Icing The Hype
Jun 26, 2007
Gloom and Doom in A Sunny Day

By Emily Yoffe, Washington Post

In “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore tells us that unless drastic global changes are made, our cities will be inundated and those of us who haven’t drowned will face a world wracked by cataclysmic weather and swarming with pestilence. One of his devotees, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, is coming out with his own environmental horror movie warning of human extinction if we continue living as we are. This would have a negative effect on the box office, but extinction might be preferable to the future Gore envisions.

I, however, refuse to see the apocalypse in every balmy day. And I think it’s wrong to let our children believe they’ll be swept away before they get a chance to fret about college admissions. An article in The Post this spring described children anxious, sleepless and tearful about the end; one 9-year-old said she worried about global warming “because I don’t want to die.”

There is so much hubris in the certainty about the models of the future that I’m oddly reassured. It’s also hard to believe assertions that the science on the future of our climate is settled when climate scientists can’t agree about the present—or the past (there is contention about the dates, causes and even the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed). Read full op ed story here.

Jun 21, 2007
Hear the Monckton Interview

Heartland Institute

Recently, G. Gordon Liddy interviewed Lord Christopher Monckton about his views on Global Warming and the challenge he’s issued to Al Gore. Listen to this fascinating interview here. You will quickly understand why Gore refuses to debate Lord Monckton, even though like Al he is not a climatologist, but a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, and international business consultant. You can also sign the petition to ask Gore to debate Monckton here. As of today, there have been over 1700 signatures.


By the way, not associated with the Heartland or Monckton, this Stoplight video on citizenlink.org by Stuart Shepard on Five Questions to Ask about Global Warming is worth a view. Thanks to Nick Morganelli for passing it on. 

Jun 18, 2007
Newcastle, Australia’s 30-Year Storm Photos

Professor Stewart W. Franks, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

has kindly forwarded the following comments and photo file. “A student who serves in the rural bushfire service has compiled some fascinating photos from the Newcastle Storm of last weekend. I understand that Tim Flannery has decided that this was Newcastle’s’Hurricane Katrina’.  We engineers call it a 30-yr storm and hopefully an opportunity to upgrade inadequate stormwater drainage.”

The storm caused the coal ship, the Pasha Bulker, to run aground on the reef at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle.

8th June, Ship Aground - Lauritzen Bulker, run aground on the reef at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle. (Photo: Matthew Packer)
For still more photos see this link.

Jun 16, 2007
First Do No Harm

The Washington Times Published, May 27, 2007

Al Gore—riding high as doom-is-nigh environmental preacher—wants new taxes and draconian changes in Americans’ lifestyles (except his own). The “dream scenario” of a problem that can’t be solved, no matter how much is spent on it, lures big corporations to join the global-warming crusade. Prospective billions in transnational carbon-taxes have visions of world control, including deconstruction of Earth’s industrial powerhouse (the U.S.A.), dancing in the heads of United Nations officials.

A cadre of preachers—including mega-church guru Rick Warren—insist the greenhouse science is “settled” and that reducing our “carbon footprint” is a moral issue. A retro-primitive
lifestyle is seriously pushed in some circles as the responsible solution to the global warming “crisis.” All but the truest of true believers in the greenhouse-gas story privately admit that reducing CO2 cannot cool the climate. But this is not their aim. The global-warming story is only the means to convince a gullible public to pay higher taxes and relinquish more control over their lives to experts who will “save” them. (Environmental extremists want the Earth’s population reduced to about 300 million people. Do all those nice, religious people know that?)

The rush to put draconian emissions-measures in place quickly has an obvious political motive: When the climate again cools, environmentalists will claim credit for averting disaster. High taxes, artificially costly fuel, irreparable damage to our industrial base, reduced living standards, and arrested Third World development will be cited as the sure prescription for
climate-stabilization. We shall hear that the greenhouse theory was correct: Humans were indeed warming the planet. Activists will ignore actual data showing CO2 levels are still increasing as the climate cools. (Climate scientists like Dr. Tim Ball say this is already happening.) With the desired policies in place, the data won’t matter.

Read more here.

Jun 09, 2007
Comments on New York Times Story on The Weather Channel

Joe D’Aleo and Tom Chisholm, two former TWC employees

The evolution of The Weather Channel from a service providing real time information and short term weather forecasts into the arena of prime time documentary journalism is examined in a recent New York Times article. As the networks vice president of program strategy is quoted as saying “If the Weather Channel isn’t talking about climate change and global warming, then who is?” The obvious answer of course is, well, lots of people. If it is an admission that the two are indeed separate, we applaud that statement. There is no denying that in recent decades we have seen a global warming but we and many others believe it is all part of natural climate change, that has been going since this planet we live on first formed. It may be as cold the next two decades as the last two have been warm.

It was interesting that they admit ratings are down since 2005, but their comments suggest they believe it is related to he same kind of sensory overload we all felt after weeks of 911, the Iraqi war and then the Katrina disaster in New Orleans when we were glued to the television coverage for many days. Ratings fell for all the networks as those issues slowly became less top of mind though no less important. But maybe it relates to their programming decisions and the fact that the rank and file meteorologists and weather nuts tend not to believe the global warming hype and were turned off by Heidi Cullenís weekly segment Forecast Earth (formerly Climate Code) and offended by Heidiís call for decertification for all TV mets who didnít agree with man made global warming.

Finally did you ever wonder why The Weather Channel does a 7 day forecast and on their web site a 10 day forecast but does not do a 30 day, 90 day or as in the case of the Climate Prediction Center, a 15 month outlook? Well it is because these extended range forecasts are based largely on climate forecast models that TWC forecasters and the channel decision makers apparently do not believe are accurate enough to warrant their coverage. Yet the channel is quick to believe and discuss on air the possible outcomes of climate models forecasts for 50 to 100 years from now. Are we to believe these models suddenly get better the farther out they go?  Roger Pielke Sr. in this Climate Science weblog shows why that kind of thinking is absurd.  For further commentary see The Weather Channel 2007.

Jun 08, 2007
Ice ages dried up African monsoons

New Scientist, June 10, 2007

When ice ages held Europe in their grip, Africa also felt the pinch - though in a different way. They also discovered big swings in monsoon activity over timescales as small as 100 years, linked to rapid climate change caused by changes in ice sheet size (Science, vol 316, p 1303). “Something that happens right up in the poles can have a dramatic effect on the climate in the tropics,” says Lea.
It has long been suspected that there is a connection between the west African monsoon and climate at higher latitudes - especially over geological timescales, says David Lea at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “But until now, there hasn’t been enough supporting evidence.” Now Lea, with team leader Syee Weldeab and colleagues, has reconstructed the most detailed history of the monsoon yet, spanning 155,000 years and two ice ages.

The team analysed the amount of barium in plankton shells found in an ocean sediment core drilled beneath the Gulf of Guinea. Barium is found in freshwater run-off from the river Niger, says Lea, and is a gauge of past run-off levels and monsoon intensities. When the northern latitudes were frozen over, monsoon rains were much weaker, only gaining strength again when the temperatures in the north increased, the team found.  See full story here.

Jun 06, 2007
The Skeptic Weekend Weatherman

by Doron Taussig, citypaper.net

David Aldrich, the weekend weatherman at Fox 29, considers himself a green guy. He recycles, uses nontoxic cleaning products in his house and his next car will probably be a hybrid. But when it comes to the biggest, most controversial environmental issue of our time, Aldrich isn’t signing on.

This weatherman is a self-proclaimed “Global Warming Skeptic.” On the blog he maintains for Fox29’s Web site, Aldrich liberally employs varying font colors, sizes and styles to cast doubt on the biggest forecast of them all. “After the 13th COLDEST February in Philadelphia and the coldest since 1979, many are scratching their heads on what to believe when it comes to global warming,” he wrote. “My goal is NOT to convince or persuade you one way or the other ó but rather, to expose you to the multiple sides of this argument. And yes, there are MULTIPLE sides.”

I totally believe that we are in a warm phase,” he began. “There’s no doubt the Earth is warmer.” But? “There’s a different side to what is causing climate change. I think too much emphasis has been put on CO2. I do not believe CO2 is a pollutant. I’m made of CO2, you’re made of CO2 ... the ocean is a reservoir of CO2.” Aldrich says he believes the Earth is warming because of natural cycles of the sun and the ocean. See full story here.

Jun 05, 2007
Let’s Move Cautiously on Warming

Economics editor Alan Wood, The Australian

So Kevin Rudd (Australia’s Leader of the Opposition Labor Party) is going to get rid of his Ford Territory and buy a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. Obviously he wants to avoid the Al Gore trap. Gore, self-anointed high priest of the green faith and awarded the sacred Oscar by vacuous Hollywood luvvies, has been exposed as a grade-A personal contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Gore is going to plant some trees (well, pay someone else to), a new act of repentance favoured by adherents of the faith.

The Prius is another. Ego te absolvo, hey Kevin? Rudd’s purchase of the Prius brings to mind an episode from South Park where the Prius was rebadged the Pious and its owners depicted as self-righteous prigs who considered themselves saviours of the planet, set apart from other sinful, polluting motorists. Says it all, really.

In its submission to John Howard’s Task Group on Emissions Trading, the Productivity Commission makes some pointed observations about buying hybrid petrol-electric cars such as the Prius. It says that buying such vehicles amounts to achieving greenhouse gas abatement (the cutting of emissions) at a cost of $400 a tonne of carbon dioxide.

Not only is this an extraordinarily high cost, alternatives costing $10 a tonne and less are ignored. “Of course,” the commission says, “it could be argued the purchase of hybrid vehicles helps in the development of a low-emissions technology (Rudd’s claim), but the question of whether this is the best way to support technology is rarely asked.” The answer is: it isn’t.  Rudd’s Prius is symbolic of a much wider problem. State Labor governments and local councils are also keen buyers of the Prius. And they do a lot of other unproductive things in the name of emissions abatement.  See full story here.

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