March 30, 2010

"Change" is Not New


By Thomas Sowell

When ancient fossils of creatures that live on the ocean floor have been found in rock formations at the summit of Mount Everest, that ought to give us a clue that big changes in the earth are nothing new, and that huge changes have been going on long before human beings appeared on the scene.

The recent statement that the earth was warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today, made by the climate scientist who is at the heart of the recent scandal about "global warming" statistics, ought to at least give pause to those who are determined to believe that human beings must be the reason for "climate change."

Other climate scientists have pointed out before now that the earth has warmed and cooled many times over the centuries. Contrary to the impression created in much of the media and in politics, no one has denied that temperatures change, sometimes more than they are changing today.

Three years ago, a book by Singer and Avery was published with a title that says it all: "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years."

Contrary to clever political spin that likened those who refused to join the "global warming" hysteria to people who denied the Holocaust, no one denied that climates change. Indeed, some of the climate scientists who have been the biggest critics of the current hysteria have pointed out that climates had changed back and forth, long before human beings created industrial societies or drove SUVs.

It is those who have been pushing the hysteria who have been playing fast and loose with the facts, wanting to keep crucial data from becoming public, and even "losing" some of that data that supposedly proved the most dire consequences. It has not been facts but computer models at the heart of the "global warming" crusade.

Nothing is easier than coming up with computer models that prove almost anything. Back during the 1970s, there were computer models predicting mass starvation and global cooling. The utter failure of those predictions ought to make us at least skeptical of computer models, especially computer models based on data that advocates want to keep from public view or even "lose" when investigators start closing in.

On climate issues, as on many other issues, the biggest argument of the left has been that there is no argument. The word "science" has been used as a magic mantra to shut up critics, even when those critics have been scientists with international reputations as specialists in climate science.

Stealing the aura of science for political purposes is nothing new for the left. Karl Marx called his brand of Utopianism "scientific socialism." Even earlier, in the 18th century, the Marquis de Condorcet referred to "engineering" society. In the 20th century, H.G. Wells referred to the creation of a lasting peace as a heavy and complex "piece of mental engineering."

Genuine science is the opposite of dogmatism, but that does not keep dogmatists from invoking the name of science in order to shut off debate. Science is a method of analysis, rather than simply a set of conclusions. In fact, much of the history of science is a history of having to abandon the prevailing conclusions among scientists, in light of new evidence or new methods of analysis.

When the scientists in England who were promoting "global warming" hysteria sent e-mails out to colleagues, urging them not to reveal certain data and not to let the fact become widely known that there was a freedom-of-information act in Britain, they were behaving like politicians, rather than scientists.

The huge political, financial and ideological investment of many individuals and institutions in the "global warming" hysteria makes it virtually impossible for many of the climate crusaders to gamble it all on a roll of the dice, which is what empirical verification is. It is far safer to dogmatize and to demonize those who think otherwise.

Educators who turn schools into indoctrination centers have been going all out to propagandize a whole generation with Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth"-- which has in fact carried a message that has been very convenient for Al Gore financially, producing millions of dollars from his "green" activities.


March 28, 2010

Unsettling the Settled Science

Problems with a California temperature monitoring station represent in microcosm why the supposedly settled issue of climate change has become so unsettled in the last few months.

FROM-The American

By Steven F. Hayward

If you want to understand why the controversy over global warming won’t go away, forget combing through hundreds of hacked emails or trying to understand the enormously complex computer climate models that spit out predictions of our future doom. Instead, just check out the Marysville, California, temperature monitoring station that NASA and other climate researchers use to track temperature trends. The problems with the Marysville station represent in microcosm why the supposedly “settled” issue of climate change has become so unsettled in the last few months.

The Marysville temperature station is located at the city’s fire department, next to an asphalt parking lot and a cell phone tower, and only a few feet away from two air conditioning compressors that spew out considerable heat. These sources of heat amplification mean that the temperature readings from the Marysville station are useless for determining accurate temperatures for the Marysville area.

Indeed, the Marysville station violates the quality control standards of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA admits that stations like Marysville, sited close to artificial heat sources such as parking lots, can produce errors as large as 5 degrees Celsius. That is not the only shortcoming of the Marysville data; it turns out that daily data were missing for as many as half the days of any given month. Either the device failed to self-record, or no one recorded the daily data as procedure requires. NASA simply filled in the gaps in the data by “interpolating.”

The Marysville station is only one among the more than 1,200 weather stations scattered throughout the United States from which NASA and NOAA generate data for their climate research, and is one of the key data sources for the claim that the planet has experienced a 0.8 degree Celsius increase in temperature since the beginning of the 20th century. But a survey of more than two-thirds of these stations reveal that the Marysville station is not an anomaly.

To the contrary, 89 percent of the 860 temperature stations surveyed fail to meet the National Weather Service’s site requirements that stations must be located at least 30 feet away from any artificial heat source. Stations seem to have been sited for purposes of convenience rather than accuracy and consistency. Some have been moved over the years with noticeable changes in reported temperature ranges, but NASA reports continuous time series data from these stations without taking note of their relocation.

Who performed this revealing audit of these important data-generating instruments? NASA? NOAA? The Government Accountability Office? The National Academy of Sciences? A congressional committee perhaps? No to all of the above. Meteorologist Anthony Watts used the Internet to recruit an army of 650 volunteers to photograph weather stations around the country and send him the results. Watts posted photos of dozens of the worst offenders on his website,, and is adding more all the time

The problem of improper instrumentation and inaccurate data is not limited to the United States. Other volunteer cataloguing efforts have revealed similar problems with temperature stations in Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, South America, China, Africa. . . well, in a word, everywhere. In other words, the entire land-based temperature records have quality control problems.

NASA acknowledges these problems in general, but in its latest defense of itself, released two weeks ago, NASA claims to adjust the raw data from these temperature stations to account for the “urban heat island effect” (the term of art for artificial sources of temperature bias such as heat-absorbing paved surfaces and buildings). What NASA calls its “homogeneity adjustment procedure”—matching up urban data with rural station data—finds the urban heat island effect to be very small, only 0.1 degree Celsius over the last century.

Does NASA inspect each station to see if it is near a heat sink such as a parking lot? No: it delineates weather station locations with nighttime satellite photos. In other words, if a station is near an urban light source as seen from space, it is classified as urban and adjusted accordingly. But many of the rural stations suffer from the defects Watts’s volunteer army has documented, so NASA’s method may not account for station bias properly.

NASA’s latest paper admits this: “Much higher resolution would be needed to check for local problems with the placement of thermometers relative to possible building obstructions.” NASA simply assumes that the errors wash out in both directions, (though in some cases it appears NASA omits stations whose temperature records show no warming or even a declining trend).

We shouldn’t necessarily blame the good folks who sited weather stations over the years. The evolution and deployment of weather stations over the last century and a half was not done with the rigor necessary to answer the kind of precise questions climate science attempts.

It is possible NASA’s climate scientists are right and have adjusted the data more or less correctly, but if a pharmaceutical company came to the Food and Drug Administration with data on a drug trial that was this sloppy and prone to manipulation, the FDA would not be amused. Yet we’re basing multi-trillion-dollar global decisions in part on this work. And it doesn’t help that NASA’s lead scientist in their temperature trend work is the über -alarmist James Hansen, who advocates civil disobedience to shut down coal-fired power plants and crimes-against-humanity trials for climate skeptics. It’s not just the temperature stations that have a serious bias problem.

Steven F. Hayward is the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of the forthcoming Almanac of Environmental Trends.


March 25, 2010

Heated discussions

FROM-Times Higher Education

The email conversations at the heart of 'Climategate' suggest a campaign to nobble journals, marginalise climate-change sceptics and withhold data from other researchers, says Andrew Montford

The leaking, or perhaps hacking, of hundreds of emails from the servers of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia late last year has thrown the already turbulent world of climatology into turmoil. The significance of the emails is hotly disputed, but sceptics of the so-called consensus position allege that they contain evidence of the undermining of the peer-review process, attempts to pressurise journals, the withholding of data and code from outsiders, and at least one episode of the manipulation of results.

The accusations and denials will fly for months to come. So far, no fewer than five inquiries have been announced into various aspects of what has come to be known as Climategate, and some of these will not report until the middle of the year. However, regardless of the outcome, the affair raises ethical issues that will be of interest far beyond the narrow confines of climate science. Some of the most important concern the world of academic publishing.

Among the most serious allegations to emerge in the wake of the leaked emails is that CRU scientists tried to "nobble" scientific journals that accepted papers from sceptics. There are suggestions in the emails that as many as four different journals may have had their normal procedures interfered with.

One particular series of emails dating back to 2003 is a case in point. The story unfolds in messages exchanged by some of the most prominent names in climatology, including Michael Mann, the author of the famous "hockey stick" paper, Phil Jones, the CRU director who has stood aside in the wake of the Climategate affair, and Mike Hulme, at that point the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change Research and now a prominent media commentator on climatology and its policy implications.

In the messages, the scientists discuss how to deal with the recent publication of a paper in the journal Climate Research by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, two prominent climate-change sceptics from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Mann and his team speak of encouraging colleagues to stop treating Climate Research as a valid publication for scientific findings, and of "getting rid of" both the paper's editor, Chris de Freitas, and the journal's editor-in-chief, Hans von Storch. Another plan involved trying to precipitate a mass resignation from the editorial board. In the event, four of the journal's editors did in fact resign in protest, including von Storch.

Clearly readers who object strongly to elements of the content of a journal have the right to protest - the readers of, say, the Journal of Evolutionary Biology could not be expected to accept the publication of articles about creationism. Few would see the submission of a letter of complaint to the editor as crossing any ethical boundaries in these circumstances. However, when more aggressive measures are adopted by unhappy readers, the nature of the protest and the circumstances that precipitate it must give journal editors pause for thought.

While intelligent design may be objectionable in a scientific journal, Soon and Baliunas' paper was clearly within the boundaries of the scientific method - a valid contribution to the literature, albeit perhaps a flawed one. In these circumstances, how should a journal editor respond to a letter of protest? A single letter may be shrugged off, but what about a campaign of letter writing? This may appear much more like an attempt to impose an orthodoxy than a valid protest. There are, after all, well-established approaches to dealing with the publication of flawed papers, namely the submission of formal comments and critiques.

There are other ways of registering a protest, too. Readers can simply threaten to take their subscriptions elsewhere, and perhaps their authored contributions, too. There is an interesting hint of this sort of behaviour elsewhere in the Climategate emails from 2007 onwards, where scientists discuss the possibility that the International Journal of Climatology might accede to sceptics' requests and force the disclosure of all research materials, including intermediate results.

A discussion ensues in which there appears to be an agreement that this would be unacceptable and that mainstream scientists should refuse to publish in the journal if such a policy were put in place. This brings us to another somewhat nuanced question: what is an ethical way to deal with a journal?

Clearly scientists are free to read whatever journals they like and to publish wherever they choose, but is there a difference between cancelling a subscription and organising a campaign of threats to do so? If it is valid to choose to publish in a different journal, is it still valid to inform a journal that the most prominent practitioners of the specialism it covers will shun it if it does not toe the line? At what point does valid protest elide into something more sinister?

In the case of the International Journal of Climatology, it appears that while the journal was approached regarding its policy, there is no evidence that any threats were ever made. It is perhaps worth noting, however, that at the time of writing, the journal has still to finalise its policy on data sharing.

Issues of the availability of data and computer code have been a constant bone of contention between sceptics and mainstream climatologists. While newspaper headlines have been dominated by what appear to be attempts by CRU staff and their associates in North America to delete correspondence requested under the Freedom of Information Act, the more important story in terms of the conduct of science in this country concerns the repeated refusals of CRU staff to release the data and code underlying their global-temperature index.

As far back as 2005, Jones rejected a request for the data, telling Warwick Hughes, a sceptic and self-described "freelance earth scientist" with several peer-reviewed publications to his name: "Even if (the World Meteorological Organization) agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

Similar obstruction is revealed in attempts by Steve McIntyre, a sceptic and the editor of the blog, to obtain the data underpinning the famous Yamal tree-ring chronology, which was published by the CRU's Keith Briffa and became a critical ingredient in most of the important global-temperature reconstructions.

Having had a direct approach turned down by Briffa, McIntyre approached Science, the journal in which the series had most recently been published. It excused itself by saying that the chronology had been published earlier in a different article, and suggested that McIntyre approach the author of the earlier publication. With the author being Briffa, continued non-disclosure was a foregone conclusion. When the journal in question, Quaternary Science Reviews, also turned down a materials request, a dead end was reached.

Only in 2008, when a third journal finally enforced its own data policy and made Briffa release his figures, was it revealed that parts of this critical dataset were based on just a handful of trees, raising major questions over the data's reliability and role in important public policy decisions.

Is it valid to refuse to release research materials to opponents? It is known that the CRU temperature dataset was sent to a sympathetic researcher in the US just months before a request for the same data from a sceptic was turned down on the grounds that confidentiality agreements prevented their release. In this light, the CRU's claims that the data are confidential look far-fetched.

Sceptics are universally of the opinion that the scientific method requires all research materials to be released to friend and foe alike, but the Climategate emails suggest paranoia among some mainstream climatologists - a sense that sceptics were on a campaign to do them down. This appears to have enabled them to justify to their consciences a steadfast refusal to provide information to their opponents.

If, as the emails suggest, some scientists are in fact putting illegitimate pressure on journals, either to influence the peer-review process or to prevent the release of data, it is easy to see how editors may find it difficult to respond. In the face of a threat by the most prominent scientists in any specialism to shun a given publication, many would surely capitulate.

But given the centrality of replication to the scientific method and of climatology to political policy decisions, a way must be found to ensure that data and code are universally available. If journals were to present a united front on the issue of the availability of materials, it would be a valuable start.

Andrew Montford is the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science (2010), a history of some of the events between the publication of the Soon and Baliunas paper and the leaking of the Climatic Research Unit emails. He works in scientific publishing. More...

March 24, 2010

Viva La France

France abandons plans to introduce carbon fuel tax over competition fears

FROM-Daily Mail

France today abandoned all plans to introduce a carbon fuel tax aimed at combating global warming.

The policy u-turn will be viewed as a huge disappointment to the green lobby around the world.
Many had hoped that if a major western economy like France took the lead in taxing harmful emissions, then other countries would follow suit.
But the scrapping of the tax plan was announced by Prime Minister Francois Fillon who said it could only be introduced across Europe so as to 'avoid harming the competitiveness of French companies'.
He told a meeting of MPs in Parliament that the priority for the country was getting its stagnating economy working again following the international financial crisis.
Last year President Nicolas Sarkozy said a tax on the use of oil, gas and coal would make his country one of the greenest in the world.
It was provisionally set at pounds 15 per per tonne of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2), and would apply to homes as well as businesses.
Mr Sarkozy said money from the new tax - which would amount to some pounds 4billion a year - would be spent on green initiatives.
But there was stiff opposition from across the political spectrum, with critics saying the tax was just a ploy to boost ailing state finances.
In polls, two-thirds of French voters said they were opposed to the new levy, fearing they would struggle to pay higher bills. The government was forced to amend its proposals after they were rejected by the high court in December.
The court ruled then that too many exemptions created inequalities and unfairly placed the burden of cuts on a minority of consumers.
Its ruling prompted the government to respond with fresh safeguards for businesses, but now it was has been scrapped altogether.
The climbdown comes during a disastrous period for Mr Sarkozy and his ruling UMP party, who have just been roundly beaten by the Socialist opposition in regional elections.

Mr Fillon told the meeting of MPs today that the government's priorities were now 'growth, jobs, competitiveness and fighting deficits'.


Don't Jump Jim !

Climategate: James Hansen Finds Complying with FOIA To Be Too Much of a Burden

The longtime Al Gore adviser, with his taxpayer-funded salary, finds the public's right to know how their money is spent to be unacceptable.

FROM-Pajamas Media

by Christopher Horner

A “tipping point” appears to be at hand for James Hansen, the longtime Al Gore adviser and godfather of the modern global warming movement.

Hansen now seems so disgusted with the conditions of his employment — on the taxpayer dime — that he no longer sees the conditions as acceptable.

As PJM readers know, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) got caught sexing up the post-2000 U.S. temperatures. I asked NASA for emails and other documents regarding their discussions about this. After more than two years, NASA coughed up some emails under the Freedom of Information Act, revealing internal discussions (and one particularly revealing external conversation) about losing data and other credibility issues. They also revealed discussion about NASA’s data being less reliable than — and indeed reliant upon — the non-existent Climategate temperature history from Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU).

These existed among other revelations (affirmations?), such as absurdly chummy relationships with establishment media and the ducking of questions from the less friendly reporters. (Additionally, there were some other discoveries which we will explore here at PJM and PJTV in coming weeks.)

Now, our FOIAs and those of others are apparently overwhelming Dr. Hansen’s media appearance and screed-writing time. He has taken to NASA’s website for yet another display of angst over his being one of the few honest visionaries fending off the dark forces working to subvert global salvation. Though this time, he doesn’t condemn those such as myself for crimes against humanity, a pleasant surprise.
Hansen writes:

Somehow we have to do a better job of communicating. The tricks being used by people supporting denial and business-as-usual are recognizably dirty, yet effective. We are continually burdened by sweeping FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, which reduce our ability to do science and write it up (perhaps this is their main objective), a waste of tax-payer money. Our analyses are freely available on the GISS web site as is the computer program used to carry out the analysis and the data sets that go into the program.

The material that we supplied to some recent FOIA requests was promptly posted on a website, and within minutes after that posting someone found that one of the e-mails included information about how to access Makiko Sato’s password-protected research directory on the GISS website (we had not noticed this due to the volume of material). Within 90 minutes, and before anyone else who saw this password information thought it worth reporting to GISS staff, most if not all of the material in Makiko’s directory was purloined by someone using automated “web harvesting” software and re-posted elsewhere on the web. The primary material consisted of numerous drafts of webpage graphics and article figures made in recent years.

It seems that a primary objective of the FOIA requestors and the “harvesters” is discussions that they can snip and quote out of context. On the long run, these distortions of the truth will not work and the public will realize that they have been bamboozled. Unfortunately, the delay in public understanding of the situation, in combination with the way the climate system works (inertia, tipping points) could be very detrimental for our children and grandchildren. The public will need to put more pressure on policymakers, enough to overcome the pressure from special financial interests, if the actions needed to stabilize climate are to be achieved.

As the FOIA emails show, Hansen, et al spend a significant amount of time spinning the press and massaging posts for the RealClimate website (which was established to defend the indefensible “Hockey Stick” and to attack author Michael Crichton), in addition to dealing with FOIA requests.

Only one of these activities is a required condition of Hansen’s employment. (PJM will be publishing some upcoming additional examples of GISS wasting taxpayer time and money.)

I’m curious what Hansen refers to with his statements regarding how to access Makiko Sato’s password-protected research directory.

Hansen says his team, followed by NASA’s FOIA team, inadvertently let some information slip that they didn’t want to be public. (And naturally, he does not blame his people for the error). I believe Hansen here — it probably wasn’t a conscious act to turn over the admission that NASA’s data set no longer exists for any legal or policy purpose.

However, given Hansen’s history and his use of the speculative “most if not all,” is this just another attempt by Hansen to equate those who disagree with or annoy him with the criminal and unethical?

How exactly was the described material accessed? Is Hansen’s claim regarding the event true, or a fabrication? He does have a history of moonbattery, including his insistence that presidents named George Bush have muzzled him — even as he gave countless interviews, and numerous FOIA emails pay homage to him as a media king.

Further, recall the spin, post-Climategate, was that the scientists caught subverting transparency statutes — among other transgressions — merely had to learn to “communicate better.” This spin continues here, as does the persistent claim that their messages are “out of context.” This was demonstrably untrue in the case of the “Climategate” emails — posted in their entirety within their relevant email thread — as it is with the GISS emails which we posted in full.

Analyses are available at GISS’s website, but admissions about the unreliability of those analyses were only available through FOIA, which seems to be what has Hansen’s attention.

My advice to Hansen: if this condition of your lucrative public employment is, in hindsight and amid all of the revelations, now no longer acceptable to you, you are the person best positioned to do something about that.


March 18, 2010

Suffocation by proxy

Obama's EPA stifles new energy gains

FROM-Washington Examiner

It would be simpler if President Obama leveled with energy industry officials and the American people and admitted he's doing everything in his power to suffocate this country's ability to find and develop critically needed new energy supplies. But instead of being honest about it, Obama hides behind misleading rhetoric about the wonders of "green" energy, even as his minions erect a multitude of new bureaucratic roadblocks to the development of the oil and natural gas resources needed to keep American homes heated, factories humming, and laptops processing. These new resources could also create millions of new jobs, generate trillions of dollars in tax revenues, and spark economic expansion in rural areas like western Pennsylvania and upstate New York that have known only decline for generations.

Last week, it was Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing that no new permits will be issued for outer continental shelf development until 2014 at the earliest. Salazar has also used bureaucratic obfuscation to delay new energy development on Western lands. There are billions of recoverable barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas in those areas, enough to put the United States well on the way to complete energy independence. Obama is instead spending billions of tax dollars on renewable energy resources that can't possibly supply even a fourth of this nation's critical energy needs for many decades to come.

This week, it's Lisa Jackson, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency head, putting another pillow over the face of the energy industry: A "comprehensive research study to investigate the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on water quality and public health." Her agency will spend $1.9 million on the first year of the study and unspecified amounts in the years thereafter. Hydraulic fracturing is when water and minute amounts of nontoxic chemicals are injected deep underground into rock formations to free previously unreachable stores of oil and gas. The technology opens up immense natural gas resources like the Marcellus Shale area of economically blighted rural regions of western Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and West Virginia.

Jackson forgot to mention "concerns" about hydraulic fracturing come only from environmental groups seeking to stop all uses of fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas. Jackson's announcement followed the Washington premiere of the anti-fossil fuel "GasLand" propagandamentary produced by some of these same groups. Two more facts Jackson didn't mention: Never in the 60-year history of hydraulic fracturing has it been linked to a single proven public health threat to water quality; and the EPA has already studied hydraulic fracturing, most recently in 2004, when it found no threat. Clearly, this new study is about stopping fossil fuel development, not protecting public


Green Manna

Breaking the Obama Code: The Green Money Machine

FROM-American Thinker

By Patti Villacorta

As a few dozen dot com billionaires gathered in a Palo Alto living room one evening in early 2007, then-Senator Obama rallied potential new donors over the speakerphone. After the call, the host John Roos, a prominent lawyer, emphasized what most of his guests already knew. The clean-energy revolution was gaining momentum. The election in 2008 would be the critical moment. The ethics-based green revolution could be passed into law and Obama was their guy. Roos raised much money and opened many doors for Obama that evening. In May 2009, despite initial criticism from Japan, Roos was given the plum appointment of U.S. Ambassador.
Roos, who had handpicked his guest list carefully, was a kingmaker in the progressive, green, and Bay Area billionaires club. The polls showing America's rising concerns about ocean levels reflected the hard work of Silicon Valley hedge fund managers and venture capitalists.

The Obama Exploratory team had formed and the candidacy announcement was scheduled for early February. But Jude Barry, a political strategist and software programmer, wasn't one to hedge his bets. In late December of 2006 he quietly filed paperwork and created Obama for America Draft Committee (FEC ID #C00431130).

Jude Barry is one of many Howard Dean loyalists who helped Obama win the White House. Once labeled as a "self-styled Machiavellian apparatchik" by the San Jose political press, Barry helped develop Dean's net roots campaign that unraveled with a scream in Iowa. Still, the political landscape had been changed forever by Barry and fellow Deaniacs including Christopher Edley, UC Berkeley Law School Dean, Patrick Gaspard, Obama's political director, Jeremy Ben Ami, former Clinton staffer and founder of the anti-Israel J Street, and assistant attorney general Ron Weich.

Co-founder of Catapult Strategies with Dean Campaign manager Joe Trippi, Barry became well known in Silicon Valley political circles where he grew up and attended Catholic school with another assistant attorney general: Tony West. West is the Bay Area lawyer recently revealed as defense attorney for American Taliban John Walker Lindh.

Barry collected six $5000 donations from 12/28/06 and 12/30/06, including one from eBay millionaire Tom Adams III. At the same time Steven Churchwell, a partner at DLA Piper LLC's Government Affairs Group in Sacramento, listed himself as PAC Treasurer. Churchwell's bio states he "assists clients through the challenging waters of California government and politics." Areas of concentration include Ballot measures, Internal Investigations, and PAC regulations.

Obama's courtship with the high-tech crowd had begun back in early 2005. Within weeks of his swearing-in, the new United States Senator launched his Hopefund Pac then flew west to mingle. At the time, Jude Barry was managing Obama-backer Steve Westley's gubernatorial primary against Phil Angelides, the national chair of the Apollo Alliance. Other Apollo Board members include Dan Reicher, Google's Director of Climate Change, Robert Redford, and Van Jones, Obama's ex-Green Czar. Jones worked on Arianna Huffington's brief run for governor.

Obama scored big. Eileen Chamberlain-Donahue, wife of eBay CEO John Donahue took a liking to Obama. She went on to become Chairwoman of the National Women for Obama Finance Committee, and won an invitation to watch his Denver speech from a luxury suite with Penny Pritzker and Oprah.

By November 2006 Hopefund had raised $2.5 million. Some of Obama's early donors include the Warren Buffetts, co-founder of Espirit clothing company Susie Buell, Steven Spielberg, Attorney General Eric Holder, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski, Christina Romer, the Chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Craig's List CEO Craig Newmark, David Geffen, as well as Jon Gruber, the MIT economist criticized recently for failing to disclose HHS consultancy contracts.

Edward Robinson's piece on fundraising scene in the wealthy Bay Area points out:

Venture capitalists ... are struggling with an investing climate that's the gloomiest since the bust of 2000 and '01. In the first half of 2008, only five venture-backed companies went public ... the poorest showing in five years. ``Almost everybody who's been in the Valley for any period of time is pursuing cleantech now,'' says Dixon Doll. .

That's where VCs see Obama coming in. In his policy proposal, the senator pledged to invest $150 billion over 10 years to develop solar farms in the Sunbelt, plug-in hybrid cars that get 150 miles per gallon (64 kilometers per liter) and clean coal that doesn't spew carbon.

Obama knew he needed California to win and green billionaires knew they needed Obama. A new loophole, the Unauthorized Independent Expenditure (IE), could make it happen. IEs can spend and raise unlimited money as long as there is no coordination with the candidate. An IE at its most brazen is SEIU's Committee on Political Education (SEIU COPE), formed in order to raise $26,009,685.53 in support of Obama, and $3,163,276.29 to oppose McCain.

The 2008 report "Independent Expenditures: The Giant Gorilla in Campaign Finance," reveals million dollar contributions and multi-million dollar expenditures are common. Californians for a Better Government (CPG), the highly controversial IE formed for the Angelides' campaign collected $10,015,643 with $8.7 million coming from one pocket: Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulous and his daughter Eleni Tsakopolous-Kournalakis. Married to the President Emeritus of The Washington Monthly, Ms Tsakopolous-Kournalakis now serves as Ambassador to Hungary.

CPG hired Steve Churchwell as Treasurer just as Obama for America Draft Committee would a few months later. Churchwell landed at the center of a probe involving incorporation irregularities. The Barry/Churchwell team continues making news. Along with a cryptography and electronic signature expert, they recently unveiled Verafirma Inc, then filed suit requiring San Mateo Superior Court to accept electronic signatures on an initiative petition.

Although Angelides lost to Schwarzenegger, he received a campaign donation from Paul Pelosi (Nancy's husband). In January 2009 Angelides delivered billions in stimulus money for Apollo's big, "new" green revolution initiative. First unveiled at a 2006 Conference co- sponsored with Bob Borosage, Angelides' friend from Jesse Jackson's campaign, Apollo's green revolution themed conference featured Kerry, Edwards, Dean, Obama and others vowing to take the party back from the centrist DLC.

In May 2009, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid selected Angelides to chair their Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) tasked with investigating the cause of the 2007-2010 financial crisis. The Angelides pick prompted complaints of conflicts-of-interest mainly around issues like pension funds. Strangely, his seat on the Board of the Climate Prosperity Alliance (CPA) went unmentioned.

CPA describes itself as a "global network of financiers, businesses, economic development authorities, scientists and NGO's." Marc Weiss, CPA Chair, served as Special Assistant to Andrew Cuomo and Henry Cisneros under Bill Clinton. CPA endorses the expansive policies of the U.N. General Assembly's 2009 'Global Green New Deal.' CPA also advocates $1 trillion of green investments per year in order to "re-deploy assets" and solve worldwide financial instability."

Weeks before falsified documents surfaced confirming global warming as little more than another far-left power grab, a CPA report celebrated $1,248,740,645,930.00 invested since 2007. The monies came from finance institutes and corporations in North America, Europe, China, India, Japan and Brazil.

Welcome to the ethics-based global revolution. The tangle of corrupt, hypocritical liars is made far worse by the growing realization of just how badly America was duped.


March 17, 2010

The Warmers Strike Back

FROM-Minority View

by Walter Williams

Stephen Dinan's Washington Times article "Climate Scientist to Fight Back at Skeptics," (March 5, 2010) tells of a forthcoming campaign that one global warmer said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to gut the credibility of skeptics. "Climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of 'being treated like political pawns' and need to fight back…" Part of their strategy is to form a nonprofit organization and use donations to run newspaper ads to criticize critics. Stanford professor and environmentalist Paul Ehrlich, in one of the e-mails obtained by the Washington Times said, "Most of our colleagues don't seem to grasp that we're not in a gentlepersons' debate, we're in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules."

Professor Thomas Sowell's most recent book, "Intellectuals and Society," has a quote from Eric Hoffer, "One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation." Environmentalist Professor Paul Ehrlich, who's giving advice to the warmers, is an excellent example of Hoffer's observation. Ehrlich in his widely read 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," predicted, "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer." Ehrlich also predicted the earth's then-5 billion population would starve back to 2 billion people by 2025. In 1969, Dr. Ehrlich warned Britain's Institute of Biology, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Despite these asinine predictions, Ehrlich has won no less than 16 awards, including the 1980 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' highest award.

Stanford University professor and environmentalist activist Stephen H. Schneider is another scientist involved in the warmer retaliation. In a 1989 Discover Magazine interview, Professor Schneider said, "We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."

Former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, now president of the United Nations Foundation, in 1990 said, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we'll be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."

Environmental activist predictions have been dead wrong. In National Wildlife (July 1975), Nigel Calder warned, "... the threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind." In the same issue, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization warned, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed."

George Woodwell's, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, comments suggest that the warmers are gearing up for a big propaganda push. In one of his e-mails, Woodwell said that researchers have been ceding too much ground. He criticized Pennsylvania State University for their academic investigation of Professor Michael Mann, who wrote many of the e-mails leaked from the Britain's now disgraced Climate Research Unit. Stephen Dinan's Washington Times article reports, "In his e-mail, Mr. Woodwell acknowledged that he is advocating taking 'an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach' but said scientists have had their 'classical reasonableness' turned against them," adding, "'We are dealing with an opposition that is not going to yield to facts or appeals from people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths.'"

Fortunately, for the American people, Sen. James M. Inhofe, R- Okla., is considering asking the Justice Department to investigate whether climate scientists who receive taxpayer-funded grants have falsified data. He has identified 17 taxpayer-supported scientists who have been major players in the global warming conspiracy.


Voters Take Global Warming Less Seriously

FROM-Rasmussen Report

The majority of U.S. voters continue to believe global warming is a serious problem, but the number who considers it very serious is at its lowest level in over a year.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows 53% of voters think global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem. Yet that number includes just 28% who say it is a very serious problem, down three points from last month and the lowest level measured since the beginning of 2009.

Forty-two percent (42%) don’t think global warming is a serious problem, a number that has held relatively steady since December. Prior to December, however, that number never rose above 40%.

Voters weren't nearly as closely divided on the issue one year ago, when 64% saw global warming as a serious problem and 32% did not. But since then serious questions have been raised about the vaildity of some of the more prominent research on global warming.

Women are more likely than men to see global warming as a serious problem. Those voters between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely than their elders to see the issue as serious.

Nearly half of voters (48%) believe global warming is caused primarily by long-term planetary trends, a number that also has held steady since last July. Just 33% blame the problem on human activity, which is one point below the lowest level measured in over a year. Eight percent (8%) attribute global warming to some other cause, and 11% are undecided.

Belief that human activity is the primary cause of global warming has declined significantly. In April 2008, the numbers were nearly the mirror image of the current findings. At that time, 47% blamed human activity, while only 34% named long-term planetary trends as the reason for climate change.

Since July, the number who believe long-term planetary trends are the chief culprit have ranged from 47% to 50%. Those who blame human activity have ranged from 33% to 42% in the same period.

As also has been the case over the past year, voters believe the president feels differently than they do. The latest survey shows the plurality (45%) believes President Obama sees human activity as the primary cause of global warming, though that is the lowest level measured since he took office. Twenty-four percent (24%) now say the president blames the problem on planetary trends, also the highest result found since last January. Another 23% are not sure what Obama believes.

The president was unsuccessful last December in his effort with other world leaders to produce a global treaty to reduce the human activity they blame for global warming.

Just 34% give the president good or excellent ratings on his handling of energy issues, down four points from February. Forty percent (40%) say the president is doing a poor job handling those issues.

In February, Obama announced an $8.3-billion government loan guarantee to build the first new nuclear plant in this country in over a quarter of a century. Nearly half of Americans (49%) favor the building of new nuclear power plants. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are opposed to the idea, and 24% are not sure.

By a 55% to 32% margin, most voters continue to believe finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume.

Most (55%) voters say investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power is the better plan for the country. Only 30% see fossil fuels as the better investment.

Forty-five percent (45%) see a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection, a number that has held relatively steady over the past several months. Just 26% do not see this conflict, and another 29% are not sure.


March 16, 2010

From the Equator to the Arctic...

Climategate: two more bricks fall out of the IPCC wall of deceit – rainforests and polar bears

FROM-UK Telegraph

By Gerald Warner

Oops! There go another two bricks, tumbling out of the IPCC wall of deceit on man-made global warming – there is not a lot left now; even the Berlin Wall (to which the AGW construct is ideologically allied) has survived better. Unhappily for Al, Phil, Michael, George and the rest of the scare-mongers, these two discredited components are among the most totemic in the AGW religion.

Firstly, a new study, funded by Nasa (which may be feeling the need to rehabilitate itself post-Climategate) has revealed that the ridiculous claim in the notorious IPCC 2007 report that up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could be drastically affected by even a small reduction in rainfall caused by climate change, so that the trees would be replaced by tropical grassland, is utter nonsense. That assertion has already been exposed as derived from a single report by the environmentalist lobby group WWF.

Now Dr Jose Marengo, a climate scientist with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and himself a member of the IPCC, says: “The way the WWF report calculated this 40 per cent was totally wrong, while (the new) calculations are by far more reliable and correct.” These calculations were done by researchers at Boston University and were published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. They used satellite data to study the drought of 2005, when rainfall fell to the lowest in living memory, and found that the rainforest suffered no significant effects.

So, the rainforest scare, like the Himalayan glaciers panic, is garbage. A further encouraging feature of this development is that genuine scientists are increasingly becoming emboldened to challenge the IPCC’s junk science: the Academy is beginning to reassert its integrity. AGW without withered rainforests is Hamlet without the prince. It was one of those emotive claims much invoked by priggish children in the voice-overs of nanny-state “green” commercials, lecturing their elders on the stewardship of the planet.

An even bigger tear-jerker was the plight of polar bears, bolstered by carefully cropped photographs of lonely bears stranded on fast-melting icebergs, doomed to extinction. That is the second brick that has fallen out of the IPCC wall. The official legend is that polar bears are threatened with extinction by global warming. The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, which has bought into global warming in a big way, has claimed that, of the 19 sub-populations of polar bears (13 of them in Canada, home to 60 per cent of polar bears), eight are declining, three are stable, one is increasing and there is insufficient data on the remaining seven.

Of the eight allegedly declining populations, two of them, including Baffin Bay, are non-contentious: sceptics concede that the two sub-populations, representing 16.4 per cent of the bear population, are declining – but in both regions the temperatures have actually fallen, so warming is an irrelevant issue. H Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, has pointed out that in two regions where the population is growing – the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea – air temperatures have risen. So polar bears appear to thrive on warming – as scientists claim they did during the Mediaeval Warm Period 1,000 years ago and the Holocene Climate Optimum 5,000-9,000 years ago.

Warmists contest the Chukchi Sea claim, insisting the population there is declining, though they concede illegal hunting by Russians is a factor. Closer reading of their literature, however, reveals some interesting semantics. For example, the Southern Beaufort Sea is listed as an area of decline, on the basis of a fall in cub survival rates and a reduction in the weight and skull size of adult males, which was also observed elsewhere, prior to population decline. So this is a prediction rather than an accomplished fact – just like global warming itself.

The bottom line is the actual statistics, conceded even by warmists: since 1970 the world’s polar bear population has “declined” from 5,000 to 25,000. Some of us would term that a quintupling, but obviously we do not share the same mathematical skills as those who predicted the imminent loss of the Himalayan glaciers. The IPCC and the whole scam it promotes is now irreversibly on the slide. If you have no devastated rainforests and those pesky polar bears keep on doing what polar bears do on cold Arctic nights, you have lost the schoolchildren – and they were almost the last supporters of man-made global warming.


March 14, 2010

Banned Milliband

Minister's global warming nursery rhyme adverts banned for overstating the risks

By Sara Nelson

Two government advertisements which use nursery rhymes to warn of the dangers of climate change have been banned for exaggerating the threat.

Commissioned by Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, the adverts are based on children’s poems Jack and Jill and Rub-A-Dub-Dub and assert that climate change will cause flooding and drought.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled the adverts – which attracted 939 complaints - made exaggerated claims which went beyond mainstream scientific consensus.

One advert read: ‘Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought.’

Beneath this was written: ‘Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent and intense.’

The other read: ‘Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub – a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.’

It added: ‘Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.’

The watchdog stated the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) should not publish the adverts again, ruling that the text accompanying the rhymes should have been phrased more tentatively.

Using reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as reference, the ASA determined it was not possible to make such definitive statements about Britain’s future climate, the Times reported.

As a result the adverts were found to have broken the code on substantiation, truthfulness and environmental claims.

The ASA said: ‘All statements about future climate were modeled on predictions, which the IPCC report itself stated still involved uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.’

The watchdog found that other elements of the campaign, including a TV and cinema advert in which a father read his daughter a bedtime story about a world affected by climate change, did not breach its guidelines.

Mr Miliband said his department had been ‘comprehensibly vindicated’ by the ASA but promised to more accurately reflect scientific uncertainty about global warming in future campaigns.

The ruling comes amidst the fall-out from the leak of more than 1,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s controversial Climatic Research Unit.

The emails, which dealt a severe blow to the credibility of environmental science, were seized upon by global warming skeptics as evidence that academics were massaging the figures.

Since the leak, belief in global warming has fallen from 41 per cent to 26 per cent

H/T Air Vent

March 13, 2010

"Notable Quotes"

"The Climategate affair and its ongoing revelations have exposed a deep systemic corruption at the heart of climate science. Unfortunately this corruption is not restricted to climate science but is endemic across the environmental sciences which have become more of an ideology and a scam than they are a science. It is time for society to wake up and begin to realise that we have been repeatedly and blatantly lied to."

Walter Starck

"...In it rightful place"

Senator Barrasso: Why Won’t Congressional Democrats Permit Science Oversight Hearings? (PJM Exclusive)

Senator John Barrasso M.D., in an exclusive interview with Pajamas Media, discusses science oversight — or the lack of it — in the Democratic Congress.

FROM-Pajamas Media

by Charlie Martin

Senator John Barrasso M.D. (R-WY), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, recently released a report [PDF]on the subcommittee’s work in the first year of the Obama Administration. The report has less to it than might be imagined — in the first year, the subcommittee has failed to meet or to hold a single hearing of its own. “There were exactly two hearings in 2009,” Barrasso said, “a joint hearing with the full committee on June 9th, and a joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife on July 8th.”

The subcommittee was chartered by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, to perform oversight on the science involved with environmental issues. “Senator Boxer wanted the subcommittee to perform oversight on the Bush Administration, not the current administration,” Senator Barrasso said. “We have made repeated requests to the chairman of the subcommittee [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)] to hold hearings [in the past year] but no hearings have been held. It has been a lost year for science oversight in the Senate.”

“There have been plenty of reasons to hold hearings,” Barrasso said. “For example, in April 2009, Shawne McGibbon, a career attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wrote part of a memo saying the EPA had not considered the economic consequences of an Endangerment Finding for carbon dioxide.” When the memo became known, McGibbons was “smeared as a ‘Bush holdover’” even though she was hired during the Clinton Administration. Later, McGibbons was replaced by President Obama.

In another incident, Dr. Alan Carlin, a 39-year veteran of the EPA, prepared a report skeptical of the real human impact on the climate. Carlin (who has since written several articles for Pajamas Media) was instructed not to disseminate the report and, as Kim Strassel reported in the Wall Street Journal, was denounced by “unnamed EPA officials” as a “climate change denier.” Dr. Carlin eventually left the EPA.

The release of the Climategate files in November of 2009 (reported here in Pajamas Media) is the major science oversight issue of the year. In December, Dr. Carlin pointed out it was extremely unusual for the EPA to issue an Endangerment Finding based principally on an external source, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report Four (IPCC AR4). Senator Barrasso’s report notes that in the Federal Register announcement of the EPA’s proposed Endangerment Finding,
The Administrator [EPA] has determined that the body of scientific evidence compellingly supports this finding. The major assessments by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program (USGCRP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the National Research Council (NRC) serve as the primary scientific basis supporting the Administrator’s endangerment finding.

However, when asked about this, both Senator Boxer and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson insisted that the IPCC report had not been a major source. As ranking member, Senator Barrasso requested “an immediate investigation into this matter, including taking the necessary steps to prevent any further loss of related documents, e-mails, and other records that would shed some light into this matter.” Senator Whitehouse responded:

I do not believe that our subcommittee has any jurisdiction over this matter, which involves the theft by private individuals of emails stored in a British university’s computer system. Furthermore, to my knowledge, the government
agencies over which the Oversight Subcommittee has jurisdiction were not involved in any of the exchanges contained in the stolen emails.

However, among the individuals addressed in the emails are Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA, and Tom Karl of the National Climatic Data Center. Senator Barrasso says these people, and others, work for organizations that are clearly under the jurisdiction of the committee. “Senator Whitehouse has taken a pass” on his responsibilities as subcommittee chair, Barrasso says.

The senator sees a pattern in these incidents. “The Obama Administration is establishing a record of mistreating career public servants who express opposing [scientific or legal] opinions. The Obama Administration promised transparency, openness, and to make decisions based on science, not politics. These issues deserve to be looked into, and the American people have a right to expect Congress to be doing its job.”

"No one was available to respond at the IPCC..."

UN climate change claims on rainforests were wrong, study suggests

The United Nations' climate change panel is facing fresh criticism after new research contradicted the organisation's claims about the devastating effect climate change could have on the Amazon rainforest.


A new study, funded by Nasa, has found that the most serious drought in the Amazon for more than a century had little impact on the rainforest's vegetation.

The findings appear to disprove claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest could react drastically to even a small reduction in rainfall and could see the trees replaced by tropical grassland.

The IPCC has already faced intense criticism for using a report by environmental lobby group WWF as the basis for its claim, which in turn had failed to cite the original source of the research.

Scientists have now spoken out against the 40% figure contained in the IPCC report and say that recent research is suggesting that the rainforest may be more resilient to climate change than had been previously thought.

It comes just days after the UN announced an independent review into the panel's procedures following a series of scandals over its most recent report which was found to contain factual errors and claims which were not based on rigorous scientific research.

The InterAcademy Council, which is the umbrella organisation for the national academies of science around the world, will examine how the IPCC's reports are compiled and communicated.

Dr Jose Marengo, a climate scientist with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and a member of the IPCC, said the latest study on the Amazon's response to drought highlighted the errors in the previous claims.

He said: "The way the WWF report calculated this 40% was totally wrong, while (the new) calculations are by far more reliable and correct."

The new study, conducted by researchers at Boston University and published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters, used satellite data of the Amazon rainforest to study the effects of a major drought in 2005 when rainfall fell to the lowest level in living memory.

The drought saw rivers and lakes dry up, causing towns and cities that rely upon water flowing out of the rainforest to suffer severe water shortages.

But the researchers found no major changes in the levels of vegetation and greenery in the forests despite the drought.

They claim this contradicts the statements made in the IPCC's 2007 assessment report on climate change.

It said: "Up to 40 % of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state.

"It is more probably that forests will be replaced by ecosystems that have more resistance to multiple stresses caused by temperature increase, droughts and fires, such as tropical savannahs."

Professor Ranga Myneni, from the climate and vegitation research group at Boston University who was the senior researcher in the study, said criticised the IPCC’s claim that a “even a slight reduction in precipitation” would cause drastic changes in the rainforest.

He said: “There was more than a slight reduction in precipitation during the drought of 2005. It is that particular claim of the IPCC that our analysis rejects.”

Sangram Ganguly, a scientist from the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute in California and one of the researchers who conducted the new study, said: "Our results certainly do not indicate such extreme sensitivity to reductions in rainfall."

Dr Arindam Samanta, the lead author of the study, said: "We found no big differences in the greenness levels of these forests between drought and non-drought years, which suggests that these forests may be more tolerant of droughts than we previously thought."

The IPCC has been left embarrassed after it emerged the panel had quoted unsubstantiated and erroneous claims about the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas and had also used information from student dissertations and magazine articles to compile its report.

The chair of the panel, Rajendra Pachauri has come under mounting pressure to resign following the scandal and questions over his ability to lead the organisation.

Dr Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF UK, said: "The WWF report from 2000 on the threat of wildfires in Amazon was based on respected sources and peer-reviewed literature available at the time.

"Subsequent peer-reviewed literature has confirmed that the Amazon faces serious risks from climate change. This new study is a welcome addition to the growing body of evidence."

Dr Simon Lewis, an expert on forest die back at Leeds University and a research fellow at the Royal Society, said the Boston University study had helped to clear up debate about how the rainforest responded to short-term drought.

But he added that long-term reductions in rainfall might have a very different impact.

No one was available to respond at the IPCC yesterday.


March 12, 2010

Climategate: Once Respected Nature Now Staffed By Moaning Ninnies

"Let us condemn them to reading out their own editorials to each other until they realize how silly they are, or for all eternity, whichever be the sooner."

FROM-Pajamas Media

by Christopher Monckton

The once-respected science journal Nature recently published a whining editorial to the effect that climate scientists are not criminals, really; that attacks on them by increasingly-skeptical news media are soooo unfair; and that the fundamental science showing that the planet is doomed unless the economies of the West are shut down at once is unchallengeable.

No doubt most climate scientists are not criminals. However, some are. Many of the two dozen Climategate emailers, who have for years driven the IPCC process, tampered with peer review in the learned journals, and fabricated, altered, concealed, or destroyed scientific data are criminals. Whether they or Nature like it or not, they will eventually stand trial, and deservedly so.

After all, the biofuel scam that is one of many disfiguring spin-offs from the “global warming” scare — driven by the poisonous clique of mad scientists whom Nature so uncritically defends — has taken millions of acres of farmland away from growing food for people who need it and towards growing biofuels for clunkers that don’t. Result: a doubling of world food prices, mass starvation, and death, leading to food riots in a dozen major regions of the globe.

You won’t have seen much about these riots in the Western news media: they are too busy reporting on every putative icicle putatively dribbling in putatively melting Greenland.

Where was Nature when James Hansen — a publicly funded “scientist” and political agitator “working” for NASA — publicly demanded that anyone who disagreed with his climate-extremist views be put on trial for “high crimes against humanity”?

Did Nature write a pompous, pietistic editorial drawing attention to the fact that the penalty for crimes against humanity is death, and asking whether demands that one’s scientific opponents should face potential execution constitute an appropriate contribution to scientific discourse? Did it heck! Nature was sullenly, culpably silent.

Hansen wrote a characteristically overblown op-ed in the British Marxist newspaper the Guardian last year, saying that sea level was about to rise by 246 feet.

Should I face trial and execution for pointing out, mildly, that Hansen knows no more about sea-level rise than a hedgehog, and that even the excitable UN climate panel puts 21st-century sea-level rise at a maximum of 2 feet?

Where was Nature when Al Gore’s mawkish, sci-fi, comedy-horror movie came out? Did it ever disclose even one of the three dozen serious errors or exaggerations in that dismal piece of pseudo-scientific propaganda? Did it heck! Gore’s climate-extremist views chimed with Nature’s own, so its editors were sullenly, culpably silent.

Where was Nature when the UN’s climate panel published, three times and in full color, a graph in its 2007 report purporting to show that the rate of warming over the past 160 years has itself increased, allegedly because of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, when the graph deployed a statistical technique so bogus that any pimply freshman doing Stats 101 would recognize the graph as tendentious, politicized nonsense?

Nowhere, that’s where.

The mindless mantra that moaning ninnies like Nature mumble over and over again is that, notwithstanding one, or several, or hundreds, or thousands of bloopers in the now-discredited climate “assessments” of the UN’s climate panel, the science is settled and the debate is over. Yet the debate rages on and — tell it not in Gath or Ashkelon — the skeptics are winning.

Nature’s editors, not having reached intellectual puberty, lack the self-critical skill of examining their own consciences. When they grow up, they will realize that there is a reason why the skeptics are winning. It is because the skeptics are right. The science never was settled, nor was the debate over. CO2 is a bit-part player in the climate. Get over it and move along. Get a life.

And how come the skeptics are winning, when billions of state-funded propaganda dollars have been squandered for decades in an ever more futile attempt to buy the acquiescence of John Q. Public? Your average voter does not necessarily understand the growing number of scientific papers establishing, by a variety of measurements, that the UN’s XBox 360s have gotten the models wrong, and that the warming effect of CO2 is around one-seventh of the UN’s vastly-exaggerated central estimate.

But what the man on the crosstown bus can smell a mile off is propaganda bulls***. Tell him the debate on anything is over and his antennae will start to twitch. Tell him that because the debate is over he will have to lose his job and pay higher taxes and gasoline prices and electricity costs and he will ask what you’re on and whether he can have some.

The sheer shrillness of the true-believers, such as Nature’s zit-bespattered editors, has woken up the sleeping giant of public opinion, and the giant will not go back to sleep however often Nature maunders on about the fundamental science being agreed among all parties. After 15 years with no statistically significant “global warming” (Nature didn’t tell you that), nine years of a rapid global cooling trend (Nature forgot to mention it), sea level growing at just 1 foot per century (Nature didn’t get around to reporting that), and sea ice showing no global trend in 30 years (Nature somehow missed that one), no one is believing the true-believers any more.

I know: let’s put Nature’s editors on trial for high crimes against journalistic integrity and scientific truth. Death is far too good for them: let us condemn them to reading out their own editorials to each other until they realize how silly they are, or for all eternity, whichever be the sooner.



That evil denial industry sure is warping peoples minds, better save the kids before its too late!

Maybe killing the the Polar Bears is not scary enough what can we do?

Climate change makes birds shrink in North America

H/T EU Referendum

March 11, 2010

"Notable Quotes"

" jobs have become the ginseng of progressive politics: a sort of broad-spectrum snake oil that cures whatever happens to ail you. They are the antidote to economic malaise, an underskilled labor force, the inherent unwillingness of the public to suffer any significant economic and personal dislocation in order to save the environment. They enhance nationalistic vigor. (If we don't act now, the Chinese will steal all of our green jobs!) They stave off aging of stale political platforms. And I'm pretty sure they're good for bunions, too."


Megan McArdle

The case against the hockey stick

The "hockey stick" temperature graph is a mainstay of global warming science. A new book tells of one man's efforts to dismantle it—and deserves to win prizes
Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion is one of the best science books in years. It exposes in delicious detail, datum by datum, how a great scientific mistake of immense political weight was perpetrated, defended and camouflaged by a scientific establishment that should now be red with shame. It is a book about principal components, data mining and confidence intervals—subjects that have never before been made thrilling. It is the biography of a graph.


Matt Ridley

I can remember when I first paid attention to the “hockey stick” graph at a conference in Cambridge. The temperature line trundled along with little change for centuries, then shot through the roof in the 20th century, like the blade of an ice-hockey stick. I had become somewhat of a sceptic about the science of climate change, but here was emphatic proof that the world was much warmer today; and warming much faster than at any time in a thousand years. I resolved to shed my doubts. I assumed that since it had been published in Nature—the Canterbury Cathedral of scientific literature—it was true.

I was not the only one who was impressed. The graph appeared six times in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s third report in 2001. It was on display as a backdrop at the press conference to launch that report. James Lovelock pinned it to his wall. Al Gore used it in his film (though describing it as something else and with the Y axis upside down). Its author shot to scientific stardom. “It is hard to overestimate how influential this study has been,” said the BBC. The hockey stick is to global warming what St Paul was to Christianity.

Of course, there is other evidence for global warming, but none of it proves that the recent warming is unprecedented. Indeed, quite the reverse: surface temperatures, sea levels, tree lines, glacier retreats, summer sea ice extent in the Arctic, early spring flowers, bird migration, droughts, floods, storms—they all show change that is no different in speed or magnitude from other periods, like 1910-1940, at least as far as can be measured. There may be something unprecedented going on in temperature, but the only piece of empirical evidence that actually says so—yes, the only one—is the hockey stick.

And the hockey stick is wrong. The emails that were leaked from the University of East Anglia late last year are not proof of this; they are merely the icing on the lake, proof that some of the scientists closest to the hockey stick knew all along that it was problematic. Andrew Montford’s book, despite its subtitle, is not about the emails, which are tagged on as a last chapter. It is instead built around the long, lonely struggle of one man— Stephen McIntyre—to understand how the hockey stick was made, with what data and what programs.

A retired mining entrepreneur with a mathematical bent, McIntyre asked the senior author of the hockey stick graph, Michael Mann, for the data and the programs in 2003, so he could check it himself. This was five years after the graph had been published, but Mann had never been asked for them before. McIntyre quickly found errors: mislocated series, infilled gaps, truncated records, old data extrapolated forwards where new was available, and so on.

Not all the data showed a 20th century uptick either. In fact just 20 series out of 159 did, and these were nearly all based on tree rings. In some cases, the same tree ring sets had been used in different series. In the end the entire graph got its shape from a few bristlecone and foxtail pines in the western United States; a messy tree-ring data set from the Gaspé Peninsula in Canada; another Canadian set that had been truncated 17 years too early called, splendidly, Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill; and a superseded series from Siberian larch trees. There were problems with all these series: for example, the bristlecone pines were probably growing faster in the 20th century because of more carbon dioxide in the air, or recovery after “strip bark” damage, not because of temperature change.

This was bad enough; worse was to come. Mann soon stopped cooperating, yet, after a long struggle, McIntyre found out enough about Mann’s programs to work out what he had done. The result was shocking. He had standardised the data by “short-centering” them—essentially subtracting them from a 20th century average rather than an average of the whole period. This meant that the principal component analysis “mined” the data for anything with a 20th century uptick, and gave it vastly more weight than data indicating, say, a medieval warm spell.

Well, it happens. People make mistakes in science. Corrections get made. That’s how it works, is it not? Few papers get such scrutiny as this had. But that is an even more worrying thought: how much dodgy science is being published without the benefit of an audit by Mcintyre’s ilk? As a long-time champion of science, I find the reaction of the scientific establishment more shocking than anything. The reaction was not even a shrug: it was shut-eyed denial.

If this had been a drug trial done by a pharmaceutical company, the scientific journals, the learned academies and the press would have soon have rushed to discredit it—and rightly so. Instead, they did not want to know. Nature magazine, which had published the original study, went out of its way to close its ears to McIntyre’s criticisms, even though they were upheld by the reviewers it appointed. So did the National Academy of Sciences in the US, even when two reports commissioned by Congress upheld McIntyre. So, of course, did the IPCC, which tied itself in knots changing its deadlines so it could include flawed references to refutations of McIntyre while ignoring complaints that it had misquoted him.

The IPCC has taken refuge in saying that other recent studies confirm the hockey stick but, if you take those studies apart, the same old bad data sets keep popping out: bristlecone pines and all. A new Siberian data series from a place called Yamal showed a lovely hockey stick but, after ten years of asking, McIntyre finally got hold of the data last autumn and found that it relied heavily on just one of just twelve trees, when far larger samples from the same area were available showing no uptick. Another series from Finnish lake sediments also showed a gorgeous hockey stick, but only if used upside down. McIntyre just keeps on exposing scandal after scandal in the way these data were analysed and presented.

Montford’s book is written with grace and flair. Like all the best science writers, he knows that the secret is not to leave out the details (because this just results in platitudes and leaps of faith), but rather to make the details delicious, even to the most unmathematical reader. I never thought I would find myself unable to put a book down because—sad, but true—I wanted to know what happened next in an r-squared calculation. This book deserves to win prizes.

Oh, and by the way, I have a financial interest in coal mining, though not as big as Al Gore has in carbon trading. Maybe you think it makes me biased. Read the book and judge for yourself.


Who's Concerned About the Climate Report?

Via-There is No Frakking "Scientific Consensus" on Global Warming: Who's Concerned About the Climate Report?


Grassroots Opposition to Climate Change Bill Delivered to Senate

FROM-The Voice of Agriculture (American Farm Bureau)

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2010 – The American Farm Bureau Federation’s successful, six-month campaign to oppose cap-and-trade climate change legislation, “Don’t CAP Our Future,” culminated Wednesday when farmer and rancher members from across the country presented key lawmakers some of the 100,000 grassroots calls-to-action gathered in opposition to the issue.

“Cap-and-trade provisions would create an energy shortage and ultimately reduce food production. That was the driving force behind the ‘Don’t CAP Our Future’ campaign,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said at an event on Capitol Hill.

Stallman, members of the AFBF Board and additional state Farm Bureau presidents and members, warmly thanked senators attending the event who have shown outstanding leadership in the battle against cap-and-trade legislation.

“On behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors, please accept my sincere appreciation,” Stallman said. “Thank you for your support of America’s farmers and ranchers and for your recognition of both the challenges that they face and their important contributions to our nation.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) was recognized by Stallman for “leading the charge” against cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate. Stallman and other Farm Bureau leaders also expressed appreciation to other strong supporters of the effort, including Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah).

A comprehensive approach was used for the campaign, including e-mails, online petitions, signed postcards from farmer and rancher members and social media outreach.

Earlier this week, AFBF and several dozen other organizations sent a letter to the full Senate urging support for S.J. Res. 26, a resolution to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Senators from “both sides of the aisle” have said throughout the climate change debate that this issue should be decided by Congress rather than EPA, the letter noted. Last week, AFBF sent a letter of support for a companion House measure.