By Andrew Revkin, NY Times
James E. Hansen of NASA, brushing off coal-industry criticisms but acknowledging the need to be sensitive to people still haunted by the Holocaust, has elaborated on what he meant when he recently described continued coal burning as akin to sending untold species to their destruction in “death trains” and crematoria. He posted a long note on the matter, titled “Averting Our Eyes on his Columbia University home page tonight.
I asked if we could publish excerpts. “I prefer that you post it in toto,” he said in an e-mail message. “Somehow I have trouble with things out of context. Also my aim is to educate on the broader problem, not just the narrow things that seem to get picked up on.”
Dr. Hansen, like many who commented on Dot Earth after I wrote about his statements, insists that the parallels hold between the denial and passivity that allowed a human cataclysm to sweep Europe in plain sight and the denial and inaction now as the world prepares to build hundreds of conventional coal-burning power plants. In his recent statements and the new one, he warns that the tens of billions of tons of resulting emissions of carbon dioxide, if not captured and stored, will disrupt climate patterns, ecosystems and sea levels that have been remarkably stable through most of modern human history. The result will be an end to “creation” as we have grown to love it, he says. Read more here.
By Tom Harris, Dr. Richard Courtney in Canada Free Press
The case for anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) is getting weaker and weaker, not “stronger and stronger and stronger” as Dr. John Stone of the IPCC’s Working Group II told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this month. To date, no convincing evidence for AGW has been discovered. And recent global climate behaviour is not consistent with AGW model predictions. Mean global temperature has not again reached the high it did in 1998 (an El Nino year) and it has been stable for the last 6 years despite an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of by 4% since 1998. Global temperature has not increased since 1998 because, while the northern hemisphere has warmed, the southern hemisphere has cooled. Global warming was supposed to actually be global, not hemispheric.
In science, an hypothesis that something has changed is merely a speculation unless evidence for the change exists. The fact that global climate shows no unprecedented changes recently means that there is no meaningful evidence that anthropogenic activity has had, or is having a detectable effect on natural changes to global climate. Hence, assertion of AGW is mere speculation. Read more here.
Tom Harris is an Ottawa-based mechanical engineer and Executive Director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (http://www.nrsp.com). Dr. Richard Courtney is a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, and an ‘allied scientist’ to NRSP.
By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
The IPCC used it (the ‘hockey stick") in its third assessment report. Al Gore used it in his movie. In fact, no graphic has had such a huge effect as the infamous hockeystick produced by Michael Mann, who used tree ring data to allegedly show that the last century’s warming was unprecedented, and the globe had never in 2000 years been this hot.
Small problem. Mann’s manipulation of the statistics has since been discredited, and the graph dropped out of the IPCC’s fourth report. But the damage has been done. Millions of people now firmly believe the world hasn’t been this hot in recorded history, not even during the Medieval Warm Period. Now a new study says Mann didn’t just get the maths wrong, but could have been using tainted data as well. Ecological modeller Dr Craig Loehle has checked other proxy data, rather than the tree rings he says are unreliable, and comes up with a very different graphic indeed:
Says Loehle: “There are reasons to believe that tree ring data may not properly capture long-term climate changes. In this study, eighteen 2000-year-long series were obtained that were not based on tree ring data. Data in each series were smoothed with a 30-year running mean. All data were then converted to anomalies by subtracting the mean of each series from that series. The overall mean series was then computed by simple averaging. The mean time series shows quite coherent structure. The mean series shows the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) quite clearly, with the MWP being approximately 0.3°C warmer than 20th century values at these eighteen sites.” To sum up. This warming is not unusual. The planet was warmer less than 1000 years ago. Oh, and see the fall in temperatures since 1998’s high, which so panicked so many people. Read more here.
By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters
Is the press beginning to see through Al Gore’s global warming scam?
A brief article posted at Newsweek’s website offers hope that the media might finally be recognizing the former Vice President could be this decade’s Ken Lay. For those that have forgotten, Lay was the CEO of Enron.
Since 2000, according to published reports, the former veep has transformed himself from a public servant with around $1 million in the bank to a sparkling private consultant with a net worth estimated to be north of $100 million. He’s a senior adviser to Google, a board member at Apple and now a newly minted general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm that made billions investing early in Netscape, Amazon and Google. Read more here.
By Ray Harvey, Fort Collins Forum Correspondent
On October 19, 2007, the Rocky Mountain News ran an op-ed piece entitled “Al Gore’s ignoble Nobel,” by Denver talkshow host Mike Rosen. Five days after that, a rebuttal appeared. This rebuttal, “Mostly wrong on warming,” was written by a scientist named Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. In turn, Dr. Trenberth’s article was rebutted by a man named Christopher Monckton, third viscount of Benchley and former advisor to Margaret Thatcher. Mr. Trenberth’s article did not appear in the Rocky Mountain News; it was published on the Science and Public Policy website.
Mr. Monckton, who, like Mike Rosen (and Al Gore), is not a scientist, then appeared as a guest on Mike Rosen’s radio show, to discuss in greater detail what he calls the “swindle” of global warming. It should also be noted that Dr. Trenberth was invited on the program to debate the issue with Mr. Monckton, but, as you might suspect, Trenberth declined – and did so, according to Mike Rosen’s producers, none too politely.
Among global warming alarmists, it’s become somewhat vogue to criticize the “credentials” of anyone, scientist and non-scientist alike, who disagrees with the catastrophic scenarios. Turnabout, then, is only fair play. Quoting MIT climatologist Dr. Richard Lindzen: “But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.”
As Mr. Lindzen notes in the above-quoted passage, government-funded scientists depend entirely upon politicians for their research money. Science, therefore, which by definition is an objective discipline, is instantly politicized: i.e. science is made non-objective. Science becomes a thing of consensus – which by definition means that science is no longer science. Instead of rational debate and scientific inquiry, we’re subject to these endless lobby campaigns, these endless invectives, these endless personal smears against any scientist who dares to do her job — question and investigate — and this is the reason we now hear the constant authoritarian cry: “Silence! The debate is over.” This kind of ad hominem attack is many things, but science is certainly not one of them. Read more here.
By Andrea Thompson, LiveScience Staff Writer
A gray, grim landscape used to greet residents of the Northeastern United States each November, but autumn’s riot of red, orange and yellow came late this year. Delayed fall foliage also occurred in Chicago and parts of Europe.
Some say droughts and a warm summer played a role, while others wonder more broadly about global warming. In fact, it’s rising levels of carbon dioxide, not the warmer temperatures fueled by the greenhouse gas, that have been delaying the transformation of green leaves, at least in Europe for a few decades, a new study suggests.
The researchers found that trees exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide retained their leaves and stayed greener longer than those exposed to ambient levels. Their results are detailed in an online edition of the journal Global Change Biology. “The research data provide compelling evidence ... that autumnal senescence in such forest ecosystems will be delayed as the atmospheric concentration of CO2 continues to rise, independent of increased temperatures,” said study author Gail Taylor. Read more here.
A cyclone killed over 2000 people and left much of southern Bangladesh cut off from the rest of the country before heading inland and losing strength Friday, officials said. Tropical Cyclone Sidr roared across the country’s southwestern coast late Thursday with driving rain and high waves, spawning a 4-foot water surge that left low-lying areas and some offshore islands under water, according to Nahid Sultana, an official at a cyclone control room in the capital, Dhaka. But by early Friday, the cyclone had weakened into a tropical storm and was moving across the country to the northeast, the department said, adding that while skies remained overcast, wind speed had fallen to 37 mph.
Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation, is prone to seasonal cyclones and floods that cause huge losses of life and property. The alluvial plain in Bangladesh is probably the worst place in the world for a storm surge. May inlets lead to a funneling of the storm surge well inland.
Icecap notes: The 1991 Bangladesh cyclone Gorky killed at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless as it roared inland with 155 mph winds and a 20 foot storm surge. In November of 1970 devastating tropical cyclone Bhola struck Bangladesh (at that time East Pakistan) and India’s West Bengal. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in that storm.
By James Delingpole: Thunderer, Times Online
First there came the computer-generated polar bear in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; then that heartrending photo, syndicated everywhere, of the bears apparently stranded on a melting ice floe; then the story of those four polar bears drowned by global warming (actually, they’d perished in a storm). Now, in a new cinema release called Earth – a magnificent, feature-length nature documentary from the makers of the BBC’s Planet Earth series – comes the most sob-inducing “evidence” of all: a poor male polar bear filmed starving to death as a result, the quaveringly emotional Patrick Stewart voiceover suggests, of global warming.
Having been up to the bears’ habitat in Svalbard, I do have a certain amount of sympathy with these concerns. To claim, however, that they are facing imminent doom is stretching the truth. In 1950, let us not forget, there were about 5,000 polar bears. Now there are 25,000. No wonder Greenpeace had trouble getting polar bears placed on the endangered species list. A fivefold population increase isn’t exactly a catastrophic decline. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The doom-mongers certainly won’t. Despite evidence from organizations such as the US National Biological Service that in most places polar bear populations are either stable or increasing, Ursus maritimus will continue to top the eco-hysterics’ list of animals in danger because it’s so fluffy and white and photogenic.
If you’re really that worried about their demise, I’d book yourself a ticket to Churchill, Manitoba, where the evil buggers (about the only creature, incidentally, that actively preys on humans) are so rife they’re almost vermin. Read more here.