These filmmakers go one step further by pointing an accusing finger at each one of us with their plea to go “carbon-neutral.”

 

The film’s producers say they discovered that they were actually contributing to global warming by making the movie. To compensate for putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, they decided to go carbon-neutral ― a mix of energy conservation and tree planting, they claim, helped make up for their eco-error.

 

“It’s a small part of a very big problem, but it’s a start,” the producers reasoned. For what the rest of us can do, we’re directed to a Web site called futureforests.com, where you’ll learn that you (unfortunately) produce carbon dioxide, “well, just by living.”

 

Futureforests.com says you need to “make a commitment to reduce your emissions and have that published” and “buy products, which will compensate for every ton of carbon dioxide you produce, or buy gifts which neutralize a friend’s emissions.”

 

Futureforests.com also features a celebrity section where you can learn about what celebrities are doing to go carbon-neutral. The rock band Foo Fighters, for example, is also planting trees as their personal contribution to fighting global warming.

 

“We measured the amount of carbon dioxide” created by the production, manufacture and distribution of [the band’s latest album] and [we are] planting enough trees in the Tensas River forest and wildlife reserve in Louisiana, to re-absorb that carbon dioxide over their lifetime,” said the band.

 

But if global warming were a real problem and planting trees were the answer, forest products giant Weyerhaeuser would seem to have already solved a good part of the problem with the 130 million trees it plants every year.

 

The filmmakers’ nauseating elitism, ignorance and politics are displayed on the Web site, which features personal responses of the filmmakers to dopey questions such as “One last day, where on Earth would you spend it?”

 

Director Roland Emmerich said he’s spend his in “my house in Puerto Vallarta.” Editor David Brenner said, “On Kauai … as soon as they get a Starbucks.” VFX supervisor Karen Goulekas said, “Having a party on the beach in front of my house in Marina Del Ray.” Actor Jake Gyllenhall said “On Martha’s Vineyard, with all my friends.”

 

“Your message to the world, given a billboard for one final day, what would you put or say on it?,” is another deep question asked of the filmmakers. Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff said, “Out of 20 million species, why is there always one who has to go out and ruin it for the others?” Emmerich said “No more Bush.”

 

Many of the cast and crew have yet to respond on the Web site to these and other penetrating inquiries ― I can hardly wait to learn more about why we should take global warming seriously. So far, global warming appears to be just an excuse for Hollywood hedonism, human-bashing and electing John Kerry.

 

The movie’s undeniable political overtones verge on the irresponsible, especially in an election year. Aside from the director’s acknowledged anti-Bush sentiment, the actor who plays the evil U.S. vice president has more than a coincidental physical resemblance to Vice President Dick Cheney.

 

The film is not rated yet, but perhaps the Motion Picture Association of America will consider a new rating for The Day After Tomorrow ― a zero.

 

Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-Defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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Eco-Imperialism’s Deadly Consequences (FN, 031205)

 

The United Nations’ global warming bureaucracy is meeting (vacationing?) in Milan this week pondering how to revive the beleaguered international global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol. This week’s news that Russia might say “nyet” to the treaty all but seals its doom.

 

“A number of questions have been raised about the link between carbon dioxide and climate change which do not appear convincing and clearly it sets very serious brakes on economic growth which do not look justified,” said an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

The treaty’s scientific and economic shortcomings are both excellent reasons for rejecting it. Another reason not mentioned nearly often enough, however, is exposed in compelling fashion by Paul Driessen in his new book “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.”

 

Driessen, a senior fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and a former member of the Sierra Club and Zero Population Growth, reveals how the ideological environmental movement — essentially comprised of wealthy, left-leaning Americans and Europeans — wants to impose its views on billions of poor, desperate Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

 

Eco-imperialism violates these people’s most basic human rights, maintains Driessen, and denies them economic opportunities, the chance for better lives, and the right to rid their countries of diseases that were vanquished long ago in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Hollywood actor and eco-imperialist Ed Begley, Jr., for example, preaches that “the two most abundant forms of power on Earth are solar and wind…It’s much cheaper for everybody in Africa to have electricity where they need it, on their huts.”

 

Drissen points out, however, that while solar panels would be a major improvement over “current” conditions in many areas of the third world, they are but a band-aid approach to the developing world’s critical electrical deficiency.

 

“They cannot possibly provide sufficient power for anything more than basic necessities, and large-scale photovoltaic electricity is far more expensive than what is produced by coal, natural gas, nuclear or hydroelectric pants. Wind power has the same shortcomings. For impoverished countries where few have access to electricity, these are not idle considerations,” writes Driessen.

 

The environmental movement “has repeatedly used the alleged threat of global eco-catastrophe — e.g., global warming — to override the wishes of people who most desperately need energy and progress,” he adds.

 

In India’s Gujarat Province, a dam project was halted after eco-activists pressured international lending agencies to withdraw financial support. The dam had to be stopped because it would “change the path of the river, kill little creatures along its banks and uproot tribal people in the area,” one eco-activist smugly intoned.

 

“The local ‘tribal people,’ however, don’t appear to appreciate her intervention,” offers Driessan. “One resident angrily called the activists’ handiwork ‘a crime against humanity,’ because the project would have provided electricity for 5,000 villages; low-cost renewable power for industries and sewage treatment plants; irrigation water for crops; and clean water for 35 million people.”

 

Driessan’s book isn’t limited to global warming and third world energy problems. The chapter “Sustainable Mosquitoes — Expendable People” describes the ongoing tragedy of the eco-activist crusade against DDT.

 

“Our family and community are suffering and dying from [malaria], and too many Europeans and environmentalists only talk about protecting the environment,” says 34-year old Ugandan businesswoman with malaria. “But what about the people? The mosquitoes are everywhere. You think you’re safe, and you’re not. Europeans and Americans can afford to deceive themselves about malaria and pesticides. But we can’t,” she added.

 

The Ugandan woman is only one of more than 300 million annual victims of malaria in the third world. Between 2-3 million die every year. “Over half the victims are children, who die at a rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day — the equivalent of 80 fully loaded school buses plunging over a cliff every day of the year,” explains Driessen.

 

Despite this ongoing public health horror story, the United Nations Environment Programme, World Bank, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, World Wildlife Fund, Physicians for Social Responsibility and other eco-imperialist groups oppose the use of DDT — the only practical solution to the malaria crisis. The eco-imperialists’ disturbing attitude toward the third world is perhaps most frighteningly described by Robert S. Desowitz in another must-read, “The Malaria Capers,” (W.W. Norton, 1991).

 

Desowitz reports a U.S. Agency for International Development official named Edwin Cohn as saying, “The third world didn’t require a healthy labor force because there was a surplus of workers; better some people should be sick with malaria and spread the job opportunities around.” Even more bluntly, Cohn reportedly said people in the third world were “better [off] dead than alive and riotously reproducing.”

 

There should be no question, then, about Eco-Imperialism’s subtitle: Green power does indeed mean black death.

 

Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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Global Warming Not a WMD (FN, 030801)

 

Get the butterfly net before you read this column. You won’t want to waste any time afterward.

 

“I have no hesitation in describing global warming as a weapon of mass destruction,” said a British climate scientist this week.

 

John Houghton, a former member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, wrote in a July 28 commentary in the British newspaper The Guardian that human-induced climate change is at least as dangerous as “chemical, nuclear or biological weapons, or indeed international terrorism.”

 

Likening global warming to terrorism, Houghton wrote “this weapon knows no boundaries. It can strike anywhere in any form — a heat wave in one place, a drought or a storm surge in another.

 

“Nor is this a problem for the future. The 1990s were probably the warmest decade in the last 1,000 years … The U.S. mainland was struck by 562 tornadoes in May,” Houghton continued (no doubt hyperventilating).

 

“Pre-monsoon temperatures this year in India reached a blistering 120 degrees, 9 degrees above normal. Once this killer heat wave began to abate, 1,500 people lay dead — half the number killed outright in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center,” he added.

 

Houghton appeared to come up for a breath of sanity with the phrase, “While no one can ascribe a single weather event to climate change with any degree of certainty,” he quickly submerged back into the depths of bizarre hyperbole, “the parallels between global climate change and global terrorism are becoming increasingly obvious.”

 

Well, the only obvious parallel is that global terrorists and the global-warming pushers both seek to accomplish their agendas by scaring the public.

 

Houghton’s assertion that the 1990s was the warmest decade in the last 1,000 years draws out the question, “Why was it so warm 1,000 years ago?”

 

Since there were no power plants, factories or automobiles back then, that warm period was obviously natural climate change. So why should we leap to the conclusion that any 1990s warming is definitely manmade?

 

Of course, it’s not even clear that any measurable “global warming” has really occurred, much less that it’s human-induced.

 

Satellite and weather balloon measurements of atmospheric temperatures since the 1970s actually indicate slight cooling to no change. To the extent any significant warming may have occurred during the 20th century, most occurred before 1940, while most greenhouse gas emissions occurred after 1940 — so there’s no apparent cause-and-effect relationship.

 

While it’s possible that some human-induced warming may be occurring, Virginia state climatologist Pat Michaels once pointed out in a television debate with Clinton administration eco-czarina Carol Browner: “The fact of the matter is if you look at those temperature records that you keep on citing, you will see that almost all of the warming takes place in the absolute coldest, most miserable air masses in Siberia and northwestern North America … Great. We’ve warmed Siberia from minus 40 to minus 38. Big deal.”

 

If the 1990s were unusually warm, we don’t know why. Neither do the global-warming pushers.

 

There is no doubt that May was a big month for tornadoes — 562 versus the prior monthly record of 399 reported for June 1992.

 

But just because May 2003 was a record month for tornadoes does not mean that global warming was the cause.

 

Houghton offered no explanation why it took more than a decade to break the previous record or why that record was broken by a whopping 41%. Surely the incremental nature of gradual climate change is not the explanation.

 

Moreover, the number of tornadoes has been rising for the past 50 years — because of technology, not climate change. “As storm spotter and Doppler-radar networks improve and public awareness increases, the number of tornadoes is also rising,” says the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a research program managed by more than 60 universities.

 

“From 1953 to 1991, an average of 768 tornadoes were reported per year, but since 1990, records list over 1,000 tornadoes each year … Spring is tornado season, with about 50% for all reported tornadoes occurring from April through June,” adds NCAR.

 

Five hundred-plus tornadoes may be a record for a single month, but it’s not so unusual after all.

 

As to India’s killer heat wave, it sounds like the Indians need more economic development so that they can afford better living conditions and better medical care.

 

In contrast to India, temperatures hit 127 degrees in Palm Springs, Calif., this year with no reported heat-related deaths. You figure out what the difference is.

 

If there is a “weapon of mass destruction” associated with global warming, it’s the global warmers themselves. Their preferred policy of energy regulation and restriction would reduce economic progress and development, especially in the third world.

 

Since “wealth is health,” it’s easy to see who and what the real threat is.

 

Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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Global Warmers Admit No Solutions (FN, 021101)

 

No treaty will prevent global warming, says a key scientist who believes manmade climate change is happening. That’s bad news for the United Nations’ bureaucrats who are meeting in New Dehli to conclude a treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Perhaps instead of alarming the public about global warming, the international “climatocracy” should sweat its own dim prospects.

 

“The fossil fuel greenhouse effect is an energy problem that cannot be simply regulated away,” wrote 18 scientists in the Nov. 1 edition of Science. Notable among the authors is Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research — a longtime and prominent promoter of global warming fever.

 

Wigley et al. still maintain we’re headed toward a major warm-up. They claim unchecked greenhouse gas emissions — primarily carbon dioxide — “could eventually produce global warming comparable in magnitude but opposite in sign to the global cooling of the last Ice Age.”

 

Such alarmism has been the political excuse for the Kyoto global warming treaty, though many scientists dispute the notion that humans significantly affect global climate.

 

Wigley et al. now agree with the skeptics that a treaty requiring greenhouse gas emissions — even in the most stringent form — would have no significant effect on global climate and only cause economic harm.

 

Worldwide power consumption is now about 12 trillion watts, 85% of which is provided by carbon dioxide-producing coal, oil and gas. By 2050, our power need will be 30 trillion watts.

 

Wigley et al. flatly admit no regulation will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and triple energy output. The only hope, they say, is technology. But the requisite technology doesn’t exist — and won’t any time soon.

 

The U.N. claims, “known technological options … that exist in operation or pilot plant stage could stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years.”

 

But Wigley et al. counter, “Energy sources that can produce 100 to 300% of present world power consumption without greenhouse emissions do not exist operationally or as pilot plants.”

 

Some increased energy efficiency is certainly possible, but isn’t very promising for mitigating global warming say Wigley et al.

 

It might be feasible to double the fuel efficiency of SUVs, for example. But “the effects of such efficiency could be overwhelmed if China and India follow the U.S. path from bicycles and mass transit to cars. Asia already accounts for more than 80% of petroleum consumption growth.”

 

What about solar power?

 

Wigley et al. say current U.S. energy consumption might require an array of photovoltaic cells covering 26,000 square kilometers (km2); worldwide energy consumption might require about 220,000 km2 of photovoltaic cells. These requirements would triple by 2050.

 

“However, all the photovoltaic cells shipped from 1982 to 1998 would only cover about 3 km2.”

 

Space-based solar power might require less than 25% of the area of land-based photovoltaic cells. But even with adequate research investments, that technology wouldn’t deliver energy to global markets until the latter half of the century.

 

That schedule might be cutting it close for Manhattan, which will be under water by 2080, according to Greenpeace raving.

 

Wind power? Forget it. “It’s often available only from remote or offshore locations.”

 

Bio-fuels aren’t the answer either, for the same reason as all other forms of “renewable” energy — they take a lot of space to produce only a little energy, says Wigley et al.

 

Global-scale nuclear power from fission isn’t a solution for energy needs as there’s only a 30-year supply of uranium for fuel — “hardly a basis for energy policy,” according to Wigley et al.

 

Fusion is “the most promising long-term nuclear power source,” but is in an embryonic stage of research and “cannot be relied on to aid carbon dioxide stabilization by mid-century.”

 

My favorite technology option discussed by Wigley et al. is “planetary engineering” —blocking the sun’s rays to alter the “planetary radiation balance to affect climate.”

 

It’s quite nutty. Options include putting layers of reflective dust in the upper atmosphere, increasing cloud cover by seeding, and placing a giant mirror (2,000 kilometers wide) to act like a permanent sunspot and deflect about 2% of solar flux.

 

“Of course, large-scale geophysical interventions are inherently risky and need to be approached with caution,” say Wigley et al.

 

Indeed. And those that propose them need to be approached with a butterfly net.

 

Wigley et al. conclude, “If Earth continues to warm, people may turn to advanced technologies for solutions.”

 

Yes, they may.

 

On the other hand, Wigley et al.’s gloomy assessment of regulatory and technology-based solutions might just encourage policy makers to pay more attention to the junk science underlying the fantasy of manmade global warming.

 

Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com , an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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Hotter-burning sun warming the planet (Washington Times, 040719)

 

The sun is burning hotter than usual, offering a possible explanation for global warming that needs to be weighed when proceeding with expensive efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, Swiss and German scientists say.

 

“The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures,” said Sami Solanki, the director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, who led the research.

 

“The sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently — in the last 100 to 150 years,” Mr. Solanski said.

 

Average global temperatures have increased by about 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 20 years and are widely believed to be responsible for new extremes in weather patterns.

 

Globally, 1997, 1998 and 2002 were the hottest years since worldwide weather records were first collated in 1860.

 

Bill Burrows, a climatologist and a member of the Royal Meteorological Society, welcomed Mr. Solanki’s research.

 

“It shows that there is enough happening on the solar front to merit further research. Perhaps we are devoting too many resources to correcting human effects on the climate without being sure that we are the major contributor,” he said.

 

Mr. Solanki said that the brighter sun and higher levels of so-called “greenhouse gases” both contributed to the change in the Earth’s temperature, but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact.

 

Most scientists agree that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from fossil fuels have contributed to the warming of the planet in the past few decades, but have questioned whether other factors beyond man’s control are also to blame.

 

To determine the sun’s role in global warming, Mr. Solanki’s research team measured magnetic zones on the sun’s surface known as sunspots, which are believed to intensify the sun’s energy output.

 

The team studied sunspot data going back several hundred years. They found that a dearth of sunspots signaled a cold period — which could last up to 50 years — but that over the past century their numbers had increased as the Earth’s climate grew steadily warmer.

 

Mr. Solanki does not know what is causing the sun to burn brighter now or how long this cycle would last.

 

He says that the increased solar brightness over the past 20 years has not been enough to cause the observed climate changes, but believes that the impact of intense sunshine on the ozone layer and cloud cover could be affecting the climate more than the sunlight itself.

 

David Viner, the senior research scientist at the University of East Anglia’s climatic research unit, said the research showed that the sun did have an effect on global warming.

 

He added, however, that the study also showed that over the past 20 years, the number of sunspots had remained roughly constant, while the Earth’s temperature had continued to increase.

 

This suggested that over the past 20 years, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation had begun to dominate “the natural factors involved in climate change,” he said.

 

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Sir David King’s Queenie Fit: Shutting down dissent (NRO, 040723)

 

The scene was a scientific workshop set up to discuss the science of global warming. It took place in a non-Western country and was convened by the country’s Academy of Sciences. Delegates came from all over the world. Yet the delegation from one major Western power behaved in a most undiplomatic fashion. The way the science was being presented was inconvenient to their political agenda, so they tried to get the scientists they disagreed with silenced. The organizers refused, so the delegation went to its government to exert political pressure. The organizers still refused, so the delegation disrupted the conference. When it became apparent they weren’t going to get their way, they walked out.

 

The chairman of the conference told the press that the leader of the disruptive delegation “had brought several scientists along with him and he insisted that the program should include among the speakers only those scientists and no other. So, he came over, selected scientists at his discretion, scientists who were to be given the floor in his opinion and scientists who were to be denied an opportunity to speak.” A top official of the host government commented, “For some participants the main goal was the search for the truth, understanding of real processes. Other people had the task of disrupting the seminar, so that other people who were seeking the truth could not do so.”

 

Yet another example of arrogant America disrupting the world’s attempts to solve the climate change program? No. The delegation in question was that of the United Kingdom, and the conference was that held last week in Moscow, hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

 

The British delegation was led by Sir David King, chief scientific adviser to Her Majesty’s government. Sir David has gone on record as saying that, “Global warming is worse than terrorism.” As far as Sir David and Tony Blair’s government is concerned, there should be no need for any further scientific debate on global warming. They have taken the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and cheerfully conflated it with the debatable argument that it will be catastrophic for mankind unless we suppress energy use now.

 

The religious fervor with which Tony Blair’s government is acting on this belief has many Britons unnerved. Dr. David Bellamy, one of the titans of the British environmental movement, wrote in the Daily Mail that he considers global warming alarmism “poppycock.” Analysts predict a 40% rise in electricity prices as a result of the government’s energy suppression policies. British manufacturers foresee having to put thousands out of work as they lose out in competitiveness to overseas suppliers. The Times’s economics editor has written that the environmentalists pushing these policies “are like the medieval monks who favored self-flagellation as the road to virtue. For a Government to enshrine such thinking in policy is truly perverse.”

 

In equally medieval fashion, adherents of the environmentalist religion have launched an inquisition against scientific views that they consider heretical. Hence, Sir David’s outrageous behavior at the Moscow conference. On learning of the program arranged by the Russian Academy, he proposed a different program that would censor the voices of scientists who do not believe global warming is a worse threat to the world than terrorism. Such delegates included Paul Reiter of the Paris-based Pasteur Institute, who presented the predominant view of the world’s malaria experts that global warming is not a major factor in the increasing incidence of vector-borne diseases.

 

Sir David even got British foreign secretary Jack Straw to intervene on his behalf. It did no good. The Russian Academy, used to seeing dissent crushed for political means, refused to kowtow to Sir David’s demands. So, in the words of Russian economic adviser Andrei Illarionov, “Other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar. At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally. As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order to try to solve these problems.” The disruption was serious enough that at the press conference one questioner asked why the security guards did not handle the situation.

 

Sir David apparently walked out with his delegation in mid-answer to one question. Commenting on this display, Illarionov said, “It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government, and the reputation of the title ‘Sir’ has sustained heavy damage.”

 

If Americans had behaved this way, the world would be full of stories charging America with arrogance, boorishness, and disdain for the spirit of free inquiry. Yet Sir David King continues on his way, the Torquemada of the global-warming inquisition.

 

— Iain Murray, a British citizen, is a senior fellow in international policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

 

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Enforcing the Kyoto Protocol (Washington Times, 041124)

 

Given the heated rhetoric it was surprising to see a mostly muted response to the news that the Kyoto Protocol will finally become a legally binding treaty. With Russia handing its official ratification papers to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Nairobi on Nov. 18, the protocol at long last has the support from countries that emit 55% of the world’s so-called greenhouse gases.

 

The subdued reaction was likely due to the refusal of the United States and Australia to ratify the treaty. Although Russia produces 17 per cent of emissions, the big prize was the United States which produced 36.1 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions in 1990. It was with nothing less than fury that the world responded when President Bush withdrew American support for the treaty.

 

Despite that anger, Mr. Bush was entirely correct. Numerous economic studies, including ones conducted by the Clinton administration, predicted serious adverse effects, including the loss of up to 900,000 jobs by 2010 if emissions were stabilized at 1990 levels. Reductions to 7 per cent of 1990 levels would impact employment on an even greater scale. The Energy Information Administration estimated that it could cost the American economy as much as $397 billion annually in taxes and regulations designed to reduce energy consumption.

 

Of course, the Kyoto Protocol is a global treaty and its effects will be felt worldwide. Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, estimates that the global economy could lose as much as $274 trillion by 2100 and barely have any effect on global warming, with the Third World bearing the brunt. Energy, of which the developing world will use more of as it continues to modernize, will only escalate in price.

 

Mr. Bush was also correct when he stated that there continues to be a scientific debate over global warming. Over 17,100 scientists — including 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists and 5,017 scientists who specialize in chemistry, biochemistry, biology and other life sciences — have signed a petition organized by Dr. Frederick Seitz, a past president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, opposing the Kyoto Protocol.

 

Their opposition to the treaty is based on the lack of conclusive science that supports traditional global-warming theories. In recent years, an avalanche of studies largely ignored by the media has argued that much of global warming seems to be related to natural processes out of human control. There have been 250 rapid climate change events over the past 2.5 million years. Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography at the University of London, even went so far as to announce in 2002 that attributing global warming to greenhouse gases was “a lie” and that “Kyoto will not halt climate change.”

 

Despite their refusal to join, the United States and Australia aren’t out of the woods. The issue of enforcement has long been debated by the treaty’s proponents. It is likely that the World Trade Organization, of which the United States and Australia are both members, will be the mechanism used. The protocol itself, once it comes into force, can be amended to include any date for enforcement that its members wish. One way or another, the world will attempt to punish the two biggest nations that refused to be parties to the treaty.

 

Though that is likely, the two nations should continue to stay out. Untold amounts of money will be spent over the coming decades to meet the requirements of a treaty in which the science is suspect and where actions undertaken will have little to no impact on global warming. The United States and Australia will pay a price by refusing to ratify the protocol but it will be far cheaper than the one the treaty’s parties will pay, as they will come to learn.

 

Steven Martinovich is a freelance writer in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

 

==============================

 

Essay Claiming ‘Scientific Consensus’ for Global Warming is Ridiculed (CNSNews.com, 041207)

 

(CNSNews.com) - A Science Magazine essay claiming there is a “scientific consensus” about human-caused “global warming” was ridiculed Monday by a British scientist, who compared such a “consensus” to the near-unanimous elections that existed in the old Soviet Union.

 

On Monday, Benny Peiser, a United Kingdom social anthropologist, called the Dec. 3 essay, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” a “disturbing” study.

 

“A one-hundred-percent record of ‘scientific consensus’ on anthropogenic climate change would be a sensational finding indeed. In fact, such a total result would be even more remarkable than any ‘consensus’ ever achieved in Soviet-style elections,” Peiser noted sarcastically.

 

The Science Magazine essay analyzed 928 abstracts containing the keyword “climate change,” all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003. The essay found that not a single one of the studies showed climate change to be naturally occurring.

 

The essay was written by University of California professor Naomi Oreskes, a member of the University’s Department of History and Science Studies Program.

 

According to Oreskes, “None of these (928) papers argued that [current climate change is natural].”

 

“This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with [United Nations] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies,” Oreskes wrote.

 

“Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect,” she added.

 

“The question of what to do about climate change is also still open. But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic (human caused) climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen,” concluded Oreskes.

 

But Peiser, a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology & Sport Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University and the editor of of CCNet (Cambridge Conference Network) webzine, labeled Oreskes’ essay a “disturbing article.

 

“Whatever happened to the countless research papers published in the last ten years in peer-reviewed journals that show that temperatures were generally higher during the Medieval Warm Period than today, that solar variability is most likely to be the key driver of any significant climate change and that the methods used in climate modeling are highly questionable?” Peiser asked.

 

“Given the countless papers published in the peer-reviewed literature over the last ten years that implicitly or explicitly disagree with the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming, one can only conclude that all of these were simply excluded from the [Science Magazine] review. That’s how it arrived at a 100% consensus!” he added.

 

According to Peiser, Oreskes’ assertion that there is a 100% consensus about the issue is not backed by science.

 

“Even [former Soviet dictator Joseph] Stalin himself did not take consensus politics to such extremes,” Peiser explained. “In the Soviet Union the official ‘participation rate’ was never higher than 98-99%.

 

“So how did the results published in Science achieve a 100% level of conformity? Regrettably, the article does not include any reference to the [unpublished?] study itself, let alone the methodology on which the research was based. This makes it difficult to check how Oreskes arrived at the truly miraculous results,” he added.

 

‘Easily debunked falsehood’

 

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the free market environmental group Competitive Enterprise Institute, also criticized the idea that there is a “scientific consensus” on “global warming.”

 

“Publishing such an easily debunked falsehood in an erstwhile reputable, peer-review publication (Science Magazine) demonstrates either a new low in desperation or a new generation believing there are no checks and therefore no limits,” Horner told CNSNews.com.

 

After all, past nonsense brought increasing taxpayer funding for decades. What would make them think they can’t just make things up?” Horner added.

 

Iain Murray, a senior fellow in International Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote a letter to the editor of Science Magazine questioning why the study was even published.

 

“I was surprised to see Science publish an article crowing over the existence of a scientific consensus on global warming and then advancing the non-sequitur that political action is therefore needed. Neither is a point worthy of consideration in an objective, scientific journal,” Murray wrote in his letter to the editor, dated Dec. 6.

 

“...the message of the article — that politicians must act on the basis of the science — is clearly a political point rather than a scientific one,” Murray continued.

 

“...the argument advanced by the author that ‘our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it’ is barely economically literate and has no place in a scientific journal,” he added.

 

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Global Temperature Graphs and Data

 

http://www.met-office.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/globaltemperature.html

 

data:

http://www.met-office.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Monthly/HadCRUG.txt

 

Annual global temperatures

 

            Global near-surface temperatures, consisting of annual differences from 1961-90 normals. This information is based on regular measurements of air temperature at land stations and on sea surface temperatures measured from ships and buoys. Global near-surface temperatures may also be given as the differences from the average values at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Global and Hemispheric plots may be viewed within the DEFRA diagrams

 

Monthly global temperatures

 

            Global near-surface temperatures, consisting of monthly anomalies from 1961-90 normals. Month-to-month changes in global temperature are often larger than interannual changes but estimates are also more affected by lack of data.

 

Seasonal temperatures in the tropical Pacific

 

            Seasonal (3 month running means) sea surface temperature (SST) relative to 1961-90 normals. Warm El Nińo events in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean in 1982-83, 1987, and 1997-98 coincided with global warmth, but El Nińo events are often followed by cooler La Nińa events as in 1985, 1988 and 1998-99. SST’s have been extracted from an area between 180W and 80W, 5N and 5S.

 

==============================

 

Research casts doubt on global warming theory (Daily Telegraph, 030407)

 

The Middle Ages were warmer than today, say scientists, forcing a rethink on climate change, writes Robert Matthews in London.

 

Claims that man-made pollution has caused unprecedented global warming have been undermined by research that shows the Earth was warmer in the Middle Ages.

 

From the outset of the global warming debate in the late-1980s, environmentalists have said that temperatures were rising faster than before, leading some scientists to conclude that greenhouse gases from cars and power stations were causing record temperatures.

 

Last year, scientists on the UK climate impacts program said that global temperatures were the hottest on record. “We are pretty sure that climate change due to human activity is here and it’s accelerating,” they said.

 

This followed research, published in 1998, in which scientists at the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia said the 1990s had been hotter than any other period for 1000 years.

 

These claims have been sharply contradicted now by a comprehensive study of world temperatures over the past 1000 years. A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today’s temperatures are neither the warmest nor are they producing the most extreme conditions, in stark contrast to the claims of the environmentalists.

 

The review, by a Harvard University team, examined the findings of studies of temperature proxies such as tree rings, ice cores and historical accounts that allowed scientists to estimate temperatures.

 

The findings prove that the world had a medieval warm period between the ninth and 14th centuries, with world temperatures significantly higher than today’s.

 

They also confirm claims that a little Ice Age set in about 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up, but has still to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.

 

The end of the little Ice Age is significant because it implies that the records used by climate scientists date from when the Earth was relatively cold, thereby exaggerating the significance of today’s temperature rise.

 

According to the researchers, the evidence confirms suspicions that today’s “unprecedented” temperatures are simply the result of examining temperature change over too short a period.

 

The study, to be published in the journal, Energy and Environment, has been welcomed by sceptics of global warming, who say it puts the environmentalists’ claims in proper context. Until now, suggestions that the Middle Ages were as warm as the 21st century had been largely anecdotal and were often challenged by believers in man-made global warming.

 

Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London, said: “What has been forgotten in all the discussion about global warming is a proper sense of history.”

 

Professor Stott said the evidence also undermined doom-laden predictions about the effect of higher temperatures.

 

“During the medieval warm period, the world was warmer even than today, and history shows that it was a wonderful period of plenty for everyone,” he said.

 

Severe famine and economic collapse followed the little Ice Age. “When the temperature started to drop, harvests failed and England’s vine industry died. It makes one wonder why there is so much fear of warmth,” he said.

 

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the official voice of global warming research, has conceded that today’s temperatures may be at least partly caused by the Earth recovering from a cold period. While the evidence for entirely natural changes in the Earth’s temperature continues to grow, its causes are mysterious.

 

Simon Brown, the climate extremes research manager at Britain’s Meteorological Office, said that the consensus among scientists on the climate change panel was that the medieval warm period could not be used to judge the significance of existing warming.

 

Dr Brown said: “The conclusion that 20th century warming is not unusual relies on the assertion that the medieval warm period was a global phenomenon. This is not the conclusion of IPCC.”

 

He said that there were doubts about the reliability of temperature proxies such as tree rings.

 

==============================

 

The Myth of Catastrophic Global Warming (Website, 020829)

 

http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1824

 

Summary: If the continual resurrection of the issue of global warming in the media is not a consummate example of the Big Lie, I’d be hard pressed to find a better one.

 

[www.CapitalismMagazine.com] Last month, the Bush White House, citing a “new” study, revisited its position on global warming. The media went into a feeding frenzy and, like an e-mail scam that won’t die, the global warming debate has again been resuscitated. Unfortunately, the “new” study is based on the same old studies — chief among them the 1996 IPCC ‘s “Summary for Policy Makers” — whose conclusions rest on three fallacious claims:

 

1) Based on historical weather data, average global temperatures have risen dramatically in the latter half of the 20th Century.

 

2) Scientific research indicates that the cause of such rising temperatures is man made.

 

3) There is a consensus among scientists supporting both claims.

 

The first claim — that global temperatures have risen dramatically since 1940 — finds its source in the approximately 100 year-old temperature record of the National Weather Service. According to the NASA report, Global Climate Monitoring: The Accuracy of Satellite Data, though, the NWS record is based strictly on surface temperature readings. When weather balloon and satellite records are examined one finds temperatures either stayed the same or actually declined by as much as 1 degree F during that period.

 

What if we step outside the NWS box?

 

Data extrapolated from tree ring, ice core and lake sediment indicate that in the 18th Century the average world sea and surface temperatures were 71 degrees F. Climatologists refer to this period as “The Little Ice Age.” Such data also show that in 1000 BCE the average global temperature was over 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees F. By comparison, the average global temperature in 1999 was 73.5 degrees F. The conclusion to reach about the claim of dramatically rising global temperatures in the latter half of the 20th Century is clear. First, it depends on where you stick your thermometer, on the surface, (whose reading will be highly inaccurate due to urban hot spots) or in the atmosphere (the most accurate readings). Second, the significance of the data depend upon the historical climate record of the planet. Here, as with any kind of scientific data, context and perspective is everything.

 

Of the second claim, that the cause of global warming is man-made, environmental activists point to the correlation between recent global industrialization and the sweltering summers of 1998 and 1999. A correlation, though, is not proof of cause. If global industrialization were the cause of planetary warming, the satellite and balloon temperature record from 1940 to 1980 — a period of far greater worldwide industrialization — would show a marked increase in average global temperatures, which it does not. Indeed, such data show temperatures declining.

 

A cause and effect relationship, though, has been discovered between solar activity and global temperatures. Danish climatologists Friis-Christensen and K. Lassen (in the 1991 issue of Science) and Douglas V. Hoyt and Dr. Kenneth H. Schatten (in their book, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change) found that “global temperature variations during the past century are virtually all due to the variations in solar activity.”

 

What about carbon dioxide levels? Scientists have found that past carbon dioxide levels, based, again, on historical and pre-historical tree ring, ice core and lake sediment samples, have changed significantly without human influence. Note, too, that between 1940 and 1980, when man-made levels of CO2 swelled rapidly, there was a decline in temperatures.

 

If scientific temperature records belie global warming; if scientists conclude that global temperatures are minimally affected by man; where, then, is scientific consensus — the third claim supporting the notion of global warming? The answer is: there isn’t any.

 

In 1996 the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the IPCC — released a document titled, “Summary for Policy Makers,” which supported the notion of global warming. Environmentalists crowed that 15,000 scientists had signed the document.

 

However, the report was doctored without the knowledge of most of those 15,000 scientists, whose protests became so vocal that the lead authors backed off their conclusions, disavowing the document as “a political tract, not a scientific report.”

 

In 1998, 17,000 scientists, six of whom are Nobel Laureates, signed the Oregon Petition, which declares, in part: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. “

 

In 1999 over ten thousand of the world’s most renowned climatologists, astrophysicists, meteorologists, etc., signed an open letter by Frederick Seitz, NAS Past President, that states, in part: the Kyoto Accord is “based upon flawed ideas.”

 

Finally, in a paper in June of 2001, aptly titled, GLOBAL WARMING: The Press Gets It Wrong — our report doesn’t support the Kyoto treaty, Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens.”

 

In light of these facts, if the continual resurrection of the issue of global warming in the media is not a consummate example of the Big Lie, I’d be hard pressed to find a better one.

 

About the Author: Steven Brockerman is a writer, president of WrittenWord Consulting (www.writtenword.com), and an assistant editor for Capitalism Magazine.

 

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“Fatally Flawed”: Key players in the climate-change debate are coming around to Bush’s position (National Review Online, 041215)

 

Buenos Aires — “No to Bush, Yes to Kyoto” reads a slogan adorning the credentialing lanyards draped around the necks of several delegates and journalists here at the United Nations’ tenth annual climate-change conference (COP 10). But the U.S. president is an odd choice for a villain. A more accurate reflection of what’s happening on the ground would be the slogan, “Yes to Bush, No to Kyoto.”

 

The Kyoto Protocol — the global treaty drafted to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in order to prevent global warming — is set to go into effect early next year. It will do so, much to the chagrin of many European bureaucrats and green activists, without the participation of the United States. Early in his first term, President Bush labeled the treaty “fatally flawed” and announced the U.S. would not participate in its schedule of forced emissions reductions.

 

President Bush rejected Kyoto for a few simple reasons. First, it would impose significant economic damage on the American economy (a Clinton administration report on the costs of Kyoto put the tab at $300 billion per year). Second, the reduction targets and timetables were impractical from a technological perspective. Third, the treaty exempted developing economies such as India and China from any restrictions even though their emissions are rising rapidly. Instead, the Bush team under Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham charted a different course, which involved investment in basic research, technology transfer to poor countries, and bilateral agreements.

 

Critics cried foul at President Bush’s “unilateral” decision and questioned his motives, saying he was ignoring scientific evidence and rewarding fossil-fuel producers and users who supported him politically. It’s too bad the critics focused on the administration’s alleged motives and not its arguments. As it turns out, several key players in the climate-change debate are starting to come around to President Bush’s view.

 

On the first day of the conference, a group of developing countries, including China, announced that they would not commit to any specific emissions reductions in the future. Gao Feng, a top official in the Chinese foreign ministry, boldly stated: “We are a developing country, we’re not yet making international commitments.... We will continue to attend to our energy needs. We will need to increase our energy consumption for the next 30 to 50 years.”

 

In an important forthcoming book on energy trends, The Bottomless Well, Peter Huber of the Manhattan Institute and Mark Mills, a former consultant to the White House Science Office under President Reagan, explain developing country demand. “How...can anyone responsibly favor the burning of more hydrocarbons?” they ask. “The short answer is that, for most people, the only practical alternative today is to burn carbohydrates [wood, biomass], and that’s much worse.”

 

The developing nations have been bolstered by an uncomfortable fact for Kyoto supporters. Several Kyoto participants, including most European nations, will not meet their stated emissions-reduction targets. Data from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that European emissions will grow rapidly, increasing by as much as 25% by 2030. Several Kyoto signatories in Europe are already 20 to 30% above their emissions targets. If the Europeans can’t drastically reduce their emissions, developing-country representatives reasoned, they have little reason to make similar pledges.

 

Then on Monday of this week, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a key Kyoto cheerleader and a player in climate-change negotiations for years, issued a new report, “Climate Data: Insights and Observations.” A co-author of the report, Jonathan Pershing of the World Resources Institute, said, “We are beginning to see more research on adaptation strategies in response to climate change.” Adaptation means having the capacity to handle climate changes of any kind, and organizations like Pew are beginning to focus more on adaptation — as opposed to mitigation — in part because the emissions reductions called for in Kyoto are too costly and technologically infeasible.

 

This is a sensible move by Pew. The focus on adaptation to climate change — whether that change is human influenced or not — will be a boon to poor countries around the world. These countries are most vulnerable to climate changes because they lack the wealth and infrastructure to handle hazardous events such as heat waves, cold spells, hurricanes, and floods. A new appreciation for boosting developing-country adaptive capacity, and a new respect for the tools that make it possible — such as free trade, property rights, and the rule of law — are welcome developments.

 

Lastly, at a forum on Tuesday, Italian environment minister Corrado Clini admitted to Kyoto’s huge structural flaws and its current inability to deal adequately with the challenges posed by climate changes. Acknowledging the growing global need for secure energy resources, particularly by poor countries hoping to raise their living standards, Clini argued that “a much broader long-term strategy, and much more global effective measures, than those within the Kyoto Protocol, are needed, involving both developed and emerging economies.”

 

In other words, the Kyoto Protocol is “fatally flawed.”

 

— Nick Schulz is editor of TechCentralStation.com.

 

==============================

 

Warming cadre waning? (Washington Times, 041216)

 

This week, 5,400 delegates from 189 countries have gathered in Buenos Aires for what’s called COP 10, the 10th annual conference of the parties to the U.N. agreement to combat climate change.

 

That agreement spawned the Kyoto Protocol, which requires developed nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels like petroleum and coal) 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

 

I have been attending these extravaganzas for five years now, and they are an exercise, in the grandly self-important style of the world body, in wheel-spinning and America-bashing. But something is changing. While a superficial glance indicates the extremists are winning, they are, in fact, on the run. They have failed — largely because opponents like MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen, who has called warming theory a “religious belief” rather than sound science, have not been intimidated. Now, a consensus is building to tackle global warming the right away.

 

Still, on the surface, the Greens seemed to achieve a victory in October when Russia, in return for Europe’s supporting its bid for WTO membership, ratified Kyoto. The treaty goes into force in February even though President Bush rejected it as “fatally flawed” in 2001.

 

Despite Russia, smart environmentalists are not rejoicing. Anyone with even minimal knowledge of energy and the science of global warming knows Kyoto is a sham. Europe is not meeting its targets, and, anyway, the rise in CO2 emissions is steepest, not in the United States and Germany, but in China and India, with booming coal-based economies. And China and India, like more than 100 other developing nations, are exempt from Kyoto’s strictures.

 

Economic studies show that, to achieve even minuscule temperature reductions, economic growth in the United States would have to fall to stagnation levels. Imagine the impact on the rest of the world of such a decline.

 

Meanwhile, new research is casting doubt on the assumptions behind the science of warming — especially severe flaws in climate computer models.

 

Still, expect the United States, as usual, to be painted the villain in Buenos Aires despite the fact that, as Harlan Watson, the chief U.S. climate negotiator, said last week, “The U.S. effort is equal to that of any other nation to deal with climate change.” We are spending more on research than anyone else, and we have signed more than 200 agreements with other nations for scientific studies and the development of clean-energy technologies. What the United States rejects is the nonsense of Kyoto.

 

Expect also that the environmental press will be crowing over the Russian ratification, even though Russia has no obligation at all to make emissions cuts in the next few years. (Instead, Russia will collect money from Europeans by “trading” rights to emit.) Clear-eyed enviros know they are losing. A frank new report, “The Death of Environmentalism”, issued last week by two Green strategists, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, admits that warming advocates have failed. They have not “come up with an inspiring vision, much less a legislative proposal, that a majority of Americans could get excited about.”

 

True. But don’t wait for the Greens to lead. Instead, responsible advocates are building a consensus around the right approach, which concentrates not on destroying the economies of developing countries through limits to growth, but on improving those economies through the use of more energy — the best leverage for boosting living standards. Wealth, after all, makes health. As a nation gets richer, it gets cleaner.

 

Poor farmers in China, India and Africa burning dung and charcoal are releasing not just CO2 but real pollutants into the air. The role of rich nations should be to transfer technologies that produce cleaner energy more efficiently.

 

Meanwhile, there is important research to be done. We still don’t know whether the rise in temperatures is natural and cyclical (it was warmer many centuries ago when the Vikings colonized Greenland) or human-induced.

 

But the radicals are losing. Michael Crichton, author of science-based best sellers like “Jurassic Park,” has a new book, “State of Fear,” which casts serious doubt on global warming and extremists who espouse it.

 

As Mr. Crichton says, “Why are we not feeding people in this world who are hungry? Why are we not giving clean water to the almost billion people who don’t have clean water? The greatest source of environmental degradation is poverty. Why aren’t we cleaning up poverty?”

 

Those are the right questions for the multitudes in Buenos Aires.

 

James K. Glassman is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

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Science Fiction: Michael Crichton takes a novel approach to global-warming alarmism (National Review Online, 041221)

 

Michael Crichton’s new blockbuster novel, State of Fear, begins with sex, violence, and oceanography. It’s that sort of book all the way through, mixing the usual adventure novel clichés of beautiful young heroes, indestructible secret agents, and a plot to kill millions alongside hard science, including graphs, footnotes, and words like “aminostratigraphy.” As such, the book is half a rip-roaring roller coaster of a read (as Edmund Blackadder would put it) and half didactic tract. It is a testament to Crichton’s skill as a novelist that he pulls it off. This is definitely one for the Christmas list.

 

The adventure centers on a conspiracy to accentuate natural disasters in order to keep the developed world in the state of fear of the title. One particular environmental charity stands to benefit most from this state, and the main plot device is the dawning realization by an idealistic young lawyer named Peter Evans that the cause he believed in for so long is rotten to the core. His Virgil as he wanders through hell to achieve salvation is an almost superhuman character, John Kenner, who is a strange blend of academic physicist, Jack Ryan, James Bond, and, erm, John Graham, real-life director of the Office of Management and Budget (I said it was strange — in a former job, Graham was director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, and Kenner directs a similar organization at MIT).

 

Together, and with the help of the usual beautiful-but-tough woman and a tech-savvy Gurkha, they are placed in danger in the wilds of Antarctica, a state park in Arizona, and in a cannibal-infested jungle in the Solomon Islands. They face blizzards, bullets, lightning, poisonous octopuses and insufferable Hollywood celebrities. There is no peril so great that Evans and his friends do not face it. Their adventures unfold at a breakneck pace that keeps you turning the page, and it is in the brief downtimes between these escapades that Crichton expounds his scientific case.

 

This didacticism is directed primarily at global-warming alarmism, which Crichton thinks is overblown (he goes over the case in an appendix). Yet Crichton does not, as some have alleged, criticize the science underlying global-warming alarmism. In fact, he argues from it; as well he should — science is what it is. Instead, it is the use to which the science is put that Crichton argues against most forcefully. The science, by itself, does not argue that the world must take certain actions now. Science can never be prescriptive. All it can do is raise issues for the world’s attention. It is politics and economics that then decide what to do about them. People who argue that the science says we must do something are being disingenuous about their true motives. If those people are also scientists, then they are abusing science. This is a tremendously important point.

 

If there is one scientific exercise Crichton does criticize, it is the use of global-climate models. These models are the basis of the alarming estimates of future temperature rise, yet at their very base they are only partly scientific. Models are a hybrid of science and economics. If science says that a rise in atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations will have certain effects on climate, then it can tell us nothing about the future until economic projections of energy use are fed into it. A scientific model without good economic input is useless, and we have been aware for quite some time that the economic scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are seriously deficient. It is a shame that Crichton makes one of his few factual slips when he says that NASA’s James Hansen overestimated future emissions when he brought the global-warming issue to the world’s attention before Congress in 1988. In fact, Hansen had a range of scenarios, and actual emissions have followed the lower trajectory quite well (and Hansen has updated his projections, now estimating a very small temperature rise by 2050 of around 0.5°C.) Crichton would have done better to take aim at the IPCC here.

 

Yet, more widely, the novel raises stinging criticisms of the way the environmental movement conducts itself. Its mutual infatuation with Hollywood, its preoccupation with litigation, and, above all, its preoccupation with obtaining more money so as to continue its privileged existence are all writ large in the text. One of the chief villains, a lawyer turned green-group director, regularly rages about the difficulties he has fundraising. His main problem, he rants, is that global warming is not the immediate threat that pollution was in the 70s. It is therefore harder to get people to give money to combat it, something that can be solved if people come to believe that the climate is changing now. These are, of course, tactics the real-life environmental movement has embraced, arguing, for instance, that the recent hurricane season was exacerbated by global warming rather than being sheer bad luck. During one of his rants, that character also, delightfully, called my organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “Neanderthals.” This was tremendously gratifying.

 

In the conclusion of the novel (which seems as if it is ready for a sequel — there are a surprising number of loose ends not tied up), Crichton has a former alarmist conclude that there are serious things wrong with the environmental movement:

 

Face the facts, all these environmental organizations are thirty, forty, fifty years old. They have big buildings, big obligations, big staffs. They may trade on their youthful dreams, but the truth is, they’re now part of the establishment. And the establishment works to preserve the status quo. It just does.

 

(Interestingly, these comments echo those made by some committed alarmists recently in an essay entitled, The Death of Environmentalism.) If Jefferson was right about continual revolution being a good thing, then the environmental movement would do well to take heed.

 

He also has some very interesting suggestions for getting politics out of science by making the researchers more distant from their funders, to the point of blinding them to the source. As Crichton implies, this would strengthen the science against accusations that it is done to benefit the funders, whether they be industry, government, or activist group. This is something that requires serious attention from science itself.

 

Doubtless much of this scholarly discussion will be removed when the inevitable movie is made, but the exhilarating plot should still make it a success (and it will be streets ahead of the scientifically bereft turkey The Day After Tomorrow).

 

Me, I’m waiting for the video game.

 

— Iain Murray is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where he specializes in the debate over climate change and the use and abuse of science in the political process.

 

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2004 Fourth-Hottest Year on Record (Foxnews, 041215)

 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina  — The year 2004, punctuated by four powerful hurricanes in the Caribbean and deadly typhoons lashing Asia, was the fourth-hottest on record, extending a trend that has seen the 10 warmest years ever beginning in the 1990s, a U.N. weather agency said Wednesday.

 

The current year was also the most expensive for the insurance industry in coping worldwide with hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related natural disasters, according to new figures released by U.N. environmental officials.

 

The World Meteorological Organization said it expects Earth’s average surface temperature to rise 0.8 degrees above the normal 57 degrees Fahrenheit, adding 2004 to a recent pattern that included the hottest year registered in 1998 and the next three warmest since then.

 

The month of October also registered as the warmest October since accurate readings began in 1861, said the agency, which is responsible for assembling data from meteorologists and climatologists worldwide.

 

“This was a very warm year,” said Michel Jarraud, the World Meteorological Organization secretary-general.

 

The report’s release comes as environmental ministers from some 80 countries gathered in Buenos Aires for a United Nations conference on climate change, looking at ways to cut down on greenhouse gases that some say contribute heavily to Earth’s warming.

 

This summer, heat waves in southern Europe pushed temperatures to near-record highs in southern Spain, Portugal and Romania, where thermostats peaked at 104 degrees while the rest of Europe sweltered through above-average temperatures.

 

Jarraud said the warming and increased storm activity could not be attributed to any particular cause, but was part of a global warming trend that was likely to continue.

 

Scientists have reported that temperatures across the globe rose an average of 1 degree over the past century with the rate of change since 1976 at roughly three times that over the past 100 years.

 

This year, the Caribbean had four hurricanes that reached Category 4 or 5 status — those capable of causing extreme and catastrophic damage. It was only the fourth time in recent history that so many were recorded. The hurricanes of 2004 caused more than $43 billion in damages in the Caribbean and the United States.

 

The worst damage was on Haiti, where as many as 1,900 people died from flooding and mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne in September.

 

Japan and the Philippines also saw increased extreme tropical weather, with deadly typhoons lashing both islands. Japan registered a record number of typhoons making landfall this year with 10, while back-to-back storms in the Philippines killed at least 740 people in the wettest year there since 2000, the U.N. agency said.

 

Statistics released at the climate change conference showed that natural disasters across the world in the first 10 months of the year cost the insurance industry just over $35 billion, up from $16 billion in 2003.

 

Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, said the United States tallied the highest losses at more than $26 billion, while small developing nations such as the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Grand Cayman were also hit hard.

 

Other parts of the world also witnessed extreme weather, with droughts occurring in the western United States, parts of Africa, Afghanistan, Australia and India. Jarraud, of the U.N. weather agency, said the droughts were part of what appears to be a surge over the last decade.

 

The prolonged rising temperatures and deadly storms were matched by harsh winters in other regions.

 

Peru, Chile, and southern Argentina were all hit with severe cold and snow during June and July.

 

Jarraud said the high temperatures like those seen in parts of Europe this year were expected to inch up in the coming years.

 

Citing recent studies by European climatologists, Jarraud said heat waves in Europe “could over the next 50 years become four or five times as frequent as they are now.”

 

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End of Kyoto (National Review, 041231)

 

In Buenos Aires this month, the proponents of the Kyoto Protocol danced their last tango. The treaty, designed to slow the emission of greenhouse gases, effectively died during a U.N. conference there. The treaty will not be ratified by enough countries to take effect, and will expire in 2012. The New York Times and green groups predictably painted the United States as a villain for obstructionism. But it was the Europeans, the principal agitators for Kyoto, who were out of step. At the beginning of the conference, China, India, and the rest of the developing world stood with the U.S. and Australia against limits on energy use. The developing world knows rising energy use is required for its ascent from poverty. Then Italy shocked the participants by announcing its intention to withdraw from Kyoto after 2012. The Italian environment ministers have concluded rightly that Kyoto simply can’t work to achieve its stated goals. The remainder of the meeting took a more constructive turn, as participants focused on building “adaptive capacity” — wealth, infrastructure, technology — to handle any future climate change. To his list of accomplishments as Time’s Man of the Year, add George W. Bush’s assertion at the beginning of his presidency that the Kyoto Protocol was “fatally flawed.” It took three years to sink in, but much of the rest of the world has now come around to his view.

 

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Fear and fear mongering (townhall.com, 050103)

 

Debra Saunders

 

When asked Monday if climate change — global warming — was behind the deadly Asian tsunami, the United Nations’ Jan Egeland — he of “stingy” aid fame — said no, the tsunami was a “geologically caused” disaster. “A tsunami like this is caused by an earthquake that has nothing to do with climate change,” he explained.

 

Minutes later, however, Egeland did suggest a possible connection between global warming and the disaster. He had heard that one-third of the Maldives islands disappeared momentarily underwater, he said, adding that “actually climate change means oceans (are) growing, (so) certainly tsunamis will have an ever greater effect.”

 

Most environmentalists, to their credit, are not trying to capitalize on the Asian catastrophe. But a few cannot resist.

 

As a letter writer in The New York Times scolded, “But the next time there is a severe offshore earthquake and resulting tsunami, the sea level will be just a little bit higher, and the water and destruction will go a bit further inland and kill even more people. And for that, (President Bush) will bear some culpability for not even wanting to consider global warming, much less do anything about it as the leader of the country most responsible for man-made warming and ice-cap melting.”

 

(Forget that Bill Clinton never worked to ratify the Kyoto Protocol global-warming treaty — just blame Bush.)

 

In an unhappy slice of synergy, the tsunami hit just after Michael Crichton’s new novel, “State of Fear,” was released. The plot involves eco-terrorists who try to create four “natural disasters” (including a tsunami) in order to alert the world to the dangers of global warming. Crichton penned the book to warn the public not to believe everything it hears about global warming.

 

In his mind, “environmentalism” has become a religion. As he said in a 2003 speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, “There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature; there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge and, as a result of our actions, there is a judgment day coming for us all.”

 

Crichton takes on the gospel according to the enviros, that is: that all scientists believe global warming is human induced, that climate projections are accurate, and that the planet is undergoing unusual change, when change is the norm in nature.

 

I saved the September 2004 National Geographic issue on global warming to read after the election — to see if there is reason to reconsider my skepticism. The part on the dwindling Adelie penguins that inhabit the Antarctic Peninsula, with actual statistics, gave me pause. Otherwise, on every page, Crichton’s complaints came to life.

 

In the article, true believers warned that the end was near. The magazine cited climate models as if they were peer-reviewed fact. “I don’t think anybody down here looks at the sea-level-rise problem and puts their heads in the sand,” it quoted Windell Curole, the manager of a Louisiana levee district. To back up the sea-level argument, a chart shows the sea level rising 4 inches over 100 years. The problem is, the earliest data is from 2000, so the chart doesn’t show actual increases; it plots “projections.” A best-case scenario shows the 4-inch rise by 2100; a worst-case scenario shows a rise closer to 3 feet. Guesstimates aren’t hard science.

 

The libertarian-leaning Cato Institute’s Pat Michaels, who wrote his book on global warming, “Meltdown,” took on the National Geographic piece in an op-ed published in the Washington Times. Michaels chided the magazine for showing a flooded rice field in Bangladesh, cautioning that rising global temperatures and sea levels threaten rice farming. “In the last 50 years,” he wrote, the sea level at Bangladesh has risen “an infinitesimal seven-tenths of an inch, far too little for anyone to notice.”

 

National Geographic editor William L. Allen responded just as Crichton’s characters would — by attacking Michaels personally for writing a report funded by “the Western Fuels Association, an association of coal-burning utility companies.” The letter didn’t take on Michaels’ facts.

 

On Dec. 29, National Geographic’s Web site reported that while media accounts “frequently assert that climate change is uncertain,” a University of California at San Diego professor read 928 scientific papers and found, “Not one of the papers refuted the claim that human activities are affecting the Earth’s climate.” (Funny, Crichton’s 20-page bibliography found contrary opinions.)

 

But as Crichton and Michaels both argue, some global-warming true believers argue things that they know aren’t true. And that makes them dangerous.

 

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Environmentalists Surf Tsunami Tragedy (Foxnews, 041231)

 

Environmental activists are shamelessly trying to exploit last week’s earthquake-tsunami catastrophe in hopes of advancing their global warming and anti-development agendas.

 

Two days after the tragedy, the executive director of Greenpeace UK told the British newspaper The Independent, “No one can ignore the relentless increase in extreme weather events and so-called natural disasters, which in reality are no more natural than a plastic Christmas tree.”

 

Friends of the Earth Director Tony Juniper told the same British newspaper, “Here again are yet more events in the real world that are consistent with climate change predictions.”

 

A spokesperson for the Indonesian arm of Friends of the Earth told the Agence France Presse, “We can expect in the coming years similar events happening as a result of global warming and therefore help and prevention are the responsibility of the Northern countries as well.”

 

Exploitation of tragedy is a sport played not only by environmentalists. Insurer Munich Re used the event as an opportunity to renew its call for action to fight global warming, which the insurance industry has recently started to blame for natural disasters.

 

Concerned about large payouts for natural disaster claims, insurance companies are very eager to establish global warming as a contributing factor to those disasters, so they can sue deep-pocket businesses supposedly responsible for that global warming. Efforts to invoke supposed global warming as the culprit for this week’s death and destruction are patently absurd as the multiple tsunamis were not a “weather event” in the slightest. The tsunamis were caused by an earthquake, which, by the way, is a real, not a “so-called,” natural disaster.

 

Earthquakes aren’t caused by the weather or greenhouse gas emissions; they’re caused by tectonics — that is naturally moving geological faults. While tectonics may cause climate changes, the reverse is not true.

 

Despite the fictional tsunami that hit New York in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” there is no realistic climate change scenario that could possibly cause a tsunami-spawning earthquake.

 

While tsunamis may also, on occasion, be caused by the breaking of polar ice into chunks — the natural process of iceberg creation known as “calving” — such tsunamis tend to be harmless localized events.

 

Environmentalists are also looking to blame economic development for the devastation wreaked by the tsunamis in hopes of slowing down progress in the third world.

 

“A creeping rise in sea levels tied to global warming, pollution and damage to coral reefs may make coastlines even more vulnerable to disasters like tsunamis or storms in future, experts said,” reported Reuters this week.

 

“Coasts are under threat in many countries,” said Greenpeace’s Brad Smith to Reuters.

 

“Development of roads, shrimp farms, ribbon development along coasts and tourism are eroding natural defenses in Asia.”

 

Actually, sea levels in the region have been declining, according to satellite data and the long-term record of sea level changes for Bombay. Virginia state climatologist and Cato Institute fellow Patrick Michaels said in a media release this week that linking the Indian Ocean tsunamis to global warming is “in grave contravention of well-known facts about changes in sea level in that region.”

 

Moreover, the environmentalists are in feverish denial about the two factors that will, in the end, contribute most to the horrendous death toll from the tsunamis — the lack of an early warning system and lack of adequate post-disaster sanitation, both of which are tragic by-products of the region’s severe economic under-development. Given that fact, how deceptive and calculating of the environmentalists to blame “development” as the deadly cause!

 

It’s bad enough that environmentalists continually try to advance their agendas based on what can only be described as comically wrong information. But what’s really troubling is that they seem hell-bent on denying poor nations the opportunity to develop economically so as to pull themselves out of their abject poverty.

 

Global warming activists are pressuring U.S. banks not to make loans to energy projects in the developing world. Without energy, third world economies are doomed to remain undeveloped. Citigroup and Bank of America have already caved in to activist demands, while, as pointed out by CSRwatch.com, J.P Morgan Chase is being pressured by activists wielding second-graders.

 

Malaria is yet another threat that tsunami survivors will face. Yet the environmentalist-led, junk science-fueled ban on the insecticide DDT has had, and will continue to have, terrible human and economic impacts on the developing world.

 

In its Dec. 29 editorial entitled, “Death by Environmentalist,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, “It’s been estimated that malaria costs Africa 1.2% of its GDP, or some $12 billion annually. The pandemic compromises the educational development of the children it doesn’t kill, and it depletes the mental and physical vigor of the adult population.”

 

The tsunamis are a terrible natural disaster — but they pale in comparison to the not-so-natural disaster known as modern environmentalism.

 

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRwatch.com, is adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and is the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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‘Global warming’ hype reaches fever pitch (WorldNetDaily, 050124)

 

But critics doubting data compare ideology behind movement to Communism, Nazism

 

As cold weather sweeps across much of the U.S. and buries New England in several feet of snow, global warming hyperbole reached new heights today as an apocalyptic international report, “Meet the Climate Change,” warned the world is reaching a “point of no return” that will bring unprecedented famine and drought catastrophes.

 

The report was assembled by the Institute for Public Policy Research in Britain, the Centre for American Progress in the United States and the Australia Institute.

 

It warns the danger point will be reached when temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius above the average world temperature prevailing in 1750, before the industrial revolution – and the world may be only 10 years away.

 

While the global average temperature has risen only 0.8C, according to the data gathered by those advocating radical actions, the global warming lobby sees the glass half empty – cautioning the world has little more than a single degree of temperature latitude before the crucial point is reached.

 

In addition to famine and drought of spectacular proportions, the report warns of increased disease, sea-level rise and the death of forests.

 

“There is an ecological time bomb ticking away,” said Stephen Byers, former British transport minister and a close ally of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 

The report urges all G-8 countries to agree to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and to double their research spending on low-carbon energy technologies by 2010.

 

The report comes just three weeks before the Kyoto Protocol, designed to deal with the climate change issue, takes legal effect on signatories Feb. 16.

 

The controversial Kyoto Protocol became binding on industrialized nations who have signed onto it after Russia reluctantly moved to ratify it.

 

But, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin reports, Vladimir Putin’s personal economic adviser, Andrei Illarionov, said last summer Russia’s approval of Kyoto came under severe duress – an “all-out and total war on Russia” directed by Blair. He said the pressure included “bribes, blackmail and murder threats.”

 

Illarionov said global warming advocates refused to answer questions posed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at a Moscow symposium. He claimed British science advisers tried to stop skeptics from being heard.

 

“When this attempt to introduce censorship ... failed, other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar,” said Illarionov.

 

Illarionov said “none of the assertions made in the Kyoto Protocol and the ‘scientific’ theory on which it is based have been borne out by actual data. ... There is no evidence confirming a positive linkage between the level of carbon dioxide and temperature change. If there is such a linkage, it is of a reverse nature. ... The statistical data ... are often considerably distorted if not falsified.”

 

While some in the U.S. have offered sharp criticism of the ideology driving the global warming crusade, none of the rhetoric has been as penetrating as Illarionov’s, who compared it “with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal during the 20th century, such as National Socialism (and) Marxism.”

 

“All methods of distorting information existing in the world have been committed to prove the validity of these theories,” he continued. “Misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified in any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity.

 

Illarionov’s comments, made in a press conference, were quoted by the Moscow News but received little international attention.

 

He described the protocol as “one of the biggest, if not the biggest, international adventures based on man-hating totalitarian ideology, which, incidentally, manifests itself in totalitarian actions and concrete events, particularly academic discussions, and which tries to defend itself using disinformation and falsified facts. It’s hard to think of any other word but ‘war’ to describe this.”

 

Yuri Izrael, one of the three vice chairmen of the panel, said: “The Kyoto Protocol aims to impoverish our country, and not only us but our children and grandchildren.”

 

“There have been examples in our fairly recent history of how a considerable portion of Europe was flooded with the brown Nazi ideology, the red Commie ideology that caused severe casualties and consequences for Europe and the entire world,” said Illarionoc. “Now there is a big likelihood that a considerable part of Europe has been flooded with another type, another color of ideology, but with very similar implications for European societies and human societies the world over. And now we in Russia are facing a historical opportunity: Are we going to let the genie out of the bottle as the previous generations let the Nazi and Communist genies out of the bottles or not?”

 

While Putin agreed to participate in Kyoto, some observers believe he left Russia enough wiggle room for his country to back out of ratification.

 

Under the Kyoto Protocol, undeveloped Third-World nations – including China, India, Brazil and Mexico – will be free to produce whatever they want. Yet 82% of the projected emissions growth in future years will come from these countries. This is why many critics see is global wealth redistribution scheme rather than a real plan to improve the environment.

 

“The wealth of the United States is, and has always been, the target,” says Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center. “The new scheme to grab the loot is through environmental scare tactics.”

 

He predicts international corporations, “who owe allegiance to no nation, will bolt America and move their factories, lock, stock, and computer chip to those Third World countries where they will be free to carry on production. But that means the same emissions will be coming out of the jungles of South America instead of Chicago. So where is the protection of the environment? You see, it’s not about that, is it?”

 

He points out that hidden in the small print of the treaty is a provision that calls for the “harmonizing of patent laws.”

 

“Now, robbing a nation of its patent protection is an interesting tactic for protecting the environment, don’t you think?” he adds.

 

DeWeese concludes: “The fact is that one person now stands between the global warming jackals and economic sanity — George W. Bush. Will he stand firm in his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol? Or will he capitulate to massive international pressure and sell America’s soul?”

 

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Caving in on global warming (Washington Times, 050110)

 

As a great public service, someone should send a copy of Michael Crichton’s new book “State of Fear” to the chief executive officer of every Fortune 500 company in America. Mr. Crichton is not a scientist, but he understands science and how to separate out fact from fiction.

 

His book undresses the environmental alarmists for a lack of evidence to support their apocalyptic claims of global warming and does so with impressive documentation.

 

“State of Fear” has become a best-seller precisely at the time business leaders across the nation are capitulating to an environmentalist global warming agenda that could severely cripple the U.S. economy and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs — to say nothing of denting corporate profits.

 

In recent months, dozens of major Fortune 500 companies have waved the white flag of surrender to radical environmental groups by signing on to the antigrowth agenda on global climate policy. Like prisoners who have come to admire their captors, many corporate leaders have agreed to lobby beside the very interest groups that would put them out of business.

 

In August, the Conference Board — an organization of hundreds of major corporations in the United States and around the world — issued a self-righteous and scientifically dubious statement insisting there is an “increasing scientific consensus that humans are contributing to the warming of the planet” and that government and corporate boards must take action.

 

Meanwhile, dozens of major Fortune 500 firms have signed on and started donating to the radical left-wing lobbying and research activities of the Pew Research Center on Climate Research. Pew has been about the most apocalyptic and irrational of any organization in the country about the coming catastrophe of melting ice caps, massive flooding and soaring temperatures.

 

Here is how the racket works: environmental groups relentlessly attack firms, such as Exxon, that have refused to be bullied into submission. This in turn empowers radical environmental organizations with even more money and more credibility, which they then use to bludgeon and isolate corporate holdouts, which forces more capitulations, which leads us ever closer to an anti-industry policy agenda that will puncture a hole in the American economy.

 

The corporate shills for the environmental groups, have essentially agreed to two highly questionable findings about the science of global warming:

 

(1) Global warming is a major environmental threat to the future of the planet.

 

(2) And global warming is a direct result of man’s imprint on the globe.

 

Both propositions — particularly the second — have been heartily disputed by leading scientists. Though it is true most climatologists believe in global warming, these are hardly disinterested parties: Billions of dollars in funding for these researchers would evaporate if they concluded there was no impending catastrophe.

 

Mr. Crichton has fun noting that 30 years ago the New York Times and Science magazine warned of a coming ice age because of falling global temperatures.

 

This is about fear, not facts. For a climatologist to say there is no global warming problem is as unlikely as a dermatologists’ convention announcing acne has been forever cured.

 

But supposed remedies to global warming are pretty frightening too. The business groups essentially have agreed drastic steps are needed to combat the coming eco-catastrophe.

 

Those steps, as outlined in the Kyoto Treaty and the McCain-Lieberman antiglobal-warming legislation, would involve strangulating governmental regulations on business activity and economic growth. Environmentalists are promoting dramatic reductions in fossil fuels and mandatory cutbacks in Carbon dioxide emissions (the so-called greenhouse gases).

 

No one knows for sure just how damaging to growth these emission reductions would be. But one recent report by Charles Rivers Associates calculates as many as 600,000 jobs could be put at risk by 2010. The Energy Information Administration estimates energy costs could rise by 21% by the end of the decade if the McCain-Feingold legislation were approved — which would be like an 18-cent per gallon global warming tax. And because the Kyoto Treaty requires the greatest emissions reductions from developed nations, the United States if it signed on would be placed in a significant competitive hole.

 

The cures to the greenhouse effect are all about stunting economic growth — not environmental progress. The global warming agenda brings with it the mother of all anti-growth regulatory regimes. It’s not a stretch to say the Kyoto Treaty would be the largest threat to our financial well-being and personal freedoms.

 

Global warming really does pose a clear and present danger to America. But the principal danger is not a warmer planet, which many in the North would view as a good thing, but rather draconian remedies that would stifle our productivity, prosperity and economic development.

 

CEOs who would bring us closer to that future are bad corporate citizens. They are robber barons of growth. They should be held accountable for the dangers their political cowardice imposes on workers and shareholders.

 

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow in economics at the Cato Institute.

 

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Reaping the Hurricane (American Spectator, 050121)

 

Dr. Christopher Landsea, a scientist at the Hurricane Research Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce and one of the world’s foremost experts on hurricanes, has publicly resigned from authorship of an upcoming United Nations report on climate change. Landsea charged that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is “both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”

 

He has a point. The IPCC is more of a political body than a scientific authority. Its members are selected by their respective governments and approved by the UN Secretariat. This is not an unbiased, blind process.

 

Remember those press conferences last fall where esteemed scientists blamed the severity of the 2004 hurricane season on global warming? One of them was another federal employee, Kevin Trenberth. According to Landsea, Trenberth hasn’t “performed any research on hurricane variability.” Nonetheless, he is the U.N.’s designated “Lead Author” for the chapter of the report that discusses hurricanes and global warming, and as a result would supervise Landsea’s contributions.

 

According to Landsea, “Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity.”

 

Indeed, there is absolutely no evidence that hurricane frequency or severity has increased because of global warming. In fact, the only detectable change in Atlantic hurricanes is a decline in average maximum wind speed, as shown in Landsea’s own published scientific writing.

 

Trenberth also advocates the position that global warming will make “El Nino” stronger, with very little scientific evidence. El Ninos are periodic reversals of Pacific trade winds that change storm tracks thousands of miles away. They also destroy Atlantic hurricanes. If global warming actually did make El Ninos more frequent or stronger, hurricane intensity should decrease.

 

Landsea appealed to the head of the UN’s climate panel, Rajenda Pachauri, to uphold genuine scientific inquiry.

 

He should have known better. Pachauri penned the foreword to the 2004 report, “Up in Smoke,” distributed by environmental activists including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. Referring to hurricanes, it said “in a world in which global warming is already happening, such severe weather events are likely to be more frequent, and extreme.”

 

Pachauri dismissed Landsea’s complaint out of hand, which led to the scientist’s principled resignation.

 

IF ELEMENTS OF THIS story trigger a sense of déjà vu, then readers have been paying attention. There was a minor stir last fall when two government scientists predicted a slight (6%) increase in hurricane strength over the next century, due to global warming.

 

They arrived at this prediction by using a computer model that assumed carbon dioxide will leach into the atmosphere at a rate that is twice what has been observed in recent decades. The model fails miserably when it attempts to forecast hurricanes in the real world, because it assumes no changes in hurricane environments as the planet warms. Critical scientists knew about the model’s shortcomings, but they held their peace.

 

This is becoming a pattern. Scientists, or people claiming the mantle of science, advance terribly flawed claims that the sky is falling; climate scientists who understand that this is false say next to nothing.

 

Why?

 

There are several reasons. Just as medical doctors care about human suffering, environmental scientists are often philosophically concerned about what they judge to be environmental degradation. Neither concern is “scientific” in the sense that it is concerned with testing theories against available evidence, but they do influence the way scientists behave.

 

Then there’s the money. Climatology used to be very un-cool, and largely un-funded. It was an impoverished backwater until global warming came along. Now it’s a tremendous sink hole for tax dollars.

 

The next federal budget is likely to propose around $4 billion for research on climate change. That money will only be allocated if global warming is presented as a severe threat to our health and well-being on the level of AIDS or cancer. So we end up with under-funded voices of sanity and a lot of well-funded Chicken Little-types.

 

So far, this level of distortion has carried no cost to the prestige of the dissemblers. The United Nations now passes itself off as the world’s authority on the effects of climate change and tropical cyclones while keeping a propagandist on as an expert. Perhaps President Bush, who ultimately must approve U.S. members for the panel, should approve none, effectively withdrawing his government from this pseudoscientific charade.

 

Patrick J. Michaels is Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute and author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.

 

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Kyoto and the End of Hot Air (Weekly Standard, 050222)

 

The Kyoto Protocols have gone into effect which is, believe it or not, good for everybody.

 

THE GOOD NEWS is that the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions came into effect last week, legally binding the 34 industrialized countries that have ratified the treaty to cut their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2012. Good news not because the agreement can do much to affect the rate at which the globe is warming, if indeed it is. But good news nonetheless, and for two reasons.

 

First, the participants have agreed to adopt America’s position that the best way to keep the cost of compliance down is to institute an emissions trading system. Companies are assigned permits to emit a certain amount of GHG, and fined €40 per ton in the European Union if they exceed that “cap.” To avoid such a fine, companies exceeding their cap can buy unused permits from firms who have found it efficient to reduce their own emissions and sell off unused “emission credits.”

 

It is ironic that this provision to allow cost-minimizing compliance was included in the Protocol at the insistence of the American delegation to the Kyoto meeting, over the objections of the Europeans. The Europeans have since warmed to the idea of emissions trading, while the Americans have cooled on the idea of any treaty at all. Europeans tend to blame this cooling of concern about global warming on George W. Bush—the source of most of the world’s ills, in the opinion of France, Germany, and others. It is true that the president did announce in his direct Texan way that America would not participate. And he repeated last week that Europeans “thought the treaty made sense. I didn’t.” He was only recognizing the hard fact that Bill Clinton did not submit the treaty for Senate ratification because not a single senator was prepared to consent to it.

 

The second reason the coming into force of the Protocol is good news is that it is forcing the signatories to re-examine premises and practicality. The pro-Kyoto nations are finding that there is some merit in the American position that compliance with the treaty, at the pace it requires, is simply impossible without doing serious damage to economic growth. Tony Blair, who plans to make the fight against global warming the center-piece of his E.U. presidency, has found it necessary to seek a relaxation of the very ambitious targets he once embraced lest many British industries find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Japan, the country that played host in 1997 to the Protocol’s drafters, saw its GHG emissions rise by 8% last year, making it unlikely that it would achieve a 6% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012. And Canada, an enthusiastic backer of Kyoto, also finds itself in difficulty: like Japan, Canada agreed to cut emissions to 6% below 1990 levels, only to see them rising at an annual rate of 1.5%.

 

None of this deters the greenest greens from insisting that the targets be met, irrespective of the economic costs involved and of the fact that without the participation of rapidly industrializing China (already in 2000 responsible for 15% of the world’s emissions) and India, the Kyoto agreement is nothing more than, well, hot air. Not to mention the effect of American non-participation: We account for a bit more than 20% of world GHG emissions (and 25% of world GDP) and our utilities have some 100 coal-burning plants on the drawing boards to meet our growing need for electricity.

 

While the Europeans are learning the costs of compliance, most serious American policy makers are coming around to the position that the scientific certainty they once demanded is unobtainable, and that the probability that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the earth is high enough to warrant adoption of prudential policies. They therefore now agree that it would be sensible to shape a program consisting of what Harvard professor Bill Hogan calls “many things we should be doing anyhow.”

 

Which brings us back to Tony Blair. The prime minister may be having a problem meeting his extravagant claim that Britain would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2010, and 60% by 2050, but he is well positioned to persuade Vice President Dick Cheney, who is in charge of U.S. energy policy, that his support of U.S. policy in Iraq entitles him to a bit of a quid pro quo, to be announced triumphantly during the Blair E.U. presidency.

 

Bush need not sign on to Kyoto—even those who (foolishly) believe the president will come to Europe laden with substantive olive branches don’t expect that. But he can let the prime minister persuade him to adopt Hogan’s “things we should be doing anyhow.”

 

Start with the proposal by researchers at Resources for the Future, a widely respected, non-partisan Washington think tank. They suggest that the United States adopt a “cap-and-trade” system like that now operating in the European Union, but include a “safety valve” that limits the price emissions permits will be allowed to reach. Greens who would oppose such a cost limit would be hard-pressed to continue claiming that reducing emissions won’t be costly, while critics who claim that reducing greenhouse gasses would be ruinously expensive would be defanged.

 

The president, who has expressed a desire to “work together” with the European Union on environmental issues, might also be persuaded to encourage other companies to join the U.S. firms (among them Ford, DuPont, and four electric utilities) who have voluntarily agreed to reduce their 2006 GHG emissions to 4% below their 1998-2001 average, and will be allowed to sell or bank any surplus emission allowances.

 

If the Europeans can then be convinced that such an alternative to Kyoto represents an adequate contribution towards their goal of reining in GHG emissions, the United States and the European Union could unite and turn to the more difficult task of developing incentives for India, China, and other developing countries to adopt emission control programs that do not stifle their economic growth circumstances.

 

Irwin M. Stelzer is director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, a columnist for the Sunday Times (London), a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.

 

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Give me a break: State of Fear (townhall.com, 050401)

 

John Stossel

 

Michael Crichton’s scary movies, like “Jurassic Park,” have made billions. He has sold 100 million copies of his scary books. And now he’s telling us: Don’t be scared.

 

He almost didn’t write his latest book, “State of Fear.” “I’m 62 years old,” he told me. “I’ve had a good life. I’m happy. I’m enjoying myself. I don’t need any of the flak that would come from doing a book like this.”

 

Flak is coming because the fear Crichton is questioning is fear of global warming. And as Crichton told me, “people’s feelings about the environment are very close to religion.”

 

Global warming, of course, is not a faith that brings comfort. We interviewed people who seemed almost hysterical about it. One said, “Greenland is melting!” Another warned that “places like Los Angeles and New York will be underwater!” One person went even further off — should I say it? — the deep end: “I’m thinking it’s like the end of the world.”

 

It’s natural for people to worry because there’s been so much media hype. A U.S. News & World Report cover story claimed that within 50 years, the ocean “could” be checking in at the glamorous hotels of South Beach, Fla., while Vermonters “could” get malaria and Nebraska farms “could” be abandoned because of drought.

 

Crichton himself used to worry about global warming. But then he spent three years researching it. He concluded it’s just another foolish media-hyped scare. Many climate scientists agree with him, saying the effect of man and greenhouse gases is minor.

 

Many people believe the weather is already getting worse — that the earth is experiencing bigger storms than ever before. That U.S. News & World Report cover screamed “Scary Weather.” But it’s not true that there are more storms today or that weather is “scarier” than it used to be. As Crichton says, “It’s something that almost nobody actually goes and checks.”

 

Sadly, he’s right. When “scare stories” fit reporters’ preconceptions, we rarely check with the skeptics. On the subject of global warming, reporters often listen to alarmists and don’t take the trouble to survey the scientists who really know. And even if they do, it’s a mere fig leaf of fairness. U.S. News, for example, buried its one skeptical voice under a shrieking headline, after paragraphs predicting disaster, and between two quotes from alarmists — astoundingly presented as voices of reason — dismissing dissenters.

 

Crichton got his medical training at Harvard, where he paid his way through college by writing thrillers. When he wrote “The Andromeda Strain,” the story of an organism from outer space that threatens to wipe out mankind, Hollywood called, and his medical career was over. He’s gone on to write book after book that anticipated the future. “Jurassic Park” introduced cloning before others really talked about it. “Disclosure,” about a man who’s sexually harassed by a female boss, also raised issues that were ahead of their time. “State of Fear” may be his biggest risk, because he’s taken on environmental groups that some Americans revere with religious fervor. Crichton says, “Environmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money.” He points out that the even the scientists who study global warming have an incentive to exaggerate the problem. If you say, “there isn’t a big problem,” you’re less likely to get grant money.

 

“State of Fear” is already being attacked, he says, by activists who didn’t even read his book. “We seem to be very ready to think it’s all coming to an end,” Crichton says. And there are consequences to that kind of thinking. It can be quite difficult to oppose new laws, however much freedom and money they will take away from you, when you believe they are the only thing that can stop major cities from being lost to a sea swollen by melting icecaps. But we’re not on the way to disaster, except in the form of more laws. “State of Fear” will give you new perspective on “global warming.” Then, when someone tells you “it’s like the end of the world!” you can say: “Give Me a Break.”

 

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Second Global Warming Treaty Makes Less Sense Than First (Foxnews, 050318)

 

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested last week that it’s time for a second global warming treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

A new study out this week, however, seems to question the point of the existing global warming treaty.

 

Speaking before the Consumer Federation of America’s annual meeting on March 11, Sen. McCain said U.S. ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change might not be a necessary step toward reducing greenhouse gases, since the treaty exempted India and China from reducing emissions, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

 

McCain then suggested, according to Roll Call, a second treaty that would “demand that India and China also join in [the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]”

 

McCain also urged greater pressure on U.S. businesses to reduce emissions. “The key to this is to convince business and industry that it’s to their economic benefit to bring forward technologies ... to drastically reduce [greenhouse gases],” he said.

 

I would agree with Sen. McCain that there’s no need for the U.S. to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Our rationales, of course, would differ.

 

The vast majority of the greenhouse gas effect — perhaps 99.7% — is beyond human control. There’s no direct evidence that the minuscule manmade contributions of greenhouse gases to the environment are having any measurable or significant impact on global climate.

 

In addition to the scientific shortcomings of global warming hysteria, the economic consequences of the Kyoto Protocol can be summed up as “all costs and no benefits.”

 

The global warming treaty is estimated to cost 100 trillion real dollars for the hypothetical prevention of a 1 degree Centigrade rise in the average global temperature.

 

In contrast, Sen. McCain’s complaint about the Kyoto Protocol apparently boils down solely to the treaty’s exclusion of developing nations like China and India, the second and sixth biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

 

Sen. McCain’s call for a new treaty to include China and India is ludicrous. Neither country will be able to develop economically without tremendous increases in energy use — that’s why they didn’t sign on to Kyoto. Keep in mind that one of the major reasons for the rise in gas prices over the last year is the increase in the demand for oil in China.

 

There’s also no meaningful way to enforce greenhouse gas limits in the developing world — although U.S. environmentalists often take advantage of our easy-access legal system to enforce U.S. environmental laws and regulations, no similar mechanisms exist in countries like China and India.

 

But all this talk about Kyoto and Son of Kyoto is somewhat beside the point, according to other recent news.

 

Climatologist Tom Wigley, a global warming disciple from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, reported in the journal Science this week that even if we could somehow magically “freeze” the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases at today’s levels — an unrealistic scenario where greenhouse gases are not added to or removed from the atmosphere — global warming would still occur because of the heat stored in the oceans.

 

Because the ocean responds relatively slowly to climate change, it will continue to contribute to global warming even if we do stabilize greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, according to Wigley. He estimates the ocean’s “warming commitment” to be 1 degree Centigrade by the year 2400.

 

Wigley further estimates that, even if we freeze greenhouse gas emissions at current levels — another unrealistic scenario — average global temperatures will rise between 2 degrees Centigrade to 6 degrees Centigrade by 2400.

 

But then Wigley disingenuously concludes that, “in order to stabilize global mean temperatures, we eventually need to reduce emission of greenhouse gases to well below present levels” — even though his own data purport to show that global warming would still occur even if we completely stopped emitting greenhouse gases.

 

Moreover, Wigley announced more than two years ago that no treaty was likely to stop climate change and that while renewable energy technologies are a possible solution, they don’t currently exist in any meaningful form and won’t anytime soon.

 

Though I have no confidence in Wigley and his crystal ball-like projections about our exceedingly complex climate system that neither he nor anyone else is close to understanding, the global warming lobby does believe and parrot Wigley’s predictions of gloom-and-doom.

 

And if Wigley is their man, then they’re stuck with his conclusions — namely that neither Kyoto nor Son of Kyoto will accomplish anything — other than, of course, driving the world, particularly developing countries, toward economic ruin.

 

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRwatch.com, is adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and is the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

 

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Gassy Senators (National Review Online, 050621)

 

The U.S. Senate can barely agree to hold up-or-down votes to confirm judges, but no worries — it is about to save the planet. At least that’s the conceit of Republican senators proposing to institute caps on emissions of greenhouse gases.

 

If the U.S. had ratified the Kyoto treaty, it would have had to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. Bipartisan opposition sank the treaty, and it wasn’t even mentioned in the Democrats’ 2004 platform — although its demise is always attributed in the press to the work of President Bush alone. With Kyoto itself off the table, senators have been busy trying to forge a Kyoto-lite.

 

John McCain is promoting a bill that mandates emissions be cut to 2000 levels by 2010. Republican Sen. Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico) has proposed a competing bill that wouldn’t reduce the absolute level of carbon-dioxide emissions, but their rate of increase. The game is to get any restriction, no matter how piddling, on carbon-dioxide emissions. As environmental analyst Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues, the debate then will forevermore be not whether emissions should be capped, but by how much. Thus, the U.S. will enter a new era of restrictions on its energy consumption. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of coal, oil and natural gas, which account for 85% of all energy consumed by Americans.

 

The point of all this is to — insert senatorial furrowed brow here — address the “crisis” of global warming. Global warming is real, and it is probably at least partly man-made. The temperature has risen 0.6 degrees Celsius throughout the past century. Somehow, we still manage to inhabit this planet Earth. It is unclear what catastrophe would occur if, under one of the estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the temperature increased another 1.4 degrees Celsius throughout the next 100 years.

 

One theory is that ice caps will melt and lead to a disastrous increase in the sea level. But warming is not evenly distributed. Antarctica has experienced slight cooling in recent decades. Temperatures in Greenland have fallen the past 15 years, and even though the Arctic is warmer than it was 35 years ago, it is cooler than it was in 1930.

 

In short, we have time to think about what we’re doing before we are swallowed by a climate apocalypse. We should realize that emissions controls are mostly symbolism. Al Gore’s top climate adviser, Tom Wigley, estimated that Kyoto, if fully implemented, would avert 0.07 Celsius of a degree of warming by 2050. McCain- and Bingaman-style controls would do even less. This is why Wigley called Kyoto only “a first and relatively small step” toward addressing global warming.

 

Even the first step isn’t faring well. The Europeans signed up for Kyoto restrictions because we all know they aren’t addicted to SUVs the way Americans are. Well, well. The European Union is set to fall 7% short of its Kyoto targets by 2010. France will be 9% short, Belgium 14%, Denmark at least 36%. If these countries are going to make such an ostentatious show of hampering their economies for no good reason, at least they can follow through.

 

Although there is little that can be done to address greenhouse gases in the short term, who knows what technological advances will hold in the future? As far as the effects of global warming, most of the speculation is that it would harm the third world the most through increased disease, declining agricultural productivity, etc. If we worry about the fate of the third world, however, there are more urgent ways to address its suffering there than emissions restrictions. We could plow a portion of the cost from Kyoto-lite legislation — Bingaman’s bill might cost $300 billion by 2025 — into directly battling HIV/AIDS, combating malnutrition, controlling malaria, and creating more potable water, the problems that kill millions every year.

 

U.S. senators, unfortunately, are always inclined to prefer the meaningless gesture instead.

 

— Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.

 

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Bush stands firm on Kyoto pact (Washington Times, 050707)

 

GLASGOW, Scotland — President Bush yesterday stood fast in his rejection of the Kyoto climate treaty, and the consensus document on climate change at this week’s Group of Eight summit in Scotland is not likely to reflect the more urgent and radical view of many European powers.

 

Also, the summit is expected to respond to U.S. opposition and scale back some of the more extravagant promises made on African aid and debt relief, though the world’s most industrialized nations are still likely to commit to doubling their assistance to the troubled continent.

 

In a joint press conference in Copenhagen on the eve of the summit with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Mr. Bush acknowledged that human activity is causing global warming.

 

“I recognize that the surface of the Earth is warmer and that an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the problem,” Mr. Bush said. “I’ve also told our friends in Europe that Kyoto would have wrecked our economy.

 

“I don’t see how you can be president of the United States and sign and agree to an agreement that would have put a lot of people out of work.”

 

Mr. Bush said he sees a “better way forward” that doesn’t restrict the growth of developed countries and so lets them create energy technologies — such as hydrogen-powered automobiles — that will create a cleaner environment in the long run.

 

“I would call it the post-Kyoto era, where we can work together to share technologies, to control greenhouse gases as best as possible,” Mr. Bush said, referring to the climate treaty as something in the past.

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has called climate change “probably the most serious threat we face,” is host for this year’s G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. He is determined to get the leaders of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and Italy to focus on global warming and fighting poverty and disease in Africa.

 

Mr. Blair said yesterday that he’s “prepared to hold out for what’s right” on global warming, but there are few indications that Mr. Bush will budge much further.

 

The Bush administration’s lead diplomat for the summit, senior Deputy National Security Adviser Faryar Shirzad, suggested yesterday that the G-8 document on global warming will not meet Mr. Blair’s expectations.

 

“Obviously, there are countries that are parties to Kyoto who have a certain perspective on the issue. We have our own approach to it,” Mr. Shirzad said aboard Air Force One on his way to Scotland from Denmark. “But I’m hopeful that what you’ll see by the end of the summit is a consensus view.”

 

Michael Jay, Mr. Blair’s representative in pre-summit discussions, took a similar line, predicting that the G-8 accord would recognize global warming as a problem that needs combating without making specific mandates.

 

Mr. Blair also wants the G-8 nations to double aid to Africa to $50 billion, from the current $25 billion, but he has complained that the U.S. has not met his goal of each rich nation contributing 0.7% of its GDP to the cause.

 

Mr. Bush responded by saying he would seek to double U.S. aid by 2010, to $8.6 billion from $4.3 billion in 2004 — a figure that was already double the amount from before Mr. Bush’s presidency. But meeting the 0.7% goal would require the U.S. to contribute $14 billion toward Mr. Blair’s $50 billion target.

 

As a consequence, the summit’s final communique was expected to drop any reference to a $50 billion goal in favor of talk more generally of a “doubling” of assistance, which would represent a disappointment to anti-poverty activists.

 

The president has agreed to cancel the debt of African nations, but has said the G-8 leaders must insist that corrupt governments reform as a condition to receiving more aid.

 

“We expect there to be good governance on the continent of Africa,” Mr. Bush said. “I don’t know how we can look our taxpayers in the eye and say this is a good deal, to give money to countries that are corrupt.”

 

This year’s summit has taken on the glow of celebrity, thanks to the Live 8 concerts around the globe last weekend, intended to focus attention on the plight of Africa.

 

Mr. Blair has met with concert organizer Bob Geldof and Bono of the Irish rock band U2. Mr. Bush meet with Bono yesterday. Both musicians — normally among those who are highly critical of the president’s foreign policy — have heaped praise on him for his commitment to Africa.

 

Bono, however, expressed his disappointment that the goal of getting to that $50 billion number appears slim.

 

“A lot has been accomplished, but there is no sense that a real deal, a $50 billion number, we are not there on that,” he said after meeting with Mr. Blair yesterday.

 

The summit has been marked by protests that began days before the official opening yesterday. Black-clad young men clashed with police in nearby Edinburgh as well as tiny hamlets near the resort town of Gleneagles. Demonstrators breached a section of police security fence, and 165 were arrested. According to Scottish police, 29 officers were injured, and although none were seriously injured, five required hospitalization.

 

Mr. Bush was greeted in Denmark on Tuesday by about 200 protesters who marched to the U.S. Embassy chanting anti-American slogans and burning Danish and U.S. flags.

 

A contingent of about 30 Danes, however, was seen walking through the streets holding “Bush/Cheney ‘04” campaign signs, passing out pamphlets that read “freedom isn’t free” in Danish and singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and other U.S. patriotic songs.

 

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Mulling Global Warming With A Hurricane Expert (Newsbusters.com, 050829)

 

In his regular “cyber-column” at Mullings.com, Rich Galen finds something surprising in the September issue of Discover magazine:

 

[T]here is a “Discover Dialogue” with a meteorologist named Dr. William Gray whom the mag’s editors say “may be the worlds most famous hurricane expert.” Discover is big on global warming and generally falls into the column supporting the notion that if George W. Bush would only support the Kyoto thing we would be worrying about an impending ice age starting about Columbus Day.

 

The issue of whether man-made global warming is causing this spate of hurricanes is part of the interview:

 

GRAY: Right now, I’m trying to work on his human-induced global-warming thing that I think is grossly exaggerated.

 

DISCOVER: You don’t believe global warming is causing climate change?

 

GRAY: No. If it is, it is causing such a small part it is negligible. I’m not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ‘40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle ‘40s to the early ‘70s.

 

DISCOVER: That must be a controversial position among hurricane researchers.

 

GRAY: Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us.

 

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Katrina Conceit: Global warming and Mother Nature. (National Review Online, 050830)

 

If cable TV had existed in 1886, everyone in the U.S. might have been whipped into a hurricane panic. A record seven hurricanes made landfall that year, including a Category 4 storm that hit Texas and would have had on-the-spot cable newscasters dramatically fighting the wind to deliver their reports. All during the 1890s, reporters could have done the same along the Atlantic seaboard, as it was hammered by more powerful hurricanes than it would be in any decade except the 1950s.

 

Hurricane Katrina, which slammed the Gulf Coast and got eyewall-to-eyewall media coverage, is sure to increase the sense that there is an epidemic of hurricanes (along, of course, with an epidemic of shark attacks and missing blond girls). Which inevitably raises the question: “What can we do about it?” For some scientists and activists — working on the assumption that anything they don’t like must be caused by industrial emissions — the answer is stop global warming.

 

There is hardly an undesirable natural event, from wildfires to hurricanes, that former Vice President Al Gore hasn’t blamed on global warming. As if it weren’t for fossil-fuel emissions, the weather would always be predictable and pleasant. An outfit called Scientists and Engineers for Change put up a billboard in Florida before last year’s presidential election stating it starkly: “Global warming = Worse hurricanes. George Bush just doesn’t get it.” Ah, yes: Why are Bush and the neocons focused on the war in Iraq, when there is a very real threat to the U.S. they should be addressing in the waters of the Atlantic?

 

Has global warming increased the frequency of hurricanes? One of the nation’s foremost hurricane experts, William Gray, points out that if global warming is at work, cyclones should be increasing not just in the Atlantic but elsewhere, in the West Pacific, East Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. They aren’t. The number of cyclones per year worldwide fluctuates pretty steadily between 80 and 100. There’s actually been a small overall decline in tropical cyclones since 1995, and Atlantic hurricanes declined from 1970 to 1994, even as the globe was heating up.

 

It seems that Atlantic hurricanes come in spurts, or as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration puts it in more technical language, “a quasi-cyclic multi-decade regime that alternates between active and quiet phases.” The late 1920s through the 1960s were active; the 1970s to early 1990s quiet; and since 1995 — as anyone living in Florida or Gulfport, Miss., can tell you — seems to be another active phase.

 

But if hurricanes aren’t more frequent, are they more powerful? Warm water fuels hurricanes, so the theory is that as the ocean’s surface heats up, hurricanes will pack more punch. An article in Nature — after questionable jiggering with the historical wind data — argues that hurricanes have doubled in strength because of global warming. Climatologist Patrick Michaels counters that if hurricanes had doubled in their power it would be obvious to everyone and there would be no need to write controversial papers about it.

 

Indeed, if you adjust for population growth and skyrocketing property values, hurricanes don’t appear to be any more destructive today. According to the work of Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, of the top five most destructive storms this century, only one occurred after 1950 — Hurricane Andrew in 1992. An NOAA analysis says there have been fewer Category 4 storms throughout the past 35 years than would have been expected given 20th-century averages.

 

None of this data matters particularly, since proponents of global warming will continue to link warming with hurricanes. It generates headlines in a way that debates about tiny increments of warming don’t. And it feeds a conceit that is oddly comforting: that whatever is wrong with the world is caused by us and fixable by us. Alas, it’s not so. Mother Nature can be a cruel and unpredictable mistress, and sometimes all we can do is head for the high ground.

 

— Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.

 

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Bush, ‘global warming’ to blame for hurricane? (WorldNetDaily, 050830)

RFK Jr., others suggest climate change responsible for intensity of disaster

 

Do President Bush and so-called “global warming” have anything to do with the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Katrina?

 

Yes, according to some politicians and public figures, who are already politicizing the disaster.

 

Among them is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and environmentalist who is a host on the Air America Radio network.

 

“The science is clear,” writes Kennedy, son of slain New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, in a commentary at HuffingtonPost.com. “This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.”

 

Kennedy cites a 2001 memo sent to President Bush from Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi – a state devastated by Katrina – arguing against the regulation of carbon-dioxide gases, saying Barbour himself derided the idea of regulating CO2 as “eco-extremism.”

 

“Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil-fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and – now – Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.”

 

Ross Gelbspan, author of “The Heat Is On” and “Boiling Point,” agrees with Kennedy, saying Katrina’s “real name is global warming.”

 

“Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue,” Gelbspan said.

 

He noted even though the storm started small, “it was supercharged with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.”

 

And from overseas, Germany’s Environmental Minister Jürgen Trittin held nothing back in his assault on Bush, stating, “The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies.”

 

Climatologist Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia, a well-known critic of the theory of global warming, appeared on Fox News’ “Special Edition” to dispel the notion of that any alleged climate change had anything to do with Hurricane Katrina. He said if global warming were indeed a global phenomenon that increased hurricane activity and strength, then the change would be measurable in storms across the entire planet.

 

A New York Times article quoted hurricane forecaster William Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, as saying the recent onslaught “is very much natural.”

 

The severity of hurricane seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decades in the Atlantic Ocean, the article noted.

 

This week, radio giant Rush Limbaugh predicted a barrage of claims suggesting climate change was an underlying cause for the storm:

 

I was watching one of the networks, I forget which, and they went to Max Mayfield, this guy that runs the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and the reporter said, “Max! Max! What about global warming?” and you could see he looked disgusted, or annoyed. He looked annoyed with the question. “No, no, no. Global warming? We’re not talking about global warming here,” but nevertheless you can be prepared for the left to go full speed into their agenda blaming Bush for it, the government for it, and nature for it – essentially us – for what happened here, and then full-fledged liberalism will be proposed to fix everything that has been broken and replace things that have been destroyed.

 

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Green hotheads exploit hurricane tragedy (townhall.com, 050908)

 

Michael Fumento

 

“The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name was global warming.” So wrote environmental activist Ross Gelbspan in a Boston Globe op-ed that one commentator aptly described as “almost giddy.” The green group Friends of the Earth linked Katrina to global warming, as did Germany’s Green Party Environment Minister.

 

Bobby Kennedy Jr. blamed Katrina on Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour for “derailing the Kyoto Protocol [on global warming] and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad promise to regulate carbon dioxide.”

 

Time for an ice-water bath, hotheads. If you’d bothered to consult the scientists (remember them?) you’d find they’ve extensively studied the issue and found no evidence that global warming – assuming it’s actually occurring – is causing either an increase in frequency or intensity of hurricanes.

 

Thus the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which believes global warming is both real and man-made, stated in its last assessment (2001) that “Changes in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and frequency are dominated by [variations within and between decades], with no significant trends over the twentieth century evident.”

 

So, too, states the Tropical Meteorological Project at Colorado State University. In a paper issued AFTER Katrina hit it noted hurricane activity since 1995 has “been similar” to that “of the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s when many more major hurricanes struck the U.S. East Coast and Florida.” These are the people, chiefly professor of atmospheric science William Gray, who issue the annual hurricane forecasts each May.

 

In fact, according to the National Hurricane Center, the peak for major hurricanes (levels 3, 4, and 5) came between 1930 and 1950.

 

In the wake of Katrina, Gray explained to the New York Times that what might appear to be a recent onslaught “is very much natural.” Until recently we were lucky, said Gray. Then, “The luck just ran out.”

 

Roger Pielke Jr., director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, agrees. In a forthcoming paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society he analyzes the damage caused by hurricanes that have hit the U.S. since 1900. Taking into account tremendous population growth along coastlines he finds no trend of increasing damage from hurricanes.

 

“I don’t think you could find any hurricane scientist that would be willing to make the statement that the hurricanes of last year or Katrina are caused by global warming,” he told Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.

 

As you might guess neither Gelbspan nor RFK Jr. are scientists; they’re professional scaremongers. Having authored two books on the forthcoming catastrophe of global warming, Gelbspan’s fortunes are as tied to this issue as GM’s are to vehicles.

 

Nevertheless, MIT climatologist Kerry Emanuel IS a scientist and stirred up a Category Five controversy with his recent letter in Nature claiming there’s no trend in the frequency of hurricanes but “future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone [hurricane] destructive potential.”

 

William Gray, however, told the Boston Globe “It’s a terrible paper, one of the worst I’ve ever looked at.” According to the Globe, “He was appalled that Emanuel would take such shaky data on wind speeds, then feed them into a formula that puts such heavy weight on those numbers.” Such a method, he said, can produce any result you want.

 

Yet even Emanuel stops short of blaming Katrina or other recent hurricane strikes on global warming. “What we see in the Atlantic is mostly the natural swing,” he told the Times. That hardly supports the overheated rhetoric of those exploiting his Nature letter.

 

Bear in mind, too, that the effects of global warming are supposed to be, well, global. If cyclones are more intense or frequent off U.S. shores, they should also be so elsewhere as in the east Pacific, west Pacific, and Indian Ocean. “This has not occurred,” a June 2005 report from the Tropical Meteorological Project stated flatly. “When tropical cyclones worldwide are summed, there has actually been a slight decrease since 1995.”

 

This isn’t to say alleged warming is actually moderating these awesome storms. But certainly it’s having no moderating effect on the blowhard buzzards ripping chunks off the Katrina disaster to promote their own dubious agendas.

 

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Pascal’s Blunder: Miscalculating the Threat of Global Warming (Christian Post, 050913)

 

Prominent religious voices in America, especially among evangelical Christians, are increasingly being heard in the debate over global warming. More often than not, evangelicals - many of whom could easily be described as political and cultural conservatives - see climate change as a man-made problem.

 

The National Association of Evangelicals, a coalition representing 52 member denominations, called on policymakers in October to pay more attention to the problem of “environmental degradation” in its landmark statement, “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility.” In a recent presentation to the NAE, Sir John Houghton, Britain’s leading climatologist, said, “The rise in global average temperature (and the rate of rise) that has occurred during the 20th century is well outside the range of known natural variability.”

 

Identifying human society as the culprit behind global warming is fast approaching the level of accepted dogma in evangelical circles, as a recent article by Andy Crouch in Christianity Today confirms. Crouch argues that global warming theory, “is taken for granted by nearly every scientist working in the field,” and that there is “no serious disagreement among scientists that human beings are playing a major role in global warming.” Crouch criticizes the Bush administration’s “indifference” on the issue, noting the basis for caution in the questions of “a few vocal skeptics.”

 

It’s ironic that Crouch finds the source of evangelical distrust of scientific global warming dogma in the contemporary creation/evolution debates. If there’s any group that should know about the difficulty of breaking through the groupthink of mainstream science, it ought to be the proponents of Intelligent Design.

 

Crouch goes on to compare the global warming debate to Pascal’s wager, the famous theological contention that to “believe in God though he does not exist” is to “lose nothing in the end. Fail to believe when he does in fact exist, and you lose everything.” In the place of God in Crouch’s version of the wager, however, is global warming.

 

The problem with this analogy is that Pascal’s wager is only valid when placed within the context of the eternal and the ultimate. When it is applied to everyday issues, it quickly loses its persuasive power. Crouch’s contention that “we have little to lose” if we exaggerate the threat of global warming displays no recognition of the reality of the future impact of unduly restrictive political policies and environmental regulations.

 

Vernon L. Smith, a Nobel laureate and professor of economics and law at George Mason University, recognizes the economic concerns that are often overlooked. He writes, “If we ignore this rule of optimality and begin abatement now for damages caused by emissions after 100 years, we leave our descendants with fewer resources - 100 years of return on the abatement costs not incurred - to devote to subsequent damage control. The critical oversight here is the failure to respect opportunity cost. Each generation must be responsible for the future effect of that generation’s emission damage. Earlier generations have the responsibility of leaving subsequent generations a capital stock that has not been diminished by incurring premature abatement costs.”

 

Thomas C. Schelling, a professor at the University of Maryland, agrees, “Future generations will be much richer than current ones, and it thus makes no sense to make current generations ‘pay’ for the problems of future generations.” Smith and Schelling participated in what is known as the Copenhagen Consensus of 2004, convened by environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg. This process helped to prioritize ten of the most critical global challenges. The threat of global warming was consistently ranked last or second-to-last by each of the experts, while concerns like communicable diseases (control of HIV/AIDS), malnutrition and hunger (providing micronutrients), and subsidies and trade (trade liberalization), topped the list.

 

Smith’s analysis exposes the critical flaw in Crouch’s argument: the false dilemma of action now or cataclysm later. What we do know for sure is that if we commit resources now to fight global warming that could otherwise be spent on programs of immediate need, millions will suffer and die needlessly. I can think of no better way of reckoning with Christ’s admonition, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV).

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Jordan J. Ballor is associate editor with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty in Grand Rapids , Mich.

 

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The Global-Warming God: Must it now be appeased? (National Review, 051010)

 

For years, I have been concerned that a major hurricane strike on New Orleans could provoke legislation on global warming that will do absolutely nothing about tropical cyclones, but harm the U.S. economy for decades. We began seeing the shape of things to come when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed that Katrina’s severity was related to President Bush’s reluctance to cap carbon-dioxide emissions, and Hillary Clinton declared she wanted to establish a commission to investigate the government’s response to the hurricane.

 

Hurricane Katrina’s magnitude was not changed by global warming. In fact, despite a hundred news stories to the contrary, it’s not at all clear that any such warming will result in more frequent, let alone more intense, tropical cyclones. Take, for example, the recent rise in hurricane frequency in the Atlantic Basin; it’s as if we have returned to the 1930s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, when storm activity reached a ferocious height before settling down for several decades.

 

Keep in mind, however, that there are some differences between now and then. Today’s hurricanes tend to concentrate in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, whereas in mid-century they repeatedly struck the Atlantic coast — all the way to Canada. This is worth noting because, in a warming world, simple reasoning predicts that activity should have moved north, not south. Obviously things are not so simple with hurricanes and climate change.

 

But the North Atlantic is just one of the world’s many hurricane basins. In general, there are more tropical cyclones per year in the eastern North Pacific — off the Mexican coast — but few notice them because they rarely hit land as consequential cyclones. Instead, they peter out as they migrate westward into cooler waters. In fact, only one subtropical ocean, the South Atlantic, has virtually none of these storms.

 

So, rather than focusing exclusively on what’s happening in our provincial part of the North Atlantic, we should be asking what is happening to hurricane activity around the planet. And the answer is . . . nothing. More specifically, there has been no significant movement in either frequency or strength despite a warming trend since 1975, a cooling trend in mid-century, and a warming trend in the early 1900s that was similar to what we see today.

 

Yes, there is a much-cited paper in the scientific magazine Nature by Kerry Emanuel that claims that hurricanes have doubled in power in the last 30 years. But there are at least four manuscripts in review at Nature that challenge this result. Indeed, people who normally stay out of the global-warming catfight, like the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr., have been blogging that the peer-review process at Science — Nature’s American competitor — has been badly compromised on the subject of global warming and weather-induced damages.

 

The Emanuel argument simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Put it this way: Since Atlantic hurricanes have a roughly equal chance of striking the U.S., and if they had doubled in power, then surely the amount of damage they have caused — after adjusting for population and property-value changes — would show an obvious upward trend. But, when allowing for these factors, as Pielke has, we cannot detect any such tendency. In any case, if hurricanes had actually doubled in power, then the insurance companies would already have been blown to smithereens. They’re still here.

 

Another paper, by Peter Webster and colleagues, that argues along similar lines has just appeared in Science magazine. It attempts to show that while the global frequency of tropical systems shows no trend since the 1970s, the percentage of extremely strong hurricanes has been increasing relative to the weaker storm systems. This is an example of very selective data citation using post-1970 satellite observations of tropical systems. However, in the North Atlantic, hurricane-hunter reconnaissance flights have been flying since 1944. Guess what? Between 1944 and 1970, the percentage of extremely strong hurricanes declined relative to the weaker storms. Relative storm strength in the ‘40s and ‘50s is similar to what it is today. So, over the longer term, there has been no trend in hurricane intensity. How could Science’s peer reviewers have missed this?

 

What of research published a year ago by Tom Knutson, which showed that hurricane winds will increase by 6% over the next 80 years as a result of planetary warming? Hurricane frequency varies tremendously from year to year and between decades, so such a small change couldn’t be discerned for at least 50 years. Moreover, Knutson’s work assumes that ocean-surface temperatures will continue to warm while nothing else changes. But this isn’t realistic, for warming may increase the frequency of El Niño — poison to Atlantic hurricanes. Warming may also have an impact on the high-pressure systems that generate the trade winds, thereby placing hurricanes in less favorable environments, and consequently making them less able to inflict major damage.

 

Clearly, a lot of things can be overlooked in a computer simulation. For example, in the Knutson paper, over half of the simulated behavior of hurricanes is related to the warming of the sea surface. This is an eminently testable hypothesis, as we have a century’s worth of data on Atlantic hurricanes and water temperature. When the statistical correspondence between the two is checked, just 10% of inter-annual hurricane behavior can be traced to temperature changes. That’s right, 90% of hurricane fluctuation from year to year is related to factors other than ocean temperature.

 

How could this be? Let’s define a perfect hurricane, like Katrina, as one whose surface barometric pressure approaches 26.5 inches. A storm this strong requires rare conditions. Warm water is just one: That’s why there have been only four such storms in the Atlantic over the last 100 years. There must also be, for example, an efficient venting mechanism at the top of the storm, at around 40,000 feet, and there can be no dry air intruding into its circulation. In reality, there are often many bands of relatively dry air within a hurricane, owing to the rainstorms feeding into the eye that gather up moisture. When a significant dry band gets near the center, the winds will drop. Katrina was probably ready to undergo one of these wind-reduction cycles, but, unfortunately, New Orleans got in the way.

 

Yet still we hear that warmer oceans mean that storms will become more ferocious. We shouldn’t. One of the peculiarities of hurricane behavior is that there is a threshold, at 28°C, where storms reach an intensity of Category 3 (“severe”). (In the last 50 years there have been just two such storms over cooler waters.) But once the temperature exceeds 28°C, there is no relationship between warmer water and intensity. At any temperature above the threshold, each storm has an equal chance of reaching Category 4 or 5.

 

Every August, the surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico exceeds that threshold. This year it was very warm south of Louisiana: 31°C — about as hot as it was in 1997 and 1998. And, given that the Gulf reaches the magic 28°C threshold every year, no matter whether the planet is warming or cooling, there is no practicable, economical policy that can ever drive temperatures below this figure.

 

I don’t expect this information to have any effect on policy. I’m just shouting into the hurricane.

 

Mr. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.

 

==============================

 

Blaming Bush (townhall.com, 051005)

 

President Bush, in his post-Hurricane Katrina address to the nation, said, “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.” Accepting the blame for the federal response is one thing, but I hope he doesn’t shoulder the blame for the hurricane itself.

 

In a Sept. 9th speech to the National Sierra Club Convention in San Francisco, former Vice President Al Gore told the audience that Hurricane Katrina and global warming are related. He warned, “We will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.”

 

Our European allies, most of whom have signed the Kyoto Protocol, have been scathing in their attacks on President Bush. “Katrina Should Be a Lesson to the U.S. on Global Warming,” read a headline of the German magazine Der Spiegel. Jurgen Tritten, Germany’s environment minister and a Green Party member, said, “The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina.”

 

Writing in the Aug. 30th edition of the Boston Globe, Ross Gelbspan said, “The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.” President Bush, according to Gelbspan, is to blame because he’s taken his environmental policy from “big oil and big coal.”

 

Major categories 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes are relatively rare. If you check out the website of the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml?), you’ll find that the most active hurricane decade was 1941-50 — recording 24 hurricanes, with 10 of them being giant category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3, 4 5) came in the decades of the 1890s, 1930s and 1940s — an average of nine per decade. Of the 92 giant hurricanes that have struck the U.S. mainland between 1851 and 2004, 61 of them occurred before 1950, long before global warming was an issue.

 

Six noted tropical cyclone experts wrote a paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled “Hurricanes and Global Warming.” Their three main points were: No connection has been established between greenhouse gas emissions and the observed behavior of hurricanes. The scientific consensus is that any future changes in hurricane intensities will likely be small and within the context of observed natural variability. Finally, the politics of linking hurricanes to global warming threatens to undermine support for legitimate climate research and could result in ineffective hurricane policies.

 

Stanley Goldenberg, a meteorologist at the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, says, “Katrina is part of a well-documented, multidecadal scale fluctuation in hurricane activity. This cycle was described in a heavily cited article printed in the journal Science in 2001.” His colleague Chris Landsea agrees, saying, “If you look at the raw hurricane data itself, there is no global warming signal. What we see instead is a strong cycling of activity. There are periods of 25 to 40 years where it’s very busy and then periods of 25 to 40 years when it’s very quiet.”

 

About the connection between hurricanes and global warming, Goldenberg concludes, “I speak for many hurricane climate researchers in saying such claims are nonsense.” The bottom line for President Bush is that unless he’s God, he shouldn’t accept the blame for Hurricane Katrina.

 

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2005 Ties for 2nd Warmest Year Ever, But Cause Still Uncertain (Foxnews, 060109)

 

Predictions early in 2005 that the year would be the warmest on record turned out to be off the mark.

 

A new study finds last year tied for the second-warmest year since reliable records have been kept starting in the late 1800s.

 

The global average temperature in 2005 was 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit (0.3 Celsius) warmer than the long-term average, tying a mark set in 2002.

 

But a puzzling general pattern, seen the past three decades, persisted: The most significant warming occurred in the Arctic, where the ice cap is shrinking at an alarming pace.

 

Seven times faster

 

Since November 1978, the Arctic atmosphere has warmed seven times faster than the average warming trend over the southern two-thirds of the globe, based on data from NOAA satellites.

 

“It just doesn’t look like global warming is very global,” said John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

 

The warmest five years since the 1890s, when reliable record-keeping began:

 

1. 1998

 

2. 2005

 

2. 2002 (tie)

 

4. 2003

 

5. 2004

 

Scientists agree the planet is warming. Ground in the Northern Hemisphere that’s been frozen since the last Ice Age is melting and collapsing.

 

But they are still debating exactly how much and to what extent humans are contributing by burning fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases.

 

Lack of understanding

 

In a report last May, researchers said they know very little about how Earth absorbs and reflects sunlight, crucial factors that control climate. Other studies have indicated that increased output from the Sun is responsible for more of global warming than was previously realized.

 

“Obviously some part of the warming we’ve observed in the atmosphere over the past 27 years is due to enhanced greenhouse gases. Simple physics tells you that,” Christy said. “But even if you acknowledge the effects of greenhouse gases, when you look at this pattern of warming, you have to say there must also be something else at work here.”

 

Nobody’s sure what that might be.

 

“The carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is distributed pretty evenly around the globe and not concentrated in the Arctic, so it doesn’t look like we can blame greenhouse gases for the overwhelming bulk of the Northern Hemisphere warming over the past 27 years,” Christy said. “The most likely suspect for that is a natural climate change or cycle that we didn’t expect or just don’t understand.”

 

Opposite of expectations

 

Over the past 27 years, since the first temperature-sensing satellite was launched, the overall global temperature has risen 0.63 degrees Fahrenheit, while the hike in the Arctic has been 2.1 degrees.

 

“The computer models consistently predict that global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases should show up as strong warming in the tropics,” Christy said.

 

Yet the tropical atmosphere has warmed by only about 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit in 27 years.

 

A study last year examined natural climate change going back more than 1,000 years. How do the recent changes stack up?

 

“It would be fairly rare to have this much warming all from natural causes, but it has happened [in the past],” Christy said. “What we’ve seen isn’t outside the realm of natural climate change.”

 

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New source of global warming gas found: plants (WorldNetDaily, 060111)

 

LONDON (Reuters) - German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.

 

The culprits are plants.

 

They produce about 10 to 30% of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.

 

The scientists measured the amount of methane released by plants in controlled experiments. They found it increases with rising temperatures and exposure to sunlight.

 

“Significant methane emissions from both intact plants and detached leaves were observed ... in the laboratory and in the field,” Dr Frank Keppler and his team said in a report in the journal Nature.

 

Methane, which is produced by city rubbish dumps, coal mining, flatulent animals, rice cultivation and peat bogs, is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in terms of its ability to trap heat.

 

Concentrations of the gas in the atmosphere have almost tripled in the last 150 years. About 600 million tonnes worldwide are produced annually.

 

The scientists said their finding is important for understanding the link between global warming and a rise in greenhouse gases.

 

It could also have implications for the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for developed countries to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

 

Keppler and his colleagues discovered that living plants emit 10 to 100 times more methane than dead plants.

 

Scientists had previously thought that plants could only emit methane in the absence of oxygen.

 

David Lowe, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, said the findings are startling and controversial.

 

“Keppler and colleagues’ finding helps to account for observations from space of incredibly large plumes of methane above tropical forests,” he said in a commentary on the research.

 

But the study also poses questions, such as how such a potentially large source of methane could have been overlooked and how plants produced it.

 

“There will be a lively scramble among researchers for the answers to these and other questions,” Lowe added.

 

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Big freeze leaves trail of deaths across Asia (The Scotsman, 060109)

 

INDIA’S capital New Delhi recorded its lowest temperature for 70 years yesterday as unusually cold weather continued to cause havoc across Asia.

 

In Japan, where at least 63 people have died and more than 1,000 have been injured since heavy snowfalls began last month, troops and volunteers shovelled snow from roofs and roads, while in China’s Xinjiang province cattle were dying in the fields in temperatures of -43C and a 25-mile section of the Yellow River froze.

 

In Bangladesh, at least 20 people have died from exposure, disease and malnutrition over the past three days because of a cold snap there.

 

In India, residents of the capital awoke yesterday to a temperature around freezing point, forcing officials to shut primary schools for three days. TV footage showed a layer of ice on the grass in parks and on the roofs of cars.

 

“I was so excited. This is the first time I have seen it (frost),” said a teenage girl wearing a thick sweater.

 

But thousands of homeless and those without heating were hard hit. And further north, Indian Kashmir continued to shiver as overnight temperatures dipped to -6C.

 

“It is terribly cold. I feel like we are living in a refrigerator,” said 34-year-old housewife Rubina Malik.

 

For the first time in ten years, parts of the famous Dal lake in the regional capital Srinagar were frozen. Authorities banned skating on the lake after a child drowned when the thin ice cracked.

 

More than 100 people have died in northern India since December because of the cold. The coldest recorded temperature in New Delhi is -0.6C (30.92F) in 1935.

 

In Japan workers were trying to clear snow which was up to ten feet deep in some of the worst-hit areas of Niigata prefecture, and to reopen blocked roads in Nagano prefecture.

 

Many of the dead there were elderly people who fell from their roofs while trying to clear snow, while others were crushed when their houses collapsed under the weight of the drifts.

 

“It’s frightening,” said a woman in Akita City, in northern Japan, as local government workers began to shovel snow from her roof.

 

“There were creaking sounds and I couldn’t open the doors because of the weight of snow.”

 

China is in the middle of its coldest winter in 20 years, the China Daily newspaper said. Even in the usually mild province of Guangdong in the south, temperatures dipped as low as 5C on Friday while some local roads have frozen over with more than an inch of ice.

 

In Xinjiang, where heavy snowfalls and temperatures as low as -43C forced the evacuation of almost 100,000 people earlier in the week, conditions remained testing.

 

In the province’s northern Altay region, temperatures were hovering around -26C after falling to 37C and killing cattle over the past few days, said an official from the local meteorological bureau.

 

==============================

 

Green Evangelicals Stand Against Global Warming (Christian Post, 060209)

 

WASHINGTON – Evangelicals are newly rising up to the good-old, biblical commandment to be stewards of God’s creation by joining the environmentalists’ call to stop global warming.

 

“Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action,” states a document recently signed by 86 top evangelical leaders and representatives.

 

The document, aptly entitled “The Evangelical Climate Initiative,” was released on Wednesday at a press conference in Washington alongside results from a nationwide study that showed a “higher-than expected level of concern over the environment” from Evangelical Christians.

 

According to the study, three of four evangelicals support environmental issues, two thirds are convinced that global warming is actually taking place, and seven out of ten believe global climate change will pose a “serious threat to future generations.” [KH: ignorant of facts]

 

“Even among evangelicals who are political conservatives, over four out of ten believe global warming must be reduced even if there’s a high economic cost, and half feel we must begin addressing the issue immediately,” reads an excerpt from the research paper, conducted by the Arizona-based Ellison Research center.

 

The 86 signers hope that such results and their new initiative could help influence government leaders to “pass and implement national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions…”

 

“As American evangelical Christian leaders, we recognize both our opportunity and our responsibility to offer a biblically based moral witness that can help shape public policy in the most powerful nation on earth,” the Climate Initiative states.

 

Supporters of the statement include top Evangelical stars such as: Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church; Rich Stearns, president of World Vision; Todd Bassett, national commander of the Salvation Army; and Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College.

 

However, noticeably missing are the names of other Evangelical heavyweights who in the past have closely worked with the Bush Administration on public policy. Neither James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, nor Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, has joined the effort.

 

Instead Dobson and Land were among 20 Evangelicals who signed onto a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to refrain from taking an official position on the issue.

 

“We believe there should be room for Bible-believing evangelicals to disagree about the cause, severity and solutions to the global warming issue,” the conservative Evangelicals wrote in their letter to the NAE.

 

Ultimately, NAE staff members opted not to sign the initiative, though over a dozen unpaid board members lent their name. Those who signed the campaign are now working to gain a broader support from the Evangelical community.

 

“Some are early adopters, and some are late adopters,” Jim Ball, Executive Director of the Evangelical Environmental Network said at the press conference.

 

Ball also explained that in coming months, signers will work to reach the grass-roots by mobilizing pastors.

 

“We are going to be engaged in many activities over the year, reaching out to churches and going to colleges,” Ball said.

 

They also began a massive advertising campaign through both television and print media.

 

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Why liberals fear global warming far more than conservatives do (Townhall.com, 060620)

 

by Dennis Prager

 

Observers of contemporary society will surely have noted that a liberal is far more likely to fear global warming than a conservative. Why is this?

 

After all, if the science is as conclusive as Al Gore, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and virtually every other spokesman of the Left says it is, conservatives are just as likely to be scorched and drowned and otherwise done in by global warming as liberals will. So why aren’t non-leftists nearly as exercised as leftists are? Do conservatives handle heat better? Are libertarians better swimmers? Do religious people love their children less?

 

The usual liberal responses — to label a conservative position racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic or the like — obviously don’t apply here. So, liberals would have to fall back on the one remaining all-purpose liberal explanation: “big business.” They might therefore explain the conservative-liberal divide over global warming thus: Conservatives don’t care about global warming because they prefer corporate profits to saving the planet.

 

But such an explanation could not explain the vast majority of conservatives who are not in any way tied into the corporate world (like this writer, who has no stocks and who, moreover, regards big business as amoral as leftists do).

 

No, the usual liberal dismissals of conservatives and their positions just don’t explain this particularly illuminating difference between liberals and conservatives.

 

Here are six more likely explanations:

 

— The Left is prone to hysteria. The belief that global warming will destroy the world is but one of many hysterical notions held on the Left. As noted in a previous column devoted to the Left and hysteria, many on the Left have been hysterical about the dangers of the PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance of phone numbers (incipient fascism); secondhand smoke (killing vast numbers of people); drilling in the remotest area of Alaska (major environmental despoliation); and opposition to same-sex marriage (imminent Christian theocracy).

 

— The Left believes that if The New York Times and other liberal news sources report something, it is true. If the cover of Time magazine says, “Global Warming: Be Worried, Very Worried,” liberals get worried, very worried, about global warming.

 

It is noteworthy that liberals, one of whose mottos is “question authority,” so rarely question the authority of the mainstream media. Now, of course, conservatives, too, often believe mainstream media. But conservatives have other sources of news that enable them to achieve the liberal ideal of questioning authority. Whereas few liberals ever read non-liberal sources of information or listen to conservative talk radio, the great majority of conservatives are regularly exposed to liberal news, liberal editorials and liberal films, and they have also received many years of liberal education.

 

— The Left believes in experts. Of course, every rational person, liberal or conservative, trusts the expertise of experts — such as when experts in biology explain the workings of mitochondria, or when experts in astronomy describe the moons of Jupiter. But for liberals, “expert” has come to mean far more than greater knowledge in a given area. It now means two additional things: One is that non-experts should defer to experts not only on matters of knowledge, but on matters of policy, as well. The second is that experts possess greater wisdom about life, not merely greater knowledge in their area of expertise.

 

That is why liberals are far more likely to be impressed when a Nobel Prize winner in, let us say, physics signs an ad against war or against capital punishment. The liberal is bowled over by the title “Nobel laureate.” The conservative is more likely to wonder why a Nobel laureate in physics has anything more meaningful to say about war than, let us say, a taxi driver.

 

— People who don’t confront the greatest evils will confront far lesser ones. Most humans know the world is morally disordered — and socially conscious humans therefore try to fight what they deem to be most responsible for that disorder. The Right tends to fight human evil such as communism and Islamic totalitarianism. The Left avoids confronting such evils and concentrates its attention instead on socioeconomic inequality, environmental problems and capitalism. Global warming meets all three of these criteria of evil. By burning fossil fuels, rich countries pollute more, the environment is being despoiled and big business increases its profits.

 

— The Left is far more likely to revere, even worship, nature. A threat to the environment is regarded by many on the Left as a threat to what is most sacred to them, and therefore deemed to be the greatest threat humanity faces. The cover of Vanity Fair’s recent “Special Green Issue” declared: “A Graver Threat Than Terrorism: Global Warming.” Conservatives, more concerned with human evil, hold the very opposite view: Islamic terror is a far graver threat than global warming.

 

— Leftists tend to fear dying more. That is one reason they are more exercised about our waging war against evil than about the evils committed by those we fight. The number of Iraqis and others Saddam Hussein murdered troubles the Left considerably less than even the remote possibility than they may one day die of global warming (or secondhand smoke).

 

One day, our grandchildren may ask us what we did when Islamic fascism threatened the free world. Some of us will say we were preoccupied with fighting that threat wherever possible; others will be able to say they fought carbon dioxide emissions. One of us will look bad.

 

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Report: Earth Hottest It’s Been In 2,000 Years (Christian Post, 060628)

[KH: contradictory conclusions to previous article]

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Earth is running a slight fever from greenhouse gases, after enjoying relatively stable temperatures for 2,000 years. The National Academy of Sciences, after reconstructing global average surface temperatures for the past two millennia, said Thursday the data are “additional supporting evidence ... that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.”

 

Other new research showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor, according to Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a research lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation and universities.

 

The academy had been asked to report to Congress on how researchers drew conclusions about the Earth’s climate going back thousands of years, before data was available from modern scientific instruments. The academy convened a panel of 12 climate experts, chaired by Gerald North, a geosciences professor at Texas A&M University, to look at the “proxy” evidence before then, such as tree rings, corals, marine and lake sediments, ice cores, boreholes and glaciers.

 

Combining that information gave the panel “a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years,” the panel wrote. It said the “recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia,” though it was relatively warm around the year 1000 followed by a “Little Ice Age” from about 1500 to 1850.

 

Their conclusions were meant to address, and they lent credibility to, a well-known graphic among climate researchers — a “hockey-stick” chart that climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes created in the late 1990s to show the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest it has been in 2,000 years.

 

It had compared the sharp curve of the hockey blade to the recent uptick in temperatures — a 1 degree rise in global average surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere during the 20th century — and the stick’s long shaft to centuries of previous climate stability.

 

That research is “likely” true and is supported by more recent data, said John “Mike” Wallace, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Washington and a panel member.

 

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., chairman of the House Science Committee, had asked the academy for the report last year after the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Joe Barton (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, launched an investigation of the three climate scientists.

 

The Bush administration has maintained that the threat from global warming is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs.

 

“This report shows the value of Congress handling scientific disputes by asking scientists to give us guidance,” Boehlert said Thursday. “There is nothing in this report that should raise any doubts about the broad scientific consensus on global climate change.”

 

The academy panel said it had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600.

 

But it considered the evidence reliable enough to conclude there were sharp spikes in carbon dioxide and methane, the two major “greenhouse” gases blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, beginning in the 20th century, after remaining fairly level for 12,000 years.

 

Between 1 A.D. and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations had the biggest effects on climate. But those temperature changes “were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas” levels by pollution since the mid-19th century, the panel said.

 

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.

 

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Public Disservice: Melting myths. (National Review Online, 060726)

 

The last two weeks of July are normally the hottest of the year, so it’s no surprise that we’re being deluged with public-service announcements about the horrors of global warming. Radio and television stations are compelled to transmit these announcements at no charge because of a long-standing policy that they must provide “public good.” “Don’t Litter” and “Fasten Seat Belts” come to mind. Now the notion has been expanded to “Fight Global Warming.”

 

By defining it as something we all should fight, these announcements tell us warming must be bad — something no comprehensive treatise on the science and economics of climate change has ever demonstrated.

 

Ogilvy and Mather, a prestigious public-relations firm whose for-profit clients include IBM and Motorola, produced the global-warming ads for free on behalf of Environmental Defense, a major environmental nonprofit that clearly advocates certain types of global-warming legislation.

 

Like their ads for Motorola, Ogilvy and Mather’s global-warming announcements are clearly targeted towards sullen youth — a brilliant idea, considering the appallingly low level of scientific knowledge our children have in comparison to their counterparts around the world. But scientific exploration requires critical skepticism, and these ads are full of unquestioned certainties.

 

Perhaps the most egregious is a radio ad, called “The Gift.” It mentions dying coral reefs, rising sea levels, melting ice caps, devastating floods, and hurricanes, and accuses us of leaving them all to our children.

 

The ads ignore facts that are widely accepted in the scientific community. Take hurricanes. The frequency of category 4 and 5 storms — the really destructive ones — has increased as the planet warmed. Good sound bite, with only one problem: It’s back to where it was in the 1940s and 1950s, long before human beings started warming things up.

 

In fact, as late as the 1970s, scientists were more concerned with planetary cooling, as revealed in the 1974 CIA report, “Potential implications of trends in world population, food production, and climate,” that presented cooling-related food shortages as a major strategic threat. The report first appeared in public in the New York Times on May Day, 1976. Soon, global cooling abruptly reversed into global warming. Crop yields rose.

 

The public-service announcements are all similarly big on melting polar ice caps and consequent rises in sea level. The Arctic cap loses ice in the summer, but no one bothers to mention that we only began collecting data on it in 1979, at the end of the second-coldest period in the Arctic in a century. The ice had to be abnormally expanded then.

 

It’s also floating ice, and melting it and doesn’t change sea level at all. And, for all the headlines about loss of ice in Greenland, which does contribute to rising sea levels, the mean temperature there was much higher from 1910 through 1940. Between then and the late 1990s, temperatures in southern Greenland — the region where ice is melting — declined sharply. One has to presume that Environmental Defense knows this.

 

Around the world, in Antarctica, for the last few decades, average temperatures across the continent have been going down. Snowfall has increased, resulting in more continental ice. In fact, every modern computer simulation of 21st century climate has Antarctica continuing to accrete ice.

 

Ogilvy and Mather marketed their public-service announcements through the Ad Council, whose website says that “reversing the global warming trend is possible.”

 

This suggests that humans have the power to turn planetary warming into cooling — a scientific absurdity. We have neither the technology, the means, the money, nor the political will to do this.

 

Consider the Kyoto Protocol, a “baby step” in the fight against global warming. It “requires” the U.S. to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide to 7% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. Requirements vary by 1% or so for most other signatories such as Canada and the EU nations. Yet if every nation of the world met its Kyoto targets, the amount of warming that would be prevented is .07 degrees Celsius per half-century — an amount too small to even measure, as average surface temperatures fluctuate by about twice that much from year to year.

 

Neither the U.S. nor the EU nor virtually anyone else will be able to fulfill the Kyoto targets. EU emissions rose last year, while U.S. emissions remained unchanged. “Reversing” warming would require reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by 60-80%, which is simply impossible. The world economy would implode.

 

Ogilvy and Mather’s corporate website feature a quote from founder David Ogilvy: “We pursue knowledge the way a pig pursues truffles.” But what about knowledge on hurricanes, ice caps, and the real possibilities with respect to global warming?

 

The best course is one in which we continue to use our economic wherewithal to invest in successful companies, which are generally those that produce things efficiently or produce efficient things. Stating that would be a public service. The ads you’re seeing and hearing are not.

 

— Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and professor of natural resources at Virginia Tech.

 

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U.S. Defends Stance on Global Warming (Christian Post, 061107)

 

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The chief U.S. climate negotiator on Monday defended Washington’s stand against compulsory caps on global-warming emissions, and said the Bush administration was unlikely to change its policy.

 

At the opening of a two-week U.N. treaty conference on climate change, Harlan Watson told reporters the United States is doing better at restraining the growth of such gases voluntarily than some countries committed to reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.

 

“With few exceptions you’re seeing those emissions rise again,” Watson said of countries bound by Kyoto.

 

Developing nations, the European Union, environmentalists and others are urging Washington to sign onto obligatory cuts after 2012 — when Kyoto expires — in emissions of heat-trapping gases blamed by scientists for global warming.

 

“The international community will need to a take much more ambitious action after 2012,” Stavros Dimas, the European Union environment commissioner, said in a statement. What is needed, he said, is “an international consensus,” meaning a controls regime that includes the biggest emitter, the United States.

 

“There is a need for a common commitment,” Kenyan Environment Minister Kivutha Kibwana told the conference, which elected him to a one-year presidency of the body governing the 1992 U.N. treaty on climate change.

 

The 1997 Kyoto accord, an annex to that treaty, requires 35 industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

 

Scientists attribute the past century’s 1-degree rise in average global temperatures at least in part to the accumulation of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — byproducts of power plants, automobiles and other fossil fuel-burning sources.

 

Continued global warming will lead to shifts in climate zones, seas rising from heat expansion and runoff from melted land ice, and more extreme weather, scientists say.

 

Here in Nairobi, the Kyoto countries will continue talks on what kind of emissions targets and timetables should follow 2012. But many, before committing, are waiting to see whether the United States, accounting for 21% of the world’s greenhouse gases, will submit to a mandatory regime of cutbacks. Watson’s words seemed to rule that out for the next two years.

 

He was asked at a news conference whether reported pressure from British Prime Minister Tony Blair might have led to a change of attitude in the Bush administration toward Kyoto-style controls.

 

“I certainly got no indication that there’s any change in our position,” the U.S. negotiator replied, “nor is there likely to be during this presidency.”

 

Watson cited recent U.N. figures showing that, by one measure, the United States is doing better on greenhouse gases than some countries. “The way the numbers are counted, we’re doing very well,” he said.

 

That report showed that growth in U.S. emissions in 2000-2004 was 1.3%, compared with 2.4% overall for 41 industrialized nations.

 

When compared with Kyoto’s 1990 benchmark, however, the picture is different.

 

Largely because of the shutdown of many eastern European industries in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, emissions of all industrialized countries declined by 3.3% between 1990 and 2004, while U.S. emissions grew by almost 16%.

 

Among the Kyoto-obligated countries, Germany’s emissions dropped 17% between 1990 and 2004, Britain’s by 14% and France’s by almost 1%.

 

Japan, Spain and other Kyoto signatories have registered emissions increases since 1990, but U.N. officials say they can meet their Kyoto targets by 2012 via taxes on carbon-based fuels, energy-efficiency regulations and other steps.

 

The Bush administration objects to Kyoto-style mandates because, it says, they would hamstring U.S. economic growth and because poorer countries are exempted from the controls.

 

In counterpoint to this, a British government study released last week predicts the damage from unabated climate change will eventually cost between 5% and 20% of global gross domestic product each year.

 

That report showed that tackling climate change “is a fundamental economic necessity as well,” the Kenyan Kibwana told the conference.

 

“Climate change threatens development goals for billions of the world’s poorest people,” he said.

 

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Experts: Global Warming Threatens Archaeological Sites (Foxnews, 061108)

 

[KH: more unfounded speculations!!

 

NAIROBI, Kenya —  From ancient ruins in Thailand to a 12th-century settlement off Africa’s eastern coast, prized sites around the world have withstood centuries of wars, looting and natural disasters.

 

But experts say they might not survive a more recent menace: a swiftly warming planet.

 

“Our world is changing, there is no going back,” Tom Downing of the Stockholm Environment Institute said Tuesday at the U.N. climate conference, where he released a report on threats to archaeological sites, coastal areas and other treasures.

 

Recent floods attributed to climate change have damaged the 600-year-old ruins of Sukhothai in northern Thailand, the report said, while increasing temperatures are “bleaching” the Belize barrier reef and a rising sea level is sending damaging salt into the wetlands of Donana National Park in Spain.

 

Downing also said the ocean could eventually engulf ancient settlements such as the Old City on Kenya’s Lamu island, which dates to the 12th century and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Lamu is vital to Africa’s history; Omani Arab sultans who ruled the eastern coast of the continent first settled there before moving to Zanzibar. They left behind winding alleyways and an unspoiled 8-mile-long sandy beach that now attracts tourists to Lamu.

 

Thailand’s ruins of Sukhothai — which means “dawn of happiness” — include artifacts from ancient royal palaces, Buddhist temples and city gates. Founded in 1238, Sukhothai was once capital of a Thai kingdom.

 

“Some of the developments we are faced with mean the parks of today may not be relevant tomorrow,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. “Adaptation to climate change should and must include natural and culturally important sites.”

 

He said the response cannot be to simply “lock things up in museums and zoos.” Instead, he said, governments worldwide must act to stem global warming.

 

Scientists attribute the past century’s 1-degree rise in average global temperatures at least in part to the accumulation of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — byproducts of power plants, automobiles and other fossil fuel-burning sources.

 

Continued global warming will lead to shifts in climate zones, seas rising from heat expansion and runoff from melted land ice, and more extreme weather, scientists say.

 

The two-week climate conference, which started Monday, has drawn delegates from around the world to address climate change.

 

The 189 parties to the 1992 U.N. climate treaty are divided into two groups: the 165 that ratified the treaty’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol mandating cutbacks in greenhouse gases, and a handful of others, led by the United States, that did not.

 

Under the Kyoto accord, 35 industrial countries are obliged to reduce their emissions by 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

 

President Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, saying it would hamstring the U.S. economy and objecting that it excluded poorer countries from its mandates.

 

Downing, who wrote “The Atlas of Climate Change,” with Kirstin Dow of the University of South Carolina, said the report will help people see that climate change goes beyond extreme weather and higher temperatures.

 

“These are losses that affect all of us,” he said. “All of us will feel the loss of our culture.”

 

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Study: Global Warming Killing Some Species (Christian Post, 061121)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Animal and plant species have begun dying off or changing sooner than predicted because of global warming, a review of hundreds of research studies contends.

 

These fast-moving adaptations come as a surprise even to biologists and ecologists because they are occurring so rapidly.

 

At least 70 species of frogs, mostly mountain-dwellers that had nowhere to go to escape the creeping heat, have gone extinct because of climate change, the analysis says. It also reports that between 100 and 200 other cold-dependent animal species, such as penguins and polar bears are in deep trouble.

 

“We are finally seeing species going extinct,” said University of Texas biologist Camille Parmesan, author of the study. “Now we’ve got the evidence. It’s here. It’s real. This is not just biologists’ intuition. It’s what’s happening.”

 

Her review of 866 scientific studies is summed up in the journal Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics.

 

Parmesan reports seeing trends of animal populations moving northward if they can, of species adapting slightly because of climate change, of plants blooming earlier, and of an increase in pests and parasites.

 

Parmesan and others have been predicting such changes for years, but even she was surprised to find evidence that it’s already happening; she figured it would be another decade away.

 

Just five years ago biologists, though not complacent, figured the harmful biological effects of global warming were much farther down the road, said Douglas Futuyma, professor of ecology and evolution at the State University of New York in Stony Brook.

 

“I feel as though we are staring crisis in the face,” Futuyma said. “It’s not just down the road somewhere. It is just hurtling toward us. Anyone who is 10 years old right now is going to be facing a very different and frightening world by the time that they are 50 or 60.”

 

While over the past several years studies have shown problems with certain species, animal populations or geographic areas, Parmesan’s is the first comprehensive analysis showing the big picture of global-warming induced changes, said Chris Thomas, a professor of conservation biology at the University of York in England.

 

While it’s impossible to prove conclusively that the changes are the result of global warming, the evidence is so strong and other supportable explanations are lacking, Thomas said, so it is “statistically virtually impossible that these are just chance observations.”

 

The most noticeable changes in plants and animals have to do with earlier springs, Parmesan said. The best example can be seen in earlier cherry blossoms and grape harvests and in 65 British bird species that in general are laying their first eggs nearly nine days earlier than 35 years ago.

 

Parmesan said she worries most about the cold-adapted species, such as emperor penguins that have dropped from 300 breeding pairs to just nine in the western Antarctic Peninsula, or polar bears, which are dropping in numbers and weight in the Arctic.

 

The cold-dependent species on mountaintops have nowhere to go, which is why two-thirds of a certain grouping of frog species have already gone extinct, Parmesan said.

 

Populations of animals that adapt better to warmth or can move and live farther north are adapting better than other populations in the same species, Parmesan said.

 

“We are seeing a lot of evolution now,” Parmesan said. However, no new gene mutations have shown themselves, she said.

 

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CO2 and alarmism (Washington Times, 061219)

 

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently addressing a question of crucial importance to the U.S. economy: Is carbon dioxide, from fossil-fuel burning for energy production a “pollutant” that requires regulation? The petitioners, led by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, demand regulation — interpreting the Clean Air Act differently than the respondent, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

CO2 is non-toxic and naturally present in the atmosphere — but also a greenhouse (GH) gas and therefore a potential cause of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

 

The oral arguments and scientific amicus curiae briefs, pro and con, never addressed the basic issue: Is CO2 the principal cause of current warming? The plaintiff’s amici included two Nobelists in chemistry — although this tactic may backfire when law clerks discover that the two have little demonstrated competence in disciplines relevant to the issue.

 

Absence of good science is evident in the arcane legal dispute about “standing.” To buttress his claim that anthropogenic global warming would injure Massachusetts, its assistant attorney general, James Milkey, invoked sea-level rise and loss of coastal lands, relying on a previous affidavit but suggesting the court not inquire into its merits. Indeed, his opponent, Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre, did not challenge him. Yet Mr. Milkey’s argument is seriously flawed.

 

All available data show that global sea levels have risen 400 feet since the peak of the most recent ice age 18,000 years ago. In recent millennia, the rate has been 18 cm (7 inches) per century — and there is good argument for this rate to continue until the next ice age. Tidal gauges around the world show no acceleration during the 20th century but only a steady rise — in spite of strong global warming before 1940.

 

How can this be? Evidently, the rise expected from melting glaciers and a warmer, expanding ocean is largely offset by loss of water from increased ocean evaporation and consequent more ice accumulation on the Antarctic continent. Hence, a short-lived warm period (lasting decades or even centuries) would not accelerate the ongoing sea-level rise of 18 cm per century. In other words, no harm to Massachusetts from anthropogenic global warming.

 

This idea, discussed in my book “Hot Talk, Cold Science,” seems to be penetrating to more climate scientists. For example, in 1990, the U.N.-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated a “best-value” rise of 66 cm by the year 2100; in 1996, the U.N. panel reported 49 cm (with a range of 13-94 cm); in 2001, the U.N. panel gave 9-88 cm, while the 2007 report estimates a more reasonable range of 14-43 cm. By contrast, the affidavit Mr. Milkey relies on gives 58 — and as much as 130 cm. Incidentally, James Hansen, an amicus for the petitioners, claims up to 600 cm by 2100. Evidently, Mr. Hansen — and Al Gore, who listens to him — are climate contrarians.

 

It is strange that both briefs ignore the only relevant evidence, published in May 2006 by the federal Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). Instead, the petitioners give undue weight to a hurriedly assembled National Academy report of June 2001. They are 90% sure that current warming is anthropogenic but don’t explain why. By contrast, the federal climate-change program report shows quite clearly that greenhouse models cannot explain the observed patterns of warming. (See esp. Fig. 5.4G at www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm.) This disparity leads to the inescapable conclusion that most of the warming is of non-greenhouse origin and therefore part of a natural climate cycle. In other words, models exaggerate the effects of CO2, and even drastic efforts to control emissions are unlikely to affect global climate.

 

In fact, there is good reason to consider rising CO2 levels a blessing — a thesis supported by published economic studies. Agronomists agree that, as the essential plant food, more CO2 would enhance growth of crops and forests. Longer growing seasons and fewer frosts would benefit agriculture. Further, ocean warming inevitably increases evaporation and therefore precipitation, raising global supplies of fresh water. In addition, most warming would occur mainly at night in winter at high latitudes. Such warming may delay or even cancel the next ice age, expected to follow the present warm interglacial period.

 

Thus, the drive to regulate CO2 — and effectively control energy — appears to be based on ideology rather than science or any real concern about climate. Quoting Lenin: “The establishment of socialism in capitalist nations requires only targeting their supply of energy.”

 

Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and a former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. His most recent book is “Unstoppable Global Warming — Every 1500 Years.”

 

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Christian Scientists Counter Popular Warming Beliefs (Christian Post, 061219)

 

Scientists from a California faith think tank said that although global warming is real, they disagree with the popular notion that global warming is caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels.

 

“We tend to think Earth’s climate will always be optimal for human civilization if we just take better care of it,” stated astronomer Hugh Ross, founder and president of the science-faith think tank Reasons to Believe, in a statement Monday. “When we put emotion and politics aside and take a rational look at our planet’s history, we actually see something quite different.”

 

According to Ross, the earth’s ice and sediment cores show that the global climate has “oscillated” many times over the past four million years and changes are caused by alterations in the Earth’s orbit.

 

“Each cycle lasts about 100,000 years with an ice age typically taking up 90,000 of those years, and a global warming effect, the other 10,000 years,” he noted.

 

UCLA astronomer Dr. Jeff Zweerink, who recently joined the ministry, agreed that there are many causes to global warming beside human activities. He said that fossil fuel burnings, contrary to what many believe, is not the main cause of global warming. Zweerink, as example, said the breeding and domestication of cows and cultivation of rice is more harmful than “driving too many SUV’s.”

 

The scientists pointed to the “Journal of Quaternary Science,” which states that over the last 8,000 years cattle farming and rice crop cultivation have nearly doubled the quantity of methane in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, deforestation has increased the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that trap the sun’s heat.

 

“The bottom line here is that there are dozens of physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to both heating and cooling the planet,” said Ross. “When any one of these factors gets out of balance with the others, Earth is at risk of losing its optimal climate for human civilization.

 

Recently, evangelical Christians have become more concerned and active in the global warming issue.

 

In November, 30 college students representing more than 1,500 young evangelicals from 41 states presented a statement in the nation’s capitol urging the government and religious leaders to take stronger action against global warming.

 

Earlier this year, the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI), an initiative by evangelical leaders to fight global warming, was launched with 85 influential Christian leaders as signers. ECI now boast 102 signers including Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and Jack Hayford.

 

The ECI statement differs with Ross and his team at Reasons to Believe by stating the main cause of global warming is human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels. The statement cited the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPPC), a leading global body of scientists and policy experts on the issue of global warming, for support that “most of the warming” is due to human activities.

 

The Reasons to Believe founder concluded by emphasizing the “delicate balance” needed among “multiple and diverse natural processes and human activities.” He noted it would be “naïve at best” to believe global warming can be stopped by simply reducing fossil fuel combustion and altering industrial processes.

 

“Scientifically speaking this intricate balance, designed specifically for humanity’s benefit, is no accident,” concluded Ross. “The amazing fine tuning observed in all these complex processes gives us a clear picture of a Creator who exquisitely prepared a place for humans to live in and to launch—at least for awhile—a global high-tech civilization.”

 

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Over 1,500 Young Evangelicals Take On Global Warming Issue (Christian Post, 061219)

 

WASHINGTON – College students representing more than 1,500 young evangelicals from 41 states have presented a statement urging government and religious leaders to take definitive action against global warming.

 

The statement entitled, “Cooling Our Future: A Declaration by Young Evangelicals on Climate Change,” was presented on Thursday by 30 students from Christian colleges. In the declaration’s opening, students expressed their concern about global warming as “the degradation of God’s creation.”

 

Richard Cizik, the National Association of Evangelicals’ vice president for governmental affairs, was among the Christian leaders who spoke to the young evangelicals at the press conference at Riverside Church on Friday.

 

He warned young evangelical leaders of the obstacles and difficulties they will face in raising the issue, but assured them that the movement has already been started by Christian leaders. Cizik pointed to the signers of the “Evangelical Climate Initiative” – a statement which expressed a biblically-based commitment of evangelical leaders to curb global warming – as example.

 

ECI, which the students are associated with, was released in February and contained at the time the signatures of more than 85 influential evangelical leaders including author of the best-seller The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Dr. Jack Hayford, World Vision president Rich Stearns, and Wheaton College president Duane Litfin.

 

Jim Ball, the national coordinator of ECI, announced on Thursday that there are now 102 evangelical leaders that have signed the initiative including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church.

 

During their stay in Washington this week, the student delegation talked with members of Congress about the need for legislation to control global warming pollution. In addition, letters were sent to President Bush and Congressional leaders to urge them to take stronger measures in the issue.

 

“Climate change is a crisis for all of us,” said Ben Lowe, a Wheaton College student who is part of the delegation to Washington in a statement. “Climate change is a crisis for all of us, and must be addressed as such. As young evangelicals, we hope that our government leaders will tackle the challenge of reducing global warming pollution. Making the world safer for our generation, and for their grandchildren, is not exclusively Republican or Democratic; it is a moral issue, and the faithful expression of God’s people.”

 

Representatives of the young evangelicals in Washington include students from Wheaton College, Abilene Christian University, Point Loma Nazarene, Azusa Pacific University, and Houghton College.

 

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Canadian Ice Shelf Breaks Free, Forms New Island (Foxnews, 061229)

 

TORONTO —  A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a “major” reason for the event.

 

The Ayles Ice Shelf — all 41 square miles of it — broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic.

 

Scientists discovered the event by using satellite imagery. Within one hour of breaking free, the shelf had formed as a new ice island, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

 

Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, traveled to the newly formed ice island and couldn’t believe what he saw.

 

“This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years,” Vincent said. “We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead.”

 

The ice shelf was one of six major shelves remaining in Canada’s Arctic. They are packed with ancient ice that is more than 3,000 years old. They float on the sea but are connected to land.

 

Some scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in Canada in 30 years and that climate change was a major element.

 

“It is consistent with climate change,” Vincent said, adding that the remaining ice shelves are 90% smaller than when they were first discovered in 1906. “We aren’t able to connect all of the dots ... but unusually warm temperatures definitely played a major role.”

 

Laurie Weir, who monitors ice conditions for the Canadian Ice Service, was poring over satellite images in 2005 when she noticed that the shelf had split and separated.

 

Weir notified Luke Copland, head of the new global ice lab at the University of Ottawa, who initiated an effort to find out what happened.

 

Using U.S. and Canadian satellite images, as well as seismic data — the event registered on earthquake monitors 155 miles away — Copland discovered that the ice shelf collapsed in the early afternoon of Aug. 13, 2005.

 

Copland said the speed with which climate change has effected the ice shelves has surprised scientists.

 

“Even 10 years ago scientists assumed that when global warming changes occur that it would happen gradually so that perhaps we expected these ice shelves just to melt away quite slowly,” he said.

 

Derek Mueller, a polar researcher with Vincent’s team, said the ice shelves get weaker and weaker as temperatures rise. He visited Ellesmere Island in 2002 and noticed that another ice shelf had cracked in half.

 

“We’re losing our ice shelves and this a feature of the landscape that is in danger of disappearing altogether from Canada,” Mueller said.

 

Within days of breaking free, the Ayles Ice Shelf drifted about 30 miles offshore before freezing into the sea ice. A spring thaw may bring another concern: that warm temperatures will release the new ice island from its Arctic grip, making it an enormous hazard for ships.

 

“Over the next few years this ice island could drift into populated shipping routes,” Weir said.

 

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Scientists Say 2007 May Be Warmest Yet (Christian Post, 070104)

 

LONDON (AP) - A resurgent El Nino and persistently high levels of greenhouse gases are likely to make 2007 the world’s hottest year ever recorded, British climate scientists said Thursday.

 

Britain’s Meteorological Office said there was a 60% probability that 2007 would break the record set by 1998, which was 1.20 degrees over the long-term average.

 

“This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world,” the office said.

 

The reason for the forecast is mostly due to El Nino, a cyclical warming trend now under way in the Pacific Ocean. The event occurs irregularly — the last one happened in 2002 — and typically leads to increased temperatures worldwide.

 

While this year’s El Nino is not as strong as it was in 1997 and 1998, its combination with the steady increase of temperatures due to global warming from human activity may be enough to break the Earth’s temperature record, said Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia.

 

“Because of the warming due to greenhouse gases, even a moderate warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top,” he said.

 

“El Nino is an independent variable,” he said. “But the underlying trends in the warming of the Earth is almost certainly due to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

 

El Nino can sometimes lead to milder weather, such as in the in the northeastern United States or the Atlantic Ocean, which is likely to see fewer hurricanes this year. However, it can also increase the severity of weather-related disasters, such as typhoons in the Philippines or drought in southern Africa and Australia, a country that is already suffering through its longest dry spell on record.

 

Environmental groups said the report added weight to the movement to control greenhouse gases.

 

“The evidence that we’re doing something very dangerous with the climate is now amassing,” said Campaign against Climate Change coordinator Philip Thornhill.

 

“We need to put the energy and priority (into climate change) that is being put into a war effort. It’s a political struggle to get action done — and these reports help,” Thornhill said.

 

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Warm December Pushes 2006 to Record Year (Christian Post, 070110)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Last year was the warmest on record for the United States, with readings pushed over higher than normal by the unusual and unseasonably warm weather during the last half of December.

 

Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center listed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states last year as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 2.2 degrees warmer than average and 0.07 degree warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record.

 

Worldwide, the agency said, it was the sixth warmest year on record.

 

In December the Center had predicted that 2006 would be the United States’ third warmest year, but unusual readings later that month pushed the year into first place.

 

The Center said it is not clear how much of the warming is a result of greenhouse-gas induced climate change and how much resulted from the current El Nino warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

 

El Nino conditions occur every few years in the Pacific and can affect climate around the world, including producing warmer conditions in the United States.

 

The average U.S. and global temperature are both about 1 degree warmer than at the start of the 20th century, a change many scientists attribute to gases released into the atmosphere by industrial processes.

 

The temperature data was collected from a network of more than 1,200 stations across the country.

 

The climate center said the unusual warmth in early winter reduced residential energy needs by 13.5% compared to average conditions for the season.

 

While December started cold, spring-like conditions reigned in the eastern states during the last half of the month, making it the nation’s fourth warmest December. Five states had their warmest December on record — Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire. No state was colder than average in December.

 

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Evangelicals, Scientists Team Up to Battle Global Warming (Christian Post, 060116)

[KH: Two issues that the Devil uses to split the evangelical Christians: global warming and gender-neutral Bibles. Now the involvement by Carter and Clinton in liberal Baptist churches is another.]

 

WASHINGTON – Prominent evangelicals and scientists announced a new partnership to take care of the Earth and curb global warming.

 

The two bodies prior to the joint effort had a history of strong differences over the origin of life.

 

However, both parties agreed to put aside their differences and work together on combating environmental problems.

 

“Whether God created the Earth in a millisecond or whether it evolved over billions of years, the issue we agree on is that it needs to be cared for today,” said Rich Cizik, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, in a statement.

 

Evangelical Christian leaders and leading scientists recently met in Georgia for the Melhana Retreat where both sides discussed how to care for the Earth.

 

“We scientists and evangelicals have discovered that we share a deeply felt common concern and sense of urgency about threats to life on Earth,” said Eric Chivian, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

 

The issue of global warming and “creation care,” as some Christians call it, is not new to evangelicals.

 

In November, college students representing more than 1,500 young evangelicals visited the nation’s capitol to press the government and religious leaders to take stronger action against global warming. NAE’s Cizik was among the Christian leaders that spoke to the young evangelicals.

 

At the beginning of last year, a landmark statement called the Evangelical Climate Initiative was released where Christian signers pledged to fight global warming. The initiative is now signed by more than 100 influential evangelical leaders including author of the The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel’s Dr. Jack Hayford, and more recently Willow Creek Community Church’s Bill Hybels.

 

Yet not all evangelicals agree on the warming issue. Astronomer Hugh Ross, founder and president of the science-faith think tank Reasons to Believe, although admitting the earth is warming, said that it is not all due to human activities. Ross advised Christians to take a more comprehensive approach to the global warming issue rather than only attributing the temperature rise to fossil fuel burnings.

 

He gave as example that the warming can be natural due to alterations in the Earth’s orbit, the breeding and domestication of cows, and the cultivation of rice.

 

“The bottom line here is that there are dozens of physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to both heating and cooling the planet,” said Ross. “When any one of these factors gets out of balance with the others, Earth is at risk of losing its optimal climate for human civilization.”

 

A conference will be held in Washington on Wednesday to unveil the joint statement resulting from the recent retreat.

 

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Global warming policy perils (Washington Times, 070117)

 

By Robert L. Bradley Jr.

 

Faced with problems, humans look for solutions; that is part of who we are. Sometimes, though, solutions are tried before the problem (or what appears to be a problem) is understood. In such cases, problem-solving can be futile and, worse, counterproductive. Job One, therefore, is to stop and think about the issue at hand.

 

Nowhere is caution against an open-ended regime of tax-spend-regulate more necessary than with climate-change policy. The emotional, politicized debate over global warming has produced a fire-ready-aim mentality, despite great and still growing scientific uncertainty about the problem. For example, recent issues of Science magazine (published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) have questioned three of Al Gore’s pet alarms: more intense hurricanes, disruption of the Atlantic Ocean’s climate-regulating currents, and a rapid rise of sea level.

 

After the devastating 2005 hurricane season, a hypothesis emerged that heated waters from an enhanced greenhouse effect translated into more intense hurricanes. Many hurricane specialists disagreed, but the newborn hypothesis made headlines. Then the unusually mild hurricane season of 2006 followed. And the Nov. 10, 2006, issue of Science reports: “The best theory and modeling still indicate that ocean temperature has only a minimal direct effect on storms.”

 

The very next issue of Science neutered another popular alarm: that melting ice from the enhanced greenhouse effect would disrupt the Atlantic “conveyor belt” responsible for Europe’s mild climate. This hypothesis, several years old, also made headlines. But the title of the Nov. 17 article says: “False alarm: Atlantic conveyor belt hasn’t slowed down after all.”

 

An accelerating rise in sea level is another scare that is prominent in Al Gore’s book/movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” But an article in the Nov. 24 issue of Science says current observational data indicate melting ice sheets “presently contribute little to sea-level rise.” A recent uptick in the sea-level rise may be due to “a natural fluctuation on a decadal time scale,” but “comprehensive modeling of [ice sheet] dynamical effects is in its infancy.”

 

The dispute over climate-change policy only begins with climatology. In addition, climate economists debate whether the costs of climate change exceed the benefits under moderate warming scenarios, after factoring in such things as the enhanced carbon dioxide fertilization of plant life. And economists are debating whether adaptation to climate change is better than trying to ramp down the consumer-driven fossil-fuel economy.

 

Political scientists, meanwhile, worry about the ability of government to pass and enforce laws to constrain greenhouse gas emissions. The concern is that special interests will dominate any regulation, and solutions will be “gamed” by commercial interests. Thus, climate policy will do little except drive up energy prices for consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere.

 

Still, climate alarmists demand a multitude of do-somethings to address a problem they are sure exists and is solvable. No job is too big for government, because they welcome bigger and bigger government. They pronounce the debate over in their favor and call their critics names, such as “deniers” (as in Holocaust deniers). This has created a bad climate for scientific research and for policymaking. In fact, the debate is more than unsettled; it is giving a harsh verdict on Al Gore’s scary scenarios.

 

The new Congress has focused on energy policy in its first 100 hours, and President Bush is likely to highlight energy in the upcoming State of the Union address. The list of do-somethings to address global warming, already large, could grow. A billion here and there in government subsidies could soon become billions. But how much of this will be used to buy votes rather than effect change? And even if the money is spent in good faith, do we know enough about global climate for government to re-engineer (or reverse engineer) it? What about energy consumers who choose fossil fuels 24-7 because they are cheaper, more reliable and more convenient? How far will taxpayers go down the “sustainable energy” road? What is the exit strategy if government planning in the name of “stabilizing climate” is a bust?

 

A National Academy of Sciences study pointed out, in reference to climate policy: “Errors of doing too much can be as consequential as errors of doing too little; the error of trying to solve the wrong problem is as likely as the error of failing to act.” Given the importance of wealth in adapting to change of any kind, it is critical we not waste money and resources on mandated conversions to inferior energies or a forced energy diet.

 

Keeping energy plentiful and affordable, and building wealth to deal with problems when they are actually known, is the best climate policy for today.

 

Robert L. Bradley Jr. is president of the Institute for Energy Research in Houston and author of “Climate Alarmism Reconsidered,” published by London’s Institute of Economic Affairs in 2003.

 

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New Report Backs Evangelical-Scientist Global Warming Claims (Christian Post, 070125)

 

A new report by an international panel of top climate scientists supports claims by the newly formed evangelical-scientist climate change coalition that global warming is caused mainly by human activities.

 

The report blames mainly fossil fuel burning for the rise in global temperatures, according to CBS news, which obtained a final draft of the study ahead of its publication next week. The name of the organization publishing the report was left unidentified.

 

“As we add to those gases, we are just doing the same thing as putting another blanket on our bed at night,” said Sir David King, British chief government scientific adviser, according to CBS in an article Wednesday. “The consequences are that you get warmer, and that is as simple as it is.”

 

King was referring to greenhouse gases, some of which occur naturally in the atmosphere, and which some believe have risen in concentration due to human activities producing an increase in the average temperature of the Earth.

 

The debate on global warming has flared among evangelicals lately with the release of last week’s joint statement by evangelicals and scientists. The coalition - brought together by the Rev. Rich Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Eric Chivian, Nobel laureate and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School - called for “fundamental changes” in private and public consumption of energy among other factors that contribute to global warming.

 

But not all evangelicals agree with the coalition that humans are to blame for global warming. The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance and other evangelicals have spoken out against the coalition, arguing that global warming is caused naturally by changes such as alternations in the Earth’s orbit and solar energy and solar wind output. Opposing evangelicals, however, agree with Cizik and the coalition that Christians have a responsibility to care for God’s creation.

 

The global warming issue has not only concerned evangelicals and scientists, but a growing number of Americans are troubled by the rise in the Earth’s temperature.

 

A recent poll by CBS news, conducted on Jan. 18-21, with 1,168 American adults found that 70% of Americans now think that global warming is an environmental problem causing a serious impact. The percentage is up from 67% last year.

 

The evangelical-scientist coalition is calling on President Bush, congressmen, churches and scientific organizations to help change values, lifestyles, and public policies to address the warming problem.

 

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Blame It on Global Warming? (Foxnews, 070129)

 

Some delegates at a climate change conference in London are blaming global warming for terrorism. Experts at the conference say global warming can exacerbate the divide between rich and poor, help radicalize populations and spark terrorism.

 

They say rising sea levels and desertification could spawn massive refugee flow and overpopulation — which will in turn lead to increased regional tensions and terrorist violence. One scientist noted that Usama bin Laden has already listed environmental damage among his many grievances against the U.S.

 

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Of nuts, Chicken Little and global warming (townhall.com, 070131)

 

By Jon Sanders

 

In the fable of Chicken Little, an acorn hits the title character’s head, she concludes that the sky is falling, she convinces her barnyard pals of the same, they rush pell-mell to tell the king, and on the way get eaten by a fox.

 

The lesson of Chicken Little is that all that’s required to start a panic is just one nut. A natural phenomenon boggles Little’s brain, her hysterical squawking scares her community into a rush for government action, and from an imaginary future threat they run smack into the jaws of a real present one.

 

The moral of the story depends on who you are. If you’re a Chicken Little or you know one, it’s don’t jump to conclusions, don’t panic, don’t believe everything you’re told, and don’t buy into mass hysteria.

 

If you’re a fox, the moral is toss a few nuts at the hysterical types and go put the kettle on. And this Friday, Feb. 2, it’s going to be a veritable nutstorm. That’s when, we’re told, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its “smoking gun” report on human-caused global warming. The foxes are already licking their chops.

 

Contrary to popular perception, however, the IPCC won’t release the actual report until May. Friday’s the day the IPCC releases its Summary for Policymakers. Not only does the IPCC plan to give policy meddlers three months’ lead time without fear of challenge from what’s in the report (a problem previous summaries have suffered) — they’re also prepared to edit the report after the fact. The IPCC procedures document says that “Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.”

 

The foxy barrage-of-nuts approach has been the standard approach to building community consensus for federal action on global warming at least since 1989, when Stanford biological sciences professor Stephen Schneider told Discover Magazine that October, “We [scientists] need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

 

Among others, Al Gore agrees with that approach. Last year he told the environmentalist magazine Grist, “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations” – what a euphemism! – “on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”

 

And boy have we been getting some dramatic, scary, “over-represented” scenarios in the media. They are so prevalent it’s probably unnecessary to provide examples, but here are some recent ones anyway:

 

Time magazine’s April 3, 2006 cover declared: “BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED. Climate change isn’t some vague future problem — it’s already damaging the planet at an alarming pace. Here’s how it affects you, your kids and their kids as well.”

 

The film “The Day After Tomorrow,” in the words of its advertisement, “takes a big-budget, special-effects-filled look at what the world would look like if the greenhouse effect and global warming continued at such levels that they resulted in worldwide catastrophe and disaster, including multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of the next Ice Age.” Similar films included the CBS disaster epic “Category 7: The End of the World” (the title say it all) and Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” whose poster depicts a hurricane spinning out of an industrial smokestack.

 

Matt Lauer, in his “Countdown to Doomsday” special report on the SciFi Channel June 14, 2006, spoke of “the threat of super volcanoes ... We’re living on the edge of a mass extinction. ... Massive tornados in Los Angeles are just some of the ways that global warming wreaks death and destruction around the world in the movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’ The movie’s nightmarish scenario is not as far fetched as it may seem. ... If the ocean gets warm enough, the methane will defrost and rise from the ocean into the atmosphere. Global warming will suddenly get a steroid injection. If that happens, we will be past the tipping point. Colossal hurricanes would hammer the globe. The oceans would become too hot to support much life. Droughts, forest fires, and famine would rage across the continents. Florida would be gone, completely swallowed by the rising ocean, as well as hundreds of cities all around the world.”

 

Film critic Roger Ebert, in his June 2, 2006 review of Gore’s film: “Global warming is real. It is caused by human activity. Mankind and its governments must begin immediate action to halt and reverse it. If we do nothing, in about 10 years the planet may reach a “tipping point” and begin a slide toward destruction of our civilization and most of the other species on this planet. After that point is reached, it would be too late for any action.... Am I acting as an advocate in this review? Yes, I am. I believe that to be ‘impartial’ and ‘balanced’ on global warming means one must take a position like Gore’s. There is no other view that can be defended.”

 

On March 22, 2006, CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley equated scientists skeptical of global warming with “Holocaust deniers,” and on December 21, 2006, The Weather Channel meteorologist Heidi Cullen advocated that the American Meteorological Society not give its “Seal of Approval” to meteorologists who are skeptical of man-made climate change.

 

And those are but a dip of the cup in the roiling river of media climate-change hyperbole. It’s already enough to drown out the Y2K paranoia of late December ‘99 and the bird-flu fright of ‘06. And brother, if you think you’re heard hysteria before, you just wait till Friday. You ain’t heard nothing yet.

 

Come Friday, about the only thing you won’t have heard is the actual report.

 

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U.N. Report: Global Warming Man-Made, Basically Unstoppable (Foxnews, 070202)

 

PARIS —  Scientists from 113 countries issued a landmark report Friday saying they have little doubt global warming is caused by man, and predicting that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level will “continue for centuries” no matter how much humans control their pollution.

 

A top U.S. government scientist, Susan Solomon, said “there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities.”

 

Environmental campaigners urged the United States and other industrial nations to significantly cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in response to the long-awaited report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

 

“It is critical that we look at this report ... as a moment where the focus of attention will shift from whether climate change is linked to human activity, whether the science is sufficient, to what on earth are we going to do about it,” said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.

 

“The public should not sit back and say ‘There’s nothing we can do’,” Steiner said. “Anyone who would continue to risk inaction on the basis of the evidence presented here will one day in the history books be considered irresponsible.”

 

The 21-page report represents the most authoritative science on global warming as the panel comprises hundreds of scientists and representatives.

 

It only addresses how and why the planet is warming, not what to do about it.

 

Another report by the panel later this year will address the most effective measures for slowing global warming.

 

One of the authors, Kevin Trenberth, said scientists are worried that world leaders will take the message in the wrong way and throw up their hands.

 

Instead, world leaders should to reduce emissions and adapt to a warmer world with wilder weather, he said.

 

“This is just not something you can stop. We’re just going to have to live with it,” said Trenberth, the director of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “We’re creating a different planet. If you were to come up back in 100 years time, we’ll have a different climate.”

 

The scientists said global warming was “very likely” caused by human activity, a phrase that translates to a more than 90% certainty that it is caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels. That was the strongest conclusion to date, making it nearly impossible to say natural forces are to blame. [KH: nearly impossible??]

 

It also said no matter how much civilization slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and sea level rise will continue on for centuries.

 

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level,” the scientists said.

 

The report blamed man-made emissions of greenhouse gases for fewer cold days, hotter nights, killer heat waves, floods and heavy rains, devastating droughts, and an increase in hurricane and tropical storm strength — particularly in the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Sharon Hays, associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, welcomed the strong language of the report.

 

“It’s a significant report. It will be valuable to policy makers,” she told The Associated Press in an interview in Paris.

 

Hays stopped short of saying whether or how the report could bring about change in President Bush’s policy about greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The panel predicted global average temperature rises of 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. That was a wider range than in the 2001 report.

 

However, the panel also said its best estimate was for temperature rises of 3.2 to 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2001, all the panel gave was a range of 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

On sea levels, the report projects rises of 7 to 23 inches by the end of the century. An additional 3.9 to 7.8 inches are possible if recent, surprising melting of polar ice sheets continues.

 

The panel, created by the United Nations in 1988, releases its assessments every five or six years, although scientists have been observing aspects of climate change since as far back as the 1960s. The reports are released in phases; this is the first of four this year.

 

“The point here is to highlight what will happen if we don’t do something and what will happen if we do something,” said another author, Jonathan Overpeck at the University of Arizona. “I can tell if you will decide not to do something the impacts will be much larger than if we do something.”

 

As the report was being released, environmental activists repelled off a Paris bridge and draped a banner over a statue used often as a popular gauge of whether the Seine River is running high.

 

“Alarm bells are ringing. The world must wake up to the threat posed by climate change,” said Catherine Pearce of Friends of the Earth.

 

Stephanie Tunmore of Greenpeace said “if the last IPCC report was a wake up call, this one is a screaming siren.”

 

“The good news is our understanding of the climate system and our impact on it has improved immensely. The bad news is that the more we know, the more precarious the future looks,” Tunmore said in a statement. “There’s a clear message to governments here, and the window for action is narrowing fast.”

 

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Global Warming and Other Urban Legends (townhall.com, 070202)

 

By Burt Prelutsky

 

I don’t know how long urban legends have been with us, or why it is we never hear about rural or even suburban legends, but it seems to me there’s been a major change in these silly things over the past few years.

 

It used to be that one would hear about little carnival turtles being flushed down toilets and morphing into huge man-eating tortoises in the city’s sewer systems. Or occasionally one would hear tell of a boa constrictor mysteriously showing up in some city dweller’s apartment. Another popular urban myth concerned a cuckold filling up his rival’s car, typically a convertible, with cement.

 

But these days, the most common folk tale is that every kid who is killed by a cop or a gang member is an honor student, sort of the way that tabloids used to identify every hooker who was ever arrested or murdered as a Hollywood starlet.

 

I first became aware of this phenomenon when my son was in high school. At least every other month, or so it seemed, I would read about some poor innocent teenager, invariably an honor student, being shot down in the street. Nearly without fail, when I’d ask my son if he knew the victim, he’d inform me that the 10th or 11th grader was a known drug dealer.

 

In the area of youthful criminality, things have become so absurd that whenever a black or Hispanic teenager is arrested, we are assured by his mother, his attorney and a complicit media, that he’s the one who is the victim — a victim of a bigoted white society and a racist police force. Not too long ago, a 13-year-old punk here in L.A. swiped a car, went joy-riding, and when he was finally cornered, tried to drive over a cop. When the officer shot him in self defense, his mother was treated like the parent of a martyr. Nobody dared ask her where she was and what she was doing when the adolescent was out on the streets committing mayhem at 4 a.m.

 

Funny, for years whites were told we were never to refer to blacks, no matter their age, as boys. But let one of these teenage gang-bangers get collared for anything from rioting to rape and, suddenly, everyone from their lawyers to the editorial staff at the L.A. Times is insisting they’re only boys, just tots, mere toddlers.

 

The other big lie that’s caught on in a big way is global warming. I suspect this is strictly an urban legend because in rural America, farmers have the experience and the commonsense to recognize the cyclical nature of climate.

 

Because of the unusually cold winter we’ve been having here in Southern California, I’ve given a good deal of thought to the subject. What I find so fascinating about it is that Al Gore’s disciples are able to explain all types of weather as a result of it. If it’s unseasonably warm, we not only know why, but we know we can lay the blame on those rotters driving their gas-guzzling SUVs to the supermarket. It might even sound reasonable if you were unaware that changes in the earth’s weather occur on an irregularly regular basis, and that just a short time ago these same junk scientists were warning us about global cooling and the impending modern ice age.

 

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, freezing cold weather is also blamed on global warming! In other words, no matter what the result is, the cause remains the same.

 

In a way, it reminds me a lot of religion. If you really truly believe, God gets all the credit for everything. If something wonderful occurs, it’s because of God’s inate goodness. But when it’s something awful — something like an earthquake, childhood leukemia or a holocaust — the faithful will insist, “God moves in mysterious ways. We can’t hope to read His mind, but we know He has His reasons.”

 

I am not a religious person, but if I’m going to accept anything on faith, I would prefer to lay my money on an invisible force than on Al Gore. The one, after all, somehow managed to create the seas and the stars, dogs, deer, peaches, sunsets and Man, himself; and also found the time to act as a muse for Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Jefferson and, I suspect, the fellow who invented baseball. On the other hand, we have Al Gore, the pumpkin-headed schnook who couldn’t even carry his home state in a presidential election and claims to have created the Internet, but never quite around to getting a patent.

 

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Political Agenda? (Foxnews, 070205)

 

Some scientists say the summary of the U.N. climate change report we told you about earlier distorts the actual scientific findings — because of a political agenda. Cybercast News Service cites MIT professor Richard Lindzen — who worked on the last U.N. climate report — as saying the summary is primarily the work of political appointees — not scientists.

 

Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl says that if an error is found in the summary — the technical report will be “adjusted” for consistency — a practice he calls “scientific misconduct.”

 

And Scientist Christopher Landsea of the National Hurricane Center says he resigned from the U.N. panel because its statements to the media were “far outside current scientific understandings.”

 

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Planet Gore (National Review Online, 070205)

 

By The Editors

 

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a summary of its latest report. This has had the intended effect: generating fresh gloom-and-doom headlines about global warming. “A grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet,” said the New York Times, a representative example. The chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, said, “I hope this report will shock people.”

 

The shock, however, is that the latest summary contains very little that was not in the IPCC’s last report, in 2001. Moreover, what is new represents a pullback from the gloomier claims of 2001. Notwithstanding the authors’ bold assertion of 95-percent confidence that human activity influences global warming, it appears from this short summary of the full 1,400-page report — which, inexplicably, the IPCC won’t release until May — that there has been only slight progress over the past five years in refining our climate models and resolving key uncertainties acknowledged in the last report.

 

The 2001 report identified twelve factors in climate “forcings” (i.e., factors such as greenhouse-gas emissions, clouds, and solar radiation that “force” temperatures higher or lower). These twelve factors went into the computer models to generate predictions about future warming, but the IPCC said in 2001 that the level of scientific understanding for seven of these twelve factors was “very low.” Most of the seven are significant “negative forcings” that cool the planet, and may be underestimated in climate models. The new report has consolidated the twelve factors into just nine; yet the IPCC still says our level of understanding is “low” or “medium-low” for six of the nine.

 

Gone from the latest summary is the infamous “hockey stick” of the 2001 report. This was a graphic purporting to show that the planet is warmer today than at any time in the last thousand years, a demonstration which required erasing the inconvenient medieval warm period and the little ice age. The new IPCC report has also reduced its estimate of the human influence on warming by one-third (though this change was not flagged for the media, so few if any news accounts took notice of it). That reduction is one reason the IPCC narrowed the range of predicted future warming, and lowered the new midpoint — i.e., the most likely prediction of temperature increase — by a half degree, from 3.5 degrees Celsius in 2001 to 3 degrees in this report. The new assessment also cuts in half the range of predicted sea-level rise over the next century. Now the maximum prediction is about 17 inches, as compared with the 20 to 30 feet Al Gore dramatizes in his horror film. (Which truths are inconvenient now?) There are murmurs from the green warriors that the new report is a disappointment, and no wonder.

 

Keep in mind that this summary covers only one of the three IPCC working groups that will report their findings later this year. Good news for insomniacs: The three complete reports, covering science, impacts, and mitigation, will run to nearly 5,000 pages. It’s troubling that, in what seems a clear attempt to spin the media, the IPCC has released only one summary in advance of the complete reports.

 

Climate change is real — the world is warming modestly, and this fact should be taken seriously. But the continuing panic of Gore & Co. in the face of growing evidence that previous predictions were exaggerated and politicized should bolster the position of those who advocate sensible climate policy. Such policy would emphasize development of new energy technologies, and eschew the starvation diet of the Kyoto Protocol.

 

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Global warming ethics, pork and profits (townhall.com, 070206)

 

By Paul Driessen

 

The ink has barely dried on its new code of conduct, and already Congress is redefining ethics and pork to fit a global warming agenda. As Will Rogers observed, “with Congress, every time they make a joke, it’s a law. And every time they make a law, it’s a joke.”

 

However, life-altering, economy-wrecking climate bills are no laughing matter. Nor do they represent corporate social responsibility. That’s why we need to recognize that the Kyoto Protocol and proposed “climate protection” laws will not stabilize the climate, even if CO2 is to blame.

 

It’s why we must acknowledge that money to be made, and power to be gained, from climate alarmism and symbolism is a major reason so many are getting on the climate “consensus” bandwagon.

 

Senate Inquisitors Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller accused ExxonMobil of giving “more than $19 million since the late 1990s” to public policy institutes that promote climate holocaust “denial.” Their slanderous claims notwithstanding, this is less than half of what Pew Charitable Trusts and allied foundations contributed to the Pew Center on Climate Change alone over the same period. It’s a pittance compared to what US environmental groups spent propagating climate chaos hypotheses.

 

It amounts to 30 cents for every $1,000 that the US, EU and UN spent since 1993 (some $80 billion all together) on global warming catastrophe research. And it ignores the fact that the Exxon grants also supported malaria control, Third World economic development and many other efforts.

 

Aside from honest, if unfounded, fears of climate disasters, why might others support climate alarmism?

 

Scientists who use climate change to explain environmental changes improve their chances of getting research grants from foundations, corporations, and US government programs that budget $6.5 billion for global warming in 2007. They also increase the likelihood of getting headlines and quotes in news stories: “Climate change threatens extinction of rare frogs, scientists say.” Climate disaster skeptics face an uphill battle on grants, headlines and quotes.

 

Politicians get to grandstand green credentials, cement relationships with activists who can support reelection campaigns and higher aspirations, transform $14-billion in alternative energy pork into ethical planetary protection, and promote policies that otherwise would raise serious eyebrows.

 

Corporate actions that cause even one death are dealt with severely; but praise is heaped on federal mileage standards that cause hundreds of deaths, as cars are downsized and plasticized to save fuel and reduce emissions. High energy prices are denounced at congressional hearings, if due to market forces – but praised if imposed by government “to prevent climate change.” Drilling in the Arctic or off our coasts is condemned, even to create jobs, tax revenues and enhanced security; but subsidizing wind power to generate 2% of our electricity is lauded, even if it despoils millions of acres and kills millions of birds.

 

Alarmist rhetoric has also redefined corporate social responsibility, created the Climate Action Partnership and launched the emerging Enviro-Industrial Complex.

 

Environmental activists have turned climate fears into successful fund-raising tools – and a brilliant strategy for achieving their dream of controlling global resource use, technological change and economic development, through laws, treaties, regulations and pressure campaigns. Recent developments promise to supercharge these efforts.

 

Environmental Defense is collaborating with Morgan Stanley, to promote emission trading systems and other climate change initiatives – giving ED direct monetary and policy stakes in the banking, investment and political arenas, and in any carbon allowance or cap-and-trade programs Congress might enact. Other environmental groups, companies and Wall Street firms will no doubt follow.

 

ED designed and led the disingenuous campaign that persuaded many healthcare agencies to ban DDT, resulting in millions of deaths from malaria. Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, ED and other groups still post deceitful claims about DDT on their websites, further delaying progress against this killer disease. By blaming climate change for malaria, they deflect criticism for their vile actions.

 

Climate catastrophe claims enable activists to gain official advisory status with companies and governments on environmental issues. They also make it “ethical” for Rainforest Action and other pressure groups to oppose power generation in Third World countries, where few have access to electricity – and thereby keep communities perpetually impoverished.

 

Meanwhile, Prince Charles gets lionized for appropriating 62 first class jetliner seats for his entourage of 20, on a trans-Atlantic trip to receive an environmental prize and lecture Americans on saving the Earth – because at least he didn’t use his private jet.

 

Companies in the CAP and EIC can develop and promote new product lines, using tax breaks, subsidies, legal mandates and regulatory provisions to gain competitive advantages. They get favorable coverage from the media, and kid-glove treatment from members of Congress who routinely pillory climate chaos skeptics.

 

Some worry that this could become a license to redefine corporate ethics, present self-interest as planet-saving altruism, and profit from questionable arrangements with environmental groups and Congress. Certainly, cap-and-trade rules will create valuable property rights and reward companies that reduce CO2 emissions, often by replacing old, inefficient, high-polluting plants that they want to retire anyway.

 

DuPont and BP will get money for biofuels, GE for its portfolio of climate protection equipment, ADM for ethanol, Lehman Brothers for emission trading and other deals. Environmental activists will be able to influence corporate, state and federal policy, and rake in still more cash. Insurance companies can blame global warming for rate increases and coverage denials.

 

Lobbying and deal-brokering will enter a new era. As Thenardier the innkeeper observed in Les Miserables, “When it comes to fixing prices, there are lots of tricks he knows. Jees, it’s just amazing how it grows.” Indeed, the opportunities to “game the system” will be limited only by one’s “eco-magination.”

 

To determine the losers, look in the mirror. Activists and politicians are creating a Frankenstein climate monster on steroids. Were it real, we’d need a wholesale dismantling of our economy and living standards to slay the monster. How else could we eliminate 80–90% of US and EU fossil fuel emissions by 2050, to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions and (theoretically) a climate that has always been anything but stable?

 

Think lifestyles circa 1900, or earlier. Ponder the British environment minister’s latest prescription: World War II rationing, no meat or cheese, no airport expansions, no veggies that aren’t grown locally. France wants a new government agency that would single out, police and penalize countries that “abuse the Earth.” Others propose to give Africans little solar panels for their huts, while their kleptocratic rulers get millions of dollars for trading away people’s right to generate electricity and emit CO2.

 

We should improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution, and develop new energy technologies. But when we demand immediate action to prevent exaggerated or imaginary crises, we stifle debate, railroad through programs that don’t work, and impose horrendous unintended consequences on countless families. That is shortsighted and immoral.

 

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Congress tackles global warming (Washington Times, 070212)

 

More than a dozen competing measures have been introduced in Congress on the issue of global warming — some minor, such as creating incentives for biofuel research, and others more drastic, such as taxing automakers for selling gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.

 

The Democrats controlling Congress — and a growing number of Republicans — say this year the government will take significant action against climate change. They say President Bush helped the cause by mentioning it in his State of the Union address last month, as have the presidential candidates pushing the issue.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, has promised to introduce a package of bills by June 1 aimed at cutting greenhouse gases, with a vote slated for July 4.

 

“As the most adaptable creatures on the planet, it is time for us to continue to adapt,” she said Thursday, testifying on global warming before the House Science and Technology Committee. Mrs. Pelosi assured anxious colleagues that global-warming legislation “can create the next generation of good-paying new jobs.”

 

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and a chief author of a leading global-warming bill, said there is a “very diverse cavalry” calling for action. His Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act is co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

 

“Doing something about global warming now will cost us a lot less than waiting to pay the cost of the effects of global warming,” Mr. Lieberman said of his bill, which imposes mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions so that in 2050 the levels would be one-third lower than 2000 levels.

 

It also would create emission credits to control the costs for businesses and encourage industries to comply, as well as protect poor people from high energy costs, he said.

 

Mr. McCain is running for president, as are Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, who have also signed onto the bill as co-sponsors.

 

Mr. Obama talked about the issue in his announcement speech Saturday, saying: “We can turn this crisis of global warming into a moment of opportunity for innovation, and job creation, and an incentive for businesses that will serve as a model for the world.”

 

The bill, which the Republican-led Senate defeated two years ago, this year faces a much friendlier group of lawmakers. The debate now stems over whether to impose mandatory emissions caps, and how much the government should aim to reduce heat-trapping gases in the next few decades.

 

Bills suggesting a gas-guzzler tax or one that authorizes more than $20 million in taxpayer funds to establish four “green” universities have a slim chance of passing Congress.

 

Others, such as the Republican bill to increase the fuel efficiency standard to 40 miles per gallon for all new cars by 2017, are sure to meet opposition from lawmakers from Michigan, home to the already struggling U.S. auto industry.

 

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan Republican, warned that the swath of global-warming bills is causing “grave concern” for an already struggling economy.

 

“We’re not looking to the federal government to make it harder for them,” he said.

 

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, also says he fears that legislation may be pushed “in a way that wrecks the American economy.”

 

The Bush administration has proposed allowing the transportation secretary to raise the fuel standard 18 months before an automaker’s model year and creating a credit system for companies with a head start.

 

Measures offering tax incentives for energy-efficient buildings and hybrid cars have support, and may be included in whatever sweeping measure is approved this year.

 

House leaders have not announced specific legislation they favor dealing with global warming, but several members have said there is bipartisan agreement on funding research for biofuel production.

 

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico is crafting a compromise bill to slow the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters describe his plan as moderate and one more likely to meet Mr. Bush’s approval.

 

Mrs. Pelosi last month announced the creation of a special global-warming panel, a move that irked Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell because it was widely viewed as an attempt to skirt him and tack regulations on automakers.

 

Last week the speaker and Mr. Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who has fought changes in fuel standards, came to a compromise. They agreed that the new committee, which would expire at the end of the 110th Congress, will hold hearings and recommend legislation but would not have the authority to approve legislation.

 

Next month, Congress will have extensive global-warming hearings, with former Vice President Al Gore slated to testify March 21. Mrs. Pelosi said the U.S. must be innovative to meet the challenge, adding: “Green can be gold for our country.”

 

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An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change (Times Online, 070211)

 

When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

 

The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.

 

Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers. And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.

 

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.

 

So one awkward question you can ask, when you’re forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is “Why is east Antarctica getting colder?” It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. While you’re at it, you might inquire whether Gordon Brown will give you a refund if it’s confirmed that global warming has stopped. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.

 

That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.

 

Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis. The 20th-century episode, or Modern Warming, was just the latest in a long string of similar events produced by a hyperactive sun, of which the last was the Medieval Warming.

 

The Chinese population doubled then, while in Europe the Vikings and cathedral-builders prospered. Fascinating relics of earlier episodes come from the Swiss Alps, with the rediscovery in 2003 of a long-forgotten pass used intermittently whenever the world was warm.

 

What does the Intergovernmental Panel do with such emphatic evidence for an alternation of warm and cold periods, linked to solar activity and going on long before human industry was a possible factor? Less than nothing. The 2007 Summary for Policymakers boasts of cutting in half a very small contribution by the sun to climate change conceded in a 2001 report.

 

Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.

 

He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.

 

The only trouble with Svensmark’s idea — apart from its being politically incorrect — was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation. After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Center hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.

 

In a box of air in the basement, they were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water. These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.

 

Thanks to having written The Manic Sun, a book about Svensmark’s initial discovery published in 1997, I have been privileged to be on the inside track for reporting his struggles and successes since then. The outcome is a second book, The Chilling Stars, co-authored by the two of us and published next week by Icon books. We are not exaggerating, we believe, when we subtitle it “A new theory of climate change”.

 

Where does all that leave the impact of greenhouse gases? Their effects are likely to be a good deal less than advertised, but nobody can really say until the implications of the new theory of climate change are more fully worked out.

 

The reappraisal starts with Antarctica, where those contradictory temperature trends are directly predicted by Svensmark’s scenario, because the snow there is whiter than the cloud-tops. Meanwhile humility in face of Nature’s marvels seems more appropriate than arrogant assertions that we can forecast and even control a climate ruled by the sun and the stars.

 

The Chilling Stars is published by Icon.

 

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Global warming is our friend (Washington Times, 070216)

 

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

 

Early in World War II, George Orwell famously wrote, “As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.” The irony of that scene, I assume, accounts for the line’s enduring fame.

 

Well let me try some irony on you, “As I write, freezing rain and wind-whipped snow are pelting my roof rendering me miserable, yet highly civilized human beings are trying to kill me.” They actually oppose global warming. Despite the inclement weather, they remonstrate that global warming is an environmental evil, and from universities and media outlets they endeavor to silence anyone who departs from their orthodoxy.

 

Scientists who remain calm are intimidated, and those extreme skeptics who doubt the global warming orthodoxy are abominated. A distinguished American think tank that sought an open debate on climate change, the American Enterprise Institute, was slandered in the media as a tool of Big Oil. A leading British climate scientist, Mike Hulme of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, has adumbrated the extent of this anti-intellectual campaign, saying, “I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric.”

 

Meanwhile, I sit here in our nation’s capital freezing. In California, the citrus crop is near ruin. The Plains States look like Antarctica, and from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast snow and ice are everywhere. The logical conclusion is that rather than debate the possibility of global warming we should applaud it and do everything we can to usher it in.

 

Most scientists agree the planet is today about 1 degree Celsius warmer than it was a century ago. But so what? In North America winters are still miserable, and frankly even in Border State climes such as Washington it can remain chilly right up to mid-May. No one can count on dinner in a cafe until June, and it was not until mid-June that President Bill Clinton would forsake his tricky indoor recreations for his beloved golf course. Now it is rumored that the forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s will predict that its earlier reports of global warming were exaggerated.

 

Thus, we might all ask why the opponents of global warming are so hysterical? Basically, they are led by the same environmentalists who have been so wrong in the past, and they are always hysterical. In the 1970s, they predicted a coming global ice age and overpopulation that would give us all claustrophobia by the end of the 20th century. They predicted a depletion of resources that would lead to global recession.

 

Their solution has always been the same: Hand the government over to them. In fact, if they control the debate over global warming as they hope they will, they envisage governing the world and ending global warming by taxation and limiting the use of fossil fuel worldwide.

 

They will do this through a series of international treaties. But even the signatories to the Kyoto Accords are not abiding by such treaties. The Europeans have been cheating on their Kyoto agreements for years. Charles Horner, a commentator on climate control, notes that Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions are increasing twice as fast as those in the United States, despite the Europeans’ Kyoto agreements. Climate agreements are no more enforceable than arms-control agreements or bans against the spread of nuclear arms.

 

The global warming hysterics have no instrument to limit the use of fossil fuel, except perhaps here in the United States where we would live by our agreement. As a consequence, American economic growth would slow, innovation would slow and jobs would be lost. That is a very high price to pay for continuing to shiver through frigid winters.

 

It is about time Americans acknowledge that global warming is our friend. It cannot come fast enough. No sensible person looks forward to what the weather reports call a “wintry mix.”

 

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Global Hot Air: Part 1 (townhall.com, 070214)

 

By Thomas Sowell

 

The political left’s favorite argument is that there is no argument. Their current crusade is to turn “global warming” into one of those things that supposedly no honest and decent person can disagree about, as they have already done with “diversity” and “open space.”

 

The name of “science” is invoked by the left today, as it has been for more than two centuries. After all, Karl Marx’s ideology was called “scientific socialism” in the 19th century. In the 18th century, Condorcet analogized his blueprint for a better society to engineering, and social engineering has been the agenda ever since.

 

Not all the advocates of “global warming” are on the left, of course. Crusades are not just for crusaders. There are always hangers-on who can turn the true believers’ crusades into votes or money or at least notoriety.

 

Whether the globe really is warming is a question about facts — and about where those facts are measured: on land, in the air or under the sea. There is no question that there is a “greenhouse” effect. Otherwise, half the planet would freeze every night when there is no sunlight falling on it.

 

There is also no question that the earth can warm or cool. It has done both at one time or another for thousands of years, even before there were SUVs. If there had never been any global warming before, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy Yosemite Valley today for it was once buried under thousands of feet of ice.

 

Back in the 1970s, the environmental hysteria was about the dangers of a new ice age. This hysteria was spread by many of the same individuals and groups who are promoting today’s hysteria about global warming.

 

It is not just the sky that is falling. Government money is falling on those who seek grants to study global warming and produce “solutions” for it. But that money is not as likely to fall on those skeptics in the scientific community who refuse to join the stampede.

 

Yes, Virginia, there are skeptics about global warming among scientists who study weather and climate. There are arguments both ways — which is why so many in politics and in the media are so busy selling the notion that there is no argument.

 

If you heard both arguments, you might not be so willing to go along with those who are prepared to ruin the economy, sacrificing jobs and the national standard of living on the altar to the latest in an unending series of crusades, conducted by politicians and other people seeking to tell everyone else how to live.

 

What about all those scientists mentioned, cited or quoted by global warming crusaders?

 

There are all kinds of scientists, from chemists to nuclear physicists to people who study insects, volcanoes, and endocrine glands — none of whom is an expert on weather or climate, but all of whom can be listed as scientists, to impress people who don’t scrutinize the list any further. That ploy has already been used.

 

Then there are genuine scientific experts on weather and climate. The National Academy of Sciences came out with a report on global warming back in 2001 with a very distinguished list of such experts listed. The problem is that not one of those very distinguished scientists actually wrote the report — or even saw it before it was published.

 

One of those very distinguished climate scientists — Richard S. Lindzen of MIT — publicly repudiated the conclusions of that report, even though his name had been among those used as window dressing on the report. But the media may not have told you that.

 

In short, there has been a full court press to convince the public that “everybody knows” that a catastrophic global warming looms over us, that human beings are the cause of it, and that the only solution is to turn more money and power over to the government to stop us from our dangerous ways of living.

 

Among the climate experts who are not part of that “everybody” are not only Professor Lindzen but also Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, whose book “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years,” [KH: !!!] punctures the hot air balloon of the global warming crusaders. So does the book “Shattered Consensus,” edited by Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, which contains essays by others who are not part of “everybody.”

 

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Global Hot Air: Part 2 (townhall.com, 070214)

 

By Thomas Sowell

 

Propaganda campaigns often acquire a life of their own. Politicians who have hitched their wagons to the star of “global warming” cannot admit any doubts on their part, or permit any doubts by others from becoming part of a public debate.

 

Neither can environmental crusaders, whose whole sense of themselves as saviors of the planet is at stake, as they try to stamp out any views to the contrary.

 

A recent and revealing example of the ruthless attempts to silence anyone who dares question the global warming crusade began with a “news” story in the British newspaper “The Guardian.” It quickly found an echo among American Senators on the left — Bernard Sanders, an avowed socialist, and John Kerry, Pat Leahy and Dianne Feinstein, who are unavowed.

 

The headline of the “news” story said it all: “Scientists Offered Cash to Dispute Climate Study.” According to “The Guardian,” scientists and economists “have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report.”

 

It is a classic notion on the left in general, and of environmentalist zealots in particular, that no one can disagree with them unless they are either uninformed or dishonest. Here they dispose of scientists who are skeptical of the global warming hysteria by depicting them as being bribed by lobbyists for the oil companies.

 

While such charges may be enough for crusading zealots to wrap themselves ever more tightly in the mantle of virtue, some of us are still old-fashioned enough to want to know the actual facts.

 

In this case, the fact is that the American Enterprise Institute — a think tank, not a lobbyist — did what all kinds of think tanks do, all across the political spectrum, all across the country, and all around the world.

 

AEI has planned a roundtable discussion of global warming, attended by people with differing views on the subject. That was their fundamental sin, in the eyes of the global warming crowd. They treated this as an issue, rather than a dogma.

 

Like liberal, conservative, and other think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute pays people who do the work of preparing scholarly papers for presentation at its roundtables. Ten thousand dollars is not an unusual amount and many have received more from other think tanks for similar work.

 

Enter Senators Sanders, Kerry, Leahy, and Feinstein. In a joint letter to the head of the American Enterprise Institute, they express shock, shock, like the corrupt police official in “Casablanca.”

 

These Senators express “our very serious concerns” about reports that AEI “offered to pay scientists up to $10,000 for questioning the findings” of other scientists. The four Senators express how “saddened” they would be if the reports are true, “by the depths to which some would sink to undermine the scientific consensus” on global warming.

 

If the reports are true, the Senators continue, “it would highlight the extent to which moneyed interests distort honest scientific and public policy discussions” by “bribing scientists to support a pre-determined agenda.”

 

The Senators ask: “Does your donors’ self-interest trump an honest discussion over the well-being of the planet?” They demand that “AEI will publicly apologize for this conduct.”

 

As the late Art Buchwald once said about comedy and farce in Washington, “You can’t make that up!”

 

If it is a bribe to pay people for doing work, then we are all bribed every day, except for those who inherited enough money not to have to work at all. Among those invited to attend the AEI roundtable are some of the same scientists who produced the recent report that politicians, environmentalists, and the media tout as the last word on global warming.

 

The trump card of the left is that one of the big oil companies contributed money to the American Enterprise Institute — not as much as 1% of its budget, but enough for a smear.

 

All think tanks have contributors or they could not exist. But facts carry little weight in smears, even by politicians who question other people’s honesty.

 

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Global Hot Air: Part 3 (townhall.com, 070215)

 

By Thomas Sowell

 

If you take the mainstream media seriously, you might think that every important scientist believes that “global warming” poses a great threat, and that we need to make drastic changes in the way we live, in order to avoid catastrophes to the environment, to various species, and to ourselves.

 

The media play a key role in perpetuating such beliefs. Often they seize upon every heat wave to hype global warming, but see no implications in record-setting cold weather, such as many places have been experiencing lately.

 

Remember how the unusually large number of hurricanes a couple of years ago was hyped in the media as being a result of global warming, with more such hurricanes being predicted to return the following year and the years thereafter?

 

But, when not one hurricane struck the United States all last year, the media had little or nothing to say about the false predictions they had hyped. It’s heads I win and tails you lose.

 

Are there serious scientists who specialize in weather and climate who have serious doubts about the doomsday scenarios being pushed by global warming advocates? Yes, there are.

 

There is Dr. S. Fred Singer, who set up the American weather satellite system, and who published some years ago a book titled “Hot Talk, Cold Science.” More recently, he has co-authored another book on the subject, “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years.”

 

There have been periods of global warming that lasted for centuries — and periods of global cooling that also lasted for centuries. So the issue is not whether the world is warmer now than at some time in the past but how much of that warming is due to human beings and how much can we reduce future warming, even if we drastically reduce our standard of living in the attempt.

 

Other serious scientists who are not on the global warming bandwagon include a professor of meteorology at MIT, Richard S. Lindzen.

 

His name was big enough for the National Academy of Sciences to list it among the names of other experts on its 2001 report that was supposed to end the debate by declaring the dangers of global warming proven scientifically.

 

Professor Lindzen then objected and pointed out that neither he nor any of the other scientists listed ever saw that report before it was published. It was in fact written by government bureaucrats — as was the more recently published summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that is also touted as the final proof and the end of the discussion.

 

You want more experts who think otherwise? Try a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, Patrick J. Michaels, who refers to the much ballyhooed 2001 IPCC summary as having “misstatements and errors” that he calls “egregious.”

 

A professor of climatology at the University of Delaware, David R. Legates, likewise referred to the 2001 IPCC summary as being “often in direct contrast with the scientific report that accompanies it.” It is the summaries that the media hype. The full 2007 report has not even been published yet.

 

Skeptical experts in other countries around the world include Duncan Wingham, a professor of climate physics at the University College, London, and Nigel Weiss of Cambridge University.

 

The very attempt to silence all who disagree about global warming ought to raise red flags.

 

Anyone who remembers the 1970s should remember the Club of Rome report that was supposed to be the last word on economic growth grinding to a halt, “overpopulation” and a rapidly approaching era of mass starvation in the 1980s.

 

In reality, the 1980s saw increased economic growth around the world and, far from mass starvation, an increase in obesity and agricultural surpluses in many countries. But much of the media went for the Club of Rome report and hyped the hysteria.

 

Many in the media resent any suggestion that they are either shilling for an ideological agenda or hyping whatever will sell newspapers or get higher ratings on TV.

 

Here is their chance to check out some heavyweight scientists specializing in weather and climate, instead of taking Al Gore’s movie or the pronouncements of government bureaucrats and politicians as the last word.

 

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The global-warming hysterics strike again (townhall.com, 070222)

 

By William Rusher

 

The media have recently been blaring what they depict (inaccurately, by the way) as the latest grim warning from the practically unanimous ranks of the world’s climatologists concerning global warming. It is time to take two aspirin, lie down and consider the matter calmly.

 

The global-warming controversy is powered by three mighty engines, which are almost never recognized. The first is the natural human impulse to fear allegedly forthcoming disasters, especially if they are clothed in the raiments of scientific certitude. The media can be depended on to ferret out and wildly overhype any potential negative development that any so-called scientist is willing to predict and deplore. Remember “acid rain”? The factories of the American Midwest are supposedly belching enormous quantities of sulphurous gases into the air, which then drift eastward, pollute our pristine lakes and lay waste the Appalachian forests. We had barely had time to digest this awful news when the same media introduced us to the ghastly phenomenon called the “ozone hole,” a gap in the Earth’s protective layer of ozone that had developed (thanks to human pollutants) over the Antarctic and threatened to increase hugely the amount of deadly interstellar radiation reaching the planet’s surface, causing millions of fatal skin cancers. The subsequent news that the ozone hole was actually diminishing was lost in the gratifying burst of terror over the discovery of global warming.

 

The second engine (which was also influential in the flaps over acid rain and the ozone hole) is the traditional liberal hatred of “American corporations,” which is mobilized whenever some new misfortune can be laid, however speciously, at their door. All sorts of manufacturing operations emit carbon dioxide, which are thus responsible for some uncertain part of the seven-tenths of one degree Celsius by which the earth’s surface temperature rose in the 20th century. Actually, believe it or not, cows emit far more greenhouse gases (from their rear ends) than corporations do, but corporations are easier to hate than cows. So the ancient cry has gone up, “Stop the corporations!”

 

The third and final engine is, as you might expect, money. Do you have any idea how many billions of dollars the United States paid “scientists” (mostly in universities) last year to study this or that aspect of global warming? They are raiding this El Dorado with both hands, and you can imagine their attitude toward any colleague who dares to doubt their warnings.

 

The latest incitement to panic over global warming is the recently released summary of a 1,400-page report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We won’t get to see the actual report till May, but the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, says “I hope this report will shock people.”

 

Given the media’s hype concerning the human causes of global warming, it undoubtedly will. But the actual figures, when compared to those in the IPCC’s last report in 2001, are downright encouraging. Christopher Monckton, a British analyst, points out that the new summary “more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches.” (Al Gore predicts 20 to 30 feet.) Monckton adds that “The U.N. has cut its estimate of (the human) net effect on climate by more than a third.”

 

Part of the problem is that the earth’s temperature is always in motion, up or down. At the moment, it is trending slightly up — three-hundredths of a degree Celsius since 2001. Before that, in the midyears of the 20th century, it was actually falling — providing grist for the media’s hysterical predictions of a “new Ice Age” back in the 1970s.

 

Meanwhile, you can count on the liberals to demand savage cutbacks in the output of America’s “greedy” corporations (never mind what that does to the economy) and on the opportunistic hacks in the science faculties of our universities to carve still bigger grants for themselves out of the federal and state budgets to finance more justifications for the panic.

 

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Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame (townhall.com, 070227)

 

By Mark M. Alexander

 

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” —James Madison

 

Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Albert Arnold Gore, was the toast of Hollywood at the self-congratulatory soiree known as the 2007 Academy Awards.

 

Gore, whose failure to carry his “home” state of Tennessee cost him the 2000 presidential election, has recast himself as the populist pope of eco-theology and the titular head of the green movement’s developmentally arrested legions.

 

Now the darling of Leftcoast glitterati, predictably, Gore received two Oscars for a junk-science production called “An Inconvenient Truth,” a pseudo-documentary follow-up from the eco-disaster fiction, “The Day After Tomorrow.” Gore’s “Truth,” however, is about 10% substance and 90% fragrance.

 

“The Academy Awards have gone green,” said Gore, after collecting his Oscars — maybe a thin coat of green over a thick base of red.

 

The awards for Gore’s climate diatribe coincide, not coincidentally, with the much-ballyhooed release of a media summary of a report on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These two events are a launch pad for the coming cavalcade of dire ecological predictions by Gore and his ilk. Their goal will be to saturate the all-too-sympathetic media outlets with apocalyptic hysterics about a man-made global disaster. Perhaps, too, if all goes according to plan, we’ll see another Gore presidential run.

 

All the “Live Earth” road-show talking points will play up an alarming assertion from Bill Clinton’s former veep: “Never before has all of civilization been threatened. We have everything we need to save it, with the possible exception of political will. But political will is a renewable resource.”

 

To be sure, there is “no controlling legal authority” for this, the biggest political and economic power grab ever attempted. The Left’s desire to hamstring the U.S. economy and force worldwide Kyoto Treaty compliance will, according to one United Nations estimate, cost the world economy $553 trillion this century.

 

Al Gore may be a comical dupe when it comes to climatology (in college, he collected a C+ and a D in his two natural-sciences courses), but the global-warming debate and the consequences of that debate are serious. To participate meaningfully, one must distinguish between fact and fiction ?- in addition to understanding the underlying political agendas.

 

In the inimitable words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” To that end, Al Gore’s “facts” are deserving of rigorous scrutiny.

 

Separating fact from fiction

 

First, let’s be clear that the current debate about climate focuses on “global warming,” which is not synonymous with the debate about the environmental consequences of the “greenhouse effect.” The latter issue concerns what, if any, relationship exists between man-made CO2 in the atmosphere and global temperatures.

 

For the record, most reputable scientists agree that we are in a period of gradual global warming (about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the last century), and that the greenhouse effect prevents our climate from becoming a deep freeze. Most also agree that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased in the last century, and there is a growing consensus that global warming is due, in part, to the greenhouse effect.

 

However, there is no scientifically established correlation between global-warming trends and acceleration of the greenhouse effect due to human production of CO2 — only broad speculation. Although some politicians and their media shills insist that the primary cause of global warming is the burning of hydrocarbons here in the United States, that government regulation of man-made CO2 will curb this global warming, that our failure to limit CO2 output will have dire consequences, and that the costs of enacting these limitations far outweigh the potential consequences, there is no evidence supporting any of these assertions.

 

Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, notes, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.”

 

In fact, there remains substantial doubt that the production of CO2 by human enterprise has any real impact on global temperature, and if it does, that such impact is, necessarily, negative. Human activity may contribute a maximum estimate of 3% of CO2 to the natural carbon cycle (the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere of the Earth), but there is broad dispute about the total production of CO2 from natural sources, which is to say the human contribution may be a much smaller percentage. Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased from about 315 parts per million five decades ago, to about 380 ppm today, which is to say, there are major factors influencing the amount of CO2 levels in the atmosphere besides our burning of hydrocarbons.

 

Case in point: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has maintained the world’s longest continuous worldwide record of atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels — those cited by global-warming alarmists. In 2002 and 2003, NOAA recorded increases in atmospheric CO2 of 2.43 and 2.30 ppm respectively — a 55% increase over the annual average of 1.5 ppm for previous years. In 2004, however, this increase fell back to 1.5 ppm per year.

 

Did human industrial output somehow increase 55% during those two years, and then decline by that amount in 2004? Of course not. For the record, NOAA concluded that the fluctuation was caused by the natural processes that contribute and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

 

Al Gore would be hard-pressed to explain NOAA’s findings within the context of his apocalyptic thesis, and he would be hard-pressed to convince any serious scientists that his Orwellian solutions could correct such fluctuations. This is because his thesis is based largely on convenient half-truths.

 

For instance, Gore insists that the increased incidence of hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and other weather phenomena is the direct result of global warming.

 

Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray takes exception: “The degree to which you believe global warming is causing major hurricanes,” he says, “is inversely proportional to your knowledge about these storms.”

 

In a recent issue of Discover Magazine, Gray, described by Discover’s editors as one of “the world’s most famous hurricane experts,” wrote, “This human-induced global-warming thing ... is grossly exaggerated. ... I’m not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ‘40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle ‘40s to the early ‘70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical ... about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us.”

 

Gore preaches about the 2% of Antarctica that is warming without noting that temperature readings over the rest of Antarctica indicate the continent has cooled over the previous 35 years, or that the UN’s climate panel estimates net snow mass increases in Antarctica this century. Gore notes the increasing temperatures and shrinking ice caps in the Northern Hemisphere but does not note the decreasing temperatures and increased sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Richard S. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, writes, “A general characteristic of Mr. Gore’s approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

 

Perhaps worse still is Gore’s intellectual cowardice. During his visit to Europe in January, Gore agreed to an interview with Denmark’s largest national newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Then, when he learned that Bjorn Lomborg, one of the world’s leading critics of eco-theological dogma, was also going to be interviewed, Gore abruptly canceled.

 

Lomborg, a statistician, has delved deep into the data to expose the environmental movement’s selective and oft-misleading use of evidence. His book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist” was hailed by Washington Post Book World as “a magnificent achievement” and “the most significant work on the environment since the appearance of its polar opposite, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, in 1962.” Perhaps a thoughtful debate is what scares Al Gore most of all.

 

Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has some additional “Questions for Al Gore” based on what he calls “Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.” We are still awaiting Gore’s reply...

 

Alternative causes for global warming

 

Beyond the natural carbon cycle and greenhouse warming, there are some other serious causal explanations for global warming.

 

Among the suspects are, of all things, the sun and its fellow stars. A venerable scientific journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society, published recent research done at the Danish National Space Center indicating that the impact of cosmic rays on the climate could be much greater than scientists estimated. The researchers put forth evidence that cosmic rays have a lot to do with cloud formation in the atmosphere, which in turn has a lot to do with shielding us from the sun’s warmth. Combining this discovery with evidence that our local star is experiencing historically high levels of solar activity, the researchers suggest that our sun is batting away cosmic rays from elsewhere in the galaxy and thus reducing our planet’s cloud cover. Imagine that: The sun is affecting our planet’s temperature.

 

Nigel Calder provides another angle on this thesis: “After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago. Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis.”

 

Research concerning cosmic radiation as a factor in global warming builds on earlier comprehensive research done a decade ago by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s Arthur Robinson, whose research soundly refutes Gore’s thesis that global warming is human-induced, noting the relationship between the solar magnetic cycle and global temperatures over the last 250 years.

 

In 1997, Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, invited colleagues to sign a petition based on Robinson’s work, which received more than 20,000 signers, most of whom hold advanced degrees in relevant fields of study. That petition stated, in part: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

 

Some other global-warming factors being seriously considered scientifically include ocean currents, changing jet-stream patterns and the Earth’s mantle activities affecting ocean temperatures.

 

The Political Endgame

 

During the second term of the Clinton/Gore administration, the U.S. faced international pressure to become a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty. The Senate, however, passed a resolution rejecting approval of that treaty in an eye-popping show of bipartisanship. The vote was 95-0, and 56 of those senators are still in Congress.

 

That 1997 Byrd-Hagel Senate resolution objected to the lack of any “specific scheduled commitments” in regard to the CO2 output of 129 “developing” countries, most notably, China and India, the second and fourth most powerful economies in the world.

 

China, home to 1.3 billion people, will have the largest economy on earth in little more than a decade. Currently, the country accounts for 33% of the world’s steel production and 50% of all concrete. China burns 2,500 tons of coal and 210,000 gallons of crude oil per minute. Every ten days, China fires up a new coal generator, and plans for 2,200 additional plants by 2030. China consumed in excess of 2.7 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006 — almost twice the consumption rate of 2002. At current growth rates of consumption, China alone will devour all the earth’s resources in three decades and generate a whole lot of CO2 in the process.

 

Yet European industrial nations and developing nations on other continents would like to see the U.S. economy restrained by the Kyoto Treaty.

 

Clearly, some U.S. politicians understand the implications of Gore’s folly. Don’t expect that to stop Democrats from milking every last drop of political capital from this debate. Talk of carbon credits and other nonsense is really all about campaign coffers — holding out the threat of regulation as a means of financing campaigns and perpetuating office tenures.

 

University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke fantasizes about a Gore victory in ‘08 based on swing states with lower-than-average CO2 output: “[I]n 2004 the per-state carbon-dioxide emissions in states that voted for George Bush were about twice as large on a per-capita basis than those in states that voted for John Kerry. If climate change is a major issue in 2008 then there is a decided advantage in [important swing] states to the Democrats. Colorado and Nevada are below the national average for carbon-dioxide emissions, and Ohio and Iowa stand to benefit immensely from an ethanol bidding war.”

 

However, Gore’s political and economic agenda runs deeper than environmental concerns. In his recent book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, Christopher Horner, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, aptly describes Gore and his ilk as “green on the outside, red to the core,” noting that they are motivated by an anti-capitalist agenda.

 

Conclusions

 

Regarding the prevailing winds of contemporary science, my colleague Thomas Sowell reminds us, “Back in the 1970s, the hysteria was about global cooling and the prospect of a new ice age.” I published a collection of those dire predictions in an essay entitled, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

 

Al Gore’s current hysterics should be received with much more skepticism than the last round of climate soothsayers. His efforts to politicize meteorological science (what little we actually understand about our climate), is ludicrous. A lethal dose of his eco-elixir is precisely the wrong prescription, as it is full of the Left’s archetypal defeatist, retreatist statism but void of regard for real-world economic consequences.

 

Gore’s flawed analysis notwithstanding, however, sea level has risen, by best estimates, between four and eight inches in the last 150 years.

 

The annual rate of rise has remained relatively stable since the “big thaw” ended some 6,000 years ago. However, if current temperature trends continue, an increased rate of rise could pose significant challenges to nations around the world as millions of people now live only a few feet higher than current tides.

 

Increasing global temperatures will also have other consequences — some positive, some negative.

 

Although Gore, et al., would insist otherwise, we mere mortals are no match for the age-old forces that heat and cool our planet. Yet, in the face of enormous odds, we Americans have a history of perseverance and success. We can improvise, adapt and overcome — just as we have for hundreds of years in response to catastrophe. Unbridled innovation and ingenuity have served us well throughout our history, and these tools will take us, and the rest of the world, far into the future — unless shackled by a subterfuge like the Kyoto Protocol.

 

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Warming a cold fact? (Washington Times, 070227)

 

By Richard W. Rahn

 

Do you think those who have reservations about whether man is creating global warming should lose their jobs and be denied the right to present their views?

 

Over the last few months, there has been a concerted effort to silence those who have doubts about global warming and man’s effect on the climate. The Oregon State climatologist was fired for disagreeing with the “conventional wisdom.” A meteorologist with the weather channel demanded that dissenting views not be broadcast. CNN, in particular, has treated skeptics with great disdain.

 

As an economist, I do not claim to know for certain who is right and who is wrong in this debate, but I do know that attempts to shut down debate are both wrong and dangerous. When I was a student, Keynesian economics was the “consensus,” and those few who disagreed, like Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, were ridiculed by the economic establishment, and students in many universities were not even exposed to their views. By the late 1970s, it was apparent to those who cared to look at the data and the world around them that Keynesian economics had all been wrong and Friedman and Hayek had been right. Once Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and other government leaders adopted the Friedman/Hayek model, their economies and also the world economy, entered the longest and highest rate of growth ever. History is filled with those who dissented against the conventional wisdom but were proved correct, such as Copernicus, Galileo, Albert Einstein and many others.

 

The doomsayers in the media and political classes were all atwitter last month when the most recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released, saying humans were partly to blame for global warming — so I decided to read the report.

 

Let’s do a mind game. The authors of the report predict average temperature will increase between 3.2 and 7.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century, and that sea levels will rise between 7 and 23 inches. Assume, for the moment, that mankind can do nothing about this projected climate change. Given that information, how would you change your behavior? If you are like most people, you would do nothing but enjoy the few extra days of summer and swimming. If you were going to build a house on the sea, you might build it a couple of feet higher than the existing codes require — no big deal. Unless you enjoy shoveling the snow, having a little less of if to contend with each winter probably would bring more pleasure than pain.

 

Now, let us assume mankind might be able to slowly reduce global warming by drastically reducing carbon emissions. This can be done by increasing the cost of power and fuel. How much would you be willing to pay to make these changes for something you would barely notice over your lifetime? Would you be willing to take on these extra costs, knowing they would accomplish very little if the citizens of the rest of planet did not do the same?

 

What do this and other reports about climate change tell us? A majority agrees the most notable temperature increases will be in upper Canada and Siberia, and the moisture these areas receive will increase — which means much better and longer growing seasons in these areas. These favorable developments will be partially offset by longer droughts in some localities. But given that both these positive and negative changes will occur slowly over a century, humankind will have plenty of time to adapt, and on balance it will be easier and less costly to produce food. If you are a skier, your season will be shortened, but if you play baseball, football, golf or swim, your season will be longer.

 

However, if the politicians on the left operate true to course, they will propose even more costly regulations and higher taxes, without any offsetting tax reduction. This will unnecessarily make the poor poorer and reduce job creation. The brains of many on the left (and some on the right) seem unable to understand second-order effects of policies and actions, which tends to make them overstate problems and come up with solutions that do more harm than good.

 

Vaclav Klaus, who is both a distinguished economist and president of the Czech Republic, criticized the new U.N. report on global warming, saying it was a political document, “without scientific basis.” He also said, “a sane person can’t conclude that we are ruining the planet” as Al Gore has said, given that the planet is now far more user friendly for humans than it has ever been in the past.

 

It is worth remembering that, as recently as the 1970s, a consensus held we were in a period of global cooling and might face a new ice age. Those who seek to shut down the debate are only revealing their ignorance of history and disdain for liberty.

 

Richard W. Rahn is a director and board member of several economic policy organizations, including the European Center for Economic Growth.

 

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Americans: Global Warming a Big Future Worry, Not Pending Doom (Christian Post, 070313)

 

While global warming is hotly debated within evangelical circles, the problem is not a burning issue for the general American public today.

 

A survey conducted by The Gallup Poll found that Americans are concerned about global warming, but most view it as a problem to be dealt with in the coming decades.

 

Only a third of Americans (34%) at most said they were “very worried” about global warming causing more powerful hurricanes or more frequent flooding and droughts, according to the poll released on Monday.

 

The poll listed seven potential global warming effects on the Earth and asked participants if they were very worried, worried, or not worried. The list includes: stronger hurricanes, increase in floods and droughts, extinction of animal species, significant rise in ocean levels, widespread tropical diseases, cooling of Northern Europe, and extinction of human life.

 

Americans are, however, “worried” about global warming and its potential threats to the earth, with 50-69% stating they were concerned about each of the listed dangers. One category - the extinction of human life - was the exception where most participants (66%) said they were “not worried” about this potential consequence.

 

The poll’s follow-up question helped explain why most American were only “worried” and not “very worried” about global warming disrupting current life on earth. The results showed that the majority of people believe most of the listed disasters will occur in the next 50 years rather than in the next 10 years or even now.

 

According to the Gallup report, 71% of Americans said they believe more powerful hurricanes will be witnessed in the next 50 years, and 58% said they expect more prevalent tropical diseases as a result of global warming to occur in the next decades.

 

Only in the category of powerful hurricanes did nearly half (49%) of the people say they believe it has already taken place.

 

Overall, Americans do not seem to consider global warming an imminent threat or a top priority for the government to tackle.

 

The view of most Americans that significant global warming effects will not occur until later decades correspond to a report by the world’s top climate change scientists.

 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change draft document obtained by The Associated Press, death rates among the world’s poor from global warming-related illness, such as malnutrition and diarrhea, will grow by 2030, according to AP. Malaria and dengue fever is also expected to increase during this period.

 

The report also predicted that rising ocean levels could cause some 100 million people each year to be flooded.

 

Moreover, hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans will have water shortages in less than 20 years under the present conditions, according to the panel of experts.

 

The report, a combined effort by more than 1,000 of the world’s top scientists from 12 countries, is the second of four reports to be issued this year. The first report, released last month, stated that scientists are 90% certain that global warming is caused by human activities.

 

Scientists emphasize that although most of the consequences of global warming will not be seen until the coming decades, nations and individuals should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The final draft of the report to be released early April in Brussels, Belgium, is expected to be presented to President George W. Bush and other world leaders to encourage them to reduce their country’s emission of gases contributing to the warming of the planet.

 

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MIT Weather Expert Not Worried by Global Warming? (Foxnews, 070409)

 

By Brit Hume

 

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

 

Global Warming Beneficial?

 

A meteorology professor at the Massachusetts institute of Technology says there is no compelling evidence that global warming will lead to a catastrophe — and in fact might be beneficial.

 

Richard Lindzen writes in Newsweek: “Much of the alarm over climate change is based on ignorance of what is normal weather and climate. There is no evidence that extreme weather events are increasing…Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing.”

 

Lindzen says most of the current alarm over climate change is based on what he calls “inherently untrustworthy climate models, similar to those that cannot accurately forecast the weather a week from now.”

 

“Gross Alarmist”

 

Meanwhile, top hurricane forecaster William Gray of Colorado State University called Al Gore “a gross alarmist” during the closing speech of the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans.

 

Gray says the recent increase in strong hurricanes is part of a natural cycle that has nothing to do with global warming. He says Gore is, “doing a great disservice and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

 

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Let Them Eat Tofu! (Ann Coulter, 070301)

 

Even right-wingers who know that “global warming” is a crock do not seem to grasp what the tree-huggers are demanding. Liberals want mass starvation and human devastation.

 

Forget the lunacy of people claiming to tell us the precise temperature of planet Earth in 1918 based on tree rings. Or the fact that in the ‘70s liberals were issuing similarly dire warnings about “global cooling.”

 

Simply consider what noted climatologists Al Gore and Melissa Etheridge are demanding that we do to combat their nutty conjectures about “global warming.” They want us to starve the productive sector of fossil fuel and allow the world’s factories to grind to a halt. This means an end to material growth and a cataclysmic reduction in wealth.

 

There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending “global warming,” but liberals simply announce that the debate has been resolved in their favor and demand that we shut down all production.

 

They think they can live in a world of only Malibu and East Hampton — with no Trentons or Detroits. It does not occur to them that someone has to manufacture the tiles and steel and glass and solar panels that go into those “eco-friendly” mansions, and someone has to truck it all to their beachfront properties, and someone else has to transport all the workers there to build it. (And then someone has to drive the fleets of trucks delivering the pachysandra and bottled water every day.)

 

Liberals are already comfortably ensconced in their beachfront estates, which they expect to be unaffected by their negative growth prescriptions for the rest of us.

 

There was more energy consumed in the manufacture, construction and maintenance of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Malibu home than is needed to light the entire city of Albuquerque, where there are surely several men who can actually act. But he has solar panels to warm his house six degrees on chilly Malibu nights.

 

Liberals haven’t the foggiest idea how the industrial world works. They act as if America could reduce its vast energy consumption by using fluorescent bulbs and driving hybrid cars rather than SUVs. They have no idea how light miraculously appears when they flick a switch or what allows them to go to the bathroom indoors in winter — luxuries Americans are not likely to abandon because Leo DiCaprio had solar panels trucked into his Malibu estate.

 

Our lives depend on fossil fuel. Steel plants, chemical plants, rubber plants, pharmaceutical plants, glass plants, paper plants –- those run on energy. There are no Mother Earth nursery designs in stylish organic cotton without gas-belching factories, ships and trucks, and temperature-controlled, well-lighted stores. Windmills can’t even produce enough energy to manufacture a windmill.

 

Because of the industrialization of agriculture –- using massive amounts of fossil fuel — only 2% of Americans work in farming. And yet they produce enough food to feed all 300 million Americans, with plenty left over for export. When are liberals going to break the news to their friends in Darfur that they all have to starve to death to save the planet?

 

“Global warming” is the left’s pagan rage against mankind. If we can’t produce industrial waste, then we can’t produce. Some of us — not the ones with mansions in Malibu and Nashville is my guess — are going to have to die. To say we need to reduce our energy consumption is like saying we need to reduce our oxygen consumption.

 

Liberals have always had a thing about eliminating humans. Stalin wanted to eliminate the kulaks and Ukranians, vegetarian atheist Adolf Hitler wanted to eliminate the Jews, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wanted to eliminate poor blacks, DDT opponent Rachel Carson wanted to eliminate Africans (introduction to her book “Silent Spring” written by ... Al Gore!), and population-control guru Paul Ehrlich wants to eliminate all humans.

 

But global warming is the most insane, psychotic idea liberals have ever concocted to kill off “useless eaters.” If we have to live in a pure “natural” environment like the Indians, then our entire transcontinental nation can only support about 1 million human beings. Sorry, fellas — 299 million of you are going to have to go.

 

Proving that the “global warming” campaign is nothing but hatred of humanity, these are the exact same people who destroyed the nuclear power industry in this country 30 years ago.

 

If we accept for purposes of argument their claim that the only way the human race can survive is with clean energy that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, environmentalists waited until they had safely destroyed the nuclear power industry to tell us that. This proves they never intended for us to survive.

 

“Global warming” is the liberal’s stalking horse for their ultimate fantasy: The whole U.S. will look like Amagansett, with no one living in it except their even-tempered maids (for “diversity”), themselves and their coterie (all, presumably, living in solar-heated mansions, except the maids who will do without electricity altogether). The entire fuel-guzzling, tacky, beer-drinking, NASCAR-watching middle class with their over-large families will simply have to die.

 

It seems not to have occurred to the jet set that when California is as poor as Mexico, they might have trouble finding a maid. Without trucking, packaging, manufacturing, shipping and refrigeration in their Bel-Air fantasy world, they’ll be chasing the rear-end of an animal every time their stomachs growl and killing small animals for pelts to keep their genitals warm.

 

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Global warming labeled a ‘scam’ (Washington Times, 070306)

 

LONDON — With a packet of claims that are almost certain to defy conventional wisdom, a television documentary to be aired in Britain this week condemns man-made global warming as a myth that has become “the biggest scam of modern times.”

 

The program titled “The Great Global Warming Scandal” and set for screening by TV Channel 4 on Thursday dismisses claims that high levels of greenhouse gases generated by human activity causes climate change. Instead, the program suggests that the sun itself is the real culprit.

 

The documentary, directed by filmmaker Martin Durkin, is at odds with scientific opinion as outlined in a United Nations report in February, which blames mankind for global warming.

 

In his program, Mr. Durkin rejects the concept of man-made climate change, calling it “a lie ... the biggest scam of modern times.”

 

The truth, he says, is that global warming “is a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry, created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists, supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding, and propped up by compliant politicians and the media.”

 

Channel 4 says that the program features “an impressive roll-call of experts,” including nine professors, who are experts in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, biogeography and paleoclimatology.

 

It also says the experts come from prestigious institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, the Danish National Space Center and universities and other schools in London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Alabama, Virginia and Winnipeg, Canada.

 

“It’s very rare that a film changes history,” says Martin Durkin, “but I think this is a turning point, and in five years the idea that the greenhouse effect is the main reason behind global warming will be seen as total bunk,” he says.

 

His program collides sharply with the premise outlined in former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which presents a bleak picture of how a buildup in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide affects the global climate, with potentially disastrous consequences.

 

“Al Gore might have won an Oscar,” says Mr. Durkin, in a preview of the documentary, “but the film is very misleading, and he has got the relationship between [carbon dioxide] and climate change the wrong way around.”

 

One of the filmmaker’s experts, paleontologist professor Ian Clark of the University of Ottawa, says that global warming could be caused by increased activity on the sun, such as massive eruptions, and that ice-core samples from Antarctica show that, in fact, warmer periods in Earth’s history have come about 800 years before rises in carbon dioxide levels.

 

Mr. Clark’s findings appear to contradict the work of other scientists, who have used similar ice-core samples to illustrate that raised levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have accompanied the various global warming periods.

 

“The fact is that [carbon dioxide] has no proven link to global temperatures,” says Mr. Durkin. “Solar activity is far more likely to be the culprit.”

 

Scientists in the Channel 4 documentary cite what they claim is another discrepancy involving conventional research, saying that most of the recent global warming occurred before 1940, after which temperatures around the world fell for four decades.

 

Mr. Durkin’s skeptical specialists view this as a flaw in the official view, because the worldwide economic boom that followed the end of World War II produced more carbon dioxide, and therefore should have meant a rise in global temperatures — something he says did not happen.

 

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” also questions an assertion by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, published last month, that it was backed by some 2,500 of the world’s leading scientists.

 

Another of Mr. Durkin’s professors, Paul Reiter of Paris’ Pasteur Institute, an expert in malaria, calls the U.N. report a “sham” because, he says, it included the names of scientists — including his own — who disagreed with the report and who resigned from the panel.

 

“That is how they make it seem that all the top scientists are agreed,” he says. “It’s not true.”

 

Mr. Reiter says his name was removed only after he threatened legal action against the panel. The report itself, he adds, was finalized by government appointees.

 

Yet another expert in the Durkin documentary, Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, is more circumspect.

 

“The [climate] system is too complex to say exactly what the effect of cutting back on [carbon dioxide] production would be or, indeed, of continuing to produce [carbon dioxide].”

 

“The greenhouse effect theory worried me from the start,” Mr. Stott says, “because you can’t say that just one factor can have this effect.”

 

“At the moment, there is almost a McCarthyism movement in science where the greenhouse effect is like a puritanical religion, and this is dangerous,” he says.

 

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Global Warming: Caused by Pepsi, Coke, and Al Gore? (townhall.com, 070306)

 

By Phil Harris

 

Now, before the corporate lawyers for these beverage giants suffer the effects of knotty underwear, let me state for the record that these two companies are not implicated by any scientific study that I am aware of, for causing global climate change. In fact, the only reason I used Pepsi and Coke in the headline, is that those two names are synonymous when speaking about soft drinks in general.

 

I do have some anecdotal evidence; however, which at the very least is interesting for intelligent people to consider while discussing the cause and effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. There is a website called Science-House.org, on which I discovered a simple experiment for measuring the weight of carbon dioxide gas in a 16 ounce bottle of Pepsi One soda. The article title was: “How much CO2 is in a Bottle of Soda?” by Dr. David G. Haase, The Science House.

 

Upon completion of the experiment, the author determined that approximately 2.2 grams of carbon dioxide gas is contained in each bottle of soda. At least that was the amount of gas that he could extract from the liquid.

 

On another website called DrHealthSecrets.com, they claim that in the United States during the year 2000, more than 15 billion gallons of soda was sold. According to a CIA website fact-book, there were an estimated 298,444,215 people in the United States as of July 2006. So by my rough calculations, that means that every man, woman, and child in the U.S. drinks 50.26 gallons of soda in a years time.

 

With that in mind, and knowing that whatever we put into our bodies will eventually come out, we can roughly calculate the amount of carbon dioxide gas that is belched or otherwise deposited into the atmosphere by soda-bloated consumers in this country. The human race in America loads the atmosphere with 132 million kilograms, or 291 million pounds of carbon dioxide gas, every year, simply by drinking soda pop.

 

By now you may wonder how Al Gore fits into this story. Aside from his personal soda consumption characteristics, of which I am completely unaware, his Tennessee mansion has been in the news these past few days. It was reported that his 10,000 square foot home consumed 191,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in 2006, while the average Tennessee home consumes only 15,600 kilowatt hours in a years time.

 

Math often makes my brain hurt, so I’m not going to try to calculate the number of pounds of carbon dioxide Al Gore generates with his gargantuan home in Tennessee. He claims that he balances this consumption by purchasing from renewable energy sources such as Wind and Solar, but what this assumption fails to recognize is that he is consuming a huge amount of what is available from these limited alternative sources. Thus, everyone else is theoretically forced to use the “dirty” stuff.

 

Now don’t assume that I am in favor of reckless and imprudent misuse of our beloved planet. Whenever mankind is able to do something in a manner that is environmentally friendly, I think we ought to do it. I am simply pointing out that moderation is always the best policy, no matter what the subject. Can we make some changes over time that will reduce our carbon dioxide foot-prints? Sure we can, but what the soda guzzling, electricity hogging, private jet traveling hypocrites would have us do is something different altogether.

 

Something tells me that if Al and his ilk have their way, the American economy will suffer enormous damage, and the impact on energy and transportation costs will slap every man woman and child across the face. The lower the income, the harder the slap.

 

Yet at the same time, internet-inventing folk like Al Gore will still find a way to consume as they please. They will convince themselves and their fellow jet-setters of their own heroics, and will never miss a wink of sleep in the process.

 

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Evangelical’s Global Warming Stance Disturbs Some Christian Leaders (Christian Post, 070307)

[KH: Beware of liberals taking over NAE]

 

Dozens of prominent evangelical leaders signed a letter pressing the National Association of Evangelicals to stop or encourage to resign one of its top officials for his outspoken stance on global warming.

 

The letter, sent last week to the NAE board, was signed by Christian leaders such as James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family; Gary L. Bauer, president of Coalitions for America; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; and Bishop Harry R. Jackson, founder and president of High Impact Leadership Coalition among others.

 

Signers of the letter voiced serious concerned about the vocal views of the Rev. Richard Cizik, NAE’s vice president for government relations, on the global warming controversy.

 

The evangelical leaders, none of whose organizations are a part of the 30 million-member NAE, said they are worried that Cizik is dividing the Association with the global warming debate by speaking as if all evangelicals in the NAE has the same views as him.

 

The prominent leaders also highlighted that Cizik’s focus on the global warming issue has diverted attention away from more important evangelical agendas such as homosexuality and abortion.

 

“We have observed,” the letter stated, “that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time...”

 

However, the Rev. Leith Anderson, current NAE president who took over after the Rev. Ted Haggard’s drug and sex allegations, has defended Cizik calling him “a great asset” to the organization. “We’re talking about somebody here who’s been in Washington for 25 years, has an amazing track record and is highly respected,” Anderson told The New York Times. Anderson is the first on the list of supporters for the Evangelical Climate Initiative and was one of the speakers in Washington to launch the initiative. “This issue [of creation-care] will not be of any higher priority than any other, but my stance is public and self-explanatory,” Anderson had said to The Christian Post soon after he was appointed as the interim president of the NAE in November.

 

The concerns expressed in the letter by conservative evangelicals echo those heard earlier in January when Cizik helped launch a new climate change coalition composed of evangelicals and scientists.

 

Cizik was publicly criticized by the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a group formed by evangelicals, for misrepresenting their views on global warming.

 

ISA said that Cizik made it appear that there was a “growing consensus” among evangelicals about global warming when there was not. While Cizik and his coalition believe the warming of the earth is caused by human activities, Alliance members believe it is mainly naturally caused.

 

The NAE policy director was also accused of speaking on issues such as global warming for the NAE without the authorization of the organization. “I speak with a voice that is authentically evangelical on all the issues, from religious freedom around the world, to compassion for the poor, ending oppression in Darfur – and yes, creation care is one of those issues,” said Cizik, according to the Washington Post on Friday.

 

The NAE board is scheduled to meet this week in Minnesota where Anderson resides.

 

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HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today’s obsession with global warming (WorldNetDaily, 070301)

 

Titled “HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today’s obsession with global warming,” Whistleblower tells the rest of the story the “mainstream press” will never reveal.

 

The U.N. recently announced global warming is leading inexorably to global catastrophe. Al Gore won the “best documentary” Oscar for his disaster film “An Inconvenient Truth.” The news media beat the drum of “climate catastrophe” daily, all but ignoring scientists who say the threat is overblown or nonexistent. And across America, school children are frightened to death with tales of rising oceans, monster tornadoes, droughts and millions dying – all because of man-made global warming.

 

However, hidden just beneath the surface of the world’s latest environmental craze is a stunningly different reality, as the March edition of WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine documents.

 

To begin with, those who believe the dire warnings of today’s establishment press should know, as U.S. Sen. James Inhofe has pointed out, that “for more than 100 years, journalists have quoted scientists predicting the destruction of civilization by, in alternation, either runaway heat or a new Ice Age.”

 

Believe it or not, over the last century America’s major media have predicted an impending global climate crisis four different times – each prediction warning that entire countries would be wiped out or that lower crop yields would mean “billions will die.” In 1895, the panic was over an imminent ice age. Later, in the late 1920s, when the earth’s surface warmed less than half a degree, the media jumped on a new threat – global warming, which continued into the late 1950s. Then in 1975, the New York Times’ headline blared, “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable.” Then in 1981 it was back to global warming, with the Times quoting seven government atmospheric scientists who predicted global warming of an “almost unprecedented magnitude.”

 

Today, to cover all their bases, much of the press is changing its terminology from “global warming” to “climate change” or “climate catastrophe.” That way they’re covered either way: If the world gets colder, global warming is still at fault.

 

But hot-and-cold press coverage is just the beginning. Whistleblower’s “HYSTERIA” issue reveals exactly why so many scientists, journalists and others (even the president’s speechwriters now have him pay lip service to “climate change”) are so gripped by global warming fever.

 

Here’s a hint: As “Deep Throat” famously told Washington Post “Watergate” reporter Bob Woodward, “Follow the money.”

 

Whistleblower shows how all the main players – from politicians and scientists to big corporations and the United Nations – benefit from instilling fear into billions of human beings over the unproven theory of man-made global warming. Indeed, just three weeks after the U.N. ratcheted up international fears over global warming, a panel of 18 scientists from 11 countries has now reported to the U.N. that the only thing that can stop catastrophic climate change is a global tax – on greenhouse gas emissions.

 

That’s right. Global problems, real or conjured up, require global governmental solutions. As Whistleblower explains, environmentalism is nothing less than the global elitists’ replacement ideology for communism/socialism. With communism largely discredited today – after all, 100-150 million people died at the hands of communist “visionaries” during the last century – elitists who desire to rule other people’s lives have gravitated to an even more powerful ideology. More powerful because it seems to trump all other considerations, as it claims the very survival of life on earth is dependent on implementing its agenda.

 

Thus, while scientists and climatologists who dare to question the rigid orthodoxy of man-made catastrophic global warming are openly ridiculed and threatened with decertification, the movement for global governance, complete with global taxation, is moving into the fast lane.

 

“Global warming will be one of the most powerfully coercive weapons in the globalists’ arsenal for the foreseeable future,” said David Kupelian, WND managing editor and author of “The Marketing of Evil.” “It’s important that everyone understands the game being played. This issue of Whistleblower provides a powerful antidote to all the hysteria – namely, common sense and truth.”

 

==============================

 

Evangelical Board Affirms Concern for Global Warming (Christian Post, 070312)

 

The board of the National Association of Evangelical affirmed that “creation care” is an important moral issue deserving the organization’s support and commitment.

 

NAE’s president, the Rev. Leith Anderson, said that the board did not specifically respond to the letter sent by prominent evangelical leaders criticizing its vice president of government relations, but instead simply reaffirmed a 2004 paper that listed creation care as an evangelical responsibility, according to The Washington Post.

 

Earlier in the month more than two dozen well-known evangelical leaders including James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family; Gary L. Bauer, president of Coalitions for America; and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council wrote a letter to the NAE board urging it to take action against its vice president the Rev. Richard Cizik for his global warming advocacy.

 

Signers of the letter argued that Cizik failed to represent the evangelical body on global warming because he only spoke on behalf of evangelicals who believe that global warming is human-induced. However, there is no consensus among evangelicals on the issue and some believe global warming is mainly naturally caused.

 

The group of Christian leaders further noted that the policy director’s promotion of global warming was diverting attention away from more important moral issues such as abortion and homosexuality.

 

However, despite the significant attention given to the letter and speculations that its content would be a key topic of discussion, Anderson said that the meeting ended on Friday with only the board affirming its 2004 paper, “For the Health of the Nations,” that detailed seven areas of civic responsibilities of evangelicals: sanctity of life, nurturing the family, compassion for the poor, religious freedom, human rights, inhibiting violence, and creation care.

 

“I think there was a lot of support from me, from the executive committee and from the board for Rich Cizik,” said Anderson to The Washington Post.

 

Anderson had voiced support for Cizik even prior to the meeting, calling him a “great asset” and highlighting the vice president’s 25 years of service in Washington.

 

The names of Anderson and the new NAE executive director, W. Todd Bassett, both appear as supporters of the Evangelical Climate Initiative – a statement that recognizes the biblical responsibility of Christians to care for the environment and acknowledges that global warming is mainly caused by humans.

 

The two-day board meeting concluded with Cizik giving a report on his work in Washington and the board approving a 12-page statement on terrorism and torture.

 

==============================

 

Scientists: Gore Goes Too Far in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (Foxnews, 070313)

 

Several experts on climate change, including both proponents and skeptics of the man-made global warming theory, question former Vice President Al Gore’s assertions in his Academy Award-winning documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

 

“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” said Don J. Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, told an annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, according to a report in The New York Times. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”

 

In the slideshow presentation that is the central part of “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore lays out what most researchers consider to be the worst-case scenario for global warming, with total melting of polar ice caps, a sea-level rise of 20 feet and catastrophic flooding and droughts.

 

“He’s a very polarizing figure in the science community,” Roger A. Pielke Jr., an environmental scientist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, told the Times. “Very quickly, these discussions turn from the issue to the person, and become a referendum on Mr. Gore.”

 

Current scientific consensus holds that human industrial activity has sharply increased the amounts of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere, and that average temperatures worldwide will rise for at least the next century — but at a much more gradual rate than that depicted in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

 

“Climate change is a real and serious problem,” said Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish political scientist and statistician whose book “The Skeptical Environmentalist” challenges many of the catastrophic assertions made by proponents of the global-warming theory. “The cacophony of screaming does not help.”

 

==============================

 

Global Warming Report to Warn of Drought (Foxnews, 070310)

 

The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won’t have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.

 

At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as the Earth reels from rising temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press.

 

Tropical diseases like malaria will spread. By 2050, polar bears will mostly be found in zoos, their habitats gone. Pests like fire ants will thrive.

 

For a time, food will be plentiful because of the longer growing season in northern regions. But by 2080, hundreds of millions of people could face starvation, according to the report, which is still being revised.

 

The draft document by the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focuses on global warming’s effects and is the second in a series of four being issued this year. Written and reviewed by more than 1,000 scientists from dozens of countries, it still must be edited by government officials.

 

But some scientists said the overall message is not likely to change when it’s issued in early April in Brussels, the same city where European Union leaders agreed this past week to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Their plan will be presented to President Bush and other world leaders at a summit in June.

 

The report offers some hope if nations slow and then reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but it notes that what’s happening now isn’t encouraging.

 

“Changes in climate are now affecting physical and biological systems on every continent,” the report says, in marked contrast to a 2001 report by the same international group that said the effects of global warming were coming. But that report only mentioned scattered regional effects.

 

“Things are happening and happening faster than we expected,” said Patricia Romero Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., one of the many co-authors of the new report.

 

The draft document says scientists are highly confident that many current problems — change in species’ habits and habitats, more acidified oceans, loss of wetlands, bleaching of coral reefs, and increases in allergy-inducing pollen — can be blamed on global warming.

 

For example, the report says North America “has already experienced substantial ecosystem, social and cultural disruption from recent climate extremes,” such as hurricanes and wildfires.

 

But the present is nothing compared to the future.

 

Global warming soon will “affect everyone’s life ... it’s the poor sectors that will be most affected,” Romero Lankao said.

 

And co-author Terry Root of Stanford University said: “We truly are standing at the edge of mass extinction” of species.

 

The report included these likely results of global warming:

[KH: let’s put this on record and see the results]

 

_Hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages. By 2080, water shortages could threaten 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion people, depending on the level of greenhouse gases that cars and industry spew into the air. [KH: many in the world already face water shortages NOW. What is the increase?]

 

_Death rates for the world’s poor from global warming-related illnesses, such as malnutrition and diarrhea, will rise by 2030. Malaria and dengue fever, as well as illnesses from eating contaminated shellfish, are likely to grow.

 

_Europe’s small glaciers will disappear with many of the continent’s large glaciers shrinking dramatically by 2050. And half of Europe’s plant species could be vulnerable, endangered or extinct by 2100.

 

_By 2080, between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming’s effects.

 

_About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas.

 

_Smog in U.S. cities will worsen and “ozone-related deaths from climate (will) increase by approximately 4.5% for the mid-2050s, compared with 1990s levels,” turning a small health risk into a substantial one.

 

_Polar bears in the wild and other animals will be pushed to extinction.

 

_At first, more food will be grown. For example, soybean and rice yields in Latin America will increase starting in a couple of years. Areas outside the tropics, especially the northern latitudes, will see longer growing seasons and healthier forests.

 

Looking at different impacts on ecosystems, industry and regions, the report sees the most positive benefits in forestry and some improved agriculture and transportation in polar regions. The biggest damage is likely to come in ocean and coastal ecosystems, water resources and coastal settlements.

 

The hardest-hit continents are likely to be Africa and Asia, with major harm also coming to small islands and some aspects of ecosystems near the poles. North America, Europe and Australia are predicted to suffer the fewest of the harmful effects.

 

“In most parts of the world and most segments of populations, lifestyles are likely to change as a result of climate change,” the draft report said. “Net valuations of benefits vs. costs will vary, but they are more likely to be negative if climate change is substantial and rapid, rather than if it is moderate and gradual.”

 

This report — considered by some scientists the “emotional heart” of climate change research — focuses on how global warming alters the planet and life here, as opposed to the more science-focused report by the same group last month.

 

“This is the story. This is the whole play. This is how it’s going to affect people. The science is one thing. This is how it affects me, you and the person next door,” said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver.

 

Many — not all — of those effects can be prevented, the report says, if within a generation the world slows down its emissions of carbon dioxide and if the level of greenhouse gases sticking around in the atmosphere stabilizes. If that’s the case, the report says “most major impacts on human welfare would be avoided; but some major impacts on ecosystems are likely to occur.”

 

The United Nations-organized network of 2,000 scientists was established in 1988 to give regular assessments of the Earth’s environment. The document issued last month in Paris concluded that scientists are 90% certain that people are the cause of global warming and that warming will continue for centuries. [KH: how do you measure this probability? Answer: impossible! meaning that they could never be proved wrong.]

 

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Scientists Debate Sun’s Role in Global Warming (Foxnews, 070313)

 

Earth is heating up lately, but so are Mars, Pluto and other worlds in our solar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in the sun’s activity is the common thread linking all these baking events.

 

Others argue that such claims are misleading and create the false impression that rapid global warming, such as Earth is experiencing, is a natural phenomenon.

 

While evidence suggests fluctuations in solar activity can affect climate on Earth, and that it has done so in the past, the majority of climate scientists and astrophysicists agree that the sun is not to blame for the current and historically sudden uptick in global temperatures on Earth, which seems to be mostly a mess created by our own species.

 

Wobbly Mars

 

Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of space research at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, recently linked the attenuation of ice caps on Mars to fluctuations in the sun’s output.

 

Abdussamatov also blamed solar fluctuations for Earth’s current global warming trend. His initial comments were published online by National Geographic News.

 

“Man-made greenhouse warming has [made a] small contribution [to] the warming on Earth in recent years, but [it] cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance,” Abdussamatov told LiveScience in an email interview last week. “The considerable heating and cooling on the Earth and on Mars always will be practically parallel.”

 

But Abdussamatov’s critics say the Red Planet’s recent thawing is more likely due to natural variations in the planet’s orbit and tilt.

 

On Earth, these wobbles, known as Milankovitch cycles, are thought to contribute to the onset and disappearance of ice ages.

 

“It’s believed that what drives climate change on Mars are orbital variations,” said Jeffrey Plaut, a project scientist for NASA’s Mars Odyssey mission. “The Earth also goes through orbital variations similar to that of Mars.”

 

As for Abdussamatov’s claim that solar fluctuations are causing Earth’s current global warming, Charles Long, a climate physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Washington, says the idea is nonsense.

 

“That’s nuts,” Long said in a telephone interview. “It doesn’t make physical sense that that’s the case.”

 

In 2005, Long’s team published a study in the journal Science showing that Earth experienced a period of “solar global dimming” from 1960 to 1990, during which time solar radiation hitting our planet’s surface decreased.

 

Then from the mid-1990’s onward, the trend reversed and Earth experienced a “solar brightening.”

 

These changes were not likely driven by fluctuations in the output of the Sun, Long explained, but rather increases in atmospheric clouds or aerosols that reflected solar radiation back into space.

 

Other warming worlds

 

Others have pointed out anomalous warming on other worlds in our solar system.

 

Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University who monitors studies and news reports of asteroids, global warming and other potentially apocalyptic topics, recently quoted in his daily electronic newsletter the following from a blog called Strata-Sphere:

 

“Global warming on Neptune’s moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some [scientists] scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets ... Could there be something in common with all the planets in our solar system that might cause them all to warm at the same time?”

 

Peiser included quotes from recent news articles that take up other aspects of the idea.

 

“I think it is an intriguing coincidence that warming trends have been observed on a number of very diverse planetary bodies in our solar system,” Peiser said in an e-mail interview. “Perhaps this is just a fluke.”

 

In fact, scientists have alternative explanations for the anomalous warming on each of these other planetary bodies.

 

The warming on Triton, for example, could be the result of an extreme southern summer on the moon, a season that occurs every few hundred years, as well as possible changes in the makeup of surface ice that caused it to absorb more of the Sun’s heat.

 

Researchers credited Pluto’s warming to possible eruptive activity and a delayed thawing from its last close approach to the Sun in 1989.

 

And the recent storm activity on Jupiter is being blamed on a recurring climatic cycle that churns up material from the gas giant’s interior and lofts it to the surface, where it is heated by the Sun.

 

Sun does vary

 

The radiation output of the Sun does fluctuate over the course of its 11-year solar cycle. But the change is only about one-tenth of 1% — not substantial enough to affect Earth’s climate in dramatic ways, and certainly not enough to be the sole culprit of our planet’s current warming trend, scientists say.

 

“The small measured changes in solar output and variations from one decade to the next are only on the order of a fraction of 1%, and, if you do the calculations, not even large enough to really provide a detectable signal in the surface temperature record,” said Penn State meteorologist Michael Mann.

 

The link between solar activity and global warming is just another scapegoat for human-caused warming, Mann told LiveScience.

 

“Solar activity continues to be one of the last bastions of contrarians,” Mann said. “People who don’t accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change still try to point to solar activity.”

 

The Maunder Minimum

 

This is not to say that solar fluctuations never influence Earth’s climate in substantial ways.

 

During a 75-year period beginning in 1645, astronomers detected almost no sunspot activity on the Sun.

 

Called the “Maunder Minimum,” this event coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, a 350-year cold spell that gripped much of Europe and North America.

 

Recent studies have cast doubt on this relationship, however. New estimates of the total change in the brightness of the Sun during the Maunder Minimum suggest it was only fractions of 1%, and perhaps not enough to create the global cooling commonly attributed to it.

 

“The situation is pretty ambiguous,” said David Rind, a senior climate researcher at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has modeled the Maunder Minimum.

 

Based on current estimates, even if another Maunder Minimum were to occur, it might result in an average temperature decrease of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, Rind said.

 

This would still not be enough to counteract warming of between 2 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit from greenhouse gases by 2100, as predicted by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

 

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Global warming resilience required (Washington Times, 070316)

 

By Henry I. Miller

 

From the Earth’s poles to the tropics, from the oceans to the most fertile farming regions, global warming could present daunting challenges. Europe attempted to meet a week ago when 27 governments agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, and to commit the EU to generating a fifth of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

 

Not to be outdone by unwisdom from across the pond, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had already created a new congressional committee “to raise the visibility” of global warming and “report legislation” by June. “We already have many of the technology and techniques that we need to reduce global warming pollution, and American ingenuity will supply the rest,” she intoned. She’s wrong.

 

A significant lowering of emissions would be too costly, too little and too late. Reduced burning of fossil fuels sufficient to have even a modest impact would create havoc with economic growth. In any case, discernible effects on warming would be decades away. We really need to focus our efforts and resources on becoming more resilient and adaptive.

 

As noted recently in an insightful article in the journal Nature by University of Colorado Environmental Studies Professor Roger Pielke Jr. and his collaborators, vulnerability to climate-related impacts on society is increasing for reasons that have nothing to do with greenhouse-gas emissions, such as rapid population growth along coasts and in areas with limited water supplies, which exacerbates impacts of droughts. Nevertheless, they observe that many activists regard adaptation as necessary only because we aren’t aggressive enough in preventing greenhouse-gas emissions and that, because most projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change are marginal increases on already huge losses, applying adaptation only to that narrow margin makes no sense.

 

They cite the example of the Philippines, where policymakers are wringing their hands about a possible gradual climate change-mediated rise in sea level of from 1 to 3 millimeters per year, while they ignore the primary cause of enhanced flood risk, excessive groundwater extraction, which is lowering the land surface by several centimeters to more than a decimeter per year (100 millimeters equals 1 decimeter, or about 4 inches). Perhaps more attention should be given ways to reduce groundwater extraction, such as desalination, wastewater treatment and recycling, collection of rainwater and cultivation of crop plants that require less irrigation.

 

In a similar vein, the authors say “nonclimate factors are by far the most important drivers of increased risk to tropical disease,” although such risk “is repeatedly invoked by climate-mitigation advocates as a key reason to curb emissions.” They cite a study finding that without factoring in climate-change effects, “The global population at risk from malaria would increase by 100% by 2080, whereas the effect of climate change would increase the risk of malaria by at most 7%.”

 

Mr. Pielke and his colleagues criticize the political obsession with the idea that climate risks can be reduced by cutting emissions, because it distracts attention from other, more cost-effective approaches. However, for many activists, emissions reduction has become an article of faith: Al Gore dismissed adaptation as a kind of laziness, an arrogant faith in our ability to react in time to save our skins.

 

Doctrinaire activism and command-and-control policymaking are inimical to resilience; they jeopardize our survival as individuals and our success as a society.

 

The need for resilience in both the private and public sectors is not new. The buggy-whip manufacturers had to adapt and begin supplying automobile components to Henry Ford’s assembly line, or perish. More recently, the U.K. built the Thames Barrier, a monumental system of movable flood gates that prevents the flooding of London by surge tides that occur under certain meteorological conditions and because tide levels have been rising by 60 centimeters (2 feet) per century.

 

How resilient will preeminent farming areas be to a warming trend? Agriculture will adapt for example, by adjusting what gets planted where. Crops that require cooler temperatures will increasingly be cultivated at higher elevations, on northern exposures, or closer to the coast. We have already observed a similar phenomenon in Germany, where the growers of wine grapes have begun to exploit higher temperatures: Because of the northward migration of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, during the last five years the proportion of locally made red wines consumed by German consumers has increased from 17% to 27%.

 

Technological advances will help, too: Gene-splicing techniques already are used to enhance the resistance to drought and other stresses of many kinds of crop plants.

 

But here again, public policy has impeded innovation and, thereby, our ability to adapt. Gene-splicing technology, which offers markedly enhanced precision and predictability compared to its predecessors, is grossly over-regulated. As a result, the additional expense to perform field trials with gene-spliced plants causes the technology to be underutilized by academic and industrial scientists. Worse still, in response to mendacious and irresponsible activism, some local jurisdictions have banned entirely the cultivation of plants or seeds improved with these techniques.

 

Resilience is in short supply these days, and there is plenty of blame to go around. Politicians tend to be short-term thinkers, their purview often limited to the next election, and many seem to care less about the public interest than about scoring political points. Moreover, many are just not very smart and are often particularly challenged in science and logic.

 

If individually and collectively we are to meet economic, environmental and public health challenges, we need plenty of options and opportunities for innovation and the wealth to pursue them. In society, as in biology, survival demands adaptation. But in large and small ways, unimaginative, shortsighted politicians and benighted activists have conspired to limit our options, constrain economic growth and make real solutions elusive.

 

Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. His most recent book is “The Frankenfood Myth.”

 

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‘Anti-greenhouse religion’ scorched by Czech president: Klaus says environmental extremism modern equivalent of communism (WorldNetDaily, 070321)

 

As Al Gore takes testifies before two congressional committees today on “global warming,” Czech President Vaclav Klaus is warning “the anti-greenhouse religion” espoused by the former vice president is the modern equivalent of communism.

 

Gore spoke this morning to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will appear before the Senate Environmental and Public Works panel this afternoon.

 

In a letter issued Monday to the energy panel, Klaus wrote, “It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment, but a clash of views about human freedom.”

 

Responding to questions by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and former House Speaker Denny Hastert, R-Ill., the Czech leader said: “As someone who lived under communism for most of my life I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism.”

 

He added, “The so-called climate change and especially man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world.”

 

In a letter to Klaus, Barton, the committee’s ranking Republican, and Hastert, ranking Republican on the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee, asked the Czech president to comment on global warming, based on his background as an economist and political leader, especially since he is familiar with European responses to global warming.

 

“We believe your perspective on the political, economic and moral aspects of the climate change debate can be useful as we seek to assess the potential impacts of proposed U.S. climate-related regulations on the economic well-being of its citizens and their ability to contribute to future economic vitality and innovation here and abroad,” Barton and Hastert said.

 

Klaus urges policymakers to rely on free-market principles, not government coercion, in formulating public policy. In his written response to the House committee members, the Czech leader said:

 

“I warn against adopting regulations based on the so-called precautionary principle which the environmentalists use to justify their recommendations, the clear benefit of which they are not able to prove.” Klaus added, “Responsible politics should take into account the opportunity costs of such proposals and be aware of the fact that the wasteful environmentalist policies are adopted to the detriment of other policies, thus neglecting many other important needs of millions of people all over the world. Each policy measure must be based on a cost-benefit analysis.”

 

Last month, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, congratulated Klaus for speaking out against the fears of man-made global warming. Klaus had told a Czech newspaper on Feb. 8 that fears of catastrophic man-made global warming were a “myth” and critiqued the U.N.’s report, calling it “political.” Klaus also said other government leaders would speak out, but “political correctness strangles their voice.”

 

“President Klaus is to be commended for his courage in speaking not only the truth about the science behind global warming fears, but the reality of the politicization of the U.N.,” Inhofe said. “President Klaus’s reported comments questioning the fears of catastrophic man-made global warming are in line with a growing chorus of scientists, peer-reviewed literature and government leaders who are finally realizing the true motivations behind climate scares. The scientific and political momentum is clearly shifting away from climate alarmists to climate realists,” Inhofe said.

 

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Czech president’s rebuttal to Gore: Calls former VP’s claim ‘one of the most dangerous arguments’ (WorldNetDaily, 070322)

 

Czech President Václav Klaus sent this letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee prior to former Vice President Al Gore’s appearance before the panel today.

 

Answers to questions from the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on the issue of mankind’s contribution to global warming and climate change

 

Concerning mankind’s contribution to climate change and in keeping with obligations towards the welfare of our citizens: what, in your view, should policymakers consider when addressing climate change?

 

The – so called – climate change and especially man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world.

 

My ambition is not to bring additional arguments to the scientific climatological debate about this phenomenon. I am convinced, however, that up to now this scientific debate has not been deep and serious enough and has not provided sufficient basis for the policymakers’ reaction. What I am really concerned about is the way the environmental topics have been misused by certain political pressure groups to attack fundamental principles underlying free society. It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment but a clash of views about human freedom.

 

As someone who lived under communism for most of my life I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism. This ideology preaches earth and nature and under the slogans of their protection – similarly to the old Marxists – wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning of the whole world.

 

The environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an undisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and PR campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argumentation is based on the spreading of fear and panic by declaring the future of the world to be under serious threat. In such an atmosphere they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures, impose arbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on everyday human activities and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision-making. To use the words of Friedrich Hayek, they try to stop free, spontaneous human action and replace it by their own, very doubtful human design.

 

The environmentalist paradigm of thinking is absolutely static. They neglect the fact that both nature and human society are in a process of permanent change, that there is and has been no ideal state of the world as regards natural conditions, climate, distribution of species on earth, etc. They neglect the fact that the climate has been changing fundamentally throughout the existence of our planet and that there are proofs of substantial climate fluctuations even in known and documented history. Their reasoning is based on historically short and incomplete observations and data series which cannot justify the catastrophic conclusions they draw. They neglect the complexity of factors that determine the evolution of the climate and blame contemporary mankind and the whole industrial civilization for being the decisive factors responsible for climate change and other environmental risks.

 

By concentrating on the human contribution to the climate change the environmentalists ask for immediate political action based on limiting economic growth, consumption, or human behavior they consider hazardous. They do not believe in the future economic expansion of the society, they ignore the technological progress the future generations will enjoy, and they ignore the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society is, the higher is the quality of the environment.

 

The policymakers are pushed to follow this media-driven hysteria based on speculative and hard evidence lacking theories, and to adopt enormously costly programs which would waste scarce resources in order to stop the probably unstoppable climate changes, caused not by human behavior but by various exogenous and endogenous natural processes (such as fluctuating solar activity).

 

My answer to your first question, i.e. what should policymakers consider when addressing climate change, is that policymakers should under all circumstances stick to the principles free society is based on, that they should not transfer the right to choose and decide from the people to any advocacy group claiming that it knows better than the rest of the people what is good for them. Policymakers should protect taxpayers’ money and avoid wasting it on doubtful projects which cannot bring positive results.

 

How should policies address the rate and consequences of climate change and to what extent should regulation of emissions of greenhouse gases be a focus of any such policies?

 

Policies should realistically evaluate the potential our civilization has, as compared with the power of natural forces influencing climate. It is an evident waste of society’s resources to try to combat an increase of solar activity or the movement of ocean currents. No government action can stop the world and nature from changing. Therefore, I disagree with plans such as the Kyoto Protocol or similar initiatives, which set arbitrary targets requiring enormous costs without realistic prospects for the success of these measures.

 

If we accept global warming as a real phenomenon, I believe we should address it in an absolutely different way. Instead of hopeless attempts to fight it, we should prepare ourselves for its consequences. If the atmosphere warms up, the effects do not have to be predominantly negative. While some deserts may get larger and some ocean shores flooded, enormous parts of the earth – up until now empty because of their severe, cold climate – may become fertile areas able to accommodate millions of people. It is also important to realize that no planetary change comes overnight.

 

Therefore, I warn against adopting regulations based on the so-called precautionary principle which the environmentalists use to justify their recommendations, the clear benefit of which they are not able to prove. Responsible politics should take into account the opportunity costs of such proposals and be aware of the fact that the wasteful environmentalist policies are adopted to the detriment of other policies, thus neglecting many other important needs of millions of people all over the world. Each policy measure must be based on a cost- benefit analysis.

 

Mankind has already accumulated tragic experience with one very proud intellectual stream that claimed that it knew how to manage society better that spontaneous market forces. It was communism and it failed, leaving behind millions of victims. Now, a new-ism has emerged that claims to be able to manage even nature and, through it, people. This excessive human pride – just as the previous attempts – cannot but fail. The world is a complex and complicated system that cannot be organized according to an environmentalist human design, without repeating the tragic experience of wasting resources, suppressing people’s freedom, and destroying the prosperity of the whole human society.

 

My recommendation, therefore, is to pay attention to the thousands of small things that negatively influence the quality of the environment. And to protect and foster fundamental systemic factors without which the economy and society cannot operate efficiently – i.e. to guarantee human freedom and basic economic principles such as the free market, a functioning price system and clearly defined ownership rights. They motivate economic agents to behave rationally. Without them, no policies can protect either the citizens or the environment.

 

Policymakers should resist environmentalist calls for new policies because there are too many uncertainties in scientific debates on climate change. It is impossible to control natural factors causing climate change. The negative impact of the proposed regulation on economic growth is to the detriment of all other possible risks, including the environmental ones.

 

What will be the effect on national economies, consumer well-being, job creation, and future innovation under various climate change policy scenarios that have come to your attention?

 

If the policymakers accept the maximalistic environmental demands, the effects on national economies will be devastating. It would stimulate some, very small parts of the economy while leaving a bigger part of it choked by artificial limits, regulations, and restrictions. The rate of growth would decline and the competitiveness of the firms on international markets would be seriously affected. It would have a negative impact on employment and job creation. Only rational policies, making spontaneous adjustments possible, can justify government intervention.

 

What impact and effectiveness will so-called cap-and-trade policies have upon the reduction of climate change threats and our ability to address these threats in the future?

 

Cap-and-trade policies are a technical tool to achieve pollution reduction goals by more market compatible means. They can help if the general idea behind the scheme is rational. I do not believe the whole idea to combat climate change by emission limits is rational and I, therefore, consider the technicalities of its eventual implementation to be of secondary importance.

 

What is the moral obligation of developed countries to the developing countries of the world? Should developed countries embark on large emissions reduction schemes while developing countries are allowed to continue to increase emissions unabated?

 

The moral obligation of developed countries to the developing countries is to create such an environment which guarantees free exchange of goods, services, and capital flows, enables utilization of comparative advantages of individual countries and thus stimulates economic development of the less developed countries. Artificial administrative barriers, limits and regulations imposed by developed countries discriminate the developing world, affect its economic growth, and prolong poverty and underdevelopment. The environmentalist proposals are an exact example of such illiberal policies that are so harmful for the developing countries. They will not be able to cope with the limits and standards imposed on the world by irrational environmental policies, they will not be able to absorb new technological standards required by the anti-greenhouse religion, their products will have difficult access to the developed markets, and as a result the gap between them and the developed world will widen.

 

It is an illusion to believe that severe anti-climate change policies could be limited to developed countries only. If the policies of the environmentalists are adopted by developed countries, sooner or later their ambitions to control and manage the whole planet will spread the emissions reduction requirements worldwide. The developing countries will be forced to accept irrational targets and limitations because “earth is first” and their needs are secondary. The environmentalist argumentation gives ammunition to protectionists of all colors who try to eliminate competition coming from newly industrialized countries. Therefore, the moral obligation of the developed countries is not to introduce large emissions reduction schemes.

 

Václav Klaus, March 19th, 2007

 

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Gore’s faith isbad science (Washington Times, 070327)

 

By Michael Barone

 

Al Gore likes to present himself as a tribune of science, warning the world of imminent danger. But he is more like an Old Testament prophet, calling on us to bewail our wrongful conduct and to go and sin no more.

 

He starts off with the science. The world’s climate, he reports, is getting warmer. This accurate report is, however, not set in historic context. World climate has grown warmer and cooler at various times in history. Climate change is not some unique historic event. It is the way the world works.

 

Not this time, Mr. Gore says. What’s different is that climate change is being driven by human activity — to wit, increasing carbon dioxide emissions. That means, he says, we have to sharply reduce those emissions. But what the scientists tell us is that some proportion of climate change is caused by human activity and some proportion by natural causes — and that they can only estimate those proportions.

 

Their estimates have varied sharply. The climate change models developed don’t account for events of the recent past, much less predict with precision the future.

 

To which the prophet replies, with religious intensity, that all debate should be over. Those scientists with inconvenient views should be defunded and silenced. We should replace scientific inquiry with faith. We should have faith that climate change — “global warming” — is caused primarily by human activity. And we should have faith that the effects will be catastrophic, with rising oceans flooding great cities and pleasant plains and forests broiled by a searing sun.

 

Even the New York Times bridles at this. After Mr. Gore won the Academy Award for his film on climate change, the Times printed an article in which respected scientists — not Republicans, not on oil company payrolls — charged Mr. Gore has vastly exaggerated the likelihood of catastrophic effects.

 

When you read the fine print of even the scientific reports Mr. Gore likes to cite, you find the same thing. Mr. Gore foresees a 20-foot rise in sea level — 240 inches. The IPCC panel report foresees a maximum of 23 inches. Mr. Gore says “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this.” Geologist Don Easterbrook says there have been shifts up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

 

Science says we should learn more about possible bad effects of climate change and calculate rationally how we can mitigate them. Economic journalist Robert Samuelson notes there is little we can feasibly do in the short term to reduce carbon emissions; in the long term we may be able to develop substitutes for carbon fuels.

 

As the environmentalist Bjorn Lomberg points out, the Kyoto Treaty Mr. Gore helped to write (but which the Clinton administration never asked the Senate to ratify) would produce very little reduction in climate change at very high cost.

 

But religious prophets are not concerned about costs. Mr. Gore calls for an immediate cessation of new carbon-burning facilities. In other words, stop economic growth. But stopping economic growth in the developing world means consigning millions to miserable poverty. And we know what stopping economic growth in the developed world can mean. Read the history of the 1930s: fascism, communism, world war. There are worse things than a rise of 1 or 2 degrees Centigrade.

 

The natural human yearning for spirituality has produced in many people educated in secular-minded universities and enveloped in an atmosphere of contempt for traditional religion a faith that we vulgar human beings have a sacred obligation not to inflict damage on Mother Earth. But science tells us the Earth and its climate have been constantly changing.

 

Mr. Gore and his followers seem to assume the ideal climate was the one they got used to when growing up. When temperatures dropped in the 1970s, there were warnings of an impending ice age. When they rose in the 1990s, there were predictions of disastrous global warming. This is just another example of the solipsism of the Baby Boom generation, the pampered and much-praised age cohort that believes the world revolves around them and that history has become irrelevant.

 

We’re told in effect that the climate of the late 1950s and early 1960s was, of all those that have ever existed, the best of all possible climates. Not by science. But as a matter of faith.

 

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The coming Ass Age (Ann Coulter, 070321)

 

No matter how much liberals try to dress up their nutty superstitions about global warming as “science,” which only six-fingered lunatics could doubt, scratch a global warming “scientist” and you get a religious fanatic.

 

These days, new religions are barely up and running before they seize upon the worst aspects of the God-based religions.

 

First, there’s the hypocrisy and corruption. At the 1992 Democratic Convention in New York, Al Gore said: “The central organizing principle of governments everywhere must be the environment.” The environment would not, however, be the central organizing principle of Gore’s own life.

 

The only place Al Gore conserves energy these days is on the treadmill. I don’t want to suggest that Al’s getting big, but the last time I saw him on TV I thought, “That reminds me – we have to do something about saving the polar bears.”

 

Never mind his carbon footprint – have you seen the size of Al Gore’s regular footprint lately? It’s almost as deep as Janet Reno’s.

 

But I digress. As has been widely reported, Gore’s Tennessee mansion consumes 20 times the energy of the average home in that state. But it’s OK, according to the priests of global warming. Gore has purchased “carbon offsets.”

 

It took the Catholic Church hundreds of years to develop corrupt practices such as papal indulgences. The global warming religion has barely been around for 20 years, and yet its devotees are allowed to pollute by the simple expedient of paying for papal indulgences called “carbon offsets.”

 

Americans spend an extra $2.2 billion on gas a year because they’re overweight, requiring more fuel in cars to carry the extra pounds. So even with all those papal indulgences, Gore may have a small carbon footprint, but he has a huge carbon butt-print.

 

Further proving that liberalism is a religion, its practitioners respond with the zeal of Torquemada to any dissent from the faith in global warming.

 

A few years ago, Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg wrote a book titled “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” disputing the hysteria surrounding global warming and other environmentalist scares. Lomborg is a Greenpeace anti-war protester – or, as he is described on liberal websites, he is a “young, gay vegetarian Dane with tight T-shirts.” His book was cited favorably in the New York Times.

 

But for questioning the “science” behind global warming, Lomborg was brought up on charges of “scientific misconduct” by Denmark’s Inquisition Court, called the “Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.” I take it Denmark’s Ministry of Truth was booked solid that day.

 

The moment anyone diverges from official church doctrine on global warming, he is threatened with destruction. Heretics would be burned at the stake if liberals could figure out how to do it in a “carbon neutral” way.

 

Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball is featured in the new documentary debunking global warming, titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” For this heresy, Ball has received hate mail with such messages as, “If you continue to speak out, you won’t live to see further global warming.”

 

I’m against political writers whining about their hate mail because it makes them sound like Paul Krugman. But that’s political writers arguing about ideology.

 

Global warming is supposed to be “science.” It’s hard to imagine Niels Bohr responding to Albert Einstein’s letter questioning quantum mechanics with a statement like: “If you continue to speak out, you won’t live to see further quantum mechanics.”

 

Come to think of it, one can’t imagine the pope writing a letter to Jerry Falwell saying, “If you continue to speak out, you won’t live to see further infallibility.”

 

If this is how global warming devotees defend their scientific theory, it may be a few tweaks short of a scientific theory. Scientific facts are not subject to liberal bullying – which, by the way, is precisely why liberals hate science.

 

A few years ago, the New York Times ran an article about the continuing furious debates among physicists about quantum mechanics, which differs from global warming in the sense that it is supported by physical evidence and it doesn’t make you feel good inside to “do something” about quantum mechanics. It is, in short, science.

 

Though he helped develop the theory of quantum mechanics, Einstein immediately set to work attacking it. MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark called the constant testing and arguing about quantum mechanics “a 75-year war.”

 

That’s how a real scientific theory operates. That’s even how a real religion operates. Only a false religion needs hate mail, threats, courts of inquisition and Hollywood movies to sustain it.

 

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The Cost-Free Catastrophe: What will new energy policies cost? (National Review Online, 070323)

 

By Rich Lowry

 

Maybe the next Al Gore film should be called How to Profit From the Coming Global Meltdown. The former vice president told Congress during his star-turn there that, in the course of combating global warming, we can “improve our economy’s productivity and performance.”

 

It is a common argument among advocates of greenhouse-gas restrictions and clean-technology subsidies that these measures will be an economic boon. When John Edwards unveiled his plan to “halt global warming,” he promised to create a million new jobs as part of “a new energy economy.” If global warming can be stopped while adding jobs to the economy — what are we waiting for? We can have all the economic growth we want and save the planet too.

 

As it happens, serious efforts to combat global warming in the U.S. will create new jobs, but most of them probably will be in China and India. It was just four years ago that Democrats were attacking “out-sourcing.” Now they are willing to contemplate measures that would encourage it in the cause of reduced American carbon emissions.

 

In recent congressional testimony, economist David Montgomery of the consulting firm Charles Rivers Associates explained how restrictions on greenhouse gases would work in the real world. They would increase the energy costs of U.S. manufacturers and thus make them less competitive against manufacturers in India and China, developing countries that are unburdened by guilty consciences about their emissions. Investment in both those countries would tend to increase.

 

“Emissions in the United States will fall, especially as our share of energy-intensive industries shrinks,” Montgomery explains, “but they will grow even faster in China as factories rise there that would otherwise have been built here.” This is bad news for the environment, since China is so much less energy-efficient than the U.S. A dollar’s worth of output in China increases greenhouse gases by twice as much as a dollar’s worth of output here.

 

This dynamic is part of the reason that it is impossible for the developing world to “halt” global warming on its own. China will soon pass the U.S. in emissions. And if its industry becomes dependent on a competitive advantage from not imposing the sort of restrictions Democrats are talking about here, it will become even less likely to agree to them. Indeed, the Kyoto treaty functions as if it were hatched in an evil conspiracy between the Beijing and New Delhi Chambers of Commerce — we get cleaner and poorer, they get dirtier and richer.

 

And we inevitably will get poorer at the margins. Montgomery describes the economic effect of greenhouse-gas suppression: “The need to adopt more costly methods of electricity generation, to invest in producing more expensive, low-carbon fuels and to undertake more intensive energy-conservation measures diverts resources that would otherwise be available to produce the goods and services that make up GDP.”

 

Of course, certain parts of the economy might thrive that wouldn’t otherwise, those involved in, say, ethanol or wind production. Democrats point to them and say, “Hurrah — new jobs!” But they are engaged in a classic instance of the “broken-window fallacy,” as first explained by economist Frédéric Bastiat. That is the assumption that breaking a window helps the economy because it creates work for a glazier. Actually it makes the economy poorer by one window. Carbon restrictions will act in the same way.

 

Given the planetary calamity we are said to be facing, Democrats shouldn’t be promising a free lunch, but one, two, many Kyotos. The treaty would have to be multiplied 30 times over to achieve the kind of emissions reductions that climate-alarmists deem necessary. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards criticize President Bush for telling people to go shopping after 9/11. But with the fate of the Earth supposedly in the balance, Democrats essentially are telling people that they can stop global warming even as we shop and grow as much as we like.

 

Can’t we have a little straight talk with our environmental sanctimony?

 

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Turning Up the Heat on Gore: The former VPOTUS wants to change attitudes more than he wants to solve problems. (National Review Online, 070323)

 

By Jonah Goldberg

 

As fate would have it, the same week Al Gore was testifying before Congress, I was doing a little testifying myself. Admittedly, there were a tad fewer paparazzi in the Madison, Wis., classroom where I was giving a talk on global warming (sponsored by Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT). The debate in Washington offered some familiar echoes.

 

One student asked a long and rambling question that went basically as follows: He understood why I think Al Gore is dishonest and misleading. But how can I criticize Gore when all he wants to do is make people change their behavior and take care of this planet?

 

Translation: Gore is on the side of the angels and therefore it’s mean-spirited to throw inconvenient truths back at the Oscar winner for An Inconvenient Truth. “Yeah, exactly,” the kid responded when I rephrased the question thusly.

 

The press and the Democrats seem to share this kid’s sensibility. Covering Gore’s congressional testimony, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank portrayed Gore as a man of science versus a bunch of creationist nutjobs. Milbank wrote: “... instead of giving another screening of An Inconvenient Truth, the former vice president found himself playing the Clarence Darrow character in Inherit the Wind.” It’s an unintentionally accurate comparison, because the movie completely distorted the reality of the Scopes trial. The real Clarence Darrow contentedly lost the open-and-shut case after a nine-minute jury deliberation. The movie was about something bigger than the facts. So is Al Gore. And that’s why his fans love him.

 

Gore says global warming is “a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth.” It’s graver than any war. He compares it to the asteroid that allegedly killed the dinosaurs.

 

But here’s the thing. If there were an asteroid barreling toward earth, we wouldn’t be talking about changing our lifestyles, nor would we be preaching about reducing, reusing and recycling. We would be building giant wicked-cool lasers and bomb-carrying spaceships to go out and destroy the thing. But Gore doesn’t want to explore geo-engineering (whereby, for example, we’d add sulfate aerosols or other substances to the atmosphere to mitigate global warming). Why? Because solving the problem isn’t really the point. As Gore makes it clear in his book, Earth in the Balance, he wants to change attitudes more than he wants to solve problems.

 

Indeed, he wants to change attitudes about government as much as he wants to preach environmentalism. Global warming is what William James called a “moral equivalent of war” that gives political officials the power to do things they could never do without a crisis. As liberal journalist James Ridgeway wrote in the early 1970s: “Ecology offered liberal-minded people what they had longed for, a safe, rational and above all peaceful way of remaking society ... (and) developing a more coherent central state.”

 

This explains Gore’s relentless talk of “consensus,” his ugly moral bullying of “deniers” and, most of all, his insistence that because there’s no time left to argue, everyone should do what he says.

 

Isn’t it interesting how the same people who think “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” when it comes to the war think that dissent when it comes to global warming is evil and troglodytic?

 

“If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor,” Gore said this week. “If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action.”

 

True enough. But if your baby’s crib is on fire, you don’t run to a politician for help either.

 

You can tell that Gore’s schtick is about something more than the moderate and manageable challenge of global warming when he talks of sacrifice. On the one hand he wants everybody to change their lifestyles dramatically. These are the sacrifices the voracious energy user Al Gore won’t have to make because he can buy “carbon credits” for his many homes and his jet-setting.

 

But when asked this week about the enormous and unwise costs his plan would impose on the U.S. economy (according to the global consensus of economists), Gore said that his draconian emissions cuts are “going to save you money, and it’s going to make the economy stronger.”

 

Wait a second. This is the gravest crisis we’ve ever faced, but if we do exactly as Gore says (but not as he does), we’ll get richer in the process as we heal Mother Earth of her fever? Gore’s faith-based initiative is a win-win. No wonder so many people think it’s mean to disagree.

 

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Taking Gore Seriously: The compounding probabilities of climate change alarmism. (Weekly Standard, 070323)

 

by Jonathan V. Last

 

THE POST-OSCAR ATTACKS on Al Gore for living in a mansion that consumes 20 times as much energy as the average American house were enjoyable, but unfair. Gore’s consumption of fossil fuels has nothing to do with the arguments he has been advancing about climate change. After all, his thesis is empirical, not subjective.

 

It doesn’t matter a lick whether Al Gore is a hypocrite. What matters is whether or not he is right.

 

Gore proposes essentially four assertions, which build conditionally: (1) Earth’s climate is getting warmer; (2) man is responsible in substantial part for this change; (3) this change will result in net harm; and (4) this change can be reversed by man. Let’s take them in order.

 

Here is what we know for certain about climate change: In the last 100 years, the average temperature on Earth has risen 1 degree Fahrenheit. This is not unprecedented. Throughout history, the planet has gone through temperature cycles. There have been “warm periods” and ice ages. To take just one example, Swiss climatologists believe that the glaciers in the Alps have melted into near nothingness 10 times in the last 10,000 years.

 

As recently as the 1970s, global cooling was considered by many scientists to be a major imminent threat, with the book The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age doing the work of today’s An Inconvenient Truth.

 

Given the history of fluctuations in temperatures, to what degree is man responsible for the current rise? That depends on whom you ask and when you ask them. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it believes that human activity has been a primary driver.

 

But this verdict is not final: The IPCC recently explained that its initial work on climate change overestimated man’s impact by as much as 25%. Who knows how it will change its estimates in the future.

 

Meanwhile, other scientists say they believe the sun is responsible. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany note that the sun has seemed to be burning more brightly for the last 60 years, which may account for the increase of 1 degree.

 

But as British scientist Nigel Calder notes, theories about climate change that don’t finger man as the culprit are met with hostility or blank stares in the parts of the scientific community most heavily invested in Gore’s theses, such as the IPCC.

 

Which brings us to the third part: If global warming is real, what would the net effect be? Gore says it would be very bad indeed. Taking his cue from the former vice president, the announcer of the Academy Awards telecast gushed that “Davis Guggenheim and the cast were scheduled to shoot in New Orleans the night before Hurricane Katrina hit, an event that brought home the threat—and the impact—of global warming.” If global warming causes more storms like Katrina, that would be trouble.

 

But as a recent piece in Slate acknowledges, “the hurricane-warming link isn’t settled at all. Rather, it’s a very contentious debate between two groups of scientists—computer-modeling atmospheric scientists versus meteorologists.”

 

Gore, however, goes further. In promoting the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow, he told the press, “I hope this movie will provide many opportunities for in-depth conversations about what this issue is really all about.” The movie depicted a series of super storms that cause a near apocalypse and bring about, in a matter of days, a new ice age.

 

Given this promiscuous doomsaying, it’s no surprise that some scientists have begun to quietly complain about Gore. A number of them recently went on record with their complaints to the New York Times.

 

Kevin Vranes, a University of Colorado climatologist, worried that Gore had been “overselling our certainty about knowing the future.”

 

Gore warns about a 20-foot rise in sea level; the IPCC panel estimates “that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches - down from earlier estimates.”

 

Ever apocalyptic, Gore says that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this.” But Don Easterbrook, a geology professor from Western Washington University, notes that within the last 15,000 years there have been shifts up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

 

What’s more, some broad historical evidence, such as that presented by Thomas Gale Moore in his book Climate of Fear, suggests that Earth’s “warming periods” have been accompanied by advances in human civilization. As the saying goes, past performance is not an indication of future gains. But if the climate were to warm gradually, it’s not obvious why man wouldn’t adapt and flourish again, as we have in the past.

 

Of course, none of that matters if the final condition of the Gore hypothesis doesn’t hold. Can man stop the changing of the climate?

 

Again, the science is conflicted. Gore certainly believes we can. Others are less certain. Climate-change alarmist Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian minister of defense, recently said he believed advanced technology from extraterrestrial civilizations offered the best hope to “save our planet” from the perils of climate change.

 

Art Bell and Whitley Strieber take a backseat to no one in their worries about climate change. They wrote the book The Coming Global Superstorm, on which The Day After Tomorrow was based, and they, too, fear it may be too late. Bell is host on a radio show about UFOs and the paranormal. Before hooking up with Bell, Strieber wrote five nonfiction books about having been abducted by aliens.

 

Nothing wrong with any of that, of course. We all have to believe in something.

 

But when you compound the probabilities, the claims of environmentalists such as Gore begin to look less and less certain. In fact, in their unwillingness to brook dissent or countervailing theories, they seem less like scientists and more like the fundamentalists they otherwise scorn.

 

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A Tale of Two Europes: Al Gore exaggerates Kyoto’s success. (National Review Online, 070328)

 

By David Freddoso

 

During his congressional testimony last Wednesday, former vice president and current movie star Al Gore fielded at least one question that everyone should think about twice.

 

“Let’s look at what’s happened in Europe as they’ve tried to instigate their carbon cap-and-trade,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R., Tex.). “Despite all the efforts of the European nations that signed Kyoto, almost none of those countries are on target to meet their Kyoto obligation.”

 

Rep. Rick Boucher (D., Va.) voiced the same concern when he questioned Gore. “I think the consensus now, after several years of experience with that in Europe, is that their program was flawed,” he said.

 

Gore wasn’t ruffled by the question at all: “The European system is in fact working,” he said in response to Boucher. “I disagree respectfully that they’re not meeting their targets. It’s a Europe-wide target and they’re on — they’re going to be on track to meet it.

 

He continued: “They’re not only meeting them, they just adopted binding targets last week, when I was over there, that go much deeper than their obligations under Kyoto — a 20% reduction. And they’ll take it to 30% if we join in the regime.”

 

Reasonable people can disagree about many things, but when it comes to European emissions, there is a fact of the matter that shows someone in this conversation is right and someone has it just plain wrong. Is Europe, as Gore suggests, reducing its emissions and on track to meeting its targets? Or is Kyoto a failure in Europe, as Boucher and Barton suggest?

 

East and West

At the time of the European Community’s ratification of Kyoto, there were 15 member states (the “EU-15”) who committed to greenhouse-emissions reduction: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 

After Kyoto was ratified, eight other signatories to the treaty joined the EU: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. (Cyprus and Malta, two non-signatories, also joined, but their emissions are insignificant.)

 

The so-called “EU-25,” which includes these eight former Communist countries, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions to 95.1% of 1990 levels by 2004, according to a European Environment Agency report published on February 2. That sounds like admirable progress, even if it still means the EU will likely miss its Kyoto emissions target, which the report sets as 92% of 1990 emissions by 2010.

 

But if you look at the numbers behind those reductions (see the chart on page 11 of the report), it becomes immediately obvious that any claim of emissions progress in Europe is disingenuous.

 

It’s not just that the original “EU-15” has reduced greenhouse gases by a mere 1.2% since 1990. Far more damning is the fact that overall greenhouse emissions in Europe have increased since 1993, whether you include the former Eastern Bloc countries or not. Earlier this month, the European countries agreed, as Gore noted, to a 20-percent cut in carbon-equivalent emissions by 2020. It is an ambitious goal, to be sure. But perhaps it would be a good start if Europe could just get its emissions to stop increasing.

 

Gore mentioned in his testimony that Europe had “recalculated” its baseline year 1990 emissions — in fact, Europe has done several such “recalculations,” and it uses one of them in the linked EEA report. But even this cheating only gives the illusion of a less spectacular failure.

 

The European Environment Agency’s report tells the real story: Nearly all emissions reduction in Europe since 1990 came from the economic collapse of the former Eastern Bloc countries, whose industrial production was decimated by the fall of Communism. These eight nations account for 87% of Europe’s annual reduction in carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions between the baseline year of 1990 and 2004. And even that number understates the case, because nearly all of the reduction came in the first few years.

 

Between 1990 and 1995, Hungary’s CO2-equivalent emissions fell by 19%, and they have stayed level ever since. Roughly the same can be said of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The former Baltic Republics — Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia — all saw their emissions fall by 50% in those five years, and their levels have stayed roughly flat in the following nine years.

 

Of the former Communist countries, only Poland — which has the EU’s highest unemployment rate — has experienced a sustained decline in emissions. (Tiny Slovenia, never an industrial powerhouse to begin with, has slightly increased its greenhouse emissions from 18 to 20 trillion grams annually).

 

As the Eastern Bloc’s economies disintegrated, they reduced EU-25 greenhouse emissions by 225 trillion grams per year — 87% of the total reduction in European greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2004. To the degree that Europe has made any progress toward Greendom, the winning recipe has been economic ruin, not conservation or alternative energy.

 

In Western Europe, among the original EU-15, emissions have risen by almost 3% since 1993, thanks largely to growing economies in Austria, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. These six relatively small countries have seen dramatic emissions increases, all greater than 10% and in some cases greater than 20 or even 40%. Belgium, Finland, and the Netherlands all saw emissions increase modestly, while Luxembourg, Sweden, and Denmark either flatlined on emissions or had insignificant reductions.

 

Germany is a special case, since a large portion of that country experienced a dramatic post-Communist industrial collapse, resulting in an 8-percent emissions reduction between 1990 and 1992. In the next 12 years, Germany reduced its emissions by another 10.2%. France, meanwhile, reduced emissions by 2.1% between 1990 and 2002, but emissions rose again for the next two years, resulting in only a modest reduction overall. The United Kingdom is the only other EU-15 country to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions significantly, cutting back by 14.3% between 1990 and 2004.

 

Not that Americans are doing better than Europe. Over the same 14-year period, the United States (which never ratified Kyoto) increased its CO2-equivalent emissions by 17%. In our defense, our population and economy grew much faster than that of the EU-25. And at least we are still beating Canada, with its 24-percent emissions increase.

 

In 2004, we emitted 7,104.6 trillion grams of CO2 equivalent — 42.6% more than the EU-25. Coincidentally, our per capita GDP is 42.5-percent higher than that of the European Union, and our unemployment rate in February was 40% lower.

 

In the world of natural science — or some parts of it, anyway — there is still a debate as to whether carbon dioxide causes temperatures to rise, or whether higher temperatures cause an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In economics, the dilemma appears to be similar: Do reductions in carbon emissions cause economic stagnation, or is it the other way around?

 

For now, though, a simpler debate can be settled: Were Congressmen Barton and Boucher right or the former vice president? An Oscar-winning performance, perhaps, but Gore doesn’t come out on top.

 

— David Freddoso is a political reporter for Evans and Novak Inside Report.

 

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Global Warming Heresy (townhall.com, 070328)

 

By Walter E. Williams

 

Most climatologists agree that the earth’s temperature has increased about a degree over the last century. The debate is how much of it is due to mankind’s activity. Britain’s Channel 4 television has just produced “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a documentary that devastates most of the claims made by the environmentalist movement. The scientists interviewed include top climatologists from MIT and other prestigious universities around the world. The documentary hasn’t aired in the U.S., but it’s available on the Internet.

 

Among the many findings that dispute environmentalists’ claims are: Manmade carbon dioxide emissions are roughly 5% of the total; the rest are from natural sources such as volcanoes, dying vegetation and animals. Annually, volcanoes alone produce more carbon dioxide than all of mankind’s activities. Oceans are responsible for most greenhouse gases. Contrary to environmentalists’ claims, the higher the Earth’s temperature, the higher the carbon dioxide levels. In other words, carbon dioxide levels are a product of climate change. Some of the documentary’s scientists argue that the greatest influence on the Earth’s temperature is our sun’s sunspot activity. The bottom line is, the bulk of scientific evidence shows that what we’ve been told by environmentalists is pure bunk.

 

Throughout the Earth’s billions of years there have been countless periods of global warming and cooling. In fact, in the year 1,000 A.D., a time when there were no SUVs, the Earth’s climate was much warmer than it is now. Most of this century’s warming occurred before 1940. For several decades after WWII, when there was massive worldwide industrialization, there was cooling.

 

There’s a much more important issue that poses an even greater danger to mankind. That’s the effort by environmentalists to suppress disagreement with their view. According to a March 11 article in London’s Sunday Telegraph, Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five death threats since he started questioning whether man was affecting climate change. Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, said, “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges.” Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said, “Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.”

 

Suppressing dissent is nothing new. Italian cosmologist Giordano Bruno taught that stars were at different distances from each other surrounded by limitless territory. He was imprisoned in 1592, and eight years later he was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake. Because he disagreed that the Earth was the center of the universe, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. Under the threat of torture, he recanted and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

 

Today’s version of yesteryear’s inquisitors include people like the Weather Channel’s Dr. Heidi Cullen, who advocates that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) strip their seal of approval from any TV weatherman expressing skepticism about the predictions of manmade global warming. Columnist Dave Roberts, in his Sept. 19, 2006, online publication, said, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

 

There are literally billions of taxpayer dollars being handed out to global warming alarmists, not to mention their dream of controlling our lives. Their agenda is threatened by dissent. They have the politician’s ear; not we, who will suffer if they have their way.

 

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Chilling Intolerance for Free Speech on Global Warming (townhall.com, 070328)

 

By Dana Joel Gattuso

 

“When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards - some sort of climate Nuremberg.” -David Roberts, Gristmill, Grist Magazine, September 19, 2006

 

So said Grist Magazine staff writer David Roberts of those who question looming global warming doom. They are war criminals and should be tried and prosecuted the same way as Nazi Germany leaders. In his words, global warming doubters “have blood on their hands” and are “morally if not legally, criminals.”

 

Less abrasive were the recent remarks of British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks who, after announcing to a gathering of environment ministers that “humankind is in a race for life against global warming,” called doubters “the equivalent of the Flat Earth Society.”

 

And so goes the nature of the debate on the complex issue of global climate change-not so complex for those who know without question that humans are destroying planet Earth. The debate is now over, according to the world’s top science experts Al Gore and Britain’s environmental minister. Those who question if that’s a fact are no longer simply nay-sayers or skeptics. They are flat-earthers, “known liars,” and war criminals.

 

Worse than the name-calling, environmentalists, the media, and even scientists are attempting to stifle other scientists with differing opinions on climate change. Last fall, staff members of the Sierra Club in Charlotte, North Carolina blasted the museum Discovery Place for bringing in Richard Lindzen, a distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, to speak on the uncertainties of global warming.

 

The Charlotte Observer showed similar disdain for differing points of view. The paper devoted a mere 252 words to Dr. Lindzen’s two-hour lecture. Yet the paper’s editorial, which scolded the museum for playing “partisan politics,” ran 426 words.

 

Interestingly, the Charlotte Observer did end up running some, albeit unplanned, text the following day. Turns out the editorial’s claim-and premise-that the forum was “sponsored by a politician with an anti-global warming agenda” who influences the museum’s budget was inaccurate. The “clarification” said that the event was actually sponsored by the Charlotte Area Science Network and the science society Sigma Xi, and that the noted politician’s foundation “didn’t sponsor the museum forum.” Oops.

 

Intolerance for opposing views could also describe James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, when he failed to show up at a House Government Reform Committee’s hearing on global warming last July. By his own admission, Hansen “would have gotten out of his sickbed to testify to Congress... if they were ready to deal responsibly with the matter. But obviously they are still in denial, inviting contrarians to ‘balance’ the science of global warming.”

 

The “contrarian” Hansen referred to, Dr. John Christy, is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama and a panelist on the National Academy of Science’s report on temperature reconstructions. His testimony covered research he has conducted on the effect that land use and urbanization have on temperature change, and the observed “shortcomings” of climate models to reflect these effects.

 

This un-classy display of intolerance was topped last September when Dr. Hansen reported to the Denver Post that “Some of this noise won’t stop until some of these scientists are dead.”

 

Could there be truth to John Stuart Mill’s line from On Liberty: “If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true”?

 

The field of science is all about inquiry. Intolerance for questioning or even engaging in debate suggests a fear that a theory or hypothesis is not up to the test. Without challenging theories, we accept as doctrine that the Earth is flat, or that the sun revolves around the Earth-or that, as Al Gore tells us, “the survival of our civilization is at stake.”

 

Climate change is an immensely complex issue. While there is agreement among scientists that warming is occurring and human activity may be partly responsible, how much warming and how much of it is from anthropogenic causes is widely disputed.

 

For one thing, scientists are learning that global climate change is nothing new. The Earth has experienced global climate swings far more extreme than what we are experiencing now, long before man began releasing greenhouse gases-in fact, long before man existed.

 

As the Washington Post reports on an article in Geology, new research shows that 120 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, ocean surface temperatures varied as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research made the discovery studying ancient rocks from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Extreme temperature changes were previously known from data on rocks below the Atlantic Ocean, but this was the first study on the Pacific during the same period, showing the magnitude of climate change.

 

Commenting on the impact the new findings have on today’s issue, lead researcher Simon Brassell says: “One of the key challenges for us is trying to predict climate change. If there are big inherent fluctuations in the system, as paleoclimate studies are showing, it could make determining Earth’s climatic future even harder than it is. We’re learning our climate, throughout time, has been a wild beast.”

 

The study is just one example of the growing importance of paleoclimatology-the study of climate activity from ancient fossils-in understanding today’s climate change. Key to the debate is whether naturally-created carbon dioxide played a dominant role in affecting climate change or whether natural variations like sea currents, cosmic rays, and sun activity contributed largely.

 

According to an article in the New York Times, “The discoveries [in paleoclimatology] have stirred a little-known dispute that, if resolved, could have major implications... One side foresees a looming crisis of planetary heating; the other, temperature increases that would be more nuisance than catastrophe.”

 

But we don’t hear much about it from global warming pundits because there’s little consensus. The New York Times: “The Phanerozoic dispute, fought mainly in scholarly journals and scientific meetings, has occurred in isolation from the public debate on global warming. Al Gore in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ makes no mention of it.”

 

But then, shouldn’t the New York Times be silenced-or even tried in a war crimes tribunal-for its “noise” on the global warming debate?

 

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The Global Warming Industrial Complex: There are a lot of jobs riding on global warming. (Weekly Standard, 070328)

by Joseph Loconte

 

London

TO DEVOTED OPPONENTS of global warming, it must have seemed like the makings of a perfect storm: Al Gore pocketed an Oscar for his doomsday climate documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report with dire warnings about man-made carbon dioxide emissions. British Secretary of State for the Environment, David Milibrand, introduced the first-ever climate change bill in the House of Commons. Even President George W. Bush offered conciliatory talk about the importance of reducing carbon pollutants.

 

But then an unwelcome squall appeared on the horizon: The documentary film The Great Global Warming Swindle aired earlier this month on British television’s Channel 4. Director Martin Durkin’s 75-minute production combines interviews with distinguished scientists, a sober narrative, and damning graphs and statistics to challenge the core claims of global warming theory. The film also alleges that government funding for climate change research is perverting science and fueling a political agenda of massive state intervention in local economies. “The death of this theory will be painful and ugly,” Durkin wrote recently in The Telegraph. “But it will die.”

 

The fierce response to the film suggests it has struck a nerve not only with establishment opinion, but also with an audience weary of being hectored by media elites and environmental activists.

 

Climate change is a fact of earth’s history. What is mistaken, the program’s dissenting scientists say, is the claim that a slight rise in temperature over the last century is caused by carbon emissions—mostly man-made—which trap infrared radiation from the sun. “A detailed look at recent climate change reveals that the temperature rose prior to 1940,” explains paleoclimatologist Ian Clark, “but unexpectedly dropped in the post-war economic boom, when carbon dioxide emissions rose dramatically.” Just the opposite, in other words, of what global warming theory predicts.

 

The film notes that much more carbon dioxide is produced by natural means than by industrial emissions: Volcanic emissions, carbon dioxide from animals, bacteria, decaying vegetation, and the oceans “outweigh our own production several times over.” We’re also reminded that as recently as the 1970s the scientific community was convinced that earth was headed for another ice age—and balked at the suggestion that greenhouse gases could ward off a chilly future. So what might explain the current warming trend? Durkin’s team of climatologists and astrophysicists point to evidence suggesting that as radiation from the sun varies—measured, for example, by sun-spot activity—the earth tends to heat up or cool down. “Solar activity,” the film alleges, “very precisely matches the plot of temperature change over the last 100 years.”

 

A heliocentric theory for climate change? The documentary has sent scientific authorities and activists into attack mode. Sir John Houghton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, insists that global warming is a “weapon of mass destruction.” The Independent, a notorious megaphone for environmental activism, launched an “investigation” into the program and found it “riddled with distortions and errors.”

 

Yet the counter-charges mostly evade the issues raised by Durkin’s film: that humans produce miniscule amounts of carbon emissions; that carbon samples from polar ice sheets contradict global warming predictions; and that solar activity corresponds closely to temperature change. Moreover, some of the solutions—insisting on solar energy for developing nations, switching to low-wattage light bulbs—appear ludicrous. Program viewers have noticed: They’re blogging feverishly about the film, downloading it from YouTube (over 249,000 hits), and lashing out at slanted media coverage. “What a load of biased baloney,” complained a viewer of a recent BBC program. “Make us change all our light bulbs? Someone really is taking the mickey.”

 

No media outlet, in fact, has done more to promote global warming theories than the ever-present BBC, which rarely questions climate-change orthodoxy. BBC’s Radio 4, for example, launched a series last year called “Planet Earth Under Threat,” featuring “real examples of how global warming is affecting animal and plant survival.” Alistair Burnett, editor of the BBC’s World Tonight, recently defended his network’s coverage with this unabashedly self-serving question: “If the overwhelming majority of climatologists believe that climate change is happening and is largely driven by human activity, do we distort the picture of the scientific debate by airing the views of the small number of dissenting scientists too often?”

 

Well, we can easily imagine BBC editors agonizing over that one. No wonder critics in the film complain about a despotic tone to the debate. Even people with impeccably green credentials, if they question global warming dogma, are treated like heretics fit for the fire. “If you’re skeptical about the litany behind climate change,” says Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, “it’s suddenly as if you’re a Holocaust denier.” A development expert from Kenya sees an ideology militantly opposed to modernization. “There is somebody keen to kill the African dream, and the African dream is to develop,” he says. “We are being told don’t touch your resources, don’t touch your oil, don’t touch your coal; that is suicide.”

 

The Great Global Warming Swindle makes at least one incontestable charge: A “discourse of catastrophe” has infected the scientific community’s approach to global climate change and is shaping the budget priorities of government. In this, the issue has taken on a quasi-religious character, with devotees on a quest for radical lifestyle alternatives to avert an apocalyptic future. “Monks have got something enduring,” gushed an editor for BBC’s Radio 4, “a sign post from them to us that could initiate a culture change shifting our relationship with the environment.”

 

Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London and a program participant, takes a dimmer view of the spiritual fervor inspiring much of the movement. He worries about the way in which global warming provides meaning and mission—and employment—to countless scientists, activists, and journalists. “At the moment the greenhouse effect is like a puritanical religion,” he says, “and this is dangerous.”

 

Dangerous, perhaps, but also profitable and difficult to dismantle: “If the global warming virago collapses,” Stott predicts, “there will be an awful lot of people out of jobs.”

 

Joseph Loconte is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and host of the London-based television/internet program “Britain and America.”

 

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Global Warming on the Hot Seat (townhall.com, 070402)

 

By Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

 

A few days ago, I sat on the set of CNN’s Washington studio. The lights were as bright as the sun in this plush high tech setting. Everything about the office and the organization was very impressive. My task was to talk about Christianity and the environment for a special edition of the Anderson Cooper Show which airs this week.

 

In classic debate style, a kindly evangelical leader was placed in another studio and asked to share a contrasting view from my own. As I waited for the gracious Mr. Cooper to address us, I could not help ask myself, “How did I get here?” After all, I am not nor ever have been a scientist.

 

The answer was simple – a private letter, sent to a national religious leader, was leaked to the press. A concerned group of evangelical leaders simply wanted to correct one of their own. The signers of the letter unanimously believe that there was a need for the evangelical community to come to some corporate agreement on this huge social issue before we rush into a national fight. After all, Vice President Gore’s documentary (An Inconvenient Truth) and senate hearings have made this a major popular concern.

 

As I sat in the hot seat, I hoped desperately that I would not be called upon to attack one of my fellow evangelical comrades. I decided before the program that I would not let the session dissolve into a name-calling contest. Further, I realized that in the name of scientific faithfulness, the reporters could cast me as a well-meaning Neanderthal or worse – a mean-spirited, religious zealot.

 

I have learned from Martin Luther King, Jr. that the strength of the civil rights movement was twofold – its strategic focus and its public unity.

 

King’s “strategic focus” was his ability to fight a war based on successive meaningful campaigns. The fight he chose was important but also winnable. He looked for measurable results. King and his team were not looking to be echoes of what others were saying and doing. Instead, they wanted to chart a new course and eventually overthrow the grizzly demon of racism which held America in a death grip.

 

In addition, King’s ability to mobilize a diverse group of leaders who spoke the same message to the nation gave their cause credibility long before it gained popularity. Through this public unity, a group of relatively unknown men changed the course of the nation. If they had sought personal notoriety instead of advancing a corporate message, their cause would have died with them.

 

With strategic focus and public unity in hand, early civil rights leaders were extremely effective despite limited financial resources. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to each successive city campaign or national march, they advanced their cause. Tangible milestones were reached and a growing awareness of the power of the civil rights movement impressed the nation.

 

The message I sought to deliver on Anderson Cooper’s program was that many evangelicals oppose making global warming a top drawer issue. Further, they do not want global warming alarmism to become a defining or a dividing issue for evangelicals.

 

As I have stated many times, I believe that evangelical church must take the lead in defining the key moral issues of our day in clear measurable terms. We must be willing to discuss the hot topics that capture popular attention, while maintaining our core commitment to preaching the gospel, the sanctity of life, the defense of marriage, and the protection of religious liberty in the public square.

 

My greatest concern about global warming has to do with the action steps that people are proposing. All scientists are not in agreement on a course of action that makes both moral and financial sense. For example, Dr. Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT) wrote a compelling article for the Wall Street Journal in 2006 entitled “Climate of Fear.” This must-read article would give any rational person pause to reflect. In addition, the mainstream media fails to report that the earth’s temperature dramatically rose from 1900 through the 1940s, causing scientists to recommend immediate and drastic action.

 

And then, before we could martial the resources to take major steps of action, the temperature fell through the 1970s. Some of you may remember magazine covers and headlines warning us of global cooling. Once again, immediate and drastic action was recommended.

 

While evangelicals are open to being convinced by new information, we may be wise to weigh the data awhile longer. Instead of launching into programs that could consume hundreds of billions of dollars a year, perhaps we should put this money to better use solving tangible problems we all know something about. With it we could wage quite a war against HIV/AIDS or develop a clean water campaign in third world nations.

 

Finally, all Americans need to know that we will need an international buy-in to any plan we concoct. Can we guarantee that China, India, Pakistan and other massive nations will work with us for the common good?

 

I am thankful for the Anderson Cooper program. These issues must be discussed in evangelical circles. My sincere hope is that the next time global warming surfaces in the media we will have a unified evangelical position on the topic.

 

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A Convenient (and Excellent) Truth: The benefits of free trade are settled science. (Although that won’t stop the deniers.) (National Review Online, 070402)

 

By Donald Luskin

 

If you question whether global warming is happening, or whether human activity is causing it, or whether it’s worth doing anything about it, then you must be a crack-pot. You are standing athwart the “consensus of scientists.” You are disputing “settled science.” You are a “global warming denier,” the moral equivalent of an apologist for the Nazi holocaust.

 

But no such accusations are made against the protectionists who question the benefits of free trade among nations. Such people are in fact standing athwart 250 years of economics, and an overwhelming consensus of living economists. These protectionists are denying the enormous gains in standards of living and human freedom that are the direct result of free global trade.

 

Make no mistake about it. The benefits of free trade are settled science. It goes all the way back to the 18th century, beginning with the path-breaking work of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. From then till now, the science of economics has deepened its virtually unanimous embrace of free trade. Today’s best-selling college economics textbook, Macroeconomics by Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw, enshrines among the “ten principles of economics” the axiom that “Trade Can Make Everyone Better Off.”

 

Indeed it can, and indeed it has. During the last several decades of unprecedented global economic growth we have witnessed increasing global trade and falling trade barriers. For all the worry about “outsourcing American jobs,” the U.S. unemployment rate stands today at a low 4.5%. On the other hand, the Great Depression of the 1930s involved a collapse of global trade, triggered by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Back then there was no outsourcing. But the unemployment rate exceeded 20%.

 

Economic theory aside, and real-world results aside, there’s another fundamental argument for free trade. Simply, free trade is a human right. People have an unalienable right to trade with each other as they choose, be they next-door neighbors or half a world apart.

 

So why is it that when people question the free-trade consensus — when they deny the manifest evidence of its success or challenge its status as a human right — they are not treated like those who question global warming? Question the global warming consensus and you’re something between a fool and a Nazi. But question free trade? Ah … that’s different. That’s politically correct.

 

Consider the front page article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. It celebrated the courage of a handful of economists — all of whom happen to be politically active — who are “rethinking” and “critiquing” free trade (not “denying,” mind you). Princeton’s Alan Blinder, for example, is saying that, thanks to the new technologies of global trade, “40 million American jobs [are] at risk of being shipped out of the country in the next decade or two.”

 

Of course, the story’s author doesn’t wonder how this brave rethinker and critiquer can predict the number of job losses 20 years into the future, or why he is silent on the number of new jobs that will be created over the same period. We learn only that “Mr. Blinder’s job-loss estimates … are electrifying Democratic candidates,” and that he is advising the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the issue.

 

Would Clinton and Obama have been “electrified” if Blinder had estimated that global warming will go away over the next decade or two? It’s doubtful.

 

A case in point: Last October, liberal senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to the CEO of Exxon Mobil urging him — one might say bullying him — to cut off his company’s funding of a “small cadre of global climate change skeptics,” to cease its “dangerous support of the ‘deniers.’” But when it comes to free trade, the liberals now in control of Congress are only too happy to support the deniers, whether or not they have Alan Blinder’s credentials.

 

The hypocrisy is undeniable.

 

To wit, when best-selling author Michael Crichton — who, as a trained doctor, at least has a background in science — questioned global warming while testifying before a Republican-chaired Senate committee, leftist bloggers dismissed him as an “egomaniacal ‘novelist.’” But in  testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade this week, the star witness was CNN’s Lou Dobbs. His qualifications to stand against a 250-year scientific consensus on free trade are … well … come to think of it, he doesn’t have any. He’s just a well-known TV talking head who most nights can be seen ranting against the evils of trade and extolling the virtues of protectionism.

 

Global warming “deniers” are attacked, not because they stand against a scientific consensus, but because they stand against a powerful liberal special interest group: the environmental lobby. The global-warming threat must be maximized so that environmentalists can keep raising more money and getting more political influence.

 

Meanwhile, free-trade “deniers” are lionized, despite the fact that they stand against a scientific consensus and because they stand with a powerful liberal special-interest group: unions. Free trade must be opposed, because it means the transformation of traditional union jobs into non-union jobs that are better suited for a dynamic global economy.

 

So none of this has anything to do with science or scientific consensus after all. And it’s certainly not a matter of promoting prosperity or preserving human rights. It’s just liberal politics. And nowadays, that’s something nobody dares deny.

 

— Donald Luskin is chief investment officer of Trend Macrolytics LLC, an independent economics and investment-research firm.

 

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Report: Millions Face Hunger from Climate Change (Christian Post, 070410)

 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Warming temperatures could result in food shortages for 130 million people by 2050 and threaten to cause drought and higher seas in Australia and New Zealand by 2030, according to a U.N. report released Tuesday.

 

The climatic changes threaten ecologically rich sites like the Great Barrier Reef and sub-Antarctic islands, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

 

A summary of the full, 1,572-page document written and reviewed by 441 scientists was released Friday. The latest document, the second of four reports including the summary, tries to explain how global warming is changing life on Earth.

 

Further details were unveiled Tuesday in a series of regional press conferences around the world.

 

The report suggests that a 3.6-degree increase in mean air temperature could decrease rain-fed rice yields by 5% to 12% in China. In Bangladesh, rice production may fall by just under 10% and wheat by a third by the year 2050.

 

The drops in yields combined with rising populations could put close to 50 million extra people at risk of hunger by 2020, an additional 132 million by 2050 and 266 million by 2080, the report said.

 

“Unchecked climate change will be an environmental and economic catastrophe but above all it will be a human tragedy,” Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a statement.

 

“It is absolutely vital that international action is taken now to avoid dangerous climate change,” he said. “Otherwise the consequences for food and water security in Asia, as for many other parts of the world are too alarming to contemplate.”

 

Water shortages will also become more common in India as the Himalayan glaciers decline, while nearly 100 million people annually will face the risk of floods from seas that are expected to rise in Asia between 0.04 inches to 0.12 inches annually, slightly higher than the global average.

 

For Australians and New Zealanders, the warming temperatures will be felt mostly through more extreme weather.

 

“Heat waves and fires are virtually certain to increase in intensity and frequency,” Kevin Hennessy, the coordinating lead author on the chapter for Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.

 

“Floods, landslides, droughts and storm surges are very likely to become more frequent and intense and frosts are very likely to become less frequent,” he said.

 

The rising temperatures, according the report, will also lead to a loss of a quarter of alpine ice mass in New Zealand, drops in agriculture production in southern and eastern Australia and eastern New Zealand as well as the spread of tropical diseases such as dengue fever.

 

In the South Pacific, rising seas are “expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion, and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements, and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities,” according to the report.

 

Penehuro Lefale, one of the lead authors on the small-island chapter, said in a statement the warmer temperatures will also hurt sectors ranging from tourism to agriculture and fisheries on many island nations.

 

“Climate change is likely to heavily impact coral reefs, fisheries and other marine-based resources of small islands of the Pacific,” he said. “There is likely to be a decline in the total tuna stocks and a migration of these stocks westwards, both of which will lead to changes in the catch in different islands.”

 

While the South Pacific islands will struggle to adapt to climate change, the report said Australia and New Zealand have “considerable capacity” to adjust.

 

Efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions should be launched, however, the report predicted immediate reductions would not offset climatic changes in these countries until at least 2040.

 

It also called for a range of adaptive measures including limiting new building along threatened coastlines, building corridors to allow threatened species to migrate, and improving water conservation.

 

In the rest of Asia, the report calls for mainstreaming of sustainable development policies and including climate proofing concept in national development initiatives. It also suggest improving public food distribution networks, disaster preparedness and health care systems to reduce the vulnerability of developing countries to climate change.

 

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Celebrity Gasbags: The unintended consequences of the celebrity global warming movement. (Weekly Standard, 070417)

 

by Irwin M. Stelzer

 

FOOD-PRICE INFLATION so severe that central banks are forced to raise interest rates to growth-stifling levels; corn prices so high that poor Mexicans can’t afford their tortillas; massive deforestation to make way for more corn and palm oil; poor farmers pushed off their land to make room for carbon-offsetting plantings paid for by rich jet-setters; forests that trap more heat than they help to get rid of; and Al Gore for president.

 

These are some of the unpleasant, unintended consequences of hastily conceived environmental policies. In America, President Bush has decided that we can plant our way out of dependence on foreign oil. He envisages a future in which America’s fuel will come from planting above ground rather then drilling below it. In Europe, Angela Merkel and Tony Blair have hit upon carbon trading as the solution to global warming, and the man whose mirror assures him that he is the greenest of them all, David Cameron, is putting a windmill on his roof to generate enough electricity to power his hair dryer.

 

None of these riders on the environmental bandwagon—which is powered no doubt by biofuels—worries very much about the cost of these policies, or has given the slightest consideration to the only consequences that are certain—the unintended consequences, some of which I have listed above. And Al Gore, the former vice president turned Academy-Award winning movie producer (and waiting in the wings to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for president), says our choices are either action this day, or desertization and flooding will be upon us very soon.

 

Speaking of the Academy Awards, the stars, starlets, and wannabes participating in this exercise in self-adulation poured into the hall from their limousines and private jets, but assured us that the entire flood-lit affair was carbon neutral. It seems that they had purchased what are known as “carbon offsets,” a system by which they pay others to curtail carbon emissions, or fund renewable energy sources. These deals, which are running at an annual rate of about $100 million per year, and rising, according to BusinessWeek, “have become one of the most widely promoted products marketed to checkbook environmentalists.”

 

Small problem: The offsets purchased by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences were purchased from TerraPass Inc., a firm with a portfolio of offset projects that include a garbage dump in Arkansas, managed by Waste Management Inc. TerraPass has purchased thousands of tons of gas reductions resulting from Waste Management’s decision to burn off the methane produced by the decomposing trash. But the company’s managers and state regulators told BusinessWeek that the decision to burn off the methane had “nothing to do with TerraPass’ efforts.” Or with the offsets purchased by the Hollywood greens.

 

There are more such stories, but you get the idea. The reductions in greenhouse gas emissions claimed by those intent on being green without changing their lifestyles are very often bogus—they would have happened without the purchase of offsets.

 

That is the least of the problems created by the new environmental panic. The rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia are being decimated in the rush to increase the production of palm oil, which is used as a biofuel. And in many countries poor farmers are having their land confiscated so that rich consumers can plant trees to lighten their carbon footprints.

 

Farmers are also cashing in on the huge subsidies made available to them by the government’s decision to subsidize ethanol and biodiesel production from corn, sugar, and other crops, in addition to palm oil. Ethanol from corn is a particular favorite of all the presidential candidates vying for votes in corn-growing Iowa, with the honorable exception of John McCain, who knows a boondoggle when he sees one. Direct subsidies paid to ethanol producers are heading towards $8.7 billion annually, or about $1.25 per gallon for a fuel that would otherwise by too costly to interest consumers. Good news for producers of the corn the ethanol producers need, and for sugar farmers similarly situated. Prices are up, and so are land values.

 

The result is a problem for central banks. In the past, spikes in food prices have been seen as temporary, usually weather-related, and requiring no reaction from the inflation-watchers. But this jump is different, perhaps a plateau rather than a spike: chickens and cattle are more expensive to feed, driving meat and chicken production down and the prices of eggs, beef, and dairy products up; soft drink prices are under pressure from rising sugar costs. This food inflation (world prices up 10% last year) is felt most keenly in poorer countries, where food costs make up a larger part of the average budget than they do in the developed world. But even in the richest countries, central bankers are wondering whether they will have to raise interest rates to cool growth sufficiently to offset the effects of rising food prices.

 

NONE OF THIS means policymakers should avoid confronting the possibility that the earth is warming and the further possibility that the cause is human consumption of fossil fuels. We can’t be certain, despite Al Gore’s movie and the heated press releases that often accompany more balanced scientific reports. But there is enough evidence to warrant sensible steps to reduce carbon emissions.

 

But think before you legislate. The European Union introduced an emissions trading scheme that California intends to copy—and watched greenhouse gas emissions rise by 30 million tons, or about 1.5%, because too many permits were issued. Europe’s four biggest power producers pocketed €8 billion (about $10 billion) from the sale of their excess permits, and U.K. generators an estimated £1 billion (about $2 billion). That doesn’t mean such trading schemes are inherently flawed, but it does suggest that haste makes more than a little waste.

 

Cap-and-trade, properly done, and carbon taxes, properly levied, should be explored as ways of getting the costs of pollution reflected in the prices consumers pay. That would provide an incentive to entrepreneurs to come up with efficient alternatives to fossil fuel consumption and relieve governments of attempting to pick winners. There are efficient ways to cut emissions, but politicians grabbing for headlines are not going to be the ones to discover them.

 

Irwin M. Stelzer is director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, a columnist for the Sunday Times (London), a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.

 

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Warming pols should cool it (Washington Times, 070417)

 

By H. Sterling Burnett

 

Today, at the urging of Britain, the United Nation’s Security Council will, for the first time, take up the challenge of global warming. While some people may see hope in this development, I cringe at the thought.

 

There are myriad much more immediate, dire, certain, and — relative to climate change — simple to comprehend and solve, problems facing the world today that the U.N. Security Council has proven to be completely inept, unsuited or unwilling to address. The genocide in Darfur, the political collapse in Zimbabwe, persistent — but largely preventable — diseases such as malaria and most water-borne illnesses, the nuclear crises in Iran and North Korea, and the near collapse of the world’s fisheries all come to mind.

 

Are we to presume the Security Council can’t solve these relatively localized (except for the fisheries) problems but has the wisdom to solve the much less certain, much more complex problem of global climate change; an issue with implications for world population growth, development and energy use now and for 100 years hence?

 

It’s not as if the U.N. has ignored global warming until now. The first international agreement was forged by the U.N. at the Earth Summit in 1990, at which industrialized countries vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. Then again in 1997, when it became apparent the countries involved would fail to meet these relatively modest commitments, industrialized countries signed the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement to make even deeper cuts: reducing emissions an average of 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Recent emission estimates and measurements indicate greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries are increasing, not decreasing. So they will fail once again.

 

Of course, current climate change agreements don’t cover many of the worlds’ largest greenhouse gas emitters, including the U.S. and China. The U.S. decided not to sign on to the treaty because it felt it would harm the economy and because developing countries were not participants. China, expected to be the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses by the end of 2007, has steadfastly refused to make any commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Amazingly, all this talk of how to prevent global warming has become almost completely disconnected from what we can actually do. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if all Kyoto signatories met their greenhouse gas reduction targets — no cheating allowed — it would only slow the estimated future warming between .07 and 0.19 degrees Celsius. In other words, it would take between 5 and 13 additional Kyoto-style agreements to prevent a mere 1 degree of warming. No government dare suggest the type of draconian energy rationing that would be required to meet this goal.

 

Ultimately, the Security Council negotiations are likely to result in, at most, a vacuous statement about the need for meaningful action, with no meaningful action taken. Why? China has already said that, for the purposes of climate change agreements, it will always be a developing country, unwilling to require energy cuts at the expense of continued economic growth. Russia, with its economy finally growing again, will also likely reject deeper emissions reductions.

 

The U.S. will argue, rightly, that technological innovation and adaptation are the only appropriate responses to the challenges posed by a warmer world. They will also continue to reject any agreement that would harm the economy and/or that did not include cuts by fast-growing developing countries like China and India.

 

In the end, Britain and France will be left alone to argue for further emission reductions though the European Union, of which they are a part, is failing to meet its own current commitments. As a result, future generations may not suffer after all from a new international mandate that only serves to slow economic growth, keeping the poorest of the poor in poverty. Perhaps I’ll stop cringing and cheer.

 

H. Sterling Burnett is senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

 

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A Convenient Fiction: Steve Hayward’s rebuttal to “An Inconvenient Truth” won’t thrill either the environmental crowd or Hollywood’s liberal elite. (Weekly Standard, 070418)

by Fred Barnes

 

STEVE HAYWARD is no Al Gore. The former vice president’s film about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, delighted environmentalists and won an Academy Award. Hayward’s rebuttal of Gore’s warning about a coming climate catastrophe won’t thrill either the environmental crowd or Hollywood’s liberal elite. And you won’t find his film, “An Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction,” in 600 movie theaters either, as Gore’s was last summer. To see Hayward’s 50-minute film, your best bet is to go to the website, aconvenientfiction.com. It is well worth watching, maybe more than once.

 

Hayward, as a global warming skeptic, has an advantage over Gore. Unlike Gore, he is calm and reasonable, avoids hyperbole, and sticks to the facts, some of which are confusing or contradictory. The result is that he is closer to what he calls “the general consensus” among scientists about global warming than Gore is.

 

It’s important to note than Hayward, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is not a global warming denier. “Much of what Vice President Gore says about climate change is correct,” Hayward says in the film. “The planet is warming. Human beings are playing a substantial role in that warming.” Beyond that, however, he disagrees sharply with Gore.

 

“The problem with Vice President Gore and other global warming extremists is that they distort the science, grossly exaggerate the risks, argue that anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt, and suggest that solutions are easy and cheap,” Hayward says. “And that’s an all too convenient fiction.”

 

Hayward uses the same rhetorical devises as Gore. His film is basically a lecture with graphs and maps and pictures. Sponsored by the Pacific Research Institute, it cost less than $30,000 to produce. As Gore did, Hayward chats with the viewer while driving a car and walking through the woods. All this seems to work. Hayward holds your attention for his entire presentation.

 

His purpose is to shoot down Gore’s “extreme claims” and the important facts he leaves out. For instance, Gore points to the melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. Hayward notes what Gore omitted: that while the ice in both places is melting in some locations, it is growing in others. In another case, Gore says the ice on Mt. Kilminjaro in Tanzania is melting so fast it will be gone in a few decades. In response, Hayward says this may be true, but it’s not because of global warming but is due to land use and deforestation around the mountain that has “made it drier on top.”

 

Hayward insists we can deal with environmental problems without drastically changing how we live. His example: Los Angeles. When he grew up there, it was smog-bound. Since then, the population has doubled, the number of automobiles has tripled, yet the level of smog has been reduced by 75%. “In most areas, not all areas, environmental quality in the U.S. is improving rapidly,” he says.

 

One more telling item: the Kyoto treaty. Two Princeton professors have suggested seven different steps—or wedges, as they call them—to meet Kyoto’s goals for cutting greenhouse gases. Gore adopts these steps in his film, minus one of them—more nuclear power. This omission is “a case of environmental correctness right out of the ‘70s,” Hayward says.

 

If some of Hayward’s case sounds too technical or academic, it’s not really. Hayward makes it simple to understand. What’s especially significant is that he doesn’t cite only the science that suits his purposes. Conclusions about global warming are all over the lot, he notes, and “you can get whiplash following the science on this.” His point is that the science on global warming is not settled, as Gore and his allies claim.

 

As it turns out, most of those making the wildest claims about global warming aren’t scientists at all, Hayward says. Instead, they tend to be “politicians, headline-seeking journalists, environmentalist, and windy Anglican bishops who can’t understand why people aren’t coming to church any more on Sunday.”

 

The environment, Hayward concludes, “is much too important to be left to environmentalists.” Or to Al Gore.

 

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We’re Not Going to Melt: Reports of the apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated. (National Review Online, 070420)

 

By Sally Pipes

 

As Earth Day dawns for the 38th year, climate change tops the agenda of environmental activists, thanks to former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary and a flurry of scientific studies attempting to make sense of our planet’s dynamic climate.

 

The Supreme Court has even entered the act, ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

 

But don’t invest your life’s savings in windmills and solar-powered air conditioners just yet. While the earth does seem to have warmed slightly over the past century, the causes and implications are anything but clear. Moreover, the last ten years have seen a global plateau in temperature change.

 

Those who claim that we’re racing towards a fiery apocalypse are simply not basing their views on science. In fact, some scientists are now hypothesizing that we’ll see a cooling period in the near future, as we saw from 1940 to 1975.

So what are the facts?

 

As for hard data, the growth in carbon emissions is far slower than ecodoomsters would have us believe. Since monitoring began in the 1950s, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has grown by 0.41% per year, with only a slight uptick in the rate of change after economic development became widespread in the 1980s.

 

As for the United States, the rate of growth for carbon-dioxide emissions is falling to a level half what it was in the 1990s. And as our economy continues to change, the amount of greenhouse gas America emits per dollar of economic output is also plummeting.

 

Finally, methane emissions—another greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide—are actually declining in the United States.

 

Since 1990, the baseline year of the Kyoto Protocol, methane emissions have dropped by 12.8%. This reduction of approximately four million metric tons represents an equivalent reduction of about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Continued reductions in methane may make worries about carbon dioxide moot.

 

Most climate scientists did not forecast this enormous reduction in methane emissions, largely because it did not fit neatly into the accepted paradigm that climate change was an entirely human-induced phenomenon. This viewpoint took a further hit when the United Nations announced that livestock accounted for the emission of 18% of total greenhouse gases last year.

 

But even if global warming isn’t the nightmare it’s cracked up to be, one question remains: Is the environment getting better or worse? No one can say for sure. But actual environmental data from the past year or two show some promising improvements.

 

First, reforestation efforts are gaining steam across the world. Consequently, the net loss of forests is declining, according to the U.N.’s 2005 Global Forests Resources Assessment. This is a welcome trend, given that forests are believed to mitigate global warming by breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen.

 

Counterintuitively, much of this forest increase seems to correlate with economic growth. A report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that “no nation where annual per-capita gross domestic product exceeded $4,600 had a negative rate of growing stock [forest] change.”

 

This is great news for developing countries, as continued global efforts to foster their economic development will also help sustain their forests. China, in particular, gained over four million hectares of forest area per year between 2000 and 2005.

 

Second, America’s air quality continues to improve.

 

Since the EPA first started monitoring (and regulating) air pollutants some 30 years ago, concentrations of particulates like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides have dropped precipitously. This has contributed to lower levels of ozone, a pollutant that disrupts breathing and traps heat when present in the troposphere, or the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground. In fact, ozone levels last year were the second lowest—after 2004 — since the 1970s.

 

So let’s celebrate this Earth Day with a sigh of relief. Reports of the apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated.

 

— Sally C. Pipes is president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.

 

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Keep a Sharp Eye on Warming Zealots (Townhall.com, 070530)

 

By David Limbaugh

 

Whether or not blind faith in man-made, catastrophic global warming has become a new religion, many of its adherents, ironically, embrace it with the same type of unquestioning zeal they sloppily attribute to and summarily condemn in Christians.

 

Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after leading a congressional delegation to Greenland, declared that she and her fellow travelers saw “firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality, there is just no denying it.”

 

Pelosi is also sure the “global warming” is caused by human beings. She said, “It wasn’t caused by the people of Greenland; it was caused by the behavior of the rest of the world.”

 

Well, that settles it then. Speaker Pelosi sees Greenland’s ice expansion, and the world is coming to an end. The debate is even more over; we now have a consensus about the already-declared consensus! Never mind substantial contrary evidence and opinion.

 

In the Jimmy Carter spirit of bashing the president and the United States on foreign soil in front of foreign leaders who are emboldened by American self-flagellation, Pelosi subtly criticized President Bush for failing to endorse Kyoto. Once again, she sided with a foreign government over her own.

 

Pelosi said, “We hope that we can all assume our responsibilities with great respect and that our administration will be open to listening to why it is important to go forward perhaps in a different way than we have proceeded in the past.” In other words, the president should get off his selfish, imperialistic, unilateralist duff and join European nations in their quest to bankrupt themselves in furtherance of a highly dubious (and debatable — yes, debatable) cause.

 

Before Pelosi condemns President Bush too fiercely on this subject, she should be reminded that Democrats, along with Republicans, passed a unanimous Senate resolution (95-0) in 1997 opposing the United States’s participation in Kyoto absent certain conditions. First, it must apply to developing nations, and second, it must not result in serious harm to the U.S. economy. Moreover, President Clinton never sent it to the Senate for ratification.

 

What about the environmental track record of Germany and other European nations that signed the Kyoto treaty and, along with double agent Nancy Pelosi, are scolding the United States for destroying the world?

 

Again, the facts are not Speaker Pelosi’s friends. According to Chris Horner’s delicious “Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism,” Europe promised it would live up to Kyoto; it isn’t. It promised its carbon dioxide emissions would be down, but they’re up, it promised its emissions would be dropping, but they are rising. “Since 2000 they are increasing three times as fast as America’s.” No matter. Europe still lambastes America because, like good liberals, it subscribes to the axiom that good intentions mean more than results.

 

Horner also exposes the lie that we have nothing to lose by signing on to draconian treaties like Kyoto, even if the global warming scare turns out to be a hoax. One of several damning Department of Energy studies estimates that our Gross Domestic Product would be reduced by at least $77 billion and by as much as $283 billion. Add to this the inconvenient truth that reductions in economic productivity are often accompanied by reductions in environmental friendliness.

 

Horner sets forth countless other refutations of warming dogma and reveals that “even Kyoto’s proponents acknowledge that despite accepting, for the sake of argument, Kyoto’s underlying assumptions, and even were it implemented fully, universally, and perfectly, it would have no detectable effect on temperature increase. Kyoto might avert — delay, in fact, by just six short years — projected future warming of an undetectable few-hundredths-of-one-degree Celsius by 2050.”

 

While I’m sure many are convinced of the benign intentions of the global alarmists and discount any conspiratorial design on their part to radically compromise our capitalism, liberties and sovereignty, it’s hard to understand how they would proceed differently if they were active conspirators.

 

Those who are willing to give up so much in pursuit of so little can’t possibly be accused of an affinity for the glorious uniqueness of America. We must keep a sharp eye on them.

 

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Why is the Vatican Backing Climate Change Theory? (Christian Post, 070525)

 

On May 10, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s representative at the United Nations, addressed the Economic and Social Council of the UN on the hot topic of climate change. His comments were disturbing to many since he seemed to indicate the Vatican was taking sides in the contentious debate around the causes of climate change.

 

Furthermore, by failing to clarify that the Vatican does not support population control as a means to address global warming his use of the terminology employed by groups advocating population control as the primary solution to avert disaster is also raising eyebrows.

 

Archbishop Migliore stated, “The scientific evidence for global warming and for humanity’s role in the increase of greenhouse gasses becomes ever more unimpeachable . . . and such activity has a profound relevance, not just for the environment, but in ethical, economic, social and political terms as well.”

 

While debate among climate scientists rages about the human contribution to climate change and global warming, many are concerned that the Vatican ambassador has chosen to take sides on this controversial issue.

 

A few months ago the Evangelical leadership of the United States ventured into similar territory when the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) published the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The statement claimed that “climate change” is “human-induced” and would result in the deaths of “millions of people…most of them our poorest global neighbors,” through climatological disasters such as hurricane Katrina.

 

Prominent Evangelical spokesmen, including Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson, and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land called on the NAE to back down from its controversial stand “We believe there should be room for Bible-believing evangelicals to disagree about the cause, severity and solutions to the global warming issue . . . Global warming is not a consensus issue, and our love for the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to take a position,” Dobson, Land and others wrote.

 

In language that could be equally addressed to the Vatican, Dobson told the NAE that certain individuals “are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children.”

 

Another concerning comment in the Archbishop’s address to the UN was a glowing reference to “sustainable development”, UN lingo which has long been associated with population control. “There is still time to use technology and education to promote universally sustainable development before it is too late,” he concluded.

 

Those in the pro-life community who have been following developments at the United Nations for the past decade are well acquainted with the language employed by Archbishop Migliore. It is the same as that which has been spouted by those seeking to force population control on developing nations by inciting fear of climate disaster and false promises of prosperity with from depopulation.

 

Joan Veon, a veteran UN expert who has reported on about 100 United Nations conferences explained what UN policy-makers mean when they use the term sustainable development. In 1992 during the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development Veon observed: “Sustainable development basically says there are too many people on the planet, that we must reduce the population.”

 

Not only UN experts but also national leaders have admitted publicly that population control lies at the heart of plans to combat global warming.

 

Last month China boasted that its one-child policy, which has been criticized by many nations for including forced abortion and sterilization, had reduced greenhouse gases. Speaking at a meeting in Oslo on the UN’s Kyoto Protocol, Hu Tao of China’s State Environmental Protection Administration said the one-child population control policy has slowed “global warming” by limiting the population to 1.3 billion. “This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

 

In 2004 Russian presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov called the Kyoto Protocol - a UN sponsored treaty to reduce greenhouse gases - an “undeclared war against Russia” since it required depopulation. Quoting a British team of scientists and government officials Illarionov said, “As long as you reduce your population, you can meet the Kyoto Protocol requirements.”

 

Recently population control advocates have become more open about their agenda. A report published May 7 by the Optimum Population Trust declared that the best “carbon-offset strategy” was to reduce the number of human beings and thus defeat the “global warming” phenomenon.

 

“Population limitation should therefore be seen as the most cost-effective carbon offsetting strategy available to individuals and nations,” read the report, A Population-Based Climate Strategy. “The most effective personal climate change strategy is limiting the number of children one has,” the report says. “The most effective national and global climate change strategy is limiting the size of the population.”

 

The stance of most of the pro-life movement regarding the environment was recently expressed by Czech President Vaclav Klaus in March of this year. “All of us are very much in favour of maximum environmental protection and protection of nature,” he said in an interview with the Cato Institute. “But it has nothing in common with environmentalism, which is ideological and practically attacking our freedom.”

 

Environmentalism is, he said “a way of introducing new forms of statism, new forms of masterminding human society from above.”

 

Should the Vatican wish to get into the game of prediction of man-made climate disasters perhaps they should revisit Biblical interpretations of natural disasters resulting from the sinfulness of mankind. The Biblical account of Noah’s Ark describes the whole known population of the earth being drowned in a flood except for Noah and his family, who were faithful to God.

 

To say nothing of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood was caused, teaches the Church, not by global warming, but by global sinning.

_______________________________________________

 

John-Henry Westen is the founder and editor of the first life and family issues news service operating on the internet in Canada – LifeSiteNews.com.

 

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They call this a consensus? (National Post, 070602)

 

Lawrence Solomon

 

“Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.”

 

So said Al Gore ... in 1992. Amazingly, he made his claims despite much evidence of their falsity. A Gallup poll at the time reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.

 

Today, Al Gore is making the same claims of a scientific consensus, as do the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of government agencies and environmental groups around the world. But the claims of a scientific consensus remain unsubstantiated. They have only become louder and more frequent.

 

More than six months ago, I began writing this series, The Deniers. When I began, I accepted the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet. I doubted only claims that the dissenters were either kooks on the margins of science or sell-outs in the pockets of the oil companies.

 

My series set out to profile the dissenters — those who deny that the science is settled on climate change — and to have their views heard. To demonstrate that dissent is credible, I chose high-ranking scientists at the world’s premier scientific establishments. I considered stopping after writing six profiles, thinking I had made my point, but continued the series due to feedback from readers. I next planned to stop writing after 10 profiles, then 12, but the feedback increased. Now, after profiling more than 20 deniers, I do not know when I will stop — the list of distinguished scientists who question the IPCC grows daily, as does the number of emails I receive, many from scientists who express gratitude for my series.

 

Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists — the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects — and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled. If anything, the majority view among these subsets of the scientific community may run in the opposite direction. Not only do most of my interviewees either discount or disparage the conventional wisdom as represented by the IPCC, many say their peers generally consider it to have little or no credibility. In one case, a top scientist told me that, to his knowledge, no respected scientist in his field accepts the IPCC position.

 

What of the one claim that we hear over and over again, that 2,000 or 2,500 of the world’s top scientists endorse the IPCC position? I asked the IPCC for their names, to gauge their views. “The 2,500 or so scientists you are referring to are reviewers from countries all over the world,” the IPCC Secretariat responded. “The list with their names and contacts will be attached to future IPCC publications, which will hopefully be on-line in the second half of 2007.”

 

An IPCC reviewer does not assess the IPCC’s comprehensive findings. He might only review one small part of one study that later becomes one small input to the published IPCC report. Far from endorsing the IPCC reports, some reviewers, offended at what they considered a sham review process, have demanded that the IPCC remove their names from the list of reviewers. One even threatened legal action when the IPCC refused.

 

A great many scientists, without doubt, are four-square in their support of the IPCC. A great many others are not. A petition organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine between 1999 and 2001 claimed some 17,800 scientists in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. A more recent indicator comes from the U.S.-based National Registry of Environmental Professionals, an accrediting organization whose 12,000 environmental practitioners have standing with U.S. government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. In a November, 2006, survey of its members, it found that only 59% think human activities are largely responsible for the warming that has occurred, and only 39% make their priority the curbing of carbon emissions. And 71% believe the increase in hurricanes is likely natural, not easily attributed to human activities.

 

Such diversity of views is also present in the wider scientific community, as seen in the World Federation of Scientists, an organization formed during the Cold War to encourage dialogue among scientists to prevent nuclear catastrophe. The federation, which encompasses many of the world’s most eminent scientists and today represents more than 10,000 scientists, now focuses on 15 “planetary emergencies,” among them water, soil, food, medicine and biotechnology, and climatic changes. Within climatic changes, there are eight priorities, one being “Possible human influences on climate and on atmospheric composition and chemistry (e.g. increased greenhouse gases and tropospheric ozone).”

 

==============================

 

NASA chief silenced: Michael Griffin aired his doubts about climate-change politics on National Public Radio. Under a barrage of criticism, he recanted (National Post, 070608)

 

The head of NASA — the National Aeronautical and Space Association—is “an idiot” and “in denial.” He is also “surprisingly naive” and “a fool.” With his judgment and competence so lacking, demands abound for his resignation as head of the largest and most accomplished science agency in the world.

 

Those comments and others in the past week have come from scientists shocked to learn that NASA chief Michael Griffin thinks differently than they about global warming. Among the most shocked is one of Dr. Griffin’s own employees, James Hansen, a top climate scientist who “almost fell off my chair” when he learned that his research hadn’t convinced his boss. “It’s an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement,” he told ABC News, referring to an interview of Dr. Griffin on National Public Radio. “It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change.”

 

Some might think Dr. Griffin is entitled to think for himself. Apart from his PhD in aerospace engineering, he holds five masters degrees, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, he manages a US$1.1-billion climate-research budget and was unanimously confirmed to head NASA by the United States Senate.

 

But no. He is either “totally clueless” or “a deep anti-global warming ideologue,” concludes Jerry Mahlman, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in a statement similar to many.

 

Dr. Griffin’s radio interview drew this storm of controversy after he was asked about the seriousness of global warming. He replied by saying, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had, and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change.”

 

Dr. Griffin doesn’t dispute that the Earth has been warming. He does dispute that we can — or even should — do anything about it. “First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I’m, I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.”

 

Dr. Griffin’s interview was prompted by criticisms from environmental journalist Greg Easterbrook, who charged that Dr. Griffin is wasting NASA’s time and money on misguided space exploration projects, such as a manned mission to Mars and the establishment of a permanent base on

 

the moon. Instead, Easterbrook argued, Dr. Griffin should be exercising his right to free speech, coming out against misguided NASA policies and spending more on legitimate priorities, such as greater global-warming research.

 

The Easterbrook charge led National Public Radio to ask Dr. Griffin why he wasn’t “battling [global warming] as an army might battle an enemy.” Dr. Griffin’s response: “Nowhere in NASA’s authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to effect climate change in either — in one way or another.... NASA is not an agency chartered to, quote, ‘battle climate change.’ “

 

More howls from critics, who believe Dr. Griffin should be using his discretion to skew NASA’s mission away from its core purpose — and away from his fiduciary responsibilities to his organization — and toward the service of fighting climate change.

 

To which Dr. Griffin responds, not unreasonably, “The question is, in a democratic society, who gets to choose. Unfortunately for Greg, it’s not him.”

 

Unfortunately for society, Greg Easterbrook happened to be wrong in another claim: that Dr. Griffin hadn’t lost his right to speak out. For all intents and purposes, he has. Within days of the uproar, Dr. Griffin decided that he should not have discussed “an issue which has become far more political than technical.” In an apology to his staff, he said, “I feel badly that I caused this amount of controversy over something like this,” adding that, “it would have been well for me to have stayed out of it.”

 

Dr. Griffin is now one more scientist who will not dispute the existence of a “scientific consensus on global warming.”

 

 

CV OF A DENIER

 

Prior to heading NASA, Michael Griffin served as space department head at Johns Hopkins University’s applied physics laboratory in Laurel, Md. He was previously president and chief operating officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc. and chief executive of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Magellan Systems division. Earlier, Dr. Griffin served as chief engineer and as associate administrator for exploration at NASA, and as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He is the lead author of more than two dozen technical papers, as well as the textbook Space Vehicle Design. He earned his doctorate at the Michael Griffin University of Maryland.

 

==============================

 

Forget warming - beware the new ice age (National Post, 070615)

 

In the 1970s, leading scientists claimed that the world was threatened by an era of global cooling.

 

Based on what we’ve learned this decade, says George Kukla, those scientists - and he was among them — had it right. The world is about to enter another Ice Age.

 

Dr. Kukla, in 1972 a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences and a pioneer in the field of astronomical forcing, became a central figure in convincing the United States government to take the dangers of climate change seriously. In January of that year, he and another geologist, Robert Matthews of Brown University, convened what would become a historic conference of top European and American investigators in Providence, R.I. The working conference’s theme: “The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?”

 

Later that year, Drs. Kukla and Matthews highlighted the dangers of global cooling in Science magazine and, because of the urgency of the matter, in December they also alerted President Richard Nixon in a joint letter. The conference had reached a consensus, their letter stated, that “a global deterioration of climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilized mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon. The cooling has natural cause and falls within the rank of processes which produced the last ice age.”

 

The White House reacted swiftly to the letter, which described “substantially lowered food production” and “extreme weather anomalies,” such as killer frosts and floods, as well as a warning that the Soviet Union might already be in the lead in preparing for the climate disturbances to come. By February 1973, the State Department had established a Panel on the Present Interglacial, which advised Drs. Kukla and Matthews that it “was seized of the matter.”

 

Soon, numerous other government agencies were drawn in — the issue was seen to be of paramount importance — and by 1974, a federal government report, A United States Climate Program, cited evidence of the gathering storm, including:

 

“A killing winter freeze, followed by a severe summer heat wave in the United States.

 

“Drought in the Soviet Union producing a 12% shortfall in their grain production in 1972, forcing the country to purchase grain abroad, which in turn reduced world grain reserves and helped drive up food prices.

 

“Collapse of the Peruvian anchovy harvest in late 1972 and early 1973, related to fluctuations in the Pacific Ocean currents and atmospheric circulation, impacted world supplies of fertilizer, the soybean market and prices of other protein feed stocks.

 

“The anomalously low precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest during the winter of 1972-73 depleted water-reservoir storage by an amount equivalent to an amount of water required to generate more than 7% of the electric energy for the region.”

 

By 1975, the first of numerous bills, such as the “National Climate Program Act of 1975,” was introduced to establish a co-ordinated national program of climate research, monitoring, prediction and contingency-planning analysis. Much congressional testimony spoke of the inadequacy of climate research and the need for preparedness. Meanwhile, the failure of the Soviet Union’s wheat crop (and a subsequent high-profile U.S. wheat deal), the severe winter of 1976-77 and El Nino’s influence on climate became dinner-table talk, heightening the government’s desire to predict the climate. In September, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the National Climate Program Act into law, in aid of predicting future climate and combating global cooling. That act has now been enlisted in the effort to counter global warming.

 

Many today speak with derision of the 1970s global-cooling scare, seeing it as a cautionary false alarm. Others see it as an embarrassment — Newsweek magazine, which published a 1975 article entitled “The Cooling World,” even corrected the record with a 2006 follow-up to its 1975 article arguing that scientists now have it right.

 

Dr. Kukla sees it — and the 1975 Newsweek article — differently. Although the magazine article indicated that the cooling trend would be continuous, scientists knew otherwise. “None of us expected uninterrupted continuation of the trend,” he states. Moreover, thanks to new evidence that Dr. Kukla only recently published, he now knows that global warming always precedes an ice age. That makes the current period of global warming a mere blip that constitutes additional indication of the ice age to come.

 

To Dr. Kukla, the fundamental issue here could not be more clear. For millions of years, the geologic record shows, Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages, each typically lasting about 100,000 years, and each punctuated by briefer, warmer periods called interglacials, such as the one we are now in. This ongoing cycle closely matches cyclic variations in Earth’s orbit around the sun.

 

“I feel we’re on pretty solid ground in interpreting orbit around the sun as the primary driving force behind ice-age glaciation. The relationship is just too clear and consistent to allow reasonable doubt,” Dr. Kukla said. “It’s either that, or climate drives orbit, and that just doesn’t make sense.”

 

CV OF A DENIER:

 

George Kukla, micropalentologist and Special Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, is a pioneer in the study of solar forcing of climate changes. He was the lead author of the scientific paper that first supported Milutin Milankovic’s theory of glacial cycles by investigating the stratigraphy in deep-sea sediment cores from the southern Indian Ocean. In the cores were clear imprints of Milankovic’s proposed cycles. In his paper he wrote, “We are certain now that changes in the Earth’s orbital geometry caused the ice ages. The evidence is so strong that other explanations must now be discarded or modified.” Prior to joining Columbia in 1971, he had published landmark studies in Czechoslovakia, where he was a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences.

 

==============================

 

NASA Blocked Climate Change Blogger from Data (Townhall.com, 070817)

 

By Amanda Carpenter

 

Despite the fact that NASA tried to block him from accessing U.S. temperature data, persistent efforts by a climate change blogger forced the government to amend U.S. temperature data.

 

Because of the blogger’s efforts, NASA now recognizes 1934 as the hottest year in U.S. history, not 1998.

 

Steven McIntyre, a former mineral exploration executive and policy analyst for the governments of Ontario and Canada who blogs at ClimateAudit.org, wrote to NASA on August 4. He had found miscalculations in the NASA’s U.S. temperature recordings made after January 2000. “For Detroit Lakes, Minnesota,” McIntyre wrote “this introduced an error of 0.8 deg C.”

 

NASA responded on August 7 to tell McIntyre data was “changed correspondingly with an acknowledgement of your contribution.” Without any fanfare, the changes were made on the NASA website. The recalculations resulted in an overall decrease in U.S. temperatures since 2000 by 0.15 degrees centigrade. In a phone interview McIntyre said, “That doesn’t necessarily seem that much, but when the entire increase in temperature in the United States had been previously reported to be about half a degree, this .15 degree is not a small number when you are measuring half degree numbers.”

 

Now, the ten hottest years on record in the U.S., beginning with the hottest year, are: 1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938 and 1939. Before the revision, that list read: 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921, 1931, 1999, 1953, 2001, 1990 and 1938. The re-ranking completely knocked 2001 off the top 10 list.

 

This U.S. temperature revision could cause problems for former Vice President Al Gore. Assisted by Hansen, Gore asserted in his global warming film “An Inconvenient Truth” that nine of the ten hottest years in U.S. history occurred since 1995.

 

McIntyre said he began looking at the data because he questioned the reliability of NASA’s U.S. weather stations that recorded temperature data. He said, “Some of them were in places they weren’t supposed to be….one of them was in a parking lot and the trend for the station in a parking lot was way up and a nearby station that was in a proper location in a rural area was relatively flat.”

 

Chris Horner, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, said McIntyre was able to catch the mistake because he “knew that our surface measuring stations are suspect.” Horner said the polling stations could be affected by things like the construction nearby asphalt parking lots, tar roofs, AC vents, chimneys, or even a grill restaurant.

 

McIntyre said, “Defenders of the weather station system argued that NASA had software that could fix that data…And, so I wrote to NASA in May and asked them for the source code for the adjustment software that they used to fix these stations and they refused to provide it.”

 

But, “the adjustments are not small,” McIntyre said. “The adjustments that they make are fully equal the total amount of warming in the United States the past century.”

 

According to McIntyre, when he began downloading data from NASA’s website to compare the adjusted and the raw data from the polling stations, “this led to a bit of a fight with NASA in May. As I started downloading the data in sequence they cut off my access to the data.”

 

“They blocked my IP address,” McIntyre said.

 

When contacted by phone to verify the computer block NASA spokeswoman Leslie McCarthy said, “This is the first I’ve heard of this.” McCarthy had not yet responded to the full transcript at the time of publication.

 

“After I was blocked and I explained myself they still didn’t want to let me have access to the data,” McIntyre lamented.

 

He continued: “They just said go look at the original data. And I said no, I want to see the data you used. I know what the original data looks like. I want to see the data that you used. But one of the nice things about having a blog that gets a million and half hits a month is that I then was able to publicize this block in real-time and they very quickly withdrew their position and allowed me to have access.”

 

When he got the data, McIntyre then compared the raw and adjusted data sets for all 1200 U.S. weather stations. “Probably 75% of the stations had jumps of at least a quarter degree in the year 2000,” he said.

 

Conservative media personalities like talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and blogger Michelle Malkin blasted the revision that was made quietly.

 

The Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen responded to the critics on the left-wing blog DailyKos. He said that U.S. temperature data change is inconsequential to overall global climate data.. He wrote a diary on their site on August 11 that said, “The effect on global temperature was of order one-thousandth of a degree, so the corrected and uncorrected curves [on global data] are indistinguishable.”

 

Jeff Kuerter, president of the George C. Marshall Institute, said NASA’s mistake cast doubt on all global climate data because the United States was considered the best at taking analyzing temperatures. “If the U.S. doesn’t get this right what might be happening in other places and why did this error persist so long?” he said.

 

In an August 13 Newsweek cover story, “The Truth About Denial,” Kuerter’s organization was labeled as part of the “denial machine” in cahoots with Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute.

 

Exxon Mobil spokesman Gantt Walton said Exxon had no comment regarding NASA’s climate change revisions.

 

Even though the data has been corrected, McIntyre is not satisfied. “They claim that they’re adjustment methodology was capable of fixing bad data, I mean, that’s the point I want people to take home from this,” he said. “What they’ve done now is inserted a patch into an error that I identified for them but they haven’t established that the rest of their adjustment methodology is any good.” He recommended that NASA begin archiving the codes they use to make calculations and subject data to public scrutiny or peer-review.

 

This isn’t the first time McIntyre has caused a stir by questioning global warming data. The Toronto-based McIntyre joined forces with Canadian economist Ross McKitrick to refute data put forth by United Nations in 2001 that said use of fossil fuels was causing global warming. Included in the report was a graphic that showed 20th century temperatures sharply rising as time went on in the form of a hockey stick, which later became the name of the graph. McIntyre and McKitrick found an error in the mathematical calculation used to construct the “hockey stick.” Their findings led to a congressional investigation led by then-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.).

 

Below is Carpenter’s transcript of her interview with Steven McIntyre:

 

Q. Can you explain to me in layman’s terms how you found this error?

 

Yeah. Quickly, a fellow in California named Anthony Watts noticed that some of the weather stations used to make historical U.S. statistics were located in places they weren’t supposed to be. One of them was in a parking lot and the trend for the station in a parking lot was way up and a nearby station that was in a proper location in a rural area was relatively flat. So, this led to some controversy and he started a volunteer effort where people started surveying these weather stations and seeing what they looked like.

 

Now, defenders of the weather station system argued that NASA had software that could fix that data. And, so it really didn’t matter if the station was in a parking lot in Tuscan or something like that. NASA software could fix it. So, that type of adjustment is a statistical issue that interests me. And, so I wrote to NASA in May and asked them for the source code for the adjustment software that they used to fix these stations and they refused to provide it. So I got interested in sort of looking at comparing the version of the temperature history of individual stations that NASA had against original data. I noticed that in some cases there was a very sharp jump in the differences between these two versions. The NASA version took a step in January 2000 relative to the original data. So, I then collected the data for both the NASA versions and the original data for all 1200 stages in the US historical network.

 

This led to a bit of fight with NASA in May because as I started downloading the data in sequence they cut off my access to the data.

 

Q. Meaning, your computer?

 

They blocked my IP address.

 

Q. Why were they so opposed?

 

Well, first of all they probably weren’t used to, they don’t have a very efficient distribution of the data so I ended up scraping the data off various web pages and I had written a computer program to do that. So, I was repetitively downloading data. Anyway, even after I was blocked and I explained myself they still didn’t want to let me have access to the data. They just said go look at the original data. And I said no, I want to see the data you used. I know what the original data looks like. I want to see the data that you used. But one of the nice things about having a blog that gets a million and half hits a month is that I then was able to publicize this block in real-time and they very quickly withdrew their position and allowed me to have access.

 

Once they did that, I downloaded all 1200 stations and calculated the value of this step in the year 2000. In some cases it was a negative step and in some cases it was a positive step, but it became clear that what they had done they had, for some reason, changed the version of data that they were using in 2000. Before 2000 they were using an adjusted version of data and after 2000 they were using an unadjusted version.

 

After the controversy broke out NASA has said that the reason they did that was because the adjusted version was never available after 2000. That’s actually untrue. The adjusted version is sitting in exactly the same data directory. It just seems to be an error of some kind on their part.

 

The amount on individual stations and this is where we started, trying to explain problems with individual stations, had jumps of up to one degree centigrade. I calculated a distribution of these jumps for all 1200 stations. Many of the jumps were negative, but the number of small jumps was itself only a fraction. Probably 75% of the stations had jumps of at least a quarter degree in the year 2000. But the average, because there both positive and negative ended up being somewhat over .15 degrees. That doesn’t necessarily seem that much, but when the entire increase in temperature in the United States had been previously reported to be about half a degree, this .15 degree is not a small number when you are measuring half degree numbers.

 

So, I sent them an email notifying them of this error on Saturday August 4th and I pointed out that I thought they had changed data sources and on Tuesday August 7th they sent me a note agreeing that there was an error and they had, when I looked at their website, they had replaced the data for all1200 U.S. historical weather stations and they’d also replaced their U.S. temperature history. While they added a mention of me on their webpage describing their methodology, but didn’t provide any notice to readers that they had replaced all this data. So, for example, if you had been doing a study which required that you knew what the temperature was in Reno there was no notice that the data you’d had downloaded prior to August 2007 had contained an error. And in some cases a very large error.

 

When I looked at what their restated U.S. temperature history was, I noticed there was a change in the leading years. So, I wrote a light-hearted post on my blog that said there’s a change in the leader board at the U.S. Open and that even though people thought that the years 1934 and the years 1998 had been in the clubhouse and had a shower, in fact they were still on the course and that 1934 had a late birdie and 1998 had a late bogie and 2006 had a late-triple bogie and when the dust settled 1934 was now the leader of the U.S. Open.

 

Q. It seems at the heart of this was that NASA was unwilling to give you the methodology.

 

There are a couple of layers of issues. One issue was that they had an error. After I had identified this particular error to them and asked them for their source code so I could see how the rest of their adjustments actually worked, and this was really kind of an incidental point in checking their adjustment process. One of the things I started from was trying to evaluate whether their adjustment process was equal in adjusting bad data.

 

I think you can conclude from this exercise is that there adjustment software was obviously incapable of picking up fictionist jumps even as big as one degree centigrade in the year 2000 and the proof was in the pudding because they hadn’t picked it up. In fact, they hadn’t only failed to fix it, they created it.

 

So, they claim that their adjustment methodology was capable of fixing bad data, I mean, that’s the point I want people to take home from this. What they’ve done now is inserted a patch into an error that I identified for them but they haven’t established that the rest of their adjustment methodology is any good.

 

The adjustments are not small. The adjustments that they make are fully equal to the total amount of warming in the United States the past century. So, you’re dealing with adjustments that are the same size as the effect that you are trying to measure. So, it’s worth spending a minute or two trying to understand exactly what they did. Now, my interest in these things is understanding exactly what they did.

 

Now, their point of view is well, Gavin Schmidt of NASA says well “I don’t get this audit mean.” What he calls the audit mean. Well you know, everyone in the world, if you aren’t an academic and you’re doing business offerings or you work in a company, you get audited. And you can’t say to an auditor, here are the invoices, you do your own financial statements if you don’t like ours. Then, the auditor says my only interest how you did yours. So, when Gavin Schmidt says well you don’t think we’ve done an adjustment methodology, why don’t you do your own calculation and you can publish it, try to publish it in peer-reviewed literature and we can start from there.

 

My take is well, I’ve had other experiences with folks like that before and then they think if you mis-implemented their methodology they scream to high heaven. So, I said “No” and they said “You are asking to be spoon-fed” and I said “No, I’m not asking to be spoon-fed.” I’ll deal with raw code, it’s just that the verbal descriptions in academic articles to not meet the kind of engineering, quality level that I expect from things or that I am looking for and that represents one point of dispute between me and them. They don’t seem to accept the idea. This is an important issue and therefore academics have to stop being precious and arguing that these codes are their private property.

 

Q. If NASA were to handle this all better, or to your liking, what are some recommendations you’d give them?

 

One of the main recommendations I’ve consistently made both to NASA and to journals is that when people publish articles they should have to archive the data as they used it. The exact providence of their data if they downloaded it from an internet archive they should have to post the URL of the place where they got the data and the date they downloaded it so you can know the exact version they got in case the versions change. And, they should archive the code in which they obtained the calculations.

 

This is not by any means an impossible or far-fetched set of protocols. In econometrics right now, if you want to get an article published in the American Economic Review, a leading journal, that’s exactly what you have to do. That policy was instituted by the then-editor who is now chairman of the Federal Reserve System. It’s a policy that is easy to implement and there is a lot more riding right now on climate policy than there is on labor market studies or studies of inflation. So, I think there’s every reason to require NASA and other contributors to climate science to improve their game in terms of how they provide disclosure to other readers and other researchers of their methodology and data.

 

In some cases there are some real problems. You know Lonnie Thompson. the ice guy, has published sort of summaries of his data which are mutually inconsistent and I’ve tried to get original sample data to try and reconcile these and he’s refused and he’s published articles in journals and the journals have refused to require him to do it and the National Science Foundation which has funded it has refused to require it so it’s not just NASA it’s a very widespread problem in climate science right now.

 

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The marketing of lies (WorldNetDaily, 070821)

 

Joseph Farah

 

My colleague David Kupelian has written one of the foundational books of our time in “The Marketing of Evil.”

 

If you haven’t read it, it’s never too late. It explains how ideas right out of the pit of hell can be sold to Americans like toothpaste or soap flakes.

 

Maybe it’s time for a follow-up called “The Marketing of Lies.”

 

It is partially what my newest book, “Stop the Presses! The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution,” is about.

 

How is it that so much of what we’re told, what we believe and what we accept as fact today is simply a load of horse manure?

 

It’s so overwhelming, I scarcely know where to start. But let’s begin with the emotionally charged photo of the polar bear apparently clinging for dear life to a chunk of ice.

 

The alarmists promoting the notion that man-made global warming is setting the planet on a course for catastrophe used this picture and phony claims that the polar bear population was thinning along with the arctic ice.

 

It’s one of the many lies Al Gore hyperventilates about in his movie. Now every school child in America knows for a fact that polar bears are not long for this world. They may not know much about history or geometry or science, but they know that the only way to save the planet is to stop producing carbon dioxide.

 

In other words, they believe a lie.

 

Not only is there no evidence (NONE!) that man-made carbon dioxide is contributing to global warming, there is quite persuasive evidence the reverse is true – that increased carbon dioxide levels are, in fact, caused by global warming. That’s what any independent, objective look at the facts will suggest – that nature produces carbon dioxide as global temperatures increase.

 

And what about the polar bears? Their population is actually increasing quite dramatically!

 

Want some more fact-checking?

 

* When the so-called federal “assault weapons” ban ended Sept. 13, 2004, the gun-control activists and my colleagues in the press promised a surge of firearms violence would follow. What actually happened? The number of murders nationwide fell dramatically for the first time since 1999. Smaller drops were found in the seven states that maintained their own “assault weapons” bans.

 

* “Campaign finance reform” was supposed to even the playing field in American politics and reduce the corruptive influence of money in elections. What actually happened? The so-called “reforms” made it easier for incumbents to remain in power, harder for citizen-challengers to take them on.

 

* Remember how legalized abortion was going to end child abuse and reduce crime. What actually happened? More single women are having babies today than ever before. The presumably unintended consequences of abortion – a social shift that made premarital and extramarital sex more accepted – also meant more single women getting pregnant, including many who would never consider the abortion alternative. Today, child abuse is at previously unimaginable levels, and single mothers are producing far more offspring – the very population group most at risk of becoming criminals.

 

Why do these bad ideas continue to have validity even when the evidence is in?

 

Because my industry, for the most part, does a lousy job of truth-telling.

 

What’s the answer?

 

As always, some want government to solve the problem. But that is almost always a bad idea. In fact, it should be beyond dispute today that government intervention has always made the situation much worse.

 

We don’t need Fairness Doctrines, which only squelch open and honest and free debate.

 

We don’t need government-subsidized media outlets like NPR and PBS, which tend to be more biased than privately held media agencies.

 

We certainly don’t need government watchdogs and official censors.

 

What we do need is more competition – something that happened naturally with the death of the Fairness Doctrine 20 years ago and the birth of the New Media.

 

The marketing of lies, like the marketing of evil, goes back to the Garden of Eden. It won’t end until the Second Coming. But the lies are being exposed like never before.

 

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Canada will not push for greenhouse gas targets (National Post, 070907)

 

SYDNEY, Australia — Canada won’t push its counterparts on the Pacific Rim to accept a new global target for the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution at this weekend’s APEC summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday.

 

Although he told business and political leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting that Canada would be a world leader in developing international climate change policies to counter threats to life on earth, Mr. Harper later told reporters that the international community wasn’t ready to set any targets for the entire planet.

 

He said Canada, like Japan, and some other economies are in favour of seeing global greenhouse gas emissions cut in half by 2050, but not everyone supports that goal.

 

“Of course, we are trying to reach a consensus on this figure, but frankly I think that we aren’t at the point where we can dictate that figure to all countries in the world,” Mr. Harper said, following his speech and a bilateral meeting with the prime minister of New Zealand. “But I think it’s important that the world accepts one target, the concept of a target, and the notion of full participation of all major emitters, and I think that this is the consensus that we are pursuing here.”

 

Although Harper will get to participate in discussions over the weekend with leaders from the 21 APEC economies, including major countries such as the U.S., China, and Russia, he has not yet been able to nail down individual meetings with his counterparts from those nations. Ironically, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark met with Harper after she had her own bilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

 

China is soon expected to pass the U.S. as the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and most climate experts and world leaders, including Mr. Harper, have stressed that it must play a more significant role in fighting global warming.

 

Although China is a member of the international Kyoto Protocol on climate change, it does not have any binding targets to achieve under the agreement which expires in 2012. Mr. Harper noted that this is one of the weaknesses of the climate change pact that he wants to fix in the next international agreement on global warming.

 

“I think we’ve made progress, but obviously we have a long way to go,” Mr. Harper said. “Let’s remember, this will be the first time, if we can get an international protocol, this is a big, big step. It will be the first time the world has done this. In the Kyoto Protocol, nations representing two thirds of emissions, essentially opted out, so we have to do a better job next time.”

 

In his speech to the summit, Mr. Harper, who expressed skepticism about the catastrophic predictions of climate scientists as recently as last fall, insisted that most evidence indicates human activity is a significant factor that is causing the earth’s atmosphere to get hotter.

 

But he blamed world leaders of the past decade, including the previous Liberal government in Canada, for failing to adequately address the situation and warn the population that there was an economic price to pay for scaling back activity that is responsible for carbon emissions.

 

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Harper looks for less rigid climate change agreement (National Post, 070924)

 

UNITED NATIONS — Canada is at the forefront of developing technology that will help the world combat global warming, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a high-level meeting at the United Nations on Monday.

 

But on the question of targets for reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, he said the world was gradually shifting to the idea of “flexible” goals that take into account the need for continued economic expansion.

 

“There is an emerging consensus on the need for a new, effective and flexible climate framework, one that commits all the world’s major emitters to real targets and concrete action against global greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr. Harper said.

 

The prime minister’s focus on Canada’s technological contributions to solving the problem was possible because he had chosen — from a list of four themes the UN presented to all speakers — one headed “The Role of Technology.”

 

Addressing any of the other three themes — how to adapt to climate change; reducing emissions; and financing the response to global warming  — would have involved discussing issues that have out Canada at odds with what the UN wants.

 

“Everyone can agree that developing technologies that help prevent the adverse effects of climate change is a good thing,” said one diplomat.

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the one-day summit as a way to keep the question of climate change at the forefront of the international agenda ahead of a crucial UN conference in December in Bali, Indonesia.

 

“The UN climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating global action, Mr. Ban told representatives  of more than 150 nations participating.

 

Mr. Harper’s statement reflects the Conservative government’s opposition to a UN-driven push for short-term binding targets and preference for goals that have less impact on the economy.

 

“We are balancing environmental protection with economic growth ...” he said. “We are  promoting a balanced international approach to emissions that engages all major emitters while respecting the unique characteristics of their economies.

 

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Study: Evangelicals Least Concerned about Global Warming (Christian Post, 070918)

 

WASHINGTON – Evangelical Christians are more skeptical than other Christians and American adults overall about the severity of global warming, a new study showed.

 

Only 33% of evangelical Christians view global warming as a “major” problem facing the country compared to people of other faiths or of no religion in which over half say it’s severe, according to The Barna Group.

 

Among non-evangelical born-again Christians, 55% say global warming is a major problem and 59% of notional Christians agree. Overall, 51% of the nation’s Christian community view global warming as severe while 42% assign the largely debated issue less importance.

 

Meanwhile, 62% of those associated with a faith other than Christianity and 69% of atheists and agnostics describe global warming as a major problem.

 

Catholics (59%) showed more concern about global warming than Protestants (52%). And mainline Protestants (59%) also expressed greater alarm than did non-mainline Protestants (49%).

 

“The survey confirms that Americans disagree about climate change,” said David Kinnaman, who directed the study. “Each faith audience interacts with the concept of global warming in distinct ways. Evangelicals would rather think about other things. Non-evangelicals say the environment is important to them, yet they are far from convinced that global warming is as important as everyone says. By contrast, many non-Christians view global climate alterations as the central element of their environmental engagement.”

 

Other findings showed that non-evangelical born-again Christians are the most likely to say it is “absolutely necessary” to invest in environmental protection compared to 61% of notional Christians and atheists/agnostics, 55% of people of other non-Christian faiths, and only 35% of evangelical Christians. At the same time, well over half of all groups surveyed were likely to have recycled a product in the last month with people of a faith other than Christianity (90%) being the most likely to have recycled.

 

“Most Americans say they recycle, prioritize the environment and perceive global warming to have implications for the nation. It seems as if people are searching for over-arching and compelling themes for environmental care. As Americans become aware of environmental problems and the affects on people inside and outside the U.S., it is important for Christians to embrace and articulate the biblical priority of caring for the world God created,” said Kinnaman.

 

“Part of that priority should be to become the best possible stewards of God’s resources by being the best recyclers. Such conservation is stewardship because it means learning to be more responsible with what we have and what we consume, leaving more time and money for God’s purposes. Furthermore, the environment is a potential area of common ground between Christians and non-Christians. Like it or not, if outsiders do not see Christians embodying biblical care related to creation, a Christian’s influence is significantly diminished.”

 

Results from the Barna poll are based on nationwide surveys conducted on 1,007 adults in January 2007 and 1,004 adults in July-August 2007.

 

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Ozone: The hole truth (Washington Times, 070919)

 

Ben Lieberman

 

The international treaty to protect the ozone layer turns 20 this year. But is there really much reason to celebrate?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The treaty came about over legitimate but overstated concerns that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, a then-widely used class of refrigerants) and other compounds were rising to the stratosphere and destroying ozone molecules. These molecules, collectively known as the ozone layer, shield the Earth from excessive ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) from the sun. The Montreal Protocol’s provisions were tightened in 1990 and again in 1992, culminating with a CFC ban in most developed nations by 1996.

 

So what do we know now? As far as ozone depletion is concerned, the thinning of the ozone layer that occurred throughout the 1980s apparently stopped in the early 1990s, too soon to credit the Montreal Protocol. A 1998 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report said: “Since 1991, the linear [downward] trend observed during the 1980s has not continued, but rather total column ozone has been almost constant.”

 

However, the same report noted that the stratospheric concentrations of the offending compounds were still increasing through 1998. This lends credence to the skeptical view, widely derided at the time of the Montreal Protocol, that natural variations better explain the fluctuations in the global ozone layer.

 

More importantly, the feared increase in ground level UVB radiation has also failed to materialize. Keep in mind that ozone depletion, in and of itself, doesn’t really harm human health or the environment. It was the concern that an eroded ozone layer will allow more of the sun’s damaging UVB rays to reach the Earth that led to the Montreal Protocol. But WMO concedes no statistically significant long-term trends have been detected, noting earlier this year that “outside the polar regions, ozone depletion has been relatively small, hence, in many places, increases in UV due to this depletion are difficult to separate from the increases caused by other factors, such as changes in cloud and aerosol.” In short, the impact of ozone depletion on UVB over populated regions is so small it’s hard to detect.

 

Needless to say, if UVB hasn’t gone up, then the fears of increased UVB-induced harm are unfounded. Indeed, the much-hyped acceleration in skin cancer rates hasn’t been documented. U.S. National Cancer Institute statistics show malignant melanoma incidence and mortality, which had been undergoing a long-term increase that predates ozone depletion, has actually been leveling off during the putative ozone crisis.

 

Further, no ecosystem or species was ever shown to be seriously harmed by ozone depletion. This is true even in Antarctica, where the largest seasonal ozone losses, the so-called Antarctic ozone hole, occur annually. Also forgotten is a long list of truly ridiculous claims, such as the one from Al Gore’s 1992 book “Earth in the Balance” that, thanks to the Antarctic ozone hole, “hunters now report finding blind rabbits; fisherman catch blind salmon.”

 

Overall, the Montreal Protocol isn’t making these bad consequences go away — they were never occurring in the first place.

 

The parallels with global warming are striking. Again we face a real but greatly overhyped environmental problem. In both cases, virtually everything the public has been told that sounds terrifying isn’t true — and what is true isn’t particularly terrifying. But doomsayers such as Mr. Gore simply soldier on. His claims of blind animals from ozone depletion have been replaced by equally dubious assertions in his book “An Inconvenient Truth,” including predictions of a massive sea level rise that would wipe away south Florida and other coastal areas.

 

Perhaps decades from now, participants in the Kyoto Protocol, the global-warming treaty modeled after the Montreal Protocol, will meet and congratulate themselves because none of their scary assertions came true. But how many resources will have been spent to save a world that never really needed saving in the first place?

 

Ben Lieberman is a senior policy analyst for energy and environment at the Heritage Foundation.

 

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Global Warming Hysteria (townhall.com, 070926)

 

By Walter E. Williams

 

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

 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Rep. John Dingell wants a 50-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline. We’ve heard such calls before, but there’s a new twist. Dingell also wants to eliminate the mortgage tax deduction on what he calls “McMansions,” homes that are 3,000 square feet and larger. That’s because larger homes use more energy.

 

One might wonder about Dingell’s magnanimity in increasing taxes for only homes 3,000 feet or larger. The average U.S. home is around 2,300 square feet, compared with Europe’s average of 1,000 square feet. So why doesn’t Dingell call for disallowing mortgage deductions on houses more than 1,000 square feet? The reason is there would be too much political resistance, since more Americans own homes under 3,000 square feet than over 3,000. The full agenda is to start out with 3,000 square feet and later lower it in increments.

 

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

 

In addition to excuses to raise taxes, congressmen are using climate change hysteria to funnel money into their districts. Rep. David L. Hobson, R-Ohio, secured $500,000 for a geothermal demonstration project. Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., got $500,000 for a fuel-cell project by Superprotonic, a Pasadena company started by Caltech scientists. Money for similar boondoggles is being called for by members of both parties.

 

There are many ways to reduce CO2 emissions, and being 71 years of age I know many of them. Al Gore might even consider me carbon neutral and possibly having carbon credits because my carbon offsets were made in advance. For example, for the first 15 years of my life, I didn’t use energy-consuming refrigerators; we had an icebox. For two decades I listened to radio instead of watching television and walked or used public transportation to most places. And for more than half my life I didn’t use energy-consuming things such as computers, clothes dryers, air conditioning and microwave ovens. Of course, my standard of living was much lower.

 

The bottom line is, serious efforts to reduce CO2 will lead to lower living standards through higher costs of living. And it will be all for naught because there is little or no relationship between man-made CO2 emissions and climate change.

 

There’s an excellent booklet available from the National Center for Policy Analysis (ncpa.org) titled “A Global Warming Primer.” Some of its highlights are:

 

“Over long periods of time, there is no close relationship between CO2 levels and temperature.”

 

“Humans contribute approximately 3.4% of annual CO2 levels” compared to 96.6% by nature.

 

“There was an explosion of life forms 550 million years ago (Cambrian Period) when CO2 levels were 18 times higher than today. During the Jurassic Period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, CO2 levels were as much as nine times higher than today.”

 

What about public school teachers frightening little children with tales of cute polar bears dying because of global warming? The primer says, “Polar bear numbers increased dramatically from around 5,000 in 1950 to as many as 25,000 today, higher than any time in the 20th century.” The primer gives detailed sources for all of its findings, and it supplies us with information we can use to stop politicians and their environmental extremists from doing a rope-a-dope on us.

 

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Sun still main force in climate change: Rebuts widely publicized study this summer by UK scientists (WorldNetDaily, 071003)

 

Despite the claim of a heavily publicized recent study, the sun still appears to be the main agent in global climate change, according to new research by Danish scientists.

 

The study by the Danish National Space Center rebuts a July study by UK scientists who allege there has not been a solar-climate link in the past 20 years.

 

The Danish researchers, Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen, contend the UK study erroneously relies on surface air temperature, which, they say, “does not respond to the solar cycle.”

 

Over the past 20 years, however, the Danes argue, the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature.

 

“When the response of the climate system to the solar cycle is apparent in the troposphere and ocean, but not in the global surface temperature, one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record,” Svensmark and Friis-Christensen say.

 

The surface air temperature, they argue, is “a poor guide to sun-driven physical processes that are still plainly persistent in the climate system.”

 

The researchers explained it’s “customary to attribute to greenhouse gases any increase in global temperatures not due to solar changes.”

 

“While that is reasonable,” they say, “one cannot distinguish between the effects of anthropogenic gases such as carbon dioxide and of natural greenhouse gases.”

 

Increased evaporation, for example, means “infrared radiation from water vapor, by far the most important greenhouse gas, will tend to provide positive feedback for any global warming, whether driven by anthropogenic or solar forcing.”

 

“In any case,” they emphasize, “the most recent global temperature trend is close to zero.”

 

Meanwhile, another new scientific study counters a major premise of global warming theory, concluding carbon dioxide did not end the last ice age.

 

The study, led by University of Southern California geologist Lowell Stott, concluded deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before the rise in atmospheric CO2, which would rule out the greenhouse gas as the main agent of the meltdown.

 

“There has been this continual reference to the correspondence between CO2 and climate change as reflected in ice core records as justification for the role of CO2 in climate change,” said Stott. “You can no longer argue that CO2 alone caused the end of the ice ages.”

 

Another new study published in Science refutes the “Hockey Stick” temperature graph, used by man-made global warming theorists such as former Vice President Al Gore to argue for a recent spike in average global temperature after centuries of relative stability.

 

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http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/09/25/questioning-20th-century-warmth/

 

Questioning 20th Century Warmth (worldclimatereport.com, 070925)

 

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

 

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

 

The reconstruction of past temperatures is a science unto itself, and the library contains many journals dedicated to the field. We could easily locate an article a week presenting a temperature reconstruction from some part of the planet that would call into question the notion that the 20th century was a period of unusual warmth. You may recall many essays we presented over the past five years examining the “hockey stick” depiction of planetary temperature (little change for 900 years, and suddenly 100 years ago, the temperature shot up) so merrily adopted by Gore and many others.

 

A large and important article appeared recently in Earth-Science Reviews regarding a long-term reconstruction of temperatures from Russia’s Lake Baikal. In case you have forgotten your geography lessons, Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake, it contains the world’s largest volume of freshwater (20% of the global supply), and the lake has over 300 rivers flowing into it. Anson Mackay of University College London is the author of the article, and he notes that “the bottom sediments of the lake itself have never been directly been glaciated. Lake Baikal therefore, contains a potential uninterrupted paleoclimate archive consisting of over 7500 m of sedimentary deposits, extending back more than 20 million years.” If that is not perfect enough, the Lake “is perhaps best well known for its high degree of biodiversity; over 2500 plant and animal species have been documented in Baikal, most of which are believed to be endemic.” The Lake is a long way from the moderating effects of any ocean, and therefore, the Lake should experience large climatic fluctuations over long and short periods of time.

 

The trick to reconstructing temperatures here involves the shell remains of planktonic diatoms that have lived in the Lake for eons. During warm periods, some species of diatom phytoplankton flourish while during cold periods, some species flourish while most reduce production. Cores from the bottom of the Lake therefore contain a high-resolution temperature record for hundreds of thousands of years interpreted from biogenic silica left from the plankton.

 

Figure 1 below tells us an interesting story about the climate of the past 800,000 years including (a) the most recent 10,000 years have generally witnessed a warming (warmer conditions are towards the right, cooler towards the left), (b) cold periods dominate the last 800,000 years, (c) climate can change rapidly, and (d) there are many periods in the past much warmer than what we have there today.

 


Figure 1. Lake Baikal paleoclimate record from the past 800,000 years. Warmer conditions are towards the right, cooler ones towards the left (from Mackay, 2007).

 

Of greater interest to us is what Lake Baikal can tell us about the most recent thousand years, and in particular, we are interested in the warming of the last 1000 years. Mackay notes that “between c. A.D. 850 and 1200, S. acus dominated the assemblage, most likely due to prevailing warmer and wetter climate that occurred in Siberia at this time.” Well now, it certainly looks as if the Medieval Warm Period was noticed at the Lake. Next we learn that “Between c. A.D. 1200 and 1400, spring diatom crops growing under the ice decline in abundance, due in part to increased winter severity and snow cover on the lake, which is reflected in cooler early Siberian summers.” The Little Ice Age then hit hard as Mackay finds “The diatom-inferred snow model suggests significantly increased snow cover on the lake between A.D. 1200 and 1775, which mirrors for the large part increases in snow cover in China during AD 1400–1900.”

 

But here comes our favorite set of conclusions. Mackay writes “Diatom census data and reconstructions of snow accumulation suggest that changes in the influence of the Siberian High in the Lake Baikal region started as early as c. 1750 AD, with a shift from taxa that bloom during autumn overturn to assemblages that exhibit net growth in spring (after ice break-up). The data here mirror instrumental climate records from Fennoscandia for example, which also show over the last 250 years positive temperature trends and increasing early summer Siberian temperature reconstructions. Warming in the Lake Baikal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases, and at least initially, is therefore a response to other forcing factors such as insolation changes during this period of the most recent millennial cycle.”

 

The Lake Baikal study shows that warming has occurred in the most recent century, but it is certainly nothing out of the ordinary and possibly to some degree explained by non-greenhouse forcing. The Osborn and Briffa proclamation that the 20th century was somehow out of the ordinary is certainly not confirmed by the incredible reconstruction from Lake Baikal.

 

References:

 

Bürger, G., 2007. Comment on “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years”. Science, 316, 1844a.

 

Mackay, A.W., 2007. The Paleoclimatology of Lake Baikal: A Diatom Synthesis and Prospectus. Earth-Science Reviews, 82, 181–215.

 

Osborn, T.J., and Briffa, K.R., 2006. The spatial extent of 20th-century warmth in the context of the past 1200 years. Science, 311, 841-844.

 

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Study finds CO2 didn’t end ice age: Counters major premise of global warming theory (WorldNetDaily, 070929)

 

A new peer-reviewed scientific study counters a major premise of global warming theory, concluding carbon dioxide did not end the last ice age

 

The study, led by University of Southern California geologist Lowell Stott, concluded deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before the rise in atmospheric CO2, which would rule out the greenhouse gas as the main agent of the meltdown.

 

“There has been this continual reference to the correspondence between CO2 and climate change as reflected in ice core records as justification for the role of CO2 in climate change,” said Stott. “You can no longer argue that CO2 alone caused the end of the ice ages.”

 

The study will be published in the next issue of Science magazine.

 

Another new study published in Science refutes the “Hockey Stick” temperature graph, used by man-made global warming theorists such as former Vice President Al Gore to argue for a recent spike in average global temperature after centuries of relative stability.

 

Stott’s new study suggests the rise in greenhouse gas likely was a result of warming. It may have accelerated the meltdown, he says, but was not its main cause.

 

He cautioned that the study does not discount the role of CO2.

 

“I don’t want anyone to leave thinking that this is evidence that CO2 doesn’t affect climate,” he said. “It does, but the important point is that CO2 is not the beginning and end of climate change.”

 

Stott’s collaborators were Axel Timmermann of the University of Hawaii and Robert Thunell of the University of South Carolina. Stott, an expert in paleoclimatology, was a reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.-commissioned group that has published reports blaming warming on human sources.

 

Stott’s study found a correlation between melting Antarctic sea ice and increased springtime solar radiation over Antarctica, suggesting this might be the energy source.

 

The authors’ model also showed how changed ocean conditions could have been responsible for the release of CO2 from the ocean into the atmosphere, also accelerating the warming.

 

The scientists derived their results from a study of a unique sediment core from the western Pacific composed of fossilized surface-dwelling and bottom-dwelling organisms. The organisms incorporate different isotopes of oxygen into their shells depending on the temperature, enabling the researchers to reconstruct deep and surface ocean temperatures over time.

 

If CO2 caused the warming, surface temperatures should increase before deep-sea temperatures. But the scientists found the water used by the bottom-dwelling organisms began warming about 1,300 years before the water used by the surface-dwelling ones.

 

“The climate dynamic is much more complex than simply saying that CO2 rises and the temperature warms,” Stott said. The complexities “have to be understood in order to appreciate how the climate system has changed in the past and how it will change in the future.”

 

==============================

 

British Court Rules Al Gore Film Exaggerated Climate Claims (Foxnews, 071011)

 

Al Gore’s award-winning climate change documentary was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, a judge ruled yesterday.

 

An Inconvenient Truth won plaudits from the environmental lobby and an Oscar from the film industry but was found wanting when it was scrutinised in the High Court in London.

 

Justice Burton identified nine significant errors within the former presidential candidate’s documentary as he assessed whether it should be shown to school children. He agreed that Gore’s film was “broadly accurate” in its presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change but said that some of the claims were wrong and had arisen in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.”

 

In what is a rare judicial ruling on what children can see in the class-room, Justice Barton was at pains to point out that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change.

 

“It is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film, a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film,” he said in his ruling. “It is built around the charismatic presence of the former Vice President, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming.

 

“It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film.”

 

The analysis by the judge will have a bearing on whether the Government can continue with its plan to have the film shown in every secondary school. He agreed it could be shown but on the condition that it was accompanied by new guidance notes for teachers to balance Gore’s “one-sided” views.

 

The Government’s decision to show the film in secondary schools had come under attack from Stewart Dim-mock, a school governor in Kent and a member of political group the New Party, who accused the Government of brainwashing children.

 

The first mistake made by Gore, said Justice Burton in his written judgment, was in talking about the potential devastation wrought by a rise in sea levels caused by the melting of ice caps.

 

The claim that sea levels could rise by 20 ft “in the near future” was dismissed as “distinctly alarmist”. Such a rise would take place “only after, and over, millennia”.

 

Justice Burton added: “The armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of seven metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus.”

 

A claim that atolls in the Pacific had already been evacuated was supported by “no evidence”, while to suggest that two graphs showing carbon dioxide levels and temperatures over the last 650,000 years were an “exact fit” overstated the case.

 

Gore’s suggestion that the Gulf Stream, that warms up the Atlantic ocean, would shut down was contradicted by the International Panel on Climate Change’s assessment that it was “very unlikely” to happen.

 

The drying of Lake Chad, the loss of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snows and Hurricane Katrina were all blamed by Gore on climate change but the judge said the scientific community had been unable to find evidence to prove there was a direct link.

 

The drying of Lake Chad, the judge said, was “far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and overgrazing, and regional climate variability.” The melting of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was “mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.”

 

The judge also said there was no proof to support a claim that polar bears were drowning while searching for icy habitats melted by global warming. The only drowned polar bears the court was aware of were four that died following a storm.

 

Similarly, the judge took issue with the former Vice-President of the United States for attributing coral bleaching to climate change. Separating the direct impacts of climate change and other factors was difficult, the judgment concluded.

 

Despite finding nine significant errors the judge said many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified “four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC.”

 

In particular, he agreed with the main thrust of Gore’s arguments: “That climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (‘greenhouse gases’).”

 

The other three main points accepted by the judge were that global temperatures are rising and are likely to continue to rise, that climate change will cause serious damage if left unchecked, and that it is entirely possible for governments and individuals to reduce its impacts.

 

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Al Gore told there are nine inconvienient truths in his film (London Times, 071010)

 

A High Court judge today ruled that An Inconvenient Truth can be distributed to every school in the country but only if it comes with a note explaining nine scientific errors in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film.

 

The Government had pledged to send thousands of copies of the film to schools across the country, but a Kent father challenged that policy saying it would “brainwash” children.

 

A judge was asked to adjudicate between Stewart Dimmock and the Department of Children, Schools and Families. Mr Justice Burton ruled that the film could be sent to schools, but only if it was accompanied by new guidlines to balance the former US vice-president’s “one-sided” views

 

The judge said some of the errors were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration” in order to support Mr Gore’s thesis on global warming.

 

He said that while the film was dramatic and highly professional, it formed part the ex-politician’s global crusade on climate change and not all the claims were supported by the current mainstream scientific consensus.

 

He went on to list those errors:

 

Error one

 

Al Gore: A sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”.

 

The judge’s finding: “This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore’s “wake-up call”. It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water - “but only after, and over, millennia.”

 

Error two

 

Gore: Low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.”

 

Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.

 

Error three

 

Gore: The documentary described global warming potentially “shutting down the Ocean Conveyor” - the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to western Europe.

 

Judge: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it was “very unlikely” it would be shut down, though it might slow down.

 

Error four

 

Gore: He asserted - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”.

 

Judge: Although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”.

 

Error five

 

Gore: The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to global warming.

 

Judge: This “specifically impressed” David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, but the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.

 

Error six

 

Gore: The drying up of Lake Chad was used in the film as a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming, said the judge.

 

Judge: “It is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution. It is apparently considered to be far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and over-grazing, and regional climate variability.”

 

Error seven

 

Gore: Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans to global warming.

 

Judge: There is “insufficient evidence to show that”.

 

Error eight

 

Gore: Referred to a new scientific study showing that, for the first time, polar bears were being found that had actually drowned “swimming long distances - up to 60 miles - to find the ice”.

 

Judge: “The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm.” That was not to say there might not in future be drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice continued - “but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description”.

 

Error nine

 

Gore: Coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors.

 

Judge: The IPCC had reported that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3 degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality, unless the coral could adapt. But separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was difficult.

 

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Gore, U.N. Panel Share 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for Climate-Change Efforts (Foxnews, 071012)

[KH: the ever-increasing liberal stance of the Nobel Committee makes the prize lacking in credibility.]

 

OSLO, Norway  —  Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.

 

Gore, 59, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” had been widely tipped to win the prize.

 

“I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize,” Gore said. “We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

 

He said that global warming was not a political issue but a worldwide crisis.

 

“We face a true planetary emergency. ... It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity,” he said. “It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.”

 

The Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, asserted that the prize was not aimed at the Bush administration, which abandoned efforts to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol climate treaty and was widely criticized outside the U.S. for not taking global warming seriously enough. “A peace prize is never a criticism of anything. A peace prize is a positive message and support to all those champions of peace in the world.” [KH: It is an attack on conservatism, just like the one given to Carter.]

 

“We would encourage all countries, including the big countries, to challenge, all of them, to think again and to say what can they do to conquer global warming,” Mjoes said. “The bigger the powers, the better that they come in front of this.”

 

The win is also likely add further fuel to a burgeoning movement in the United States for Gore to run for president in 2008, which he has so far said he does not plan to do.

 

“I want this prize to have everyone ... every human being, asking what they should do,” Mjoes said. “What he [Gore] decides to do from here is his personal decision.”

 

However, when asked about the 2008 U.S. elections, he said: “I am very much in support for all who support changes.”

 

Two Gore advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to share his thinking, said the award will not make it more likely that he will seek the presidency.

 

If anything, the Peace Prize makes the rough-and-tumble of a presidential race less appealing to Gore, they said, because now he has a huge, international platform to fight global warming and may not want to do anything to diminish it.

 

One of the advisers said that while Gore is unlikely to rule out a bid in the coming days, the prospects of the former vice president entering the fray in 2008 are “extremely remote.”

 

Kenneth Sherrill, a political scientist at Hunter College in New York, said Gore probably enjoys being a public person more than an elected official.

 

“He seems happier and liberated in the years since his loss in 2000. Perhaps winning the Nobel and being viewed as a prophet in his own time will be sufficient,” says Sherrill.

 

Gore, who was an advocate of stemming climate change and global warning well before his eight years as vice president, called the award meaningful because of his co-winner, calling the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the “world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis.”

 

Gore plans to donate his half of the $1.5 million prize money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan nonprofit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion worldwide about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

 

In its citation, the committed lauded Gore’s “strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

 

The last American to win the prize, or share it, was former President Carter, who won it 2002. At the time, then-committee chairman Gunnar Berge called the prize “a kick in the leg” to the Bush administration for its threats of war against Iraq. In response, some members of the secretive committee criticized Berge for expressing personal views in the panel’s name.

 

Mjoes, elected to succeed Berge a few months later, referred to that dispute on Friday, saying the committee “has never given a kick in the leg to anyone.”

 

The White House said the prize was not seen as increasing pressure on the administration or showing that President Bush’s approach missed the mark. “Of course he’s happy for Vice President Gore,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. “He’s happy for the international panel on climate change scientists who also shared the peace prize. Obviously it’s an important recognition.”

 

Fratto said Bush has no plans to call Gore.

 

Bush abandoned efforts to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate because he said it would harm the U.S. economy and because it did not require immediate cuts by countries like China and India.

 

The treaty aimed to put the biggest burden on the richest nations that contributed the most carbon emissions.

 

The U.S. Senate voted against mandatory carbon reductions before the Kyoto negotiations were completed. The treaty was never presented to the Senate for ratification by the Clinton Administration.

 

In its citation, the committee said that Gore “has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians” and cited his awareness at an early stage “of the climatic challenges the world is facing.

 

“Al Gore has fought the environment battle even as vice president,” Mjoes said. “Many did not listen ... but he carried on.”

 

The committee cited the IPCC for its two decades of scientific reports that have “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming.”

 

It went on to say that because of the panel’s efforts, global warming has been increasingly recognized.

 

In the 1980s it “seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.”

 

The committee said global warming “may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth’s resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world’s most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.”

 

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, said he and Gore really had 2,000 co-laureates — each of the scientists in the U.N. panel’s research network.

 

“This award also thrusts a new responsibility on our shoulders,” Pachauri said. “We have to do more, and we have many more miles to go.”

 

Members of the panel were surprised that it was chosen to share the honor with Gore, a spokeswoman said.

 

“We would have been happy even if he had received it alone, because it is a recognition of the importance of this issue,” spokeswoman Carola Traverso Saibante said.

 

The panel forecast this year that all regions of the world will be affected by climate warming and that a third of the Earth’s species will vanish if global temperatures continue to rise until they are 3.6 degrees above the average temperature in the 1980s and ‘90s.

 

“Decisive action in the next decade can still avoid some of the most catastrophic scenarios the IPCC has forecast,” said Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s top climate official.

 

He urged consensus among the United States and other countries on attacking the problem.

 

Gore supporters have been raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for petition drives and advertising in an effort to lure him into the Democratic presidential primaries.

 

One group, Draftgore.com, ran a full-page open letter to Gore in Wednesday’s New York Times, imploring him to get into the race.

 

Gore has been coy, saying repeatedly he’s not running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, without ever closing that door completely.

 

He was the Democratic nominee in 2000 and won the general election popular vote. However, Gore lost the electoral vote to George W. Bush after a legal challenge to the Florida result that was decided by the Supreme Court.

 

Some questioned the prize decision.

 

“Awarding it to Al Gore cannot be seen as anything other than a political statement. Awarding it to the IPCC is well-founded,” said Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

 

He criticized Gore’s film as having “some very obvious mistakes, like the argument that we’re going to see six meters of sea-level rise,” he said.

 

“They [Nobel committee] have a unique platform in getting people’s attention on this issue, and I regret they have used it to make a political statement.”

 

A British judge said in a ruling published Wednesday that some assertions in Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” were not supported by scientific evidence. The case involved a challenge from a school official who did not want the film shown to students.

 

The ruling detailed High Court Judge Michael Burton’s decision this month to allow screenings of the film in English secondary schools. The judge said that written guidance to teachers, designed to ensure Gore’s views are not presented uncritically, must accompany the screenings.

 

This year, climate change has been at the top of the world agenda.

 

The U.N. climate panel has been releasing its reports; talks on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol are set to resume; and on Europe’s northern fringe, where the awards committee works, concern about the melting Arctic has been underscored by this being the International Polar Year.

 

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said the prize would help to continue the globally growing awareness of climate change.

 

“Their contributions to the prevention of climate change have raised awareness all over the world. Their work has been an inspiration for politicians and citizens alike,” he said in a statement.

 

Jan Egeland, a Norwegian peace mediator and former U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, also called climate change more than an environmental issue. “It is a question of war and peace,” said Egeland, now director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo. “We’re already seeing the first climate wars, in the Sahel belt of Africa.”

 

He said nomads and herders are in conflict with farmers because the changing climate has brought drought and a shortage of fertile lands.

 

In recent years, the Norwegian committee has broadened its interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in creating the prize with his 1895 will. The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment. “We believe that the Nobel Committee has shown great courage by so clearly connecting the climate problems with peace,” said Truls Gulowsen, head of environmental group Greenpeace Norway.

 

The committee often uses the coveted prize to cast the global spotlight on a relatively little-known person or cause.

 

Two of the past three prizes have been untraditional, with the 2004 award to Kenya environmentalist Wangari Maathai and last year’s award to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, which makes to micro-loans to the country’s poor. Since Gore already has a high profile some had doubted that the committee would bestow the prize on him “because he does not need it.”

 

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Environmental Gore: Further damage to a once prestigious award. (National Review Online, 071012)

 

By Steven F. Hayward

 

Parson Al winning the Nobel Peace Prize was as predictable as his Oscar for Best Documentary, and represents the final debasement of a once-prestigious award. It used to be that the award went to people of genuine humanitarian or diplomatic accomplishment, like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer or Doctors Without Borders. Now it goes to frauds and poseurs like Rigoberta Menchu, Yassir Arafat, the U.N. (three times now, counting Gore’s co-winner, the U.N.’s climate change panel), and Jimmy Carter. About the only way to top this would be to give the next Peace Prize to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. More likely the Nobel committee will, one of these days, simply pat itself on the back and give the award to . . . themselves.

 

The glitter of the Nobel overshadows the inconvenient news reported last week that a British court of law labeled Gore’s movie as partisan political propaganda, pointing out 11 different errors of fact or scientific judgment, and prohibiting its screening in British public schools without a disclaimer of these defects. The Nobel will be one more quiver in Gore’s arsenal of intransigent moral authority by which he refuses to debate any aspect of the subject and declares the entire matter “settled.” It’s never a good sign when politicians declare a scientific matter settled; we all remember how well that worked out for the Vatican when they told Galileo 400 years ago that astronomy was settled. It is even more problematic to suggest that climate change is not a political issue, but a moral issue, but then to demand massive political interventions in the economy to fix the problem.

 

The adrenaline rush of the Nobel is likely to prove evanescent, however, and will probably turn out to be the high water mark of climate hysteria. Increasingly, climate catastrophe is coming more and more to resemble the hysteria over the “population bomb” of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In those days, Paul Ehrlich was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, and there were government commissions launched here and abroad to ponder whether we needed an aggressive anti-natalist policy. The effort to develop a population policy in the U.S. collapsed quickly and quietly when someone pointed out that any anti-natalist policy would disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities. Oops.

 

Population pressures were and remain a genuine environmental concern, but it gradually became clear that Ehrlich and other alarmists had way overestimated the problem, and it looks very different today. (Indeed, the great social problem of the end of this century may be population that is falling too rapidly.) And while Ehrlich is still peddling the same Malthusian gloom, he never turns up on the Tonight Show any more; in fact, he doesn’t even make it on Hardball or Countdown with Krazy Keith.

 

Likewise, climate change is a real phenomenon, but the catastrophic scenario of Gore and his fellow climate campaigners is steadily fraying around the edges if you follow the scientific literature closely. Has anyone noticed, for example, that global temperature has been flat for the last decade, after two decades of slow and steady increase from 1980 to 1998? Most of the climate models suggest global temperature should be consistently warming with the rise of greenhouse gases, but it has stopped. This increasingly inconvenient truth will eventually become too obvious for even the media to ignore. Meanwhile, the real world economic consequences of Gore’s policy agenda (which Obama and Edwards—but not Hillary—have signed up for) are so extreme that no self-governing people will ever submit to it, which is why a few environmentalists have gone so far as to say openly, “down with democracy.” Go ahead; make my day; try that out on the American people. The Democratic Congress can’t even pass a modest emissions trading scheme that would barely begin to enact Gore’s agenda, because they are afraid of its cost.

 

Prediction: In 20 years Gore or his climate alarmist successors will be lucky to appear on cable access TV, and Gore’s Peace Prize will take its place alongside Le Duc Tho’s 1973 award as a Nobel embarrassment.

 

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Nobel Peace Prize (National Review Online, 071015)

 

Jay Nordlinger

 

A word — only a word — about the Nobel Peace Prize. It was debased a long time ago. They gave it to Le Duc Tho. They gave it to Arafat. They gave it to Joseph Rotblat, a classic fellow-traveler. They gave it to a lady who plants trees and believes that the U.S. government invented AIDS in order to decimate black people.

 

And, during the time of George W. Bush, they have given it to Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. What, they’re snubbing Michael Moore and the Daily Kos guy?

 

The Nobel peace committee is not so much a peace committee as a standard left-wing pressure group — sending these Mickey Mouse “messages.” They’re like the board of the MacArthur Foundation, or the English department of Brown University or something — there is no connection between what they do and quality. It’s just straight politics, or, more accurately, ideology.

 

Someone called the award to Gore “a sick joke” — and that’s about right. The problem is, they turn around and give it to someone worthy, once in a blue moon.

 

Same with the literature prize. Usually, it goes to your standard-issue red, or pinko: that Austrian lady; Dario Fo; Pinter; Lessing. But every now and then they slip up and give it to Naipaul.

 

How the hell did that happen, incidentally? Was it because he was Indian, “of color,” from the Caribbean? It couldn’t have been because of literary merit, could it have?

 

As I say about these prizes, you can’t write them off altogether, because occasionally a prize goes to someone deserving. But with each award to a Gore or a Jelinek (that’s the Austrian lady — just remembered her name): The prizes die a little.

 

By the way, what does Gore’s Kyoto crusade have to do with peace? Not much — it’s just the new religion, this anti-warming fever. And the Nobel people have signed up, big-time. They have jumped on the bandwagon.

 

Years ago, National Review quipped that, every year, the Peace Prize should go to the U.S. Department of Defense — the biggest guarantor of peace on the planet.

 

True ‘nough.

 

And a final comment, before leaving this topic: In ‘73, the Nobel peace people gave the award jointly to Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger. And our Left objected — to the inclusion of Kissinger.

[KH: They gave it to Arafat and Perez. The Left objected to Perez.]

 

[KH: Note: Le Duc Tho is best known for his part in the cease-fire of 1973, when he served as special adviser to the North Vietnamese delegation to the Paris Peace Conferences in 1968–73. He eventually became his delegation’s principal spokesman, in which capacity he negotiated the cease-fire agreement that led to the withdrawal of the last American troops from South Vietnam. It was for this accomplishment that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Tho oversaw the North Vietnamese offensive that overthrew the South Vietnamese government in 1975, and he played a similar role in the first stages of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 1978. He remained a member of the Politburo until 1986. from Encyclopedia Britannica]

 

Tells you a lot.

 

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Cold Water on Consensus: Lomborg debunks. (National Review Online, 071012)

 

By Mona Charen

 

Consensus can be wrong. So warned the New York Times in a science section piece on Oct. 9. “Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus” reviewed the history of our belief that dietary fat was as big a health risk as smoking. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared as much in 1988. He was speaking not for himself but for the scientific community, which was nearly unanimous in fingering fat as the cause of heart disease and cancer.

 

The trouble was, study after study failed to prove the hypothesis. It was a case, the Times explains, of “informational cascade” — a phenomenon in which groups tend to reach false conclusions because individuals often assume that the majority must be right.

 

Thank you, New York Times. It’s a good cautionary tale about human psychology and one the Times ought to take to heart in its coverage of the global warming question. That is the issue we are currently “cascading” to conclusions about, the Times no less than anyone else. The climate of opinion on climate is dogmatic verging on hysterical. Kids are coming home from school in tears having been taught that the world they were born into will soon descend into a nightmare of massive storms, swamped cities and dying animals.

 

The dying animals is a big favorite in the schools, particularly the stranded polar bear on an ice floe searching for land. That one even got to my worldly sons. So I was particularly happy to have Bjorn Lomborg’s new book, Cool It: A Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, on hand.

 

Lomborg does not deny that global warming is happening, nor that it is the result of human action. But he does apply a necessary damper to the white-hot rhetoric and scare mongering of the global warming fanatics. A political scientist by training and an economist by outlook, the man the Wall Street Journal called the “golden-haired Dane” applies common sense and cost/benefit analysis to a subject brimming with emotion and unreasoning fear.

 

Along the way, he debunks some of the myths. Pace Al Gore it seems that of the 20 subpopulations of polar bear, one or possibly two are declining in population. But more than half are stable, and two are increasing. Actually, the world population of polar bears has mushroomed over the past several decades, from some 5,000 in the 1960s to about 25,000 today, due to stricter regulation of hunting. As for those two subgroups that are declining in population, they live in regions in which the temperatures have actually been dropping over the past 50 years, whereas the subgroups that have seen an increase in population live in areas that have been getting warmer.

 

The polar bear example is instructive because the solution being urged upon us to save the bears is a massively expensive but ultimately nearly fruitless effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. If we follow Kyoto or some other framework, we can at best save .06 bears per year. “But,” Lomborg writes, “49 bears from the same population are getting shot every year, and this we can easily do something about.”

 

It’s the same with climate change writ large. Drastically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is hardly cost free. To achieve the goals outlined in the Kyoto accords, for example, would cost the world $180 billion annually for 50 years.

 

Examined rationally, it is clear that while global warming will do harm to some parts of the world, it will also do good to others. Might not the money be better spent mitigating the negative effects of a warming planet?

 

Lomborg’s book focuses on trade-offs. If we’re going to spend a fixed amount of money to improve the world, what makes the most sense? Or to put it another way, which dollar spent produces the greatest benefit? According to a group of economists (including four Nobel Prize winners) who examined this question in 2004, the answer was clear. One dollar spent fighting HIV/AIDS produced $40 in social benefits. One dollar spent on fighting malnutrition yields about $30 in social benefits. Other efforts, like ending agricultural subsidies in the wealthy countries and ensuring worldwide free trade, would net a $15 benefit for a one-dollar cost. Cutting CO2 emissions, by contrast, yields between 2 and 25 cents per dollar invested.

 

The consensus is wrong on global warming. Wonder when the New York Times will figure it out? In the meanwhile, Lomborg points the way toward clear analysis.

 

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Gore gets a cold shoulder (WorldNetDaily, 071014)

 

ONE of the world’s foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize “ridiculous” and the product of “people who don’t understand how the atmosphere works”.

 

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

 

His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee honoured Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.

 

“We’re brainwashing our children,” said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. “They’re going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It’s ridiculous.”

 

At his first appearance since the award was announced in Oslo, Mr Gore said: “We have to quickly find a way to change the world’s consciousness about exactly what we’re facing.”

 

Mr Gore shared the Nobel prize with the United Nations climate panel for their work in helping to galvanise international action against global warming.

 

But Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes are widely publicised, said a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures - related to the amount of salt in ocean water - was responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place.

 

However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling would begin soon and last for several years.

 

“We’ll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was,” Dr Gray said.

 

During his speech to a crowd of about 300 that included meteorology students and a host of professional meteorologists, Dr Gray also said those who had linked global warming to the increased number of hurricanes in recent years were in error.

 

He cited statistics showing there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared to 83 from 1957 to 2006 when the earth warmed.

 

“The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures,” Dr Gray said.

 

He said his beliefs had made him an outsider in popular science.

 

“It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong,” he said. “But they also know that they’d never get any grants if they spoke out. I don’t care about grants.”

 

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“Gored” By the Nobel Prize (townhall.com, 071015)

 

By Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

 

Alfred Barnard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and innovator born in 1833. As the inventor of dynamite, he amassed a great fortune through the manufacture and sale of armaments. The Nobel Prize was established through his will in1895. Every year since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace.

 

It is one of the most impressive accolades any public servant can receive. The fact that the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” its Academy Award, and Vice President Gore’s activism led to this incredible honor is tantamount to the Nobel Committee endorsing his work. Giving him the Nobel Peace Prize places Vice President Gore in the company of greats like Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964, Mother Teresa In 1979, Lech Walesa in 1983, and Nelson Mandela in 1993.

 

Through this award, the international community is saying to us, “Environmental concerns are very important and America needs to step up to the plate of international leadership!” Although we would hardly place Gore in the same category as King or Mother Teresa, the award adds cache and credibility to the former Vice President’s agenda.

 

Ironically, last week, I asked my readers to consider taking practical steps to frame the debate on the environment. I suggested that we consider weaning the nation off of foreign oil as a way of starting down a balanced approach to both pollution and reducing CO2 emissions. There are a myriad of approaches to energy reform and environmental policy reform that conservatives can take that will help move these issues forward in a balanced manner. My greatest concern is that we will wait too long to attack this issue.

 

Little did I know that the Nobel Prize would be awarded to Gore and the IPPC days after my last column. If the Peace Prize causes the voting public of our nation to move environmental issues to the top of the list of public concerns, they will mandate that a solution be found and implemented.

 

Fortunately for the nation, environmental activists have not yet gained enough public attention for them to unveil their “solutions”. As these activists wait for their “moment,” conservatives should use the time we have to develop incentive-based approaches to reducing CO2 emissions. Even increasing the use of nuclear energy as a source of power within the US should not be taken off the table.

 

Many writers have noted that this present global warming scare is not new. In fact, in the spring of 1975 Newsweek published an article on climate change. The following words were written by sensationalistic journalists:

 

“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.”

 

According to many news reports, the Earth was moving into another ice age. Just 30 years later, not only did the ice age not appear, but now we are told the world is on the verge of unprecedented global warming.

 

In my discussions with scientists, I have once again discovered a difference between the words of the scientific community and the alarmist rhetoric of writers and activists. In fact, scientific journals of the 1970s were saying that there would likely be warming because of greenhouse effects, sooner than the return of an ice age. Unfortunately, the complexity of the real scientific story was not easily reduced to a thirty second sound bite or a catchy headline.

 

Telling the full story with all of its scientific nuances, would have not produced headlines. For this reason the science was compromised, conclusions were framed in a sensationalistic manner, and the public was entertained – not informed. It would have been better to say that there are big cooling cycles coming, interspersed with smaller warming cycles.

 

Why the flip-flop in the media? I am not sure. Could they be misleading us again? I certainly hope not. In an interesting study of the media’s coverage of “climate change,” R. Warren Anderson and Dan Gainor examined how major media outlets covered the issue of climate change over the last 100 plus years . What they discovered was that there have been four climate change scares; a concern over global cooling beginning in 1895, followed by fears of global warming in 1929, only to be replaced by alarm over global cooling; now we are back to global warming. With each succeeding crisis, the call for a government solution has grown louder and louder.

 

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Gore Wins, Facts Lose (townhall.com, 071017)

 

By Tony Blankley

 

The world has become such a difficult and dangerous place that I am deeply appreciative of recent amusing events, which seem as if they were written by the Marx Brothers or Monty Python. I have in mind, it should go without saying, Al Gore winning both an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize. The very sentence sounds like a punch line. But I can’t quite figure out who is supposed to be the butt of the joke. I rather suspect that he has one more award to come — the trifecta of absurdism. Perhaps he will be pronounced the world’s greatest jockey or the world’s most graceful dancer. It only makes sense, given Al Gore’s acknowledged role in bringing the Internet to humanity. Whatever the award, the world will receive it with the same demeanor it displayed in appreciating the emperor’s new clothes several centuries ago.

 

It is hard to say which of Al Gore’s awards seems more improbable: his Academy Award, although he does not possess a single skill required for filmmaking, or his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, although he has no technical skills in that area and he has misled the world profoundly as to the danger. It just goes to show how good life can be once you officially are designated a victim of George W. Bush. Once Gore lost the 2000 election (before which he was scorned and mocked by the liberal world), the world fell over itself, showering him with wealth and honor. If only he could arrange to lose another election to a Republican, he could be chosen Pope, Homecoming King and Soapbox Derby champion.

 

Before reviewing Gore’s various inanities that won him the Nobel, it is worth taking a look at one of his related projects: carbon offsets. As chairman and founder of Generation Investment Management, a firm that purchases carbon dioxide offsets, Gore stands to profit further from what he sees as mankind’s misery — which is OK by me. I’m glad to see he finally has developed the capitalist instinct (like his dad did with Occidental Petroleum and Armand Hammer).

 

But carbon offsets are a rather strange concept. Let me use a simple metaphor to explain it: Let’s suppose that Al Gore goes to an Italian restaurant and eats a loaf of garlic bread, a plate of lasagna, a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, an extra-large pizza with seven toppings, a couple bottles of Chianti and a large assortment of pastries. As a result, he puts on 10 pounds. But he is deeply concerned that mankind is getting too fat. So he pays 10 peasants in Asia $10 each to eat nothing for a week. Although they are already thin, by starving themselves for a week, they each lose a pound. As a result, after a week, mankind is weight neutral. Al Gore weighs 10 pounds more, 10 Asians weigh 10 pounds less — and Al Gore is given another Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in keeping mankind’s waistline in check.

 

Of course, this example is not quite fair to Gore because that imagined humanitarianism actually (SET ITAL) costs (END ITAL) him cash money. In the real carbon offset business, he looks forward to being paid for directing other carbon consumers to invest in carbon neutral projects. Although when Gore personally is using carbon, as when he flies in a carbon-belching Gulfstream, one of his companies would pay some other fella not to fly or plant a tree or do something to offset Gore’s carbon belching.

 

But Al Gore’s carbon offset shuffle is small potatoes, as it were. His great accomplishment is to have shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the thousands of scientists of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — while contradicting their scientific findings. (See Danish climate expert Bjorn Lomborg’s wonderful article in The Boston Globe last week for more details.)

 

For example, Gore warned the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect the world’s sea level to rise 20 feet this century. His co-award winners said about 1 foot — the same increase in sea level experienced during the past 150 years. So much for the Eastern Seaboard being underwater.

 

Gore also warned that the world is endangered by the fast melting of Greenland’s glaciers, while his co-award winners (the scientists) concluded that if sustained, the melt would add — at most — just 3 inches to sea level. I guess we’ll still have Miami and London despite an inconvenient truth.

 

Lomborg also points out that while Gore was (amazingly) technically accurate to warn that up to 400,000 people might die by 2050 because of global warming, Gore carefully failed to point out that 1.8 million lives will be saved from the cold that global warming will replace. So global warming will save a net of 1.4 million lives, rather than cost 400,000 lives. In a week or two, I will review Bjorn Lomborg’s superb new book, “Cool It,” which blows a hole in the need for Kyoto treaty compliance that even Al Gore and I could walk through.

 

Until then, take comfort in knowing that Al Gore’s warning about the shrinking population of polar bears is also wrong; their population is rising. The award Gore truly deserves (and the one for which I hereby nominate him is): Best Scary Campfire Storyteller. (He should beat out the hook on the car window story handily.)

 

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Things the Nobel Committee Doesn’t Want You to Know (townhall.com, 071017)

 

By David A. Ridenour

 

Poor Al Gore. He’s been in a downward spiral all year long.

 

First, he received an Oscar for his documentary (or was it a “mockumentary”?), An Inconvenient Truth, from the out-of-touch motion picture industry. Then he received an International Emmy from the out-of-touch television industry – the international branch, no less.

 

Now he’s received the Nobel Peace Prize, which ranks right up there with the Daytime Emmy – or it should.

 

Al Gore now joins as a Nobel laureate former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who won the prize in 2001 for, among other things, his work for a “better organized… world.” You may remember some of Annan’s better world organizing: The Oil-for-Food Program.

 

Other past honorees include Mikhail Gorbachev (1990), who received the honor for helping end the Cold War (by losing it); Yasser Arafat (1994), who supposedly advanced Mideast peace by adopting a terrorism-with-a-smile approach; Rigoberto Menchu (1992), who opposed abusing indigenous peoples, except, of course, when oppressed by communists (a feat accomplished, in part, through a self-serving and largely fictitious “autobiography”); and Le Duc Tho (1973), communist North Vietnam’s negotiator during the Paris Peace Accords, a treaty to end the Vietnam War that the North violated before the ink was dry. Le Duc Tho at least exercised more sense than the Nobel Committee – he declined the “honor.”

 

One wonders if the Nobel Committee is made up of comedians.

 

It’s not, but that’s not far off the mark. The Committee is made up entirely of politicians.

 

The Nobel Committee consists of five people appointed by the Norwegian parliament, or Storting, who serve for six-year terms. Its membership is supposed to reflect the relative strengths of Norway’s political parties. This has meant the Norwegian Labor Party has had enormous influence over the Committee for decades, as it has been dominant since World War II.

 

To ensure the committee has at least a thin veneer of independence, no active member of government is permitted to serve on the committee.

 

This hasn’t always been the case. The Storting banned government officials from serving on the Committee in 1936 after controversy erupted over its selection of Carl von Ossietzky, a German-Jew peace activist languishing in a German concentration camp, as the 1935 Nobel laureate. The choice didn’t sit very well with Adolph Hitler, who viewed the selection as a statement of Norwegian foreign policy.

 

The Norwegian government didn’t flinch, of course. It exhibited unwavering courage and pretended it no longer had anything to do with the Nobel Prize.

 

The Norwegians’ cowering did them precious little good. Hitler’s fleet and paratroopers paid Norway a visit in 1940 anyway.

 

Today, the Nobel Committee’s membership includes one representative each from the Christian Democrats, the Socialist Left Party, the Labor Party, the Conservative Party and the Progress Party.

 

All but one member is a former Norwegian parliamentarian and all five have held elective office. To suggest that the Nobel Committee is anything other than a reflection of the Norwegian government’s opinion (albeit a delayed one, due to staggered terms) is as absurd as suggesting that Al Gore’s work is what Alfred Nobel meant by the contribution of “greatest benefit to mankind.”

 

At first glance, the Nobel Committee’s present composition appears favorable to rational decisions. Three of five members come from what are – for Norway – center-to-right parties.

 

But, as Paul Harvey says, here’s the rest of the story.

 

Norway’s Christian Democrats are more green than even Norway’s Labor Party.

 

In 2000, Kjell Magne Bondevik, a Christian Democrat, allowed his three-party minority government to fall over its opposition to construction of new gas-fired power plants in Norway. Bondevik argued that construction should be delayed until new technology could be developed to remove 90% of carbon emissions – effectively delaying construction indefinitely.

 

The Labor Party joined Conservatives in supporting the power plants to meet the country’s growing energy needs, defeating Bondevik and sending his government to the bench.

 

Bondevik had a second chance to form a coalition government in 2001. He opted to form a minority three-party coalition government rather than a majority three-party one by including the left-leaning and environmentally-activist Liberal Party instead of the free-market oriented Progress Party. The Liberal Party had won just 2 seats in parliament while the Progress Party had won 26. That’s a statement.

 

With three votes essentially locked in for the radical environmentalism, it’s not surprising that Al Gore received the Nobel Committee’s endorsement. Since the Nobel Committee’s rules specify that its proceedings remain secret and members abstain from speaking publicly, we may never know how the vote came down, but it is all but certain to have been a divided one. Where are the left’s cries of censorship when you need them?

 

Americans now recognize that the Oscars and the Emmys are self-serving and inconsequential. They are abandoning their annual awards broadcasts in droves.

 

It’s time they do the same with the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

The honor is not in being nominated, but in losing.

 

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Oslo Syndrome: The Nobel Peace Prize ain’t what it used to be. (Weekly Standard, 071023)

 

by Philip Terzian

 

Visit the Virginia Military Institute, in Lexington, and cadets will show you the statue of General George C. Marshall ‘01 on the edge of the parade ground, and add proudly that Marshall was (and remains) the only soldier ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1953). They do this partly because Marshall is VMI’s most illustrious graduate, but largely because the prize, when Marshall won it, carried with it a significance and prestige that no longer obtains.

 

This was painfully obvious last week, when Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.—as the Nobel committee punctiliously identifies him—was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, in conjunction with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As if to demonstrate how the foreign press seldom comprehends American politics, the Financial Times of London led the weekend edition with a breathless account of Gore’s triumph, headlined “Gore Prize Transforms Debate on Climate.”

 

Al Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for his work on climate change is likely to place the issue at the forefront of political debate in the US as the country moves into its presidential election season.

 

The award, which the former vice-president shares with the United Nations’ body of climate experts, follows speculation about a Gore presidential bid.

 

Up to a point, FT. As it happens, there is no evidence whatsoever that Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize has had any effect at all on the 2008 Democratic or Republican presidential campaigns, and, according to polls, Democratic voters remain resolutely uninterested in a potential

Gore candidacy. Indeed, the laureate himself, who had been coy on the subject, took the occasion to repeat his intention not to seek the presidency next year.

 

Gore could still change his mind, of course, and global warming might be mentioned at one of those televised debates. But it is symptomatic of the depths to which the Nobel Prize has sunk that its impact this year, such as it is, was inspired by a movie (An Inconvenient Truth) and confined to one phase of U.S. presidential politics. No doubt, a glow will emanate from Gore’s capacious skull, and he will savor the ceremony in Oslo and the big gold medal with the profile of Alfred Nobel. But, as if we didn’t already know, the Nobel Peace Prize ain’t what it used to be.

 

The problem is that the Nobel Peace Prize, endowed by the conscience-stricken inventor of dynamite, has always had a slightly ambiguous quality about it—unlike, say, the prizes in physics or medicine, even literature.

 

For many years, it functioned as a kind of gold watch for elder statesmen: the American Elihu Root (1912), Aristide Briand (1926) of France, Britain’s stalwart League of Nations advocate Lord Robert Cecil (1937), the Canadian Lester Pearson (1957). There was the occasional miscalculation, of course: The American secretary of state Frank Kellogg (1929) won for his pact, coauthored with the aforementioned Briand, outlawing war as an instrument of national policy—just one decade before the Nazi invasion of Poland. North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho (1973) shared the honors for peace in Indochina, as did Yasser Arafat (1994) for peace in the Middle East. But the prize customarily went to benevolent politicians—Woodrow Wilson (1919), Gustav Stresemann (1926), Cordell Hull (1945)—to well-intentioned people—Jane Addams (1931), Ralph Bunche (1950), Albert Schweitzer (1952)—and to humanitarian organizations—International Committee of the Red Cross (1944 and 1963), U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (1954 and 1981), Doctors Without Borders (1999).

 

In the past few decades, however, the Nobel Peace Prize has developed a certain political edge. The process might be said to have begun in 1962, when it was awarded to the 1954 chemistry laureate, the American Linus Pauling, whose anti-nuclear pronouncements were usually directed, with considerable heat, toward his own government. In some instances the committee has aimed its arrow at a proper target—Andrei Sakharov (1975), Lech Walesa (1983), the Dalai Lama (1989), Aung San Suu Kyi (1991)—but such lucky shots have grown increasingly rare.

 

In 1985, for example, the prize was awarded to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a coalition of American and Soviet “peace activists” highly critical of the Reagan administration but notably silent on the use, in the Soviet Union, of psychiatric hospitals to silence political dissidents. The 1987 award to Costa Rica’s president Oscar Arias Sánchez was an evident endorsement of the now-forgotten Arias Plan to thwart U.S. efforts against Communist insurgencies in Central America. The 1992 prize to Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchú was not only recognition for “ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”—in the delightful language of the committee—but reward for a reliable critic of the United States and author of a (as was later discovered) fictitious autobiography.

 

To be sure, hostility toward the United States does not always govern the choices of the Nobel Committee. But while it is impossible to find a modern laureate who could, in any reasonable way, be identified with American foreign policy, it is easy to find critics and adversaries. This includes American winners—Jody Williams (1997) of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines—and even onetime U.S. officials, such as Al Gore and Jimmy Carter (2002), whose public opposition to George W. Bush seems to have been decisive in Oslo.

 

Undoubtedly, the most egregious example was the award of the prize, in 1990, to Mikhail Gorbachev “for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community.” It may be difficult to comprehend what, exactly, the committee was saying here, but the fact that 1990 was the first year in which it felt obliged to furnish a citation suggests that, even in Oslo, the exclusion of Ronald Reagan required an explanation.

 

Which brings us to the ambiguity of the Nobel Peace Prize itself. Certainly, it is right and proper to recognize and reward humanitarians, and people who resist oppression at cost to themselves. But what is the promotion of peace, anyway? Is it the pronouncement of words and the striking of attitudes, or the action that guarantees freedom against tyranny? Secretary of State Marshall was awarded the prize for his eponymous plan which assisted the postwar European recovery. But a stronger case could be made for another Nobel Peace Prize for General Marshall as the “organizer of victory” against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

 

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Global Warming’s Inconvenient Truths — an Interview with Fred Singer (townhall.com, 071023)

 

By Bill Steigerwald

 

In the great, never-cooling debate over the causes and consequences of global warming, it’s always clear whose side Fred Singer is on: not Al Gore’s. Singer, who was born in Vienna in 1924, was a pioneer in the development of rocket and satellite technology and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton. Now president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project research group (sepp.org), his latest book (with Dennis Avery) is “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years.” I talked with Singer on Oct. 27 by phone from his offices in Arlington, Va.:

 

Q: What did you think upon hearing of Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize?

 

A: First of all, I was really not surprised. The peace prize is a political exercise. Remember that Yasser Arafat got the peace prize for, ha, contributing to lasting peace in the Middle East. It’s very interesting, the peace prize selection committee comes from the Norwegian Parliament, so they’re all politicians. The government is a very left-wing government right now. I spoke about it this morning, in fact, and said that if the government changes — if the Progress Party, which is an anti-immigration party, gains majority control — it might give a peace prize to Pat Buchanan. It’s purely political, unlike the other prizes, which are awarded by the Swedish academies and which are based on committees that know something about the subject.

 

Q: Have you seen Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”?

 

A: Yes. I saw a slide show at a presentation, which he made in Washington. I saw the movie and I read the book. They’re all the same amount of bunk. They’re all very, very well presented — very skillfully presented from a technical point of view. But the science is really shoddy.

 

Q: A lot of people have seen the movie but they don’t really keep up on this global-warming debate, which is very complex and very nasty sometimes about which science is true and which isn’t.

 

A: It is nasty, but it shouldn’t be complex. The issue is very simple. The only really important issue is, is the warming we are experiencing now natural or is it man-made? That’s really the only issue. Everything else is commentary.

 

Q: Now the Gore camp will say global warming is man-made and they’ll point to all kinds of things to prove that.

 

A: And they’re all wrong.

 

Q: Is there anything that they point to where you say, “Yes, that’s true but …?”

 

A: Yes. There are a lot of things they point to where I say, “Yes, but… .” For example, they say glaciers are melting. Yes, but. It doesn’t tell you what the cause is. You see, any kind of warming, from whatever cause, will melt ice. Whether it’s natural or man-made warming, the ice doesn’t care. It will melt when it gets warmer. This is a trick that they do. They play this trick many times over — showing the consequences of global warming, which really don’t tell you what the cause is. And the only important question is, remember, “What is the cause? Is it natural or man-made?” If it’s natural, then there is nothing we can do about it. It’s unstoppable. We can’t change the sun or influence volcanism or anything of that sort. We’re not at that stage yet. It also means that all these schemes for controlling CO2 are useless, completely useless. It’s all bunk.

 

Q: When you say global warming is natural, what is your chief culprit?

 

A: The sun. The sun. Definitely. The evidence we have shows an extremely strong correlation with solar activity. The (Earth’s) temperature follows the solar activity and the correlation is very strong. The mechanism itself is still under some dispute, but we think in some way the sun influences cosmic rays, which in turn influences cloudiness.

 

Q: That doesn’t even count the heat output of the sun, which changes over time, doesn’t it?

 

A: Those are very small and are not enough to account for all the climate changes that we see. What is causing it is not just the heat of the sun, but emissions from the sun that we don’t see — except with satellites and spacecraft — the so-called solar winds and magnetic fields.

 

Q: What about the things like the wobble of the Earth on its axis and the Earth’s eccentric orbit around the Sun?

 

A: That’s also important, but on a different time scale. For each time scale there is a particular cause. The time scale I’m talking about when I talk about direct solar influences are of the order of decades. The time scales that involve wobbles and orbits of the Earth around the sun involve times scales of 10,000 or 100,000 years.

 

Q: Can you give a synopsis of “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years”?

 

A: Yes. Our book — I co-authored it with Dennis Avery — basically looks at published papers in the peer-reviewed literature by geologists and other paleo-scientists, oceanographers and so on, who have studied the climate records of the past. Every one of them shows this (roughly 1,500-year) cycle. It was first discovered in ice cores in Greenland. Then it was seen in ocean sediments in the Atlantic. And now it’s been found everywhere, including in stalagmites in caves. In all kinds of climate records that you wouldn’t think of that have been studied, you see this cycle. It shows warming and cooling — that’s an oscillation — a slight warming and a slight cooling. It’s not a big effect. But it could well account for the current warming. It can well account for the warming that occurred 1,000 years ago. It can well account also for what we call “The Little Ice Age,” which occurred roughly 500 years ago.

 

Q: When people talk about the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica growing or shrinking or melting completely, what should we know about that?

 

A: Well, the ice sheets of Greenland have not melted in historic time at all, even though it was much warmer 1,000 years ago and very much warmer 5,000 years ago. The ice sheets on Antarctica haven’t melted for millions of years, because it’s really quite cold there. There is always some melting that takes place during the summer, of course, when the sun shines directly on the ice. But in the precipitation that falls — the rain and snow that falls — soon turns to ice and grows the ice sheet back again.

 

Q: Is the quote-unquote “scientific consensus” that Al Gore and his acolytes are always speaking of growing stronger or weaker?

 

A: Let me put it this way: Many scientists, unfortunately, support the idea that the human influence on climate is very strong compared to natural influences. We don’t. We see the evidence differently. But most scientists disagree with Gore on specifics. For instance, on sea level rise: The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control), which is the U.N.’s climate advisory body, has come out with its report and predicts a sea level rise on the order of a foot and a half per century. Al Gore has a 20-foot rise. So he’s way out of line compared to the mainstream science.

 

Q: People like you, who think that global warming is not a crisis that demands instant or dramatic government action, are regularly accused of being tools of the oil, gas and coal industries. How do you defend yourself from that charge?

 

A: Ha, ha. Well, there are various ways. In the first place, I’ve held these views for a very long time. And secondly, I’m not a tool of the oil industry. In fact, when you think about oil — let’s take Exxon for an example — what the global warmists are trying to do is to demonize coal. Why? Because coal emits more carbon dioxide than oil or gas. Well, if they do that — if they prevent the use of coal — it figures that it makes oil and gas more valuable. It drives up the price. Exxon has huge reserves of oil and gas. So, in a sense, Exxon should benefit from global-warming alarmism. I don’t know if people have thought about that. It’s not been commonly discussed that all these holders of oil and gas reserves benefit financially any time the global warmists prevent the use of coal.

 

Q: The global warming community thinks we’re going to turn to wind and solar and ocean-wave energy to replace fossil fuels.

 

A: None of that is economic. It will produce some energy at a great cost. Put it this way: If it were economic, it would have been done by now. The only way you can do wind and solar is with large government subsidies. And you ask yourself, “Why should we all subsidize with our tax dollars something which is basically uneconomic?”

 

Q: Here’s my McCarthy Era question: Do you now or did you ever get money or grants or whatever from energy companies?

 

A: Sure. I’d love to get more, but they only did it once, I think. It was unsolicited, unannounced, and I cashed the check immediately. I’ve been wishing for more, ha, ha, but they haven’t given me any more. Now, don’t forget that what they’ve given me amounts to a tiny fraction of 1% of our total cumulative budget (at SEPP.org). And don’t forget that the energy companies give hundreds of millions of dollars — which is at least 10,000 times as much as we’re getting — to researchers everywhere who are working to show that global warming exists and is human-caused.

 

Q: Do you have any explanation why the Al Gore camp has won the global warming argument in the mainstream media?

 

A: That’s not really my field. I’m not sure they’ve won the argument in the media. I’m sure there are still many people in the media who are skeptical of Al Gore’s arguments — and they should be.

 

Q: Should they be skeptical of your arguments as well?

 

A: Some are skeptical of my arguments, yes, of course. That’s because they haven’t looked into it. In other words, I’m very convinced that when I talk to somebody one-on-one and show them the evidence, they will agree with me.

 

Q: As you’ve watched this global-warming debate evolve, are you optimistic that good science, honest science, will trump politics?

 

A: Yes, I’m optimistic because eventually it must do that. The problem is the word “eventually.” In the meantime, a great deal of damage can be done to our economy as various schemes are being put forward to control CO2 emissions — essentially to control the use of energy.

 

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The Global-Warming Debate Isn’t Over Until It’s Over (townhall.com, 071024)

 

By John Stossel

 

First he won the Oscar — then the Nobel Peace Prize. He’s being called a “prophet.”

 

Impressive, considering that one of former Vice President Al Gore’s chief contributions has been to call the debate over global warming “over” and to marginalize anyone who disagrees. Although he favors major government intervention to stop global warming, he says, “the climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity”.

 

Give me a break.

 

If you must declare a debate over, then maybe it’s not. And if you have to gussy up your agenda as “our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level,” then it deserves some skeptical examination.

 

Everyone has heard that Earth’s atmosphere is heating up, it’s our fault, and it’s a crisis. No wonder 86% of Americans think global warming is a serious problem and 70% want the government to do something now.

 

But is it a crisis? The globe is warming, but will it be catastrophic? Probably not.

 

In “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore says that “sea levels worldwide would go up 20 feet.”

 

But the group that shared last week’s Nobel Prize, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says in a hundred years, the oceans might rise 7 to 24 inches .

 

Gore also talks about drowning polar bears. He doesn’t mention that the World Conservation Union and the U.S. Geological Survey say that today most populations of polar bears are stable or increasing.

 

And while man’s greenhouse gasses may increase warming, it’s not certain that man caused it. The most impressive demonstration in Gore’s movie is the big graph of carbon-dioxide levels, which suggests that carbon levels control temperature. But the movie doesn’t tell you that the carbon increases came after temperatures rose, hundreds of years later.

 

There’s much more. A British court ruled that U.K. teachers could show Gore’s documentary to students only if they also explain nine errors in the movie.

 

I wanted to ask Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn’t talk to me. Why should he? He says “the debate is over.”

 

“It’s absurd for people to say that sort of thing,” says Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute.

 

John Christy and Roy Spencer, who won NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Achievement for figuring out how to get temperature data from satellites, agree that Earth has warmed. “The thing that we dispute is, is it because of mankind?” Spencer says.

 

Some scientists say the warming may be caused by changes in the sun, or ocean currents, or changes in cloud cover, or other things we don’t understand. If it’s all man’s fault, why did the Arctic go through a warm period early last century? Why did Greenland’s temperatures rise 50% faster in the 1920s than they are rising now?

 

The media rarely ask such questions.

 

The media also treat the IPCC as impartial scientists, but Reiter and Christy, who were members of the IPCC, say it is not what the public thinks it is. Many of the people involved in writing its report “are not scientists at all,” Reiter says. “They were essentially activists.” Members of groups like Greenpeace were involved. Skeptics were often ignored.

 

Christy says, “We were not asked to look at a particular statement and sign our names to it.”

 

Adds Reiter, “I resigned.”

 

But the IPCC still listed him as part of the so-called consensus of scientists. He says he had to threaten to sue to get his name removed from the report, although the IPCC denies that.

 

Skeptics like Reiter, Christy, Spencer and Tim Ball, who studies the history of climate change and heads the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, are often smeared as “deniers,” lumped in with Holocaust deniers and accused of being “on the take” from energy businesses.” Gore impugns skeptical scientists by saying “the illusion of a debate has been purchased.”

 

But the scientists I interviewed don’t get money from business.

 

Some get threatened. Ball received an e-mail that said: “You will not live long enough to see global warming!”

 

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U.N. Panel: Climate Change Accelerating, Action ‘Urgent’ (Foxnews, 071117)

 

VALENCIA, Spain —  The Earth is hurtling toward a warmer climate at a quickening pace, a Nobel-winning U.N. scientific panel said in a landmark report released Saturday, warning of inevitable human suffering and the threat of extinction for some species.

 

As early as 2020, 75 million to 250 million people in Africa will suffer water shortages, residents of Asia’s megacities will be at great risk of river and coastal flooding, Europeans can expect extensive species loss, and North Americans will experience longer and hotter heat waves and greater competition for water, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.

 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said climate change imperils “the most precious treasures of our planet.”

 

The potential impact of global warming is “so severe and so sweeping that only urgent, global action will do,” Ban told the IPCC after it issued its fourth and final report this year.

 

The IPCC adopted the report, along with a summary, after five days of sometimes tense negotiations.

 

It lays out blueprints for avoiding the worst catastrophes — and various possible outcomes, depending on how quickly and decisively action is taken.

 

The document says recent research has heightened concern that the poor and the elderly will suffer most from climate change; that hunger and disease will be more common; that droughts, floods and heat waves will afflict the world’s poorest regions; and that more animal and plant species will vanish.

 

The Summary for Policymakers, and the longer version, called the synthesis report, distill thousands of pages of data and computer models from six years of research compiled by the IPCC.

 

The information is expected to guide policy makers meeting in Bali, Indonesia, next month to discuss an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

 

The panel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year along with former Vice President Al Gore for their efforts to raise awareness about the effects of climate change.

 

The report is important because it is adopted by consensus, meaning countries accept the underlying science and cannot disavow its conclusions.

 

While it does not commit governments to a specific course of action, it provides a common scientific baseline for the political talks.

 

The U.N. says a new global plan must be in place by 2009 to ensure a smooth transition after the expiration of the Kyoto terms, which require 36 industrial countries to radically reduce their carbon emissions by 2012.

 

“There are real and affordable ways to deal with climate change,” Ban said.

 

He said a new agreement should provide funding to help poor countries adopt clean energy and to adapt to changing climates.

 

The report says emissions of carbon, which comes primarily from fossil fuels, must stabilize by 2015 and go down after that. Otherwise the consequences could be “disastrous,” said IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri.

 

In the best-case scenario, temperatures will continue to rise from carbon already in the atmosphere, the report said.

 

Even if factories were shut down today and cars taken off the roads, the average sea level will reach as high as 4½ feet higher than the preindustrial period, or about 1850.

 

“We have already committed the world to sea level rise,” said Pachauri.

 

If the Greenland ice sheet melts, the scientists couldn’t even predict by how many meters the seas will rise, drowning coastal cities.

 

Yet differences remain stark on how to control carbon emissions.

 

While the European Union has taken the lead in enforcing the carbon emission targets outlined in Kyoto, the United States opted out of the 1997 accord.

 

President Bush described it as flawed because major developing countries such as India and China, which are large carbon emitters, were excluded from any obligations. He also favors a voluntary agreement.

 

Sharon Hays, a White House science official and head of the U.S. delegation, said the certainty of climate change was clearer now than when Bush rejected Kyoto.

 

“What’s changed since 2001 is the scientific certainty that this is happening,” she said in a conference call to reporters late Friday. “Back in 2001 the IPCC report said it is likely that humans were having an impact on the climate,” but confidence in human responsibility had increased since then.

 

“What’s new is the clarity of the signal, how clear the scientific message is,” said Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s top climate change official. “The politicians have no excuse not to act.”

 

Opening with a sweeping statement directed at climate change skeptics, the summary declares that climate systems have already begun to change.

 

Unless action is taken, human activity could lead to “abrupt and irreversible changes” that would make the planet unrecognizable.

 

Advocacy groups hailed the report as indispensable for the 10,000 delegates expected at Bali.

 

“We expect to see their personal copies of the Synthesis Report return from Bali, battered and worn from frequent use, with paragraphs underlined and notes in the margin,” said Stephanie Tunmore of Greenpeace.

 

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Shocking: Scientist Commits Heresy (townhall.com, 071102)

 

By Paul Greenberg

 

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

 

- John Adams

 

I almost spilled my coffee. I just stood there, dumbstruck right in my own kitchen. Flipping through the Wall Street Journal the other morning while waiting for the oatmeal to cool, my eye was caught by an article I had to read all the way through—then and there. It was the text of an interview with the latest Nobel Prize laureate. No, not the one named Al Gore.

 

Few may have noticed, but Mr. Gore shared this year’s Nobel Peace Prize with a real scientist, or rather a whole slew of them on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That group’s work is as unglamorous as its bureaucratic name. It’s never even made a horror film (GLOBAL WARNING!) about the earth’s being inundated as the polar icecaps melt.

 

This international panel just plods along trying to find out what’s really going on with the climate. Facts are stubborn things, as dour John Adams once noted, and it takes a lot of patient research to find and evaluate them, then suggest an appropriate response. It’s about as exciting as bookkeeping.

 

Being an alarmist is a lot easier; some politicians and pamphleteers make highly successful careers of it. Real scientists may not be pleased by the sensationalism that envelops the whole subject of global warming. But if they speak up, they could be labeled heretics and exiled to the farthest reaches of academic opprobrium. For global warming has become more of a fighting faith than a topic for calm analysis. Disagree and you’re liable to be called not just wrong but anti-science. Today it is the ultimate heresy.

 

One of the scientific dissenters is John Christy, a member of both the UN panel and the University of Alabama’s faculty. (He’s the director of that university’s Earth System Science Center.) In a break with tradition, Dr. Christy declined to perform the traditional pas de deux of mutual flattery when Nobel laureates share the same prize. Not when Al Gore’s may be the first on record awarded essentially for the kind of PR that comes too close to being propaganda. It makes you wonder what propagandist will get it next year—Michael Moore?

 

It turns out there are indeed reasonable things to be said about global warming—and on television at that. I was amazed. The transcript of Dr. Christy’s interview with CNN’s Miles O’Brien is worth reading: (Just set down your coffee cup first.)

 

Miles O’Brien: I assume you’re not happy about sharing this award with Al Gore. You going to renounce it in some way?

 

John Christy: Well, as a scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I always thought that—I may sound like the Grinch who stole Christmas here—that prizes were given for performance, and not for promotional activities. And, when I look at the world, I see that the carbon dioxide rate is increasing, and energy demand, of course, is increasing. And that’s because, without energy, life is brutal and short. So, I don’t see very much effect in trying to scare people into not using energy, when it is the very basis of how we can live in our society.

 

O’Brien: So, what about the movie (“An Inconvenient Truth”) do you take issue with, then, Dr. Christy?

 

Christy: Well, there’s any number of things. I suppose, fundamentally, it’s the fact that someone is speaking about a science that I have been very heavily involved with and have labored so hard in, and been humiliated by, in the sense that the climate is so difficult to understand, Mother Nature is so complex, and so the uncertainties are great, and then to hear someone speak with such certainty and such confidence about what the climate is going to do is—well, I suppose I could be kind and say, it’s annoying to me.

 

O’Brien: But you just got through saying that the carbon dioxide levels are up. Temperatures are going up. There is a certain degree of certainty that goes along with that, right?

 

Christy: Well, the carbon dioxide is going up. And remember that carbon dioxide is plant food in the fundamental sense. All of life depends on the fact carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. So, we’re fortunate it’s not a toxic gas. But, on the other hand, what is the climate doing? And when we build—and I’m one of the few people in the world that actually builds these climate data sets—we don’t see the catastrophic changes that are being promoted all over the place. For example, I suppose CNN did not announce two weeks ago when the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum, even though, in the Arctic in the North Pole, it reached its all-time minimum.

 

And so heretically on. There are others like Dr. Christy out there in the scientific community who don’t believe the best way to approach science is in a panic.

 

For example, Daniel Botkin of the University of California’s Center for the Study of the Environment. His is an opinion some of us mere laymen may share: “My concern is that we may be moving away from an irrational lack of concern about climate change to an equally irrational panic about it.”

 

The planet does seem to be returning to one of its warmer phases, but the extent, cause and response to that phenomenon should be a matter for analysis and discussion, not frenzy.

 

It’s as if we’ve forgotten that the first qualification for doing science may be a certain skepticism. I come by mine naturally when the subject is global warming, for I can remember being taught in school not that the planet is warming but that another ice age is almost upon us. It was a widespread assumption at the time taught as scientific fact. There was no doubt about it. All the scientists agreed. It said so right there in the book. I must have missed it somewhere along the way.

 

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The Nobel Peace Prize for Gorebal Warming (townhall.com, 071102)

 

By Burt Prelutsky

 

From now on, Al Gore will no longer be best known as the man who lost the presidency because he couldn’t even carry his own home state. People may even begin overlooking the fact that the most fascinating thing about him is that his head is as large as the pumpkin that sits ato