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ICECAP in the News
Feb 22, 2014
Can you believe John Kerry said that?

Craig Rucker

Update; See John Christy and Richard McNider: Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change

We are reminded of the dangers of consensus science in the past. For example, in the 18th century, more British sailors died of scurvy than died in battle. In this disease, brought on by a lack of vitamin C, the body loses its ability to manufacture collagen, and gums and other tissues bleed and disintegrate. These deaths were especially tragic because many sea captains and some ships’ doctors knew, based on observations early in the century, that fresh vegetables and citrus cured scurvy.

Nonetheless, the British Admiralty’s onshore Sick and Health Board of scientists and physicians (somewhat akin to the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) dismissed this evidence for more than 50 years because it did not fit their consensus theory that putrefaction (or internal decay) caused scurvy, which they felt could be cured by fresh air, exercise and laxatives.

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Can you believe John Kerry said that?

Of all the threats we face, is global warming truly the “most fearsome?”

Temperature records show no global warming since the nineties.  Climate computer models call for warming which has not occurred.

In a world where despotic and unstable regimes toil ceaselessly to arm themselves with actual nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, why would the U.S. Secretary of State rank global warming the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction?

Is CO2, the naturally occurring gas you just exhaled, truly more dangerous than a nuclear armed Iran or North Korea?  Is CO2 truly more dangerous than terrorists?

CFACT’s Marc Morano summed it up in what the Washington Examiner described as a “superbly insightful answer”:

“After more than 40 years in public life,” Morano said, “John Kerry is still seeking a legacy, and he has chosen global warming as his ticket. Kerry is steering the Obama administration’s international focus to embarrassingly bad man-made climate fears. Kerry has his sights set on committing the U.S. to a new U.N. global climate treaty in Paris in 2014. And he is using his pulpit as secretary of state to entangle the U.S. into a sequel to the Kyoto Protocol.”

President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and Hillary Clinton share a problem.  Their feckless foreign policy has been totally ineffective.  There is no sign of their efforts at statecraft leading to anything worthwhile in a major way, yet their failures abound.

The United States has lost a great deal of respect with foreign leaders.

For Obama, Kerry and Clinton the answer may be global warming—the last refuge of the ineffective.

Can Kerry shift focus away from real world issues and onto climate?

The UN plans to complete work on a new climate treaty in Paris next year.  Will Obama and Kerry try to create a legacy for themselves by locking the U.S. into a new regime of wasteful and destructive climate agreements? 

There’s something genuine to fear.

For nature and people too,

It is the long awaited sequel.
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Feb 08, 2014
Most Great Lakes ice since the mid 1990s UPDATED - 88.4% coverage

By Joe D’Aleo, CCM

It has been a brutal winter - ranking near the coldest ever in the north central including the northwest Great Lakes region, where it has AVERAGED over 10F below normal. Tom Skilling, Chicago’s long time TVmeteorologist notes

It’s been 3 decades since we’ve experienced a winter like this--and more snow’s on the way this weekend followed by another slug of arctic air Sunday night into the opening days of next week. The 2013-14 snow season has moved to 3rd snowiest of the past 129 years while meteorological winter 2013-14 ranks 8th coldest of the past 143 years.

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The ice has increased to cover 88.4% of the Great Lakes (73,790 square miles of ice!).

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According o the Canadian Ice Service this past week, we trailed only 1995/96 and 1993/94 for coverage for the date. they began records in 1980. It should be noted, the modern record may hav eben et in 1978/79.

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With more arctic air due the next 5 days with anomalies of minus 10 to 20F, we may surpass one or both days.

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It should be noted most of the region has also been very snowy with 200-300% of normal snowfall. As one commenter said “if this global warming gets any worse, we are going to all freeze to death”.

Before someone accuses me of not knowing the difference between weather and climate, I will note there is no difference. Climate is a description of weather - averages, ranges, means, and variances.  I know no one who denies climate change is real. We just dispute the cause(s). And oh by the way we predicted a very cold winter and Joe Bastardi and I even speculated on Weatherbell similarity to 1917/18 and 1993/94. See how similar 1917/18 and 2013/14 were in the Pacific anomalies. Focus on the big warm pool near Alaska and warm water near Indonesia which anchored convection there.

1918 january and February mean sea surface temperature anomalies.

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2014 january sea surface temperature anomalies

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The oceans just as they drive the seasonal patterns drive the climate regimes over longer periods including the cooling of the 1940s to 19070s, warming from 1979 to 1998 then the pause and soon the decline.. The sun drives the ocean cycles. CO2 goes along for the ride.

Jan 13, 2014
Let wind subsidies die

The wind production tax credit has long outlived any public policy usefulness. Late in 2013, Big Wind fought fiercely to renew its expiring subsidy but failed. We hope that means many members of Congress see this as a mature industry that long ago outgrew its infancy and understand that the nation’s new wealth of lower-cost natural gas has profoundly rewritten U.S. energy economics.

In the early 1990s, with dreams of cheap and clean wind energy ascendant, Congress lavished a generous subsidy on power from the tall, twirling turbines. The wind industry responded, and since then has increased its installed generating capacity 30-fold.

For 20-plus years the subsidy has been intermittent, although not as unreliable as the winds that drive the turbines. The most recent authorization, a 2013 extension tucked into the federal budget deal that avoided the so-called fiscal cliff, expired Dec. 31. Applause, please, for our do-little Congress: What’s known as the wind production tax credit has long outlived any public policy usefulness. Lawmakers now being urged by industry lobbyists to renew the subsidy retroactively instead should let it blow away.

We say this with no animus toward the bucolic concept of wind energy, whose clean-and-green image is to electrical generation what puppies and kittens are to the animal kingdom. Our concern is the reality of subsidized wind energy at a time when natural gas is more plentiful, and cheaper, than Washington could envision in the 1990s. Today wind generation is a comparatively expensive proposition that, whenever its tax subsidy temporarily has vanished, has seen the new construction of wind farms all but vanish too. These welfare payments to the industry have incentivized private investors to sink money into wind projects that, without the federal freebie, they’re eager (and probably smart) to avoid.

Like its cousins, the ethanol and solar industries, the wind lobby basks in political correctness and political favoritism: Big Wind, too, has grown comfortable in its dependence on federal and state governments that decide which energy industries will be winners or losers - discrimination enforced by squeezing taxpayers or rigging regulations.

News about eagles killed by turbines is an issue separate from government coddling, but one now emerging as a public relations debacle. In late November, Duke Energy agreed to pay $1 million in fines in the first criminal case brought against a wind company over the killings of federally protected birds, 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds slain at two wind projects in Wyoming. Robert G. Dreher, an acting assistant U.S. attorney general, explained the violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: “In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths.”

Duke said it is working with federal officials and field biologists to determine when it should shut down its turbines to limit bird deaths. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating similar cases elsewhere - and has referred seven of them to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution.

Motor vehicle drivers, illegal hunters and deaths by poisoning kill more eagles than turbines do. But growing publicity about wind farms chewing up eagles undercuts the industry’s promotion of itself as environmentally friendly. The National Audubon Society and other conservation groups are especially exercised about a new federal rule, announced in December, that lets wind farms obtain 30-year permits to lawfully kill bald and golden eagles. Many Americans who only have heard about neighbors of wind farms criticizing the turbines’ thrumming noises will have a far easier time relating to criminal cases based on huge blades pulverizing wildlife.

All of which pins the Obama administration between its dueling political loyalists: environmentalists learning about the 30-year eagle kill permits, and fans of renewable energy sources that don’t spew carbon dioxide.

Wind energy’s peculiar problem is that, because wind blows erratically, companies that rely on it also need backup generating capacity - typically fossil-fueled - for days when customers want electricity but the air is still.

The obvious solution here is for Congress and the White House to stop manipulating the tax code as America’s de facto energy policy: Thorough federal tax reform should sunset this arbitrary favoritism for wind energy and other politically favored industries.

Late in 2013, Big Wind fought fiercely to renew its expiring subsidy but failed. We hope that means many members of Congress see this as a mature industry that long ago outgrew its infancy and understand that the nation’s new wealth of lower-cost natural gas has profoundly rewritten U.S. energy economics.

The wind lobbyists will be back in 2014, pleading for more handouts from American taxpayers. Tell your members of Congress that a government $17 trillion in debt - and still borrowing heavily - can’t afford to keep protecting this industry from cheaper competition.

Jan 08, 2014
Bitter cold blasts Chicago, a city fighting climate change

Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

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Chicago was blasted Monday by the coldest weather in 18 years. Below zero temperatures and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour produced wind chills of minus 40 F. The deep freeze followed a winter storm that blanketed the area with 6 to 10 inches of snow on Sunday. The extreme cold and snow was a natural retort to Chicago’s policies to fight global warming.

On Sunday and into Monday, Chicago was mostly shut down.  More than 1,000 flights were cancelled at O’Hare Airport. Chicago public schools and most suburban schools were closed. Northwest Indiana was hit by over 10 inches of lake-effect snow, where officials of Lake County declared a state of emergency, banning all vehicles from snow-covered roads except emergency vehicles.

Temperatures at O’Hare Airport dropped to -15 F, breaking the old daily record of -14 F set in 1894 and 1988. The brutal temperatures were the coldest since the thermometer reached -19 F in 1996, but well short of the all-time cold record of -27 F set January 20, 1985.

The cold weather stands in sharp contrast to Chicago’s policies to slow global warming. In his Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan, Mayor Rahm Emanual lauds efforts to “...reduce pollution, and protect homes and communities from the effects of flooding and climate change.” In 2013, the mayor and city council passed an ordinance requiring businesses to audit and disclose energy usage in buildings of over 50,000 square feet. The city’s sustainability plan calls for citizens to install solar panels, consume renewable energy, and use bicycles, mass transit, and electric cars, rather than gasoline-powered automobiles.

University of Chicago professor David Archer is a strong proponent the theory of man-made warming. In his 2010 book The Climate Crisis, Archer notes that the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted reduced snowfall, “One of the robust findings of the report is that snow cover in most continental areas will dramatically decrease unless warming is stopped...Large areas are expected to become snow free.”

But there is no evidence of a snowfall shortage in Chicago. O’Hare Airport has already received 34.7 inches of snow this winter through January 5. This exceeds the average annual snowfall of 30.8 inches, with two/three months of winter yet to go.

Leading Chicago corporations tout their efforts to fight climate change. Steel company ArcelorMittal and financial firm Northern Trust boast of big reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Utility Exelon claims emission savings from costly new solar and wind projects, while winning a 2014 rate hike to pass higher costs on to electricity users.  Baxter International purchases renewable energy certificates to “offset” greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts may be great for corporate public relations, but are meaningless when it comes to the climate.

The greenhouse effect is a natural effect, and man-made influences are small. Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds. Ninety-six percent of the remaining portion of the greenhouse effect is due to natural emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from the oceans and biosphere. Human emissions are responsible for only about one percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect. If humankind completely eliminated CO2 emissions, the difference in global temperatures probably could not be detected.

Nevertheless, Chicago organizations continue a futile fight to control the climate. Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington, a Chicago suburb, has established an innovative “Green Tuesdays” program. School lights are off each Tuesday to raise student awareness about climate change and the environment.
Keep up the good work, Chicago. With the ample snow and bitter cold, your efforts to fight global warming appear to be working!

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism:  Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

Icecap Note: The Northern hemisphere has had 4 of its top 5 snowiest winters in the last 6 years. Last year’s November to April snow extent was the greatest on record. Archer is clearly clueless and should be ignored along with most other psuedo scientists and enviro nazis in the universities, media and government.

Dec 22, 2013
Not To Be Outdone By NASA In The Data Tampering Department

Steve Goddard, Real Science

The EU’s Envisat satellite used to agree with tide gauges that there isn’t a lot of sea level rise going on.

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But that just wouldn’t do anything to scare people, so one night they simply quadrupled sea level rise.

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The graph below shows how they lowered past sea level, and raised recent sea level to create the EU mandated scary appearance of sea level rising.

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And as for the NOAA GHCN and the derivative NASA tampering Steve posts this:

Thirteen Years Of NASA Data Tampering In Six Seconds

Posted on December 21, 2013 by stevengoddard

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If it doesn’t animate go here.

The animation above shows four versions of GISS 1930-1999 US temperatures from 1999, 2001, 2012, and 2013. NASA has repeatedly tampered* with the data to hide the decline in US temperatures since the 1930’s. Each successive alteration makes the past cooler and the present warmer.

Earlier versions showed even more of a decline, but I can’t locate digital data for them.

*Mosher says these adjustments are all first rate science.

Dec 06, 2013
The energy imperative

The Scientific Alliance

There are certain basics which we need to stay alive. For any animal, food and water top that list, since survival is impossible without them, but sufficient warmth and shelter come a close second. The needs of hunter/gatherer communities are much the same as for groups of animals with similar diets, although the use of fire increases the range of foods consumed.

The emergence of farming allowed larger settlements to develop, although food security was by no means guaranteed. Even today, with an enormous variety of food available to the great majority of the population of the developed world for the first time in history, around one billion people, principally in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are chronically undernourished.

Should we conclude, therefore, that food security is the biggest issue facing the world today? For the remaining bands of hunter/gatherers, it is certainly the key focus of their existence. But the great majority of those who go to bed hungry do not rely on game animals or wild plants; they are either subsistence farmers or the urban poor. In the first case, they are dependent on the success of their own harvests and do not have the money to buy additional food (nor, in many cases, the opportunity). For the urban poor, the problem is purely and simply a lack of money.

So, although food remains at the apex of the pyramid of needs, what we should really be considering is what is needed to either grow more food or to become prosperous enough to be able to afford to buy it. And the answer is: energy. Food is itself energy for the human body. For those of us lucky enough to live in the industrialised world (and for the minority of kleptocrats in poor countries) the enjoyment of food is one of the pleasures of life, with entire industries growing up to supply our needs (food manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and celebrity chefs, for example). But, ultimately, we eat to stay alive and healthy and be able to work to grow more food or earn money to buy it.

Subsistence farmers have only their own muscle power and that of any animals they may own to till their fields, plant, tend, weed and harvest their crops. This is a major constraint on both the area of land they can manage and the harvest they can expect from it. Yield is further limited by the availability of key nutrients: particularly nitrogen, but also potassium and phosphorus. So it was also in Europe until the industrial era.

Then the availability of steam power began an extended process of replacing the horse or ox (themselves offering a considerable advantage over puny humans) by the tractor. The invention of the Haber-Bosch process and its first commercial-scale use one hundred years ago made synthetic nitrogen fertilizers widely available and greatly increased the yield potential of existing land.

Nowadays, a relative handful of people grow much more food than produced from the same area at a time when the majority of people worked on the land. Rapid urbanisation in developing countries will mean that, before too long, agriculture will be a minor part of the economy of nearly every country, rather than being one of the largest sectors as at present for much of sub-Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia. But this seemingly unstoppable process of development can only continue if there is a reliable and affordable supply of energy to replace muscle power.

This is why, despite its engagement with the travelling circus that is the ongoing round of climate change negotiations, China will not be stopping building new power stations anytime soon. As some will point out, the country is installing lots of wind farms and solar panels but, in a country with such enormous energy needs, these pale into virtual insignificance compared to the coal-fired and nuclear capacity being installed.

According to a recently-posted web article (ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy in China, An Overview), the country gets about 8% of total primary energy from non-fossil sources. However, much of this is hydroelectricity: it has nearly 230GW of installed capacity (the largest of any country), compared to 75GW of wind and just 7GW of solar PV. China may be the world’s largest producer of PV cells (many of which are exported) and plans many more wind farms, but this does not represent a shift away from fossil fuels.

An article in the Guardian from late last year tells the story: More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show. The World Resources Institute found that 1,200 coal stations were being planned, about two-thirds of them in China and India. Some coal-fired plants in Beijing are being replaced by gas-fired ones, in a bid to reduce the capital’s notorious air pollution problem, but it seems clear that China and India are set for coal-fired growth for the next few decades.

China’s main comparative advantage is in low-cost manufacturing and this will not be compromised by raising energy prices unnecessarily. India, although with a less dynamic economy than its northern neighbour, can really only boost growth by exploiting similar labour cost advantages. And only by growing the economy will it be able to reduce the shockingly high level of undernourishment across the country.

Cheap and secure energy is the key to economic growth and productive farming. It is also, ultimately, the answer to the growing problem of fresh water scarcity. Water per se is not a limiting resource, but it is often either in the wrong place or too saline to use. A secure and expandable energy supply enables reverse osmosis to purify seawater, as well as powering more intelligent irrigation systems.

Global warming may or may not cause problems later this century, but a prosperous, well-fed population will be in a much better position to deal with this than a world where a billion people remain malnourished. Energy security is today’s imperative. 

Dec 02, 2013
Increasing cold weather extremes

By Madhav Khandekar, Excerpt from Special Reports on Extremes

Have cold weather extremes been on the rise in recent years? A quick survey of weather extremes since the millennium seems to suggest this may be the ‘new’ reality of climate change. The northern hemisphere has witnessed four severe winters (2002/03, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10) since 2000, with the European continent bearing the brunt of the cold weather. The severity of winter 2002/03 was felt all the way to south Asia, where hundreds of people in Vietnam and Bangladesh were reported to have died due to exposure to colder weather (due to lack of adequate heating in residential houses).

The winter of 2011/12 was quite severe, especially the month of February 2012 when minimum temperatures in parts of eastern Europe plunged to -40C in some locales, leading to several hundred deaths. The winter of 2012/13 was also colder than normal, with March 2013 setting record-breaking low temperatures in the UK, Berlin and parts of eastern Germany. Over North America, the winters of 2002/03, 2007/08 and 2009/10 were
significantly colder and snowier than normal and were linked to an extreme negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, a slow-varying large-scale atmospheric flow pattern (Seager et al. 2010). Winter severity has also increased in northern India in recent years, where several hundred deaths (mostly of elderly people living in houses with no heat or insulation) have been reported in the last five years.

Several papers published in the last three years (Benestad 2010; Cattiaux et al. 2010; Lockwood et al. 2010) have linked the cold European winters of the last ten years to low solar activity (see NIPCC post on ‘Extreme cold winters over Europe’, dated 12 February 2012). Many solar scientists now suggest that winters in Europe could become even colder, as the sun enters a grand minimum in the next few years.

Besides Europe and North America, the entire continent of South America has seen colder winters over the last five years. The winters of 2007 (July in particular) and 2010 (June to July) were significantly colder than normal and several dozen deaths were reported in Argentina and Chile. Some locales in Argentina recorded low temperatures of −25C, and in July 2007 Buenos Aires recorded its first snowfall since 1918. The most recent winter (July 2013) saw snowfall at several dozen locales in Argentina, Chile and parts of southern Brazil (see Khandekar 2010, for a list of additional cold weather extremes).

It is of interest to note here the lack of news items on cold weather extremes in the media.

Most of the media seem to be obsessed with extremes of heat, completely ignoring cold weather extremes, despite these apparently being on the rise and despite the IPCC’s science failing to offer an explanation for them. In fact, the IPCC extreme weather events table projects ‘fewer cold days and frost in future’. It is also of interest to note here that most climate scientists and advocates of the global warming hypothesis have ignored the
‘cold’ reality of present climate change. The IPCC (2007) has discussed in some detail the European heatwave of summer 2003, but made no mention of the severely cold winter of 2002/03 and the deaths it caused in south Asia. The latest IPCC SPM AR5 released in Stockholm in September 2013 once again fails to mention increasing cold weather extremes of recent years.

Se support for the northern hemisphere winters cooling since 1995 here.

Also see the 17 year winter trends are negative for all 9 climate regions and the contiguous US.

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Nov 22, 2013
Austrian Meteorologists Stupefied Into Silence! Data From Alps Show Marked Cooling Last 2-3 Decades

Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone

Perhaps you’ve been wondering why the alarmists have been so shrill lately? It’s not because the climate is overheating, to the contrary it’s beginning to cool and so their sham is about to be blown out into the open for everyone to see.

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Austrian meteorological data show that European Alps have been cooling, at times massively, over the last 20 years. Public domain photo.

Evaluated data from the Austrian ZAMG meteorological institute now unmistakably show that the Alps have been cooling over the last 20 years and longer, “at some places massively” thus crassly contradicting all the loud claims, projections, and model scenarios made earlier by global warming scientists.

German meteorologist Dominik Jung reports on the data he himself evaluated from the European Alps and concludes at the German-language Huffington Post here:

We are obviously very far away from milder winters. The trend actually is moving in the opposite direction! A few years ago climatologists advised winter sports locations in the Alps to reduce their investments in winter sports facilities’ because of the ever increasing mean temperatures, they soon would not be worth it. So we ask ourselves, which increasing temperatures are the ladies and gentlemen even talking about?”

Some places have seen “massive cooling”

According to an expert review conducted by the Zentralanstalt fur Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), the Austrian state weather service, using weather data from the last 20 years or more: “Winters there indeed are shown to have gotten colder over the last 20 years, and in some places quite massively. The last two winters at Kitzbuhel were in fact the coldest of the last 20 years.”

Jung then writes that also four other high elevation stations in the Alps were assessed: Zugspitze in Germany, Schmittenhohe in Austria, Sonnblick in Austria and Santis in Switzerland. Result:

They all yielded the same amazing result: Winters in the Alps over the last decades have become significantly colder, the data show.”

Jung writes that data from extra long datasets from 20 to 30 years were examined, “just like climatologists always insist.”

Jung then informs readers that he asked the Austrian meteorological experts on site what they thought of the results. According to Jung, the reaction was either dead silence induced by shock, or attempts to downplay the results. Had the data shown warming instead, then of course we would be hearing just the opposite of silence and downplaying...we’d be hearing the hysterical screams of bloody climate murder!

Humiliated science

Jung speculates that the reason meteorologists and climatologists don’t want to hear about the results is because “it doesn’t fit with their world view.” After all, just a few years ago they were cocksure about their predictions of winters without snow and that skiing was only going to be possible at extremely high elevations. Science just possibly could not be humiliated to a greater extent.

Near the end of his Huffington Post essay, Jung comments that it appears that “climate warming has become a religion. Those belonging to it do not tolerate new findings”, even those that stem from solid observations and measurements.

Meteorologist Jung concludes that it’s almost scandalous that the responsible authorities are simply ignoring these findings.

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In the US, some at NOAA research and who authored the CCSP documents and support material for the EPA promised the same. The worst offender may be the Union of Concerned Scientists. They are not really scientists but environmental advocist. Unfortunately they have displaced the real scientists at the universities in many locations. The Universities have little regard for the truth but see their chances of getting funding with warmists on staff.

In a meeting in 2007 on Mt. Washington these UCS reps form the UNH and other locations advised the ski and sugar industry that AGW will destroy their industries. That winter set new record for snow in New England and across the US north to Alaska. Last year UCS testified to NH legislature promising the same. Record snows in February and March followed. We need to purge our universities of UCS members and replace with real scientists for our children’s sake. I give talks to college students. In one class, a student stood up after my lecture and said he was mad...not at me but at his school. He said he paid for two courses in climate science and never heard in class of many of the factors I discussed in that lecture. In another even larger school a real meteorologist/climatologist who teaches a course and in his section on climate takes a very balanced approach was told by the Environmental Scientist chair of the department if he wanted to continue to teach there he could only talk weather as in the climate section he was bringing up factors that he could not talk intelligently about. These friends are not isolated instances.

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