Daily Archives: November 21, 2009

Gore: Break the law to push through Copenhagen

Civil unrest has a role in stopping climate change, says Gore

Ahead of Copenhagen summit, former US vice-president says ‘non-violent lawbreaking’ is legitimate in persuading governments to cut emissions

guardian.co.uk | Nov 6, 2009

by Oliver Burkeman in Los Angeles

Al Gore has sought to inject fresh momentum into the Copenhagen build-up, saying he is certain Barack Obama will attend and predicting a rise in civil disobedience against fossil-fuel polluters unless drastic action is taken over global warming.

Amid increasing incidents of climate protesters disrupting the operations of fossil-fuel industries and airports in Britain and elsewhere, Gore suggests the scale of the emergency means non-violent lawbreaking is justified. “Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play,” he says. “And I expect that it will increase, no question about it.”

Related

Radical Environmentalism: Gore Pushes Lawlessness to Save the Planet

Choice, Gore says it is crucial for Obama to attend Copenhagen in person, adding: “I feel certain that he will.”

He remains optimistic, he insists, that the US Senate will pass a climate change bill before Copenhagen – a move widely seen as vital for persuading the world, especially developing countries, that the US is serious about reducing emissions.

But Gore was speaking before reports this week that Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, would back Republican demands for a full cost analysis of any such legislation – a process that could take five weeks, postponing debate until after the Copenhagen summit.

On Thursday the UK climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, acknowledged that hopes were fading that Copenhagen would result in a full treaty.

Nevertheless, there are “surprises … in store” on a potential Senate bill, Gore says, citing confidential conversations between Democrats and Republicans in which he has been involved. This week Democrats made small but significant progress when they pushed the bill through a vital committee stage despite a Republican boycott.

Clouds hang over the global-warming alarmists

Associated Press | Nov 10, 2009

By Paul Mulshine/The Star Ledger

President Obama’s headed to Copenhagen next month to talk climate change. Al Gore’s headed toward profits that could make him the world’s first “carbon billionaire.” But where’s global temperature headed?

Nowhere, it seems.

The most reliable readings of the Earth’s temperature show that it peaked back in 1998. This was not widely reported in America, where the state of science reporting is dismal. But over in England, where they take that sort of thing more seriously, the British Broadcasting Corp. created quite a stir with an article headlined “What Happened to Global Warming?” In it, BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson gave a summary of the problems facing the alarmists: “For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.”

Hudson went on to cite numerous scientists skeptical of the theory of anthropogenic global warming. But perhaps the most damning observation came from a scientist who supports the theory. Mojib Latif is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group that set the panic off with its 1996 report on global warming. According to Hudson, Latif concedes “that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.”

Hmmm. Ten to 20 years is what I would call “the near future.” Didn’t a certain former vice president of the United States win a Nobel Prize by pushing a movie that told us that the melting of the polar ice would cause sea levels to rise by up to 20 feet “in the near future?”

Perhaps Al Gore was talking about a different future, one in which he gets rich off the panic he helped create. If the Senate passes that cap-and-trade bill that’s now before it, Gore stands to make a fortune through his stake in the investment firm he set up with former Goldman-Sachs exec David Blood to deal in carbon credits. So there’s a lot at stake in that Senate decision for the firm known to Wall Street wags as “Blood and Gore.” There’s even more at stake for consumers whose bills would go up by billions.

As for those senators, they’ll look pretty foolish if they pass a bill to curb global warming just as we enter a cooling trend. And Donald Easterbrook warns that is a distinct possibility. Easterbrook is a professor at Western Washington University who was quoted in that BBC article. When I called him at his home outside Seattle, Easterbrook informed me that we have just experienced the third coldest October in the past 115 years. There’s probably more cold to come, he said, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the climate will have little effect on it one way or the other. The reason? Contrary to popular belief, there just isn’t that much of it in the atmosphere.

“For every 100,000 molecules of air, only 38 are carbon dioxide,” Easterbrook said. The global-warming crowd likes to say that CO2 levels have risen 35 percent in the industrial era. “But 35 percent of nothing is still nothing,” says Easterbrook, and the increase in CO2 has virtually no effect.

The alarmists harp on that infinitesimal increase, he says, while they ignore the most prevalent greenhouse gas of them all — water vapor. Clouds reflect sunlight back into the sky. And that is at the center of a developing dispute among scientists. Easterbrook is on the side of a Danish scientist named Henrik Svensmark. In the 1990s, Svensmark developed a theory that links cloud formation to sunspots. When the number of sunspots is low, more cosmic rays get through to the atmosphere. And these rays, Svensmark theorizes, are the primary cause of cloud formation. The clouds reflect more sunlight back into space. Earth gets colder.

This fits in nicely with Easterbrook’s specialty, which is how ocean currents affect climate. “It turns out there is a correlation between ocean cycles and sunspots,” he told me. And the historical record shows many climate shifts that correspond to sunspot activity.

“There were 6,000 feet of ice here that all melted very suddenly 15,000 years ago,” Easterbrook said of his neck of the woods in the Pacific Northwest. “There have been big ups and downs throughout history. How do you explain them?”

Well, if you want to control people’s lives and/or make a lot of money, you explain them the way a lot of politicians do. As for the scientists, they’re divided. Most agree that, all things being equal, it would be better for man not to alter the atmosphere at all. But that’s an entirely separate question from just what effect that alteration will have on the climate.

And the answer to that question is: Nobody’s quite certain.

Except, of course, Al Gore.

Global Warming Buffs Baffled by Lack of Global Warming Over Past Ten Years

“We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world.”

– Professor Arnold Toynbee, in a June l931 speech before the Institute for the Study of International Affairs in Copenhagen.

Stagnating Temperatures

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

spiegel.de | Nov 19, 2009

By Gerald Traufetter

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

At least the weather in Copenhagen is likely to be cooperating. The Danish Meteorological Institute predicts that temperatures in December, when the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, will be one degree above the long-term average.

Otherwise, however, not much is happening with global warming at the moment. The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

Ironically, climate change appears to have stalled in the run-up to the upcoming world summit in the Danish capital, where thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business leaders and environmental activists plan to negotiate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations.

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Reached a Plateau

The planet’s temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. “At present, however, the warming is taking a break,” confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. “There can be no argument about that,” he says. “We have to face that fact.”

Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility.

“It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.

The differences among individual regions of the world are considerable. In the Arctic, for example, temperatures rose by almost three degrees Celsius, which led to a dramatic melting of sea ice. At the same time, temperatures declined in large areas of North America, the western Pacific and the Arabian Peninsula. Europe, including Germany, remains slightly in positive warming territory.

Mixed Messages

But a few scientists simply refuse to believe the British calculations. “Warming has continued in the last few years,” says Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). However, Rahmstorf is more or less alone in his view. Hamburg Max Planck Institute scientist Jochem Marotzke, on the other hand, says: “I hardly know any colleagues who would deny that it hasn’t gotten warmer in recent years.”

The controversy sends confusing and mixed messages to the lay public. Why is there such a vigorous debate over climate change, even though it isn’t getting warmer at the moment? And how can it be that scientists cannot even arrive at a consensus on changes in temperatures, even though temperatures are constantly being measured?

The global temperature-monitoring network consists of 517 weather stations. But each reading is only a tiny dot on the big world map, and it has to be extrapolated to the entire region with the help of supercomputers. Besides, there are still many blind spots, the largest being the Arctic, where there are only about 20 measuring stations to cover a vast area. Climatologists refer to the problem as the “Arctic hole.”

The scientists at the Hadley Center simply used the global average value for the hole, ignoring the fact that it has become significantly warmer in the Arctic, says Rahmstorf. But a NASA team from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which does make the kinds of adjustments for the Arctic data that Rahmstorf believes are necessary, arrives at a flat temperature curve for the last five years that is similar to that of their British colleagues.

Marotzke and Leibniz Institute meteorologist Mojib Latif are even convinced that the fuzzy computing done by Rahmstorf is counterproductive. “We have to explain to the public that greenhouse gases will not cause temperatures to keep rising from one record temperature to the next, but that they are still subject to natural fluctuations,” says Latif. For this reason, he adds, it is dangerous to cite individual weather-related occurrences, such as a drought in Mali or a hurricane, as proof positive that climate change is already fully underway.

“Perhaps we suggested too strongly in the past that the development will continue going up along a simple, straight line. In reality, phases of stagnation or even cooling are completely normal,” says Latif.

Part 2: The Difficulties of Predicting the Climate

Climatologists use their computer models to draw temperature curves that continue well into the future. They predict that the average global temperature will increase by about three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, unless humanity manages to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, no one really knows what exactly the world climate will look like in the not-so-distant future, that is, in 2015, 2030 or 2050.

This is because it is not just human influence but natural factors that affect the Earth’s climate. For instance, currents in the world’s oceans are subject to certain cycles, as is solar activity. Major volcanic eruptions can also curb rising temperatures in the medium term. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, for example, caused world temperatures to drop by an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius, thereby prolonging a cooler climate phase that had begun in the late 1980s.

But the Mount Pinatubo eruption happened too long ago to be related to the current slowdown in global warming. So what is behind this more recent phenomenon?

Weaker Solar Activity

The fact is that the sun is weakening slightly. Its radiation activity is currently at a minimum, as evidenced by the small number of sunspots on its surface. According to calculations performed by a group of NASA scientists led by David Rind, which were recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this reduced solar activity is the most important cause of stagnating global warming.

Latif, on the other hand, attributes the stagnation to so-called Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). This phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean allows a larger volume of cold deep-sea water to rise to the surface at the equator. According to Latif, this has a significant cooling effect on the Earth’s atmosphere.

With his team at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Latif has been one of the first to develop a model to create medium-term prognoses for the next five to 10 years. “We are slowly starting to attempt (such models),” says Marotzke, who is also launching a major project in this area, funded by the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology.

Despite their current findings, scientists agree that temperatures will continue to rise in the long term. The big question is: When will it start getting warmer again?

If the deep waters of the Pacific are, in fact, the most important factor holding up global warming, climate change will remain at a standstill until the middle of the next decade, says Latif. But if the cooling trend is the result of reduced solar activity, things could start getting warmer again much sooner. Based on past experience, solar activity will likely increase again in the next few years.

Betting on Warmer Temperatures

The Hadley Center group expects warming to resume in the coming years. “That resumption could come as a bit of a jolt,” says Hadley climatologist Adam Scaife, explaining that natural cyclical warming would then be augmented by the warming effect caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

While climatologists at conferences engage in passionate debates over when temperatures will start rising again, global warming’s next steps have also become the subject of betting activity.

Climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf is so convinced that his predictions will be correct in the end that he is willing to back up his conviction with a €2,500 ($3,700) bet. “I will win,” says Rahmstorf.

His adversary Latif turned down the bet, saying that the matter was too serious for gambling. “We are scientists, not poker players.”

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?

The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view is now also the majority view.

Telegraph | Nov 20, 2009

By James Delingpole

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

Full Story

Global Warming Conspiracy: “scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science”

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”

Warmist conspiracy exposed?

Herald Sun | Nov 20, 2009

by Andrew Bolt

***************

8.15 PM UPDATE: The Hadley University of East Anglia CRU director admits the emails seem to be genuine:

The director of Britain’s leading Climate Research Unit, Phil Jones, has told Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition tonight …”It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”…

TGIF asked Jones about the controversial email discussing “hiding the decline”, and Jones explained what he was trying to say….

So the 1079 emails and 72 documents seem indeed evidence of a scandal involving most of the most prominent scientists pushing the man-made warming theory – a scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science. I’ve been adding some of the most astonishing in updates below – emails suggesting conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more. If it is as it now seems, never again will “peer review” be used to shout down sceptics.

This is clearly not the work of some hacker, but of an insider who’s now blown the whistle.

Full Story

Aspirin kills 400% more people than H1N1 swine flu

NaturalNews | Nov 20, 2009

by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) The CDC now reports that nearly 4,000 Americans have been killed by H1N1 swine flu. This number is supposed to sound big and scary, motivating millions of people to go out and pay good money to be injected with untested, unproven H1N1 vaccines. But let’s put the number in perspective: Did you know that more than four times as many people are killed each year by common NSAID painkillers like aspirin?

The July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine explains it as follows:

“Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone.” (Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy”, The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S)

So for every person the CDC claims was killed by H1N1 swine flu this year, common painkillers like aspirin have killed four! Yet you don’t see the CDC, FDA, WHO or mainstream media running around screaming about the extreme dangers of aspirin, do you? All those deaths apparently don’t matter. Only swine flu deaths lead to hysteria.

Understanding risk

According to death statistics tables available on the ‘net, you are ten times more likely to die in a car accident this year than be killed by swine flu.

Nearly 100,000 Americans die every year from adverse reactions to FDA-approved prescription drugs. That’s twenty-five times the number of people killed by H1N1 swine flu (even if you believe the CDC’s numbers). So where’s the big warning about the dangers of prescription drugs? Why isn’t the CDC warning Americans about an “epidemic of dangerous drugs” that poses a far greater threat to your health?

The answer, of course, is that health authorities want to push people to buy vaccines that are about to become worthless (they’re only good before swine flu fizzles out). And the only way to sell more vaccines to people who don’t need them is to hype up a bunch of scare stories by citing bold statistics that make H1N1 swine flu seem really, really dangerous.

But the flu is no more dangerous than aspirin. In fact, H1N1 swine flu may be safer than aspirin.

Here’s another quote from the New England Journal of Medicine:

“It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the number of deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer, or Hodgkin’s disease. If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAIDs were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a “silent epidemic,” with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS.” (Wolfe M. MD, Lichtenstein D. MD, and Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs”, The New England Journal of Medicine, June 17, 1999, Vol. 340, No. 24, pp. 1888-1889.)

Did you catch that? The 16,500 figure for deaths each year doesn’t even include over-the-counter painkiller drugs! If you add in those numbers, you’re probably looking at something closer to 40,000 Americans kills each year by these drugs. And that makes these drugs 1000% more deadly than swine flu (because 40,000 is ten times greater than 4,000).

$4.8 trillion – Interest on U.S. debt

Unless lawmakers make big changes, the interest Americans will have to pay to keep the country running over the next decade will reach unheard of levels.

CNN | Nov 19, 2009

By Jeanne Sahadi

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Here’s a new way to think about the U.S. government’s epic borrowing: More than half of the $9 trillion in debt that Uncle Sam is expected to build up over the next decade will be interest.

More than half. In fact, $4.8 trillion.

If that’s hard to grasp, here’s another way to look at why that’s a problem.

In 2015 alone, the estimated interest due – $533 billion – is equal to a third of the federal income taxes expected to be paid that year, said Charles Konigsberg, chief budget counsel of the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group.

On the bright side – such as it is – the record levels of debt issued lately have paid for stimulus and other rescue programs that prevented the economy from falling off a cliff. And the money was borrowed at very low rates.

But accumulating any more interest on what the United States owes at this point is like extreme sport: dangerous.

All the more so because interest rates will rise when private sector borrowers return to the debt market and compete with the government for capital. At that point, the country’s interest payments could jack up very fast.

“When interest rates rise even a small amount, the interest payments go up a lot because of the size of the debt,” Konigsberg said.

The Congressional Budget Office, which made the $4.8 trillion forecast, already baked some increase in rates into the cake. But there is always a chance those estimates may prove too conservative.

And then it’s Vicious Circle 101 – well known to anyone who has gotten too into hock with Visa and MasterCard.

The country depends heavily on borrowing to fund what it wants to do. But the more debt it racks up, the more likely it becomes that creditors could demand a higher interest rate for making new loans to the government.

Higher rates in turn make it harder to pay off the underlying debt because more and more money is going to pay off interest – money, by the way, which is also borrowed.

And as more money goes to interest, creditors may become concerned that the country can’t pay down its principal and lawmakers will have less to fund all the things government is supposed to do.

“[P]olicymakers would be less able to pay for other national spending priorities and would have less flexibility to deal with unexpected developments (such as a war or recession). Moreover, rising interest costs would make the economy more vulnerable to a meltdown in financial markets,” the CBO wrote in its most recent long-term budget outlook.

So far, that crisis of confidence hasn’t happened. And no one can predict with any certainty whether or when it could occur.

But should it occur, the change could be abrupt.

That’s because the government frequently rolls over – or refinances – the debt it has issued as it comes due.

Full Story