Daily Archives: August 14, 2009

More than 130 German Scientists Dissent Over Global Warming Claims, Call Climate Fears ‘Pseudo ‘Religion’

‘Growing body of evidence shows anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role’

[Update: August 9, 2009: Organizers released the names of 64 more scientists who endorse the Open Letter. This brings the total number of skeptical German scientists who signed the letter to over 130.]

Climate Depot | Aug 4, 2009

By Marc Morano

More than 60 prominent German scientists have publicly declared their dissent from man-made global warming fears in an Open Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The more than 60 signers of the letter include several United Nations IPCC scientists.

The scientists declared that global warming has become a “pseudo religion” and they noted that rising CO2 has “had no measurable effect” on temperatures. The German scientists, also wrote that the “UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility.”

Related

Record Low Temperatures in the United States

This latest development comes on the heels of a series of inconvenient developments for the promoters of man-made global warming fears, including new peer-reviewed studies, real world data, a growing chorus of scientists dissenting (including more UN IPCC scientists), open revolts in scientific societies and the Earth’s failure to warm. In addition, public opinion continues to turn against climate fear promotion. (See “Related Links” at bottom of this article for more inconvenient scientific developments.)

The July 26, 2009 German scientist letter urged Chancellor Merkel to “strongly reconsider” her position on global warming and requested a “convening of an impartial panel” that is “free of ideology” to counter the UN IPCC and review the latest climate science developments.

The scientists, from many disciplines, including physicists, meteorology, chemistry, and geology, explain that “humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been within normal ranges and are due to natural cycles.”

“More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role,” the scientists wrote. “Indeed CO2’s capability to absorb radiation is almost exhausted by today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree,” they added.

“The IPCC had to have been aware of this fact, but completely ignored it during its studies of 160 years of temperature measurements and 150 years of determined CO2 levels. As a result the IPCC has lost its scientific credibility,” the scientists wrote.

“Indeed the atmosphere has not warmed since 1998 – more than 10 years, and the global temperature has even dropped significantly since 2003. Not one of the many extremely expensive climate models predicted this. According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the opposite has occurred,” the scientists wrote.

“The belief of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a pseudo-religion,” the scientists wrote. “The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming,” they added.

“Do you not believe, Madam Chancellor, that science entails more than just confirming a hypothesis, but also involves testing to see if the opposite better explains reality? We strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this subject and to convene an impartial panel for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, one that is free of ideology, and where controversial arguments can be openly debated. We the undersigned would very much like to offer support in this regard.

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Six months jail for yawning in courtroom

Courtroom Yawner Jailed for Six Months

Williams’ father said he was “flabbergasted” by the sentence

AOL News | Aug 10, 2009

(Aug. 10) — As Clifton Williams sat in the courtroom in Joliet, Ill., awaiting his cousin’s sentencing on drug charges, little did he know he would soon be the one in jail.

As Judge Daniel Rozak sentenced Williams’ cousin to two years probation, Williams yawned, an act that earned him six months in jail on contempt charges, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Williams’ father said he was “flabbergasted” by the sentence, the maximum issued for a contempt charge without a jury trial. “It seems to me like a yawn is an involuntary action,” Clifton Williams Sr. told the newspaper.

The court disagreed. While Rozak did not comment on the charges, a state’s attorney’s office spokesman, Chuck Pelkie, said Williams did not let out a “simple” yawn. “It was a loud and boisterous attempt to disrupt the proceedings,” he said.

According to the Tribune, Rozak is particularly fierce on courtroom decorum, issuing contempt-of-court charges at the highest rate of any judge in the county. The broad discretion of judges to control their courts has prompted Rozak to file contempt charges against people for everything from swearing to not silencing their cell phones.

However, some of the people Rozak assigned harsh sentences to were shown leniency if they apologized.

Williams will have to serve as least 21 days, the Tribune reported, and he has been locked up since July 23. In a letter to his family, Williams wrote, “I really can’t believe I’m in jail.”

Human Rights Watch probes Israeli shootings of civilians holding white flags

Gaza white flag deaths probe call

Israel says it followed international law in Gaza

BBC | Aug 13, 2009

Samar Abed Rabbu paralysed in "white flag" incident documented by HRW

Samar Abed Rabbu paralysed in "white flag" incident documented by HRW

Israel must investigate the “unlawful” killing of 11 civilians carrying white flags during its Gaza operation earlier in 2009, Human Rights Watch has said.

Five women and four children were among those killed in seven incidents detailed by the US-based rights group.

Researchers said the soldiers at best failed to protect civilians, and at worst deliberately shot at them.

Israel has launched investigations into five “white flag” incidents, but says Hamas exploited civilians with flags.

In one incident, east of Jabalya, HRW said Israeli soldiers fired at two women and three children, three of whom were holding pieces of white cloth.

Two girls, aged two and seven were killed, and another, now aged four, was left paralysed below the waist.

The five were standing outside their home after an Israeli soldier had ordered them to leave it, HRW said.

“We spent seven to nine minutes waving the flags, and our faces were looking at them [the soldiers],” HRW quoted the girls’ grandmother as saying.

“And suddenly they opened fire and the girls fell to the ground.”

Two of the incidents in question have also been investigated by the BBC.

In five of the seven incidents, Israeli soldiers shot at civilians who were walking down the street with white flags, trying to leave the areas of fighting, HRW said.

“All available evidence indicates that Israeli forces were in control of the areas in question, no fighting was taking place there at the time, and no Palestinian forces were hiding among the civilians or using them as human shields,” the report said.

The Israeli foreign ministry has opened investigations into at least five cases involving Palestinians who were waving white flags.

As of the end of July, one case had been closed. The Israeli military said troops had fired at “suspicious men” who ignored warnings as they walked near a Palestinian family carrying a white flag.

Sadly, Hamas terror operatives ruthlessly pervert the intent of the IDF’s obligations to prevent harm to civilians by exploiting those with white flags as cover for belligerent action and to protect themselves from return fire
Statement by Israeli military

HRW said its findings were based on site investigations, ballistic evidence found at the scene, medical records of victims and lengthy interviews with multiple witnesses.

An Israeli government spokesman said the report lacked credibility because it was based on evidence from an area under Hamas control.

The Israeli military said troops were obliged to respect white flags, but accused “Hamas terror operatives” of “exploiting those with white flags as cover for belligerent action and to protect themselves from return fire”.

But it gave no details of specific incidents.

Israel has said its soldiers acted lawfully during the operation, although some mistakes were made, such as the bombing of a house containing 21 civilians by accident.

It says it went to great lengths to distinguish between civilians and combatants, while Hamas put civilians at great risk by firing rockets from near schools and UN facilities, commandeering hospital facilities and ambulances, hiding weapons in mosques and booby trapping civilian neighbourhoods.

War crime accusation

Human Rights Watch last week accused Hamas of war crimes, for firing rockets at Israeli population centres.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev on white flag claims

The group also says Palestinian militants operated from populated areas.

HRW’s Bill Van Esveld said last Thursday that a Newsweek report quoted in a recent Israeli Foreign Ministry briefing was “as clear evidence of human shielding [by Hamas] as you’re going to get”.

Journalist Rod Nordland wrote on 20 January: “Suddenly there was a terrific whoosh, louder even than a bomb explosion. It was another of Hamas’ homemade Qassam rockets being launched into Israel – and the mobile launch-pad was smack in the middle of the four [apartment] buildings, where every apartment was full.”

But Mr Van Esveld said he was only aware of evidence of “three or four” such cases, and had seen more evidence of the use of human shields by Israeli troops than by Palestinian militants.

The Israeli activist group Breaking the Silence has published anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers describing a procedure in which they said Palestinians were forced at gunpoint to enter building where militants were hiding.

Soldier jailed

Israel said its 22-day operation in Gaza was “necessary and proportionate” and was aimed at reducing Palestinian rocket fire.

The Israeli military says it his currently investigating about 100 incidents, of which 13 are criminal investigations.

On Wednesday a soldier was jailed for seven months for using a credit card he stole from a Palestinian in Gaza during the operation to withdraw money in Israel.

Israel says 1,166 Gazans died in the conflict. Palestinian human rights groups put the figure at 1,400. Accounts differ as to how many were civilians. Thirteen Israelis died, including three civilians killed in Palestinian rocket attacks.

Israel says 12,000 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel between 2000 and 2008 – nearly 3,000 in 2008 alone.

Hamas denies committing war crimes and firing rockets from residential areas.

Australian Senate kills carbon emissions bill dead

Bloody marvellous Aussies kill carbon emissions bill

Telegraph | Aug 13, 2009

By James Delingpole

Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah for Aussie common sense.

Australia’s Senate – the Government’s upper house – has just voted by 42 to 30 to defeat the cap and trade legislation bill proposed by their premier Kevin Rudd.

Why did those Senators reject Rudd’s scheme, despite their prolonged drought and their bush fires? Well some – the green ones – did so because they didn’t think its emissions cutting targets went far enough. But the majority did so – duh – because they didn’t want their coal-dependent heavy industry hamstrung by still more pointless taxation and regulation, their consumers fleeced and their economy ruined in the middle of a thwacking great global recession. And, in at least the case of Senator Steve Fielding, because they’d done their research and discovered that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.

Having consulted scientific experts including Ian Plimer [whom I interviewed in the Spectator a few weeks back and whose views are neatly summarised here] Sen Fielding was inspired to visit the US to assess at first hand what evidence the Obama administration was using to justify its radical Waxman Markey cap and trade measures. He was not impressed and issued a challenge, emailing graphs to one of the US president’s energy advisers showing that, despite rising CO2 levels the globe has not warmed in over a decade.

He concluded: “Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer… I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.”

Or, as another Aussie senator, more succinctly put it when criticising Rudd’s climate change bill: “It is a dog of a plan.”

Where Australia leads, we can but hope and pray, the rest of the world will follow – especially Obama’s would-be Socialist One World Government (formerly known as the USA). While it’s true that Nancy Pelosi managed to railroad the Waxman Markey cap’n’porkbarrel’n’trade bill through the US House of Representatives, it looks set to have a much tougher ride in the Senate. Especially given the growing strength of feeling among US voters that cap n trade is no more than a massive scam which will enrich one or two green vested interests – Al Gore’s, for example – while impoverishing ordinary Americans to no useful purpose whatsoever.

Here, is what the latest Gallup polls say:

“The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent. Republican doubters grew from 59 percent to 66 percent, while Democratic skeptics stayed at around 20 percent.”

“What’s more, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have started to occur: 53 percent see signs of a hotter planet, down from 61 percent in 2008. Global warming placed last among eight environmental concerns Gallup asked respondents to rank, with water pollution landing the top spot.”

“Another recent Gallup study found that, for the first time in 25 years of polling, more Americans care about economic growth than the environment. Just 42 percent of people surveyed said the environment takes precedence over growth, while 51 percent asserted expansion carries more weight. That reverses results from 2008, when 49 percent of respondents said the environment was paramount and 42 percent said economic growth came first. In 1985, the poll’s first year, 61 percent placed a bigger priority on the environment, while 28 percent ranked economic growth highest.”

Interior Alaska gets hit by early August frost

newsminer.com | Aug 13, 2009

By Mary Beth Smetzer

FAIRBANKS — An early frost hopscotched across the Tanana Valley destroying unprotected garden produce and flowers wherever it touched down Wednesday morning.

The helter skelter pattern left Linda Dolney at Ann’s Greenhouses scratching her head.

“It was really weird,” she said. “We had nine flats of marigolds out, and just a few flowers in the middle got it.”

The cole crops in Dolney’s garden, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, are OK, she said. “But the tender crops like squash, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants that were not covered were mostly zapped,” Dolney said.

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Her neighbor wasn’t so lucky. The temperature at his place dipped to 28 degrees, and everything in the garden was devastated.

“Even the potato plants were nipped,” Dolney said.

Although Wednesday night’s forecast was for warmer temps, Dolney wasn’t taking any chances and left the protective plant covers on.

Gretchen Kerndt of Basically Basil, off Herried Road, said Wednesday morning’s frost is the earliest she has ever seen.

“It didn’t kill anything,” she said. “The basil took a beating. The top leaves touching the (protective) covering were nipped.”

Big M Family Farm near Nenana experienced two consecutive days of frost with a low temperature of 25 degrees, and their vegetable crops survived.

“We covered everything with frost covers,” Faith Minnema said. “The flowers were left out, and they are totally gone,” she said.

Matthew Kidwell, a weather forecaster with the National Weather Service, confirmed that Wednesday morning lows across the Interior dropped below freezing in some locations. Only one record was set — the overnight low temperature at Eielson Air Force Base of 30 surpassed the old record of 32 set in 1969.

Coldest spots recorded locally Wednesday morning were: Goldstream Valley, 25; Salcha, 25; Denali Park Headquarters, 26; 42-Mile Steese Highway, 28; Healy, 29; Eielson Air Force Base, 30; University of Alaska Fairbanks West Ridge, 31; and Fort Yukon, 32.

The official low temperature at Fairbanks International Airport on Wednesday morning registered above freezing at 35 degrees, Kidwell said.

Freezing or near freezing temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday mornings happened when cooler air from the northwest Arctic entering into the area combined with clear skies and calm winds, Kidwell explained.

Below-freezing temperatures in early August fortunately aren’t a common occurrence, but they have happened before.

Forty years ago, there was a nine-day cold snap when the airport recorded temperatures of 37 degrees or lower from Aug. 7-15, with Aug. 10 the coldest at 31 degrees, Kidwell said.

Today’s forecast is for warmer temperatures. With clouds moving in before upcoming rain. The forecast is for lows in the 35-45 degree range.

However, Kidwell cautioned, that lows in the Goldstream Valley, and other frost prone areas, this morning most likely will continue to hover in the 32-35 degree range.

More clouds are expected to move in today and tonight with rain likely tonight and Friday.

“Behaviour detection officers” to study travellers’ faces to determine if they are criminals or terrorists

Beginning next year, some air travellers will be scrutinized by airport “behaviour detection officers” for physiological signs of hostile intent

Expressions, behaviour to be scrutinized

Canwest News Service | Aug 13, 2009

Canadian airport to test ‘behaviour detection’ program

by Ian MacLeod

OTTAWA — From the furrowed brow to the nervously tapping foot, security personnel will soon start studying air travellers’ facial expressions and body movements to see if they could be criminals and terrorists.

Beginning next year, some air travellers will be scrutinized by airport “behaviour detection officers” for physiological signs of hostile intent — in other words: screening for dangerous people rather than just for dangerous objects.

Planning for the training and deployment of the plainclothes security officers is to begin this fall, with a pilot project expected to roll out at a major airport in 2010, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority said yesterday. The project’s budget is about $400,000.

If successful, “behaviour pattern recognition” could land at major airports across the country.

Similar programs operate in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, which pioneered spying on people’s expressions and body movements for involuntary and fleeting “micro-expressions” and movements suggesting abnormal stress, fear or deception.

“This might indicate a passenger has malicious intentions,” said Mathieu Larocque, spokesman for the security authority, which is responsible for pre-board screening of airport passengers. “It offers an additional security layer for the aviation system.”

The largest pilots’ union in the world has been lobbying the federal government to adopt these procedures for several years.

“We’re very, very pleased,” said Captain Craig Hall, Canadian director of the national security committee of Air Line Pilots Association International.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says its “Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques” program has been so successful, it now has more than 2,000 behavioural detection officers patrolling concourses and departure lounges for unusual, anxious or otherwise “suspicious” passenger behaviour.

Without revealing details, the U.S. agency said the officers are trained to discount the typical nervousness, anger and confusion that many travellers experience.

It insists the officers do not use racial, ethnic or religious profiling.

An independent panel of security and aviation experts that reviewed Canadian Air Transport Security Authority operations cautiously recommended to Transport Canada in 2007 that behavioural profiling might work in Canada.

The panel attached some conditions, including that the concept must be planned and implemented so that offensive forms of profiling by front-line personnel are minimized, if not eliminated, and that it not be a substitute for pre-board screening of carry-on luggage.

The U.S. boasts that between January and December 2006, their behavioural screening program stopped 70,000 people for questioning, resulting in upwards of 700 arrests.

But that one-in-100 hit rate involved everything from alleged money-laundering, drug and weapons possession to immigration violations and outstanding arrest warrants. None of the incidents was terrorism related.

The Transportation Security Administration said some did lead to counter-terrorism investigations, but has not elaborated.

Argentina’s July energy demand surges on temperatures 3.5 degrees colder than last year

Demand in July set a record.

Dow Jones Newswires | Aug 13, 2009

By Taos Turner

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)–Demand for electricity surged last month as colder weather led Argentines to turn up their electric heaters during one of the winter’s coldest months.

Demand for electricity rose 4.2% in July compared with the same month a year earlier, according to a report published Thursday by the energy think tank Fundelec.

The increase in demand broke a trend of three months of consecutive declines. Demand in July set a record.

The average temperature was 10.8 degrees Celsius, or 3.5 degrees cooler than a year ago. The average temperature was also down from June, when it was 11 degrees.

Total net demand was 9,508 gigawatt hours, compared with 9,127.1GW a year earlier, according to the report.

Demand rose 4.3% from June, when it totaled 9,114.2GW.

Demand rose more in the capital city and in Greater Buenos Aires than elsewhere in the country. Demand actually declined in Chubut, Rio Negro and Santa Fe provinces.

Thermo-generated power accounted for 55.4% of the energy generated in June. Hydroelectric power represented 35.1% and nuclear energy totaled 6.9%. Imported energy totaled 2.6% of Argentina’s energy supply.