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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Has Al Gore Read Nigel Lawson's Book?

An Appeal To Reason
John Tamny
11.17.08
Has Al Gore read Nigel Lawson's book?

Nigel Lawson, chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, and author of three books--including his essential account of the Thatcher years, The View from No. 11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical--had trouble finding a publisher for his most recent book, An Appeal to Reason, which casts a skeptical eye on global warming.

As he notes in the foreword, one rejection letter suggested that "it would be very difficult to find a wide market" for a book that "flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy." So while Lawson acknowledges that his contribution to the discussion won't "shake the faith" of global warming's true believers, he's written what is a very informative book for those not yet convinced that Armageddon is our future, absent massive worldwide government action.

Lawson acknowledges up front that while he is not a scientist, neither "are the vast majority of those who pronounce on the matter" of global warming "with far greater certainty." And throughout, he deliberately uses the term "global warming" rather than the "attractively alliterative weasel words, 'climate change,'" and he does so "because the climate changes all the time."

In discussing global warming, Lawson happily takes the road less traveled in making the basic point about the science of global warming being "far from settled," not to mention that scientific truth "is not established by counting heads," as so many advocates of all manner of popular causes would likely prefer. So while Lawson doesn't hide from the fact that the 20th century ended slightly warmer than it began, he reminds readers that there has been no further evidence of global warming since the turn of the century.

Furthermore, news accounts would have us believe that calculating temperature is a foolproof process. But in reality, these calculations include data taken from the former Soviet Union, along with records from less-developed parts of the world. When Lawson checked U.S. temperature records, records thought to be most reliable, he found that only three of the last 12 years are among the warmest on record; 1934 being the warmest year of all. And though the level of carbon dioxide did increase 30% during the 20th century amid a slight warming trend, it's also boomed this century amid a slight cooling.

When we consider the slight warming that materialized during the 20th century, Lawson notes that it's not certain that the majority of it has to do with human activity. In truth, clouds/water vapor are the biggest contributors to the much vaunted "greenhouse effect," but the science of clouds is "one of the least understood aspects of climate science." Importantly, the earth's climate has always been subject to variations unrelated to human industrial activity, the "medieval warm period" of 1,000 years ago having occurred well before industrialization.

Regarding actions we might take, Lawson reminds readers that we need to avoid the kind of panic that could lead to disastrous policies. Indeed, he makes plain that there "is something inherently absurd about the conceit that we can have any useful idea of what the world will look like in a hundred years time," not to mention the other projected calamities expected to occur over 1,000 years from now. If this is doubted, ask yourself how many times weather forecasts meant to predict the next day have proven to be massively incorrect.

Notably, five out of the six scenarios proffered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assume that faster worldwide economic growth will bring the living standards of the developing world up to those enjoyed by the developed world today. If we ignore the obvious healthful good that the latter will reveal, it should be said that any unchecked global warming (meaning no Kyotos) will have a trade off in terms of rising global happiness. Lawson points out that the IPCC's stats should at the very least "cheer up those who have been told that disaster stares us in the face if we do not take urgent action to save the planet." Or more simply, Lawson writes that, "Warmer but richer is in fact healthier than colder but poorer."

So while Lawson asks the essential question about whether "it is really plausible that there is an ideal average world temperature," he reminds that average temperature is "simply a statistical artifact." Indeed, he points to Helsinki and Singapore, two cities with vastly different temperatures, both coped with very successfully.

Furthermore, the IPCC's alarmist scenario involving warming of 5.4 degrees over the next 100 years averages out to 0.05F per year. To the extent that the latter scares, from 1975-2000 when the world was mostly in "denial," warming per year averaged 0.04F. We seem to have adapted to that pretty well, plus warming in some parts of the world would bring undeniable good.

And while Al Gore remarkably predicts that sea levels will rise over 20 feet over the next century, the mildly more sober IPCC projections fall into the 18-to-59 centimeter category. Importantly, Lawson points out that sea levels have been rising gradually for as long as records exist, and with no noted acceleration amid the period of industrialization. And for those worried about ice sheets melting in parts of Antarctica, Lawson doesn't hide from the latter, but merely points out that they're growing in other parts of the continent.

To the extent that this strikes fear among readers, Lawson suggests an exercise whereby the reader allows ice cubes to melt in a glass of water. When the "level" of water in the glass doesn't rise, it's assumed that this supposed "scare" will be put to bed.

What happens if we do nothing? The IPCC and other groups formed to project various scenarios argue that environmental problems that might result from what is merely a presumption of human-made warming will harm economic growth. That being the case, Lawson calculates that in 100 years those in the developing world will only be 2.6 times as well off as we are today vs. 2.7 times, while the lucky residents of the developed world will "only" be 8.5 times as well off vs. 9.5 times if the theory is licked.

Lawson also reminds readers that assuming the action is nothing, the alarmist groups in no way account for the human ability to adapt to changes in the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of the suggestion that when it rains, people don't seek shelter. Well, of course they seek shelter, and just the same, provisions will be made for rising sea levels and all manner of other evolution regarding the planet.

Some, particularly in the developed world, will buy hybrids and turn off the lights in order to help the global warming cause, but Lawson dismisses those activities as trivial. They certainly are, relative to the economy-enervation that would have resulted from worldwide passage of the Kyoto Treaty, but even if we make the Utopian assumption that the world could agree on a drastic drop in terms of emissions, we're talking a projected earth cooling of 0.2F!

If Lawson's book is missing something, it would likely have to do with it not spending enough time on Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. While Lawson touches on a few falsehoods here and there, a full refutation would have been fun. Also, though he's by no means convinced that humans are warming the earth, he does give in to a carbon tax assuming there are commensurate cuts in the rates of income tax. To this writer, that seems a bit fanciful, given the natural instinct of governments to add taxes while not reducing others.

But in the end, this essential book is an appeal to reason, and there Lawson reminds us that there are numerous potential catastrophes that could reveal themselves now and in the future. Global warming looms small in Lawson's catastrophe rankings, and just as the novel The DaVinci Code contained "a grain of truth--and a mountain of nonsense," so it seems the alarmism surrounding global warming does too.

Worth causing economic hardship to fight? Lawson thinks not.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, a senior economist with H.C. Wainwright Economics and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research and Trading.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nonsense of Global Warming

Nonsense of Global Warming
Paul Johnson
09.11.08
Forbes Magazine dated October 06, 2008

August was one of the nastiest months I can remember: torrential rain; a hailstorm or two; cold, bitter winds; and mists. But we are accustomed to such weather in England. Lord Byron used to say that an English summer begins on July 31 and ends on Aug. 1. He called 1816 "the year without a summer." He spent it gazing across Lake Geneva, watching the storms, with 18-year-old Mary Shelley. The lightening flickering across the lake inspired her Frankenstein, the tale of the man-made monster galvanized into life by electricity.

This summer's atrocious weather tempted me to tease a Green whom I know. "Well, what about your weather theory now?" (One of the characteristics of Greens is that they know no history.) He replied: "Yes, this weather is unprecedented. England has never had such an August before. It's global warming, of course." That's the Greens' stock response to anything weather-related. Too much sun? "Global warming." Too little sun? "Global warming." Drought? "Global warming." Floods? "Global warming." Freezing cold? "Global warming."

I wish the great philosopher Sir Karl Popper were alive to denounce the unscientific nature of global warming. He was a student when Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was first published and then successfully tested. Einstein said that for his theory to be valid it would have to pass three tests. "If," Einstein wrote to British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, "it were proved that this effect does not exist in nature, then the whole theory would have to be abandoned."

To Popper, this was a true scientific approach. "What impressed me most," he wrote, "was Einstein's own clear statement that he would regard his theory as untenable if it should fail in certain tests." In contrast, Popper pointed out, there were pseudo-scientists, such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Marx claimed to be constructing a theory of scientific materialism based on scientific history and economic science. "Science" and "scientific" were words Marx used constantly. Far from formulating his theory with a high degree of scientific content and encouraging empirical testing and refutation, Marx made it vague and general. When evidence turned up that appeared to refute his theory, the theory was modified to accommodate the new evidence. It's no wonder that when communist regimes applied Marxism it proved a costly failure.

Freud's theories were also nonspecific, and he, too, was willing to adjust them to take in new science. We now know that many of Freud's central ideas have no basis in biology. They were formulated before Mendel's Laws were widely known and accepted and before the chromosomal theory of inheritance, the recognition of inborn metabolic errors, the existence of hormones and the mechanism of nervous impulse were known. As the scientist Sir Peter Medawar put it, Freud's psychoanalysis is akin to mesmerism and phrenology; it contains isolated nuggets of truth, but the general theory as a whole is false.

The idea that human beings have changed and are changing the basic climate system of the Earth through their industrial activities and burning of fossil fuels--the essence of the Greens' theory of global warming--has about as much basis in science as Marxism and Freudianism. Global warming, like Marxism, is a political theory of actions, demanding compliance with its rules.

Those who buy in to global warming wish to drastically curb human economic and industrial activities, regardless of the consequences for people, especially the poor. If the theory's conclusions are accepted and agreed upon, the destructive results will be felt most severely in those states that adhere to the rule of law and will observe restrictions most faithfully. The global warming activists' target is the U.S. If America is driven to accept crippling restraints on its economy it will rapidly become unable to shoulder its burdens as the world's sole superpower and ultimate defender of human freedoms. We shall all suffer, however, as progress falters and then ceases and living standards decline.

Out of Balance
When I'm driving to my country home in Somerset, I pass two examples of the damage Greens can cause when their views are accepted and applied. Thanks to heavy government subsidies, many farmers switched from growing food to biofuel crops--perhaps the most expensive form of energy ever devised. The result has been a world shortage of food, with near starvation in some places, and a rise in the cost of food for everyone. We're now getting wise to this ridiculous experiment; shares in biofuels have fallen, and farmers are switching back to their proper work. But the cost has been enormous.

The other thing I pass is a new windmill, spinning slowly around. Windmills were the great invention of the early Middle Ages--man harnessing nature and using it to replace muscle power. When I was a boy more than 70 years ago there were still a few windmills, but nobody doubted they were on their way out. The thought of going back to wind power would have seemed preposterous. Nevertheless, under pressure from Greens this has happened. Wind power is a grotesquely expensive and inefficient form of energy, and the new windmills are hideous things, ruining the landscape and making an infernal noise.

Marxism, Freudianism, global warming. These are proof--of which history offers so many examples--that people can be suckers on a grand scale. To their fanatical followers they are a substitute for religion. Global warming, in particular, is a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science. If people are in need of religion, why don't they just turn to the genuine article?

Paul Johnson, eminent British historian and author; Lee Kuan Yew, minister mentor of Singapore; Ernesto Zedillo, director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, former president of Mexico; and David Malpass, chief economist for Bear Stearns Co., Inc., rotate in writing this column.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

U.N. Warming Program Draws Fire

Wall Street Journal

Fund Designed to Spur Renewable Energy Subsidizes Gas Plants

By JEFFREY BALL

July 11, 2008

A United Nations program designed to combat global warming has started doing something no one expected: It is subsidizing fossil-fuel power plants that spew millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually.

In the past year or so, 13 big plants in India and China that burn natural gas have won the U.N.'s blessing as aids in the fight against climate change. As a result, owners of the plants earn millions of dollars a year from a U.N. program intended to spur construction of solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable-energy projects.

This unforeseen turn is fanning new doubts about the environmental efficacy of the U.N.'s "carbon trading" program -- the most ambitious effort yet to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases where they're rising the fastest, in the developing world.

Concern about the program is spreading to the U.S. Doubts about the validity of some pollution-cutting projects in the developing world were one factor in the Senate's rejection last month of a bill that would have capped U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions.

The U.N. is now venturing further onto controversial turf. In recent months it has opened the door to subsidizing new coal-burning plants. Advocates argue that modern, cleaner-burning fossil-fuel technology is expensive, and without help paying for it, owners would build old-style plants that pollute more.

U.N. officials strongly defend their approach. For more than a year, they have been taking a harder line in judging proposed emission-cutting projects of all stripes, they point out. And since the world is widely expected to continue to get most of its energy from fossil fuels for decades, U.N. officials say it's entirely appropriate for the program to subsidize plants that burn that fuel more cleanly.

"Some of the countries in this world are endowed with fossil fuels," says Rajesh K. Sethi, an Indian government official who is chairman of the U.N. board that polices the subsidy program. "It is in the world's best interest that they use it as efficiently as possible."

Critics say the U.N. program is straying from its purpose of promoting renewable-energy projects. "Coal is, like, climate enemy No. 1," says Michael Wara, a Stanford University lecturer who has published several papers criticizing the U.N. program. For every unit of power it produces, burning coal generates more greenhouse gas than burning natural gas.

Mr. Wara argues that India and China are already building more-efficient plants anyway, since doing so makes economic sense at a time of rising energy prices. Using the U.N. program to subsidize these plants wastes money that could be used for other clean-energy projects.
Despite growing talk of shifting away from fossil-fuel use, none of the world's big countries want to have to pay for that to happen. That strain was on display this week, as diplomats met in Japan to try to cobble together a more-forceful international agreement to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.

On Tuesday, leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations set a goal of cutting emissions 50% by 2050, but made it nonbinding and didn't detail how they would meet it. On Wednesday, representatives of developing countries such as India and China declined to endorse even that loose target, saying it would hit their economies too hard.

Among the coal plants seeking subsidies under the U.N. program is a $4 billion behemoth currently under construction in the western Indian state of Gujarat. When it is finished in 2012, it will be one of the biggest coal-fired plants in the world.

The developer, Indian electricity producer Tata Power Co., is seeking about $36 million a year in subsidies, arguing that the alternative would have been to build a cheaper, less-efficient power plant.

The U.N. hasn't yet officially considered Tata Power's application, but the proposal has powerful backers. Among them: The World Bank Group's International Finance Corp. and the Asian Development Bank, each of which has loaned Tata Power $450 million to fund the plant.

"Let's be honest with ourselves," says Darius Lilaoonwala, senior manager of the International Finance Corp.'s power department. "These countries are going to need fossil-fueled electricity just like the U.S. and Europe. So let's encourage them to do the most-efficient technology possible."

"Of course, if you build a coal factory, it's not good for the environment," adds Tsukasa Maekawa of the Asian Development Bank. But countries that have a lot of coal are going to burn it, he says, so helping them finance more-efficient plants makes sense.

Fundamental Principle

One of the fundamental principles of the U.N. initiative, called the Clean Development Mechanism, is that it should subsidize pollution-cutting projects only if they would otherwise be too expensive to build. The Tata Power plant, however, will be built whether or not it gets the U.N. program's financial aid. The power plant "has to go on. We've already started the project," says Prasad Menon, Tata Power's managing director.

In addition, the Indian government essentially required the plant to use high-efficiency technology. Mr. Menon argues the project should still receive the U.N. subsidies because "it's a good move for the West to encourage India to move in this direction."

This tension has dogged the international global-warming campaign since its inception. Under a 1997 treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, most industrialized countries other than the U.S. agreed to cap their greenhouse-gas emissions. They then required heavily polluting companies within their borders to cut their emissions over time.

Developing countries didn't accept emission caps, arguing that stunting their economic growth to cope with a century's worth of pollution from the developed world would be unfair. As a compromise, the treaty created the Clean Development Mechanism, which aims to chip away at developing-world emissions one project at a time.

Under the U.N. program, companies in wealthy nations can meet their environmental obligations at home by financing pollution-cutting projects in the developing world. Companies in the developing world get cash, while the companies in the West get "carbon credits" -- permission slips to continue coughing out their own carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The system is designed to curb world-wide emissions at the lowest possible cost.

But the system works only if the developing-world projects actually cut emissions. If projects such as coal- and gas-fired plants India and China would have been built even without financial aid, then the U.N. program isn't actually cutting emissions.

The U.N. has the job of assessing the environmental validity of developing-world projects that seek subsidies. But gauging whether a proposal actually cuts emissions is tricky. The U.N. board must make two judgment calls: whether the project would reduce the country's emissions below what they otherwise would be, and whether the project would have been built even without the U.N. subsidy.

It's a "hypothetical thing," says José Domingos Gonzalez Miguez, a Brazilian government official on the U.N. board. "This is the problem."

Every month or two, the board's 20 members fly to Bonn, Germany. There, in a U.N. high-rise, they meet for several days, poring over proposed projects. The meetings are posted on the Internet and watched by investors with big money riding on the decisions.

The U.N. program was created to encourage renewable-energy projects. But in May 2006 the board approved the concept of letting gas-fired power plants sell carbon credits. A stream of gas-fired plants began applying.

Three of the biggest plants sit near each other in the east China province of Zhejiang, near Shanghai. Construction on all three had begun before the U.N. board's decision.

The owners of the three plants argued in their U.N. applications that the cheapest way for them to generate electricity would have been to build coal-burning plants. But because they had built more-efficient gas-fired plants, they argued, they deserved permission to sell a carbon credit for every extra ton of carbon dioxide that, according to their calculations, their plants would have emitted had they been built to burn coal.

Together, the three plants were seeking permission to sell 2.7 million carbon credits each year. A credit represents permission to emit one ton of carbon dioxide a year. Given that such credits from developing countries are now selling for about $13 apiece, U.N. approval would translate into about $35.1 million a year for the owners of the three plants combined.

The value of carbon credits from projects in the developing world was $7.4 billion last year, up 28% from 2006, according to the World Bank. Based on projects that have applied so far to sell carbon credits through 2012, when the Kyoto treaty's emission caps expire, fossil-fueled power plants account for only about 7% of the market, according to U.N. figures. But their share has been growing rapidly.

The architects of the U.N. program hoped it would spark a renewable-energy revolution, inducing a shift away from fossil fuels and toward everything from the sun to the wind to animal waste. In fact, renewable energy accounts for only about one-third of the carbon credits proposed to be issued through 2012, according to U.N. figures.

The owners of the three Chinese gas-fired plants worked with a broker that specializes in organizing carbon-credit projects. That firm, in turn, had hired a Norwegian auditing company, Det Norske Veritas, to certify that the plants' in-house emissions calculations were accurate. (The U.N. board authorizes auditors to do this kind of work on its behalf.)

In early 2007, Det Norske Veritas recommended all three projects to the U.N. board.

Today, Michael Lehmann, technical director for climate-change services at Det Norske Veritas, says he still believes the three Chinese power plants audited by his firm properly qualified for subsidies under the existing rules. But dozens of gas-fired plants in China are now rushing to snag carbon-credit revenue. That suggests the system "doesn't seem to be right any longer," he says -- it's unrealistic to think that none of them would be financially viable without the subsidies, particularly since so many are already built and running.

Mr. Sethi, the U.N. board chairman, says each of the plants the board has approved complies with the rules as they exist. "Each project is seen on its own merits," he says, declining to say whether he thinks the higher-level diplomats who made that policy should change it. "We are simply the implementing tool," he says of the board he heads.

Officials of the companies that own the three Chinese gas-fired plants defend their applications, saying they comply with the program's rules. "Gas is within [the] terms," says Li Jian, who works in the production technology department of one of the power companies, Zhejiang Guohua Yuyao Fuel Gas Power Generation Co. "So we got approved."

The three plants' applications were still pending before the U.N. board when, in early 2007, two coal-fired plants applied for permission to sell carbon credits. That prompted several months of testy debate among members of the U.N. board, who were conscious of how politically controversial the idea was.

Board members from developing countries that don't burn a lot of coal argued against approving the coal-fired plants. Mr. Miguez, the board member from Brazil, said it violated the U.N. program's intent.

"This would create loopholes," he said. "We are here as the board of the Clean Development Mechanism. And I think we should stress the word 'clean.'"

But members from countries that stood to gain from the proposal supported it. They included members from Canada and Japan -- both industrialized countries that accepted emission caps under the Kyoto treaty, and which therefore were hunting for cheap carbon credits to buy. Also supporting the applications from the coal plants were board members from India and China, two developing countries for whom domestic coal is a cheap energy source.

The proposal would "be of very great use in countries like India and China," Mr. Sethi, the board member from India, told his colleagues during one of the meetings that was broadcast online.

Board Approval

The board approved the coal proposal in September 2007, after adding provisions phasing out the rule over time and reducing the number of carbon credits any coal-fired plant could sell.
A few months later, the board approved the three Chinese gas-fired power plants' applications to sell carbon credits. And Tata Power formally asked the board to approve the sale of carbon credits from the massive coal-fired plant the company was developing in Gujarat.

Tata says the plant will emit an average of 26.7 million tons of carbon dioxide annually during its first decade of operation. That's 2.8 million fewer tons than the plant would discharge if it used the less-efficient coal-fired technology prevalent in India today, it says. So Tata is asking the U.N. to let it sell 2.8 million carbon credits annually. That would be worth about $36 million at current market prices.

The Tata plant has its roots in an electrification push by the Indian government. The government had rolled out plans in early 2006 for about a half-dozen huge coal-fired power plants. Dubbed by the government the "ultra mega" plants, they would each be able to produce a sizable 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

Tata Power's application to sell carbon credits is being reviewed by Det Norske Veritas, the auditing firm. The firm's Mr. Lehmann says he has his doubts about Tata's bid. "Look at the facts," he says. "The project has received funding. It's part of the policy of the government to implement this type of project," he says. Whether the plant needs carbon-market money "is really questionable." Mr. Lehmann says that the auditing firm is still looking into the project and hasn't yet made its recommendation.

In May, a second Indian coal-fired plant applied for U.N. permission to sell carbon credits.
--Kersten Zhang and Gao Sen contributed to this article.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Kyoto's Long Goodbye

Wall Street Journal

July 11, 2008

One of the mysteries of the universe is why President Bush bothers to charge the fixed bayonets of the global warming theocracy. On the other hand, his Administration's supposed "cowboy diplomacy" is succeeding in changing the way the world addresses climate change. Which is to say, he has forced the world to pay at least some attention to reality.

That was the larger meaning of the Group of Eight summit in Japan this week, even if it didn't make the papers. The headline was that the nations pledged to cut global greenhouse emissions by half by 2050. Yet for the first time, the G-8 also agreed that any meaningful climate program would have to involve industrializing nations like China and India. For the first time, too, the G-8 agreed that real progress will depend on technological advancements. And it agreed that the putative benefits had to justify any brakes on economic growth.

In other words, the G-8 signed on to what has been the White House approach since 2002. The U.S. has relied on the arc of domestic energy programs now in place, like fuel-economy standards and efficiency regulations, along with billions in subsidies for low-carbon technology. Europe threw in with the central planning of the Kyoto Protocol -- and the contrast is instructive. Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions fell 3%. Of the 17 largest world-wide emitters, only France reduced by more.

So despite environmentalist sanctimony about the urgent need for President Bush and the U.S. to "take the lead" on global warming, his program has done better than most everybody else's. That won't make the evening news. But the fact is that the new G-8 document is best understood as a second look at the "leadership" of . . . you know who.

The G-8 also tends to make grand promises that evaporate as soon as everyone goes home. This year, picking up the "accountability" theme pressed by the U.S., envoys grudgingly accepted a plan that will track -- and publicize -- how well countries are living up to their word. So when the G-8 endorsed greenhouse reduction "aspirations" that are "ambitious, realistic and achievable," the emphasis fell on the last two attributes.

Put another way, global warming is an economic, not a theological, question. It is not at all clear that huge expenditures today on slowing emissions will yield long-run benefits or even slow emissions. Research and development into sources of low-carbon energy is almost certainly more useful, and the G-8 pledged more funding for "clean tech" programs. This is vastly preferable to whatever reorganization of the American economy that Barack Obama and John McCain currently favor in the name of solving this speculative problem.

The G-8 also conceded that global-warming masochism is futile and painfully expensive. If every rich country drastically cut CO2, those cuts would be wiped out by emissions from China and India. "Carbon leakage" is a major problem too, where cutbacks in some countries lead to increases in others with less strict policies, as manufacturing and the like are outsourced. This whack-a-mole won't stop without including all 17 major economies, which together produce roughly 80% of global emissions.

Much to the ire of Kyotophiles, Mr. Bush started this rethinking last year when he created a parallel track for talks on a post-2012 U.N. program, luring China and India to the table with more practical options. But developing countries, led by that duo, still refused to sign on to the G-8's 2050 goal. They aren't eager to endanger their growth -- and lifting people out of poverty -- by acquiring the West's climate neuroses.

The irony is that Kyoto has handed them every reason not to participate. Europe knew all along that it couldn't meet its quotas, so it created an out in "offsets." A British factory, say, buys a credit to pay for basic efficiency improvements in a Chinese coal plant, like installing smokestack scrubbers. This is a tax on the Brits to make Chinese industries more competitive. Sweet deal if you can get it.

It gets worse. The offsets are routed through a U.N. bureaucracy that makes them far more valuable in Europe than the cost of the actual efficiency improvements. So far, Kyoto-world has paid more than €4.7 billion to eliminate an obscure greenhouse gas called HFC-23; the necessary incinerators cost less than €100 million. Most of the difference in such schemes goes to the foreign government, such as China's communist regime.

Given these perverse incentives, the magical realism of Kyoto has backfired in a big way. The global warming elite will never admit this, because that would mean giving up their political whip against George Bush. But Kyoto II is already collapsing under its own contradictions. By sticking to a more realistic alternative, this reviled President has handed his green opponents a way to save face.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Metaphysics and Some Politics of Global Warming

Wall Street Journal

July 10, 2008

LETTERS

Regarding Bret Stephens's "Global Warming as Mass Neurosis" (Global View, July 1): In 1992, at my 25th Harvard College reunion, we got an accurate forecast of the "ideological convenience" driving global warming alarmism. In a discussion of the Rio Summit on environment and development, one of my classmates effused, "Who would have thought that the environment would bring us world government?" In other words, the advent of world-wide "pollution" controls will lead to world government (which all of us statist Harvard grads eagerly await).

On the other hand, climatologist Patrick Michaels has noted that we merely need to "follow the money" to explain global warming enthusiasm among scientists and academicians: Huge amounts of taxpayer dollars are running down the drain of climate research, and the people raking in the bucks are the same ones spouting the global warming nonsense.

Grant W. Schaumburg Jr.
Boston, MA

Here are the global warming movement's cultic parallels, many of whose characteristics can be found in Walter Martin and Ravi Zacharias's famous 2003 book, "The Kingdom of the Cults":

(1) Leadership by a New Age prophet -- in this case, former Vice President Al Gore.
(2) Assertion of an apocalyptic threat to all mankind.
(3) An absolutist definition of both the threat and the proposed solution(s).
(4) Promise of a salvation from this pending apocalypse.
(5) Devotion to an inspired text which embodies all the answers -- in this case Mr. Gore's pseudo-scientific book "Earth in the Balance" and his new "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary.
(6) A specific list of "truths" which must be embraced and proselytized by all cult members.
(7) An absolute intolerance of any deviation from any of these truths by any cult member.
(8) A strident intolerance of any outside criticism of the cult's definition of the problem or of its proposed solutions.
(9) A "heaven-on-earth" vision of the results of the mission's success or a "hell-on-earth" result if the cultic mission should fail.
(10) An inordinate fear (and an outright rejection of the possibility) of being proven wrong in either the apocalyptic vision or the proposed salvation.

Finally, since this cultic juggernaut has persuaded (brainwashed?) a majority of Americans into at least a temporary mindset of support for its pseudo-religious scam, Mr. Stephens's label of "mass neurosis" seems frighteningly accurate.

Jim Guirard
Alexandria, Va.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mysterious California Glaciers Keep Growing Despite Warming

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

AP

June 19, 2008: The Bolam glacier on the northern face of Mt. Shasta.

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — Global warming is shrinking glaciers all over the world, but the seven tongues of ice creeping down Mount Shasta's flanks are a rare exception: They are the only known glaciers in the continental U.S. that are growing.

Reaching more than 14,000 feet above sea level, Mount Shasta is one of the state's tallest peaks, dominating the landscape of high plains and conifer forests in far Northern California.

Nearby Indian tribes referred to its glaciers as the footsteps made by the creator when he descended to Earth. Hikers flock to Shasta's peak every summer to scale them.

With glaciers retreating in the Sierra Nevada, the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere in the Cascades, Mount Shasta — the southernmost volcano in the Cascade range — is actually benefiting from changing weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean.

"When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking," said Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led a team studying Shasta's glaciers. "These glaciers seem to be benefiting from the warming ocean."

Climate change has cut the number of glaciers at Montana's Glacier National Park from 150 to 26 since 1850, and some scientists project there will be none left within a generation.

Lonnie Thompson, a glacier expert at Ohio State University, has projected the storied snows at Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro might disappear by 2015.

But for Shasta, about 270 miles north of San Francisco, scientists say a warming Pacific Ocean means more moist air.

On the mountain, precipitation falls as snow, adding to the glaciers enough to overcome a 1.8 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature in the last century, scientists say.

"It's a bit of an anomaly that they are growing, but it's not to be unexpected," said Ed Josberger, a glaciologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Tacoma, Wash.

By comparison, the glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, more than 500 miles south of Mount Shasta, are exposed to warmer summer temperatures and are retreating.

The Sierra's 498 ice formations — glaciers and ice fields — have shrunk by about half their size over the past 100 years, said Andrew Fountain, a geology professor at Portland State University. He inventoried glaciers in the continental U.S. as part of a federal initiative.

He said Shasta's seven glaciers are the only ones scientists have identified as getting larger.
Glaciologists say most glaciers in Alaska and Canada are retreating, too, but there are too many to study them all.

Although Mount Shasta's glaciers are growing, researchers say the 4.7 billion cubic feet of ice on its flanks could be gone by 2100.

For the glaciers to remain their current size, Shasta would have to receive 20 percent more snowfall for every 1.8-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, Tulaczyk said.
The Shasta glaciers have been advancing since the end of a drought in the early 20th century. The mountain's smallest glaciers — named Konwakiton, Watkins and Mud Creek — have more than doubled in length since 1950.

Hikers seeking to cross Shasta's glaciers — marked with crevasses as deep as 100 feet — say they are much larger than the boundaries drawn on geological maps.

"I noticed I was traveling down farther than the maps were showing it," said Eric White, a U.S. Forest Service ranger who has climbed Shasta for 23 years.

Four glaciers at Washington's Mount Rainier are staying about the same size. Those glaciers — shielded from the sun on the mountain's north and east sides — have received just enough snow to keep them from shrinking.

The added ice on Mount Shasta might be good for the state's water supplies. Hydrologists believe the glaciers feed springs and aquifers, though they say it's unclear precisely how the water travels underground.

Until recently, the same phenomenon that is benefiting Shasta's glaciers was feeding glacier growth in southern Norway and Sweden, the New Zealand Alps and northern Pakistan, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In each area, scientists say, more snowfall temporarily offset warming temperatures in the 1990s and early 2000s. But rising temperatures since then have begun to shrink the ice.
Climate change is causing roughly 90 percent of the world's mountain glaciers to shrink, said Thompson, the Ohio State glacier expert.

"Best that we keep our eye on the big picture," Thompson said in an e-mail about Shasta's unique position. "The picture points unfortunately (to) massive loss of ice on land, which has huge implications for future sea level rise."

Global forecasts show temperatures warming from 2 degrees to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century if no major efforts are undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At that rate, California's snowpack and its remaining glaciers are among the most vulnerable of its natural resources.

Even without global warming, another threat to Shasta's glaciers could come far more quickly: a volcanic eruption could melt them, creating mud flows that could bury the surrounding small communities.

Over the last 4,000 years, Shasta has erupted about every 250 to 300 years, and did so most recently about 200 years ago, said William Hirt, a geology instructor at the College of the Siskiyous.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

American First Energy Plan

An America-First Energy Plan

A Commentary By Lawrence Kudlow

Thursday, July 03, 2008
President Bush was on message Wednesday in a Rose Garden news conference, when he kept up the pressure on his a drill, drill, drill offensive. He said he knows Americans are worried about gasoline prices and wants them "to understand fully that we have got the opportunity to find more crude oil here at home in environmentally friendly ways."

He specifically mentioned opening up ANWR, the outer continental shelf and oil-shale exploration. He also took a whack at lawmakers, saying, "The Democratically controlled Congress has refused to budge."

That's spot-on correct. But it has me wondering. Where in the world is John McCain on this very same issue? It's simple: Sen. McCain should be pummeling Barack Obama daily on drill, drill, drill. Why? Because oil and gas pump prices are potentially the single-biggest wedge issue in the presidential campaign. McCain has to pound the point home.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, 48 percent of Americans say lower gas prices are the key to an economic recovery, and 60 percent are in favor of offshore drilling.

Here's another one. Rasmussen asked voters about the now-infamous Harry Reid YouTube video, where the senator says coal and oil are making us sick, and that fossil-fueled global warming is "ruining our country" and "ruining our world." Well, Rasmussen shows that 52 percent of voters reject Reid on coal; 50 percent disagree with him on oil; and 51 reject his idea that we need to stop using fossil fuels.

And all this is McCain's opportunity. He needs to hammer away on an America First energy policy that will completely deregulate and decontrol this nation's great energy industry. He needs to mothball his errant statements on "obscene oil profits." Instead, he needs to support and unleash all of our energy companies and entrepreneurs, allowing them to develop whatever it takes on oil, gas-to-liquid, clean coal, nuclear, offshore, onshore, oil shale, wind, solar and biofuel.

America First should be the rallying cry. We have the natural resources to become the Saudi Arabia of coal and the Saudi Arabia of oil. Lift the moratoriums. Stop attacking our own businesses. Put technology to work. Put venture capital to work, with rock-bottom capital-gains and corporate tax rates. Stop being mau-maued by the extremist greenies who have prevented energy production for over three decades.

America First. Unleash our free-enterprise energy sector: 2 trillion barrels worth of shale; 90 billion barrels of offshore oil; at least 10 billion barrels up in ANWR and more throughout Alaska, both onshore and off.

Politically, Sen. McCain must also understand how Hillary Clinton clobbered Barack Obama in the big-state primaries: blue-collar workers. They can be the key to victory for McCain. Guess who works in the energy business? Blue collar Reagan Democrats. They work on the rigs. They work in the fields. They drive the trucks. And they're paid high wages -- substantially above the average hourly wage.

Or McCain can sell it this way: American workers are worried about jobs going offshore to India, China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Well, a drill, drill, drill America First energy plan would create millions of new domestic American jobs.

Of course, there's also a national security aspect to this. Worried about funding terrorist rogue states? Drill, drill, drill. A complete portfolio of oil energy sources in America -- that's the answer.

And while he's at it, McCain should stop blaming "reckless traders." As soon as you say, "End the drilling moratoriums," it is precisely those traders who will start selling oil contracts -- long before the first offshore oil barrels are delivered to market. If they see presidential leadership on oil and shale drilling, they will rapidly turn a bull market into a bear market.

Sen. Obama is opposed to drilling. Opposed to nuclear. Opposed to coal. He and Harry Reid believe wind, solar and ethanol are the answers. They're not. It's doubtful even at full development and commercialization that these alternative technologies will ever power more than 10 percent of our energy needs. We should go down this road as part of a full energy portfolio. But let's not kid ourselves: These sources alone will never be sufficient.

McCain has to make this case daily. He must contrast his America First energy plan with Obama's declinist American vision. He must argue America First for fuel, power, jobs, wages and national security. He must enlist the Reagan Democrats who may be out of work and are surely angry at $4 gas at the pump and $140 a barrel oil in the world market.

Take a page from Ronald Reagan, Mr. McCain. Be optimistic about our future. Be clear, straightforward and consistent. We can grow this economy and remain No. 1. This is how to do it.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Huge Volcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice

Wednesday, July 02, 2008
By Jeanna

'Huge Volcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice

New evidence deep beneath the Arctic ice suggests a series of underwater volcanoes have erupted in violent explosions in the past decade.

Hidden 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) beneath the Arctic surface, the volcanoes are up to a mile (2,000 meters) in diameter and a few hundred yards tall.

They formed along the Gakkel Ridge, a lengthy crack in the ocean crust where two rocky plates are spreading apart, pulling new melted rock to the surface.

Until now, scientists thought undersea volcanoes only dribbled lava from cracks in the seafloor. The extreme pressure from the overlying water makes it difficult for gas and magma to blast outward.

But the Gakkel Ridge, which is relatively unexplored and considered unique for its slow spreading rate, is just the place for surprises.

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Robert Reeves-Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts and his colleagues discovered jagged, glassy fragments of rock scattered around the volcanoes, suggesting explosive eruptions occurred between 1999 and 2001.

They hypothesize that the slow spreading could allow excess gas to build up in pockets of magma beneath the oceanic crust. When the gas pressure gets high enough, it pops like a champagne bottle being uncorked.

With news this week that polar ice is melting dramatically, underwater Arctic pyrotechnics might seem like a logical smoking gun.

Scientists don't see any significant connection, however.

"We don't believe the volcanoes had much effect on the overlying ice," Reeves-Sohn told LiveScience, "but they seem to have had a major impact on the overlying water column."
The eruptions discharge large amounts of carbon dioxide, helium, trace metals and heat into the water over long distances, he said.

The research, detailed in the June 26 issue of the journal Nature, was funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and WHOI.

Copyright © 2008 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Global Warming as Mass Neurosis

Wall Street Journal

GLOBAL VIEW

By BRET STEPHENS

July 1, 2008

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it's time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in.

What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA's Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of "99% confidence").

The New True Believers

But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.

The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years. At least as of February, last winter was the Northern Hemisphere's coldest in decades. In May, German climate modelers reported in the journal Nature that global warming is due for a decade-long vacation. But be not not-afraid, added the modelers: The inexorable march to apocalypse resumes in 2020.

This last item is, of course, a forecast, not an empirical observation. But it raises a useful question: If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.

So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.

The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.

A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.

And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.

Finally, there is a psychological explanation. Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

In "The Varieties of Religious Experience," William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, "morbid-minded" religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wikipedia Censors Global Warming Skeptics

Wikipedia Censors Global Warming Skeptics
Forbes.com
Rich Kargaard

June 12, 2008

Believe that global warming is the “moral issue of our time,” as does Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and you can justify a redistributive porker like the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill. Had it passed--it won't this time--this bill would've knocked 1% off of American gross domestic product per year for decades. The cap-and-traders are sure to try their luck again after Jan. 20, 2009, when a pledged cap-and-trader--John McCain or Barack Obama--will become the next U.S. president.

Cap-and-trade is predicated on the belief that humans cause global warming. As more energy is used and carbon is burned, global warming will accelerate until it melts every glacier and swamps every coastal city by 2050. That is, if hurricanes, tornadoes and very angry polar bears haven’t killed us by then.Fact is, the only thing accelerating thing about global warming is the number of scientists who are finding the courage to speak out against it. Finally.

Scientist Lawrence Solomon names names in a new book called The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Persecution and Fraud.

From the book’s jacket:

Al Gore says any scientist who disagrees with him on global warming is a kook, or a crook.

Guess he never met these guys:

Dr. Edward Wegman--former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences--demolishes the famous "hockey stick" graph that launched the global warming panic.

Dr. David Bromwich--president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology--says "it's hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now."

Professor Paul Reiter--chief of insects and infectious diseases at the famed Pasteur Institute--says "no major scientist with any long record in this field" accepts Al Gore's claim that global warming spreads mosquito-borne diseases.

Professor Hendrik Tennekes--director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute--says that "there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies" used for global warming forecasts.

Dr. Christopher Landsea--past chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones--says "there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity."

Dr. Antonino Zichichi--one of the world's foremost physicists and former president of the European Physical Society, who discovered nuclear antimatter--calls global warming models "incoherent and invalid."

Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski--world-renowned expert on the ancient ice cores used in climate research--says the U.N. "based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions, and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false."

Professor Tom V. Segalstad--head of the Geological Museum, University of Oslo--says "most leading geologists" know the U.N.'s views "of Earth processes are implausible."

Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu--founding director of the International Arctic Research Center, twice named one of the "1,000 Most Cited Scientists," says much "Arctic warming during the last half of the last century is due to natural change."

Dr. Claude Allegre--member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Science, was among the first to sound the alarm on the dangers of global warming. His view now: "The cause of this climate change is unknown."

Dr. Richard Lindzen--professor of meteorology at MIT and member of the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, says global warming alarmists "are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right."

Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov--head of the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science's Pulkovo Observatory and of the International Space Station's Astrometria project, says that "the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

Dr. Richard Tol--principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and adjunct professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University, calls the most influential global warming report of all time "preposterous … alarmist and incompetent."

Dr. Sami Solanki--director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, who argues that changes in the sun's state, not human activity, may be the principal cause of global warming: "The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures."

Professor Freeman Dyson--one of the world's most eminent physicists, says the models used to justify global warming alarmism are "full of fudge factors" and "do not begin to describe the real world."

Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen--director of the Danish National Space Centre and vice president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, argues that changes in the sun's behavior could account for most of the warming attributed by the U.N. to man-made CO2.

The Deniers is getting traction on Amazon.com and might be the book that destroys the global warming argument for a generation. Don’t count on the mainstream press to do this good work.

It has staked its reputation on Al Gore orthodoxy. So has, sadly as it turns out, a source I rather like: Wikipedia. the online encyclopedia of Big Brother censorship on global warming dissent and provides blow-by-blow evidence. Solomon names aWikipedia editor named Kim Dabelstein Petersen as the global warming enforcer. But the pro-global warming bias clearly comes from the top. Global warming is a pet hobby of founder

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Global Warmings New Consensus

Junk Science: Global Warming's New 'Consensus'

Friday, May 23, 2008

By Steven Milloy

There’s a new global warming consensus in town.

It’s too bad the once-level-headed but now chicken-hearted Bush administration already has skedaddled, perhaps leaving our standard of living at the mercy of Barack Obama and his high regard for the international hate-America crowd.

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine this week announced that 31,072 U.S. scientists signed a petition stating that "… There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the future, catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate..."
Eminent theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson is among the many distinguished signatories.

The OISM petition represents a direct challenge to the Al Gore-touted notion that a consensus of scientists has determined that catastrophic manmade global warming is real and that any debate over the science is pointless.

You might think that the Bush administration — which has been viciously attacked by Al Gore and the greens for pulling the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol and being generally skeptical of the science underlying global warming alarmism — would have embraced the new petition as support for its resistance to mandatory greenhouse gas emission caps.

But you’d be wrong. When given the chance to embrace vindication at a White House press briefing this week, deputy press secretary Dana Perino couldn’t run away fast enough.

A White House reporter asked Perino: "WorldNetDaily reports that more than 31,000 U.S. scientists, including 9,000 PhDs, now signed a petition rejecting global warming, the assumption that human production of greenhouse gases is damaging the Earth’s climate. My question: What is the White House reaction to these 31,000 scientists?"

While Perino could have responded with something akin to either "Yes, we know about the petition and we’re looking into it" or "No, we didn’t know about the petition but we will certainly look into it," she instead dismissed the question with an abrupt, "I would say that everyone is entitled to their opinion. What’s your next question?"

When the reporter tried to follow up with "That’s all?" Perino seemed to insist on remaining oblivious to the petition and its import by stating, "That’s all I’m going to say."

Well, at least Perino didn’t pull an "Al Gore" and label Dyson and the other 31,071 scientist-signatories as members of the Flat Earth Society.

In Perino’s defense, one might say that it is reasonable to disregard such petitions since science is about what is known or what can be proved about the natural world through systematic investigation rather than the number of scientists who are willing to publicly commit to a particular opinion.

On the other hand, global warming alarmism has been marketed to the public on the basis of the latter rather than the former.

We’ve been told that there’s a "consensus" of scientists — most often exemplified by the group of scientists working under the auspices of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — that agrees manmade greenhouse gas emissions are or will wreak havoc on the climate.

Although dispute exists over whether there is, in fact, an actual consensus within the IPCC, head counts of scientists seem to be the name of the global warming game.

Since that is the case, the 31,000 scientist signatories assembled by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine would seem to trump the 600 or so in the alleged IPCC consensus. Sadly, the White House has taken such a beating over the years on climate that facts no longer matter.

As further evidence of its shell-shocked state of fact avoidance, just last week the Bush administration announced that it was listing the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act — even though there are many more polar bears today than 40 years ago and predictions of the bear’s demise are entirely based on politically inspired speculation.
The fact of the 31,000 scientists should matter to the White House, given what likely Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said this week.

In a campaign stop in Oregon, Obama called for the U.S. to "lead by example" on global warming. "We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say 'OK.' … That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen," he said.

A President Obama apparently would decide how to regulate the pantries, thermostats and modes of personal transportation of his fellow Americans based on the emotional temperature of every non-American who happens to harbor an opinion on how we should live.

And although Republican presidential hopeful John McCain hasn’t been as blunt as Obama in respect to rolling back the American lifestyle, as reported in this column last week, he’s been drinking from the same batch of green Kool-Aid.

Sadly, the initial response from the Bush administration to relevant new facts that could prevent the imminent Obama-McCain attack on our standard of living seems to be, "See no consensus, hear no consensus, speak no consensus."

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cap and Spend

Cap and Spend

Wall Street Journal

June 2, 2008

As the Senate opens debate on its mammoth carbon regulation program this week, the phrase of the hour is "cap and trade." This sounds innocuous enough. But anyone who looks at the legislative details will quickly see that a better description is cap and spend. This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax.

Sponsored by Joe Lieberman and John Warner, the bill would put a cap on carbon emissions that gets lowered every year. But to ease the pain and allow for economic adjustment, the bill would dole out "allowances" under the cap that would stand for the right to emit greenhouse gases. Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced a package of manager's amendments that mandates total carbon reductions of 66% by 2050, while earmarking the allowances.

When cap and trade has been used in the past, such as to reduce acid rain, the allowances were usually distributed for free. A major difference this time is that the allowances will be auctioned off to covered businesses, which means imposing an upfront tax before the trade half of cap and trade even begins. It also means a gigantic revenue windfall for Congress.

Ms. Boxer expects to scoop up auction revenues of some $3.32 trillion by 2050. Yes, that's trillion. Her friends in Congress are already salivating over this new pot of gold. The way Congress works, the most vicious floor fights won't be over whether this is a useful tax to create, but over who gets what portion of the spoils. In a conference call with reporters last Thursday, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry explained that he was disturbed by the effects of global warming on "crustaceans" and so would be pursuing changes to ensure that New England lobsters benefit from some of the loot.

Of course most of the money will go to human constituencies, especially those with the most political clout. In the Boxer plan, revenues are allocated down to the last dime over the next half-century. Thus $802 billion would go for "relief" for low-income taxpayers, to offset the higher cost of lighting homes or driving cars. Ms. Boxer will judge if you earn too much to qualify.

There's also $190 billion to fund training for "green-collar jobs," which are supposed to replace the jobs that will be lost in carbon-emitting industries. Another $288 billion would go to "wildlife adaptation," whatever that means, and another $237 billion to the states for the same goal. Some $342 billion would be spent on international aid, $171 billion for mass transit, and untold billions for alternative energy and research – and we're just starting.

Ms. Boxer would only auction about half of the carbon allowances; she reserves the rest for politically favored supplicants. These groups might be Indian tribes (big campaign donors!), or states rewarded for "taking the lead" on emissions reductions like Ms. Boxer's California. Those lucky winners would be able to sell those allowances for cash. The Senator estimates that the value of the handouts totals $3.42 trillion. For those keeping track, that's more than $6.7 trillion in revenue handouts so far.

The bill also tries to buy off businesses that might otherwise try to defeat the legislation. Thus carbon-heavy manufacturers like steel and cement will get $213 billion "to help them adjust," while fossil-fuel utilities will get $307 billion in "transition assistance." No less than $34 billion is headed to oil refiners. Given that all of these folks have powerful Senate friends, they will probably extract a larger ransom if cap and trade ever does become law.

If Congress is really going to impose this carbon tax in the name of saving mankind, the least it should do is forego all of this political largesse. In return for this new tax, Congress should cut taxes elsewhere to make the bill revenue neutral. A "tax swap" would offset the deadweight taxes that impede growth and reduce employment. All the more so because even the cap-and-trade friendly Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the bill would reduce GDP between $1 trillion and $2.8 trillion by 2050.

Most liberal economists favor using the money to reduce the payroll tax. That has the disadvantage politically of adding Social Security into the debate. A cleaner tax swap would compensate for the new tax on business by cutting taxes on investment – such as slashing the 35% U.S. corporate rate that is the second highest in the developed world. Then there's the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2010 and would raise the overall tax burden by $2.8 trillion over the next decade. Democrats who want to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends are proposing a double tax wallop by embracing Warner-Lieberman-Boxer.

All of this helps explain why so many in Congress are so enamored of "doing something" about global warming. They would lay claim to a vast new chunk of the private economy and enhance their own political power.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama says we can't drive our SUVs

May 19, 2008

We can’t drive our SUVs?

Filed under: 2008 Presidential campaigns, Economics, Environmentalism, Politics, The Economy, liberal fascism — Dave - the Infidel Sage @ 10:55 pm

Obama’s view of your economic future

Buried in the sea of Obama’s largest crowd (what Drudge calls the “Obama Mass”) is the economic ramifications of his latest pronouncements on global warming:
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK…. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.”

Let’s break that down. First, under an Obama administration, “we can’t drive our SUVs,” which begs the question: “What precisely qualifies as an ‘SUV’? Is my family minivan an SUV? Perhaps any vehicle that doesn’t deliver 30 miles per gallon will be a banned ‘SUV.’ Let’s move on. ” We can’t… keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times.” My home was set at 70 degrees last night and my office is at 72 degrees all day. I think it’s been proven that air conditioning actually does increase productivity. And why pick on ‘72 degrees’? Why not 76 degrees? What is morally acceptable in this new Obamaworld?

Of course, what’s funny is that I keep my work temperature at pretty much 72 degrees for three fourths of the year and a bit cooler in the summer (about 70 depending on the day) and my wife drives a minivan. But that’s not good enough or acceptable for ol’ Barack. He would have to start picking on me personally.

Back off Barry!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

31,000 Scientists Reject Manmade Global Warming Claims

31,000 Scientists Reject Manmade Global Warming Claim

May 20, 2008

Summary of Peer-Reviewed Research

Most scientists have a detailed knowledge of their own narrow field of specialization, a general knowledge of fundamental science, an understanding of the scientific method, and a mental model that encompasses a broad range of scientific disciplines. This model serves as the basis of their thoughts about scientific questions.

When a scientist desires to refine his understanding of a specific scientific subject, he often begins by reading one or more review articles about that topic. As he reads, he compares the facts given in the review with his mental model of the subject, refining his model and updating it with current information. Review articles do not present new discoveries. The essential facts given in the review must be referenced to the peer-reviewed scientific research literature, so that the reader can check the assertions and conclusions of the article and obtain more detailed information about aspects that interest him.

A 12-page review article about the human-caused global warming hypothesis is circulated with the petition. To view the entire article in html, 150-dpi PDF, 300-dpi PDF, 600-dpi PDF or figures alone in powerpoint or flash, click on the appropriate item in this sentence.

The factual information cited in this article is referenced to the underlying research literature, in this case by 132 references listed at the end of the article. Although written primarily for scientists, most of this article can be understood without formal scientific training. This article was submitted to many scientists for comments and suggestions before it was finalized and submitted for publication. It then underwent ordinary peer review by the publishing journal.

The United Nations IPCC also publishes a research review in the form of a voluminous, occasionally-updated report on the subject of climate change, which the United Nations asserts is “authored” by approximately 600 scientists. These “authors” are not, however – as is ordinarily the custom in science – permitted power of approval the published review of which they are putative authors. They are permitted to comment on the draft text, but the final text neither conforms to nor includes many of their comments. The final text conforms instead to the United Nations objective of building support for world taxation and rationing of industrially-useful energy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Study : Hurricane Spike Not Caused By Global Warming

Monday, May 19, 2008

Study : Hurricane Spike Not Caused By Global Warming

WASHINGTON — Global warming isn't to blame for the recent jump in the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject.

Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects of global warming in the Atlantic.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Natural Science Center.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, hurricanes have often been seen as a symbol of global warming's wrath. Many climate change experts have tied the rise of hurricanes in recent years to global warming and hotter waters that fuel them.

Another group of experts, those who study hurricanes and who are more often skeptical about global warming, say there is no link. They attribute the recent increase to a natural multi-decade cycle.

What makes this study different is Knutson, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fluid dynamics lab in Princeton, N.J.

He has warned about the harmful effects of climate change and has even complained in the past about being censored by the Bush administration on past studies on the dangers of global warming.

He said his new study, based on a computer model, argues "against the notion that we've already seen a really dramatic increase in Atlantic hurricane activity resulting from greenhouse warming."

The study, published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, predicts that by the end of the century the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic will fall by 18 percent.

The number of hurricanes making landfall in the United States and its neighbors — anywhere west of Puerto Rico — will drop by 30 percent because of wind factors.

The biggest storms — those with winds of more than 110 mph — would only decrease in frequency by 8 percent. Tropical storms, those with winds between 39 and 73 mph, would decrease by 27 percent.

It's not all good news from Knutson's study, however. His computer model also forecasts that hurricanes and tropical storms will be wetter and fiercer.

Rainfall within 30 miles of a hurricane should jump by 37 percent and wind strength should increase by about 2 percent, Knutson's study says.

And Knutson said this study significantly underestimates the increase in wind strength. Some other scientists criticized his computer model.

MIT hurricane meteorologist Kerry Emanuel, while praising Knutson as a scientist, called his conclusion "demonstrably wrong" based on a computer model that doesn't look properly at storms.

Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist, said Knutson's computer model is poor at assessing tropical weather and "fail to replicate storms with any kind of fidelity."

Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said it is not just the number of hurricanes "that matter, it is also the intensity, duration and size, and this study falls short on these issues."

Knutson acknowledges weaknesses in his computer model and said it primarily gives a coarse overview, not an accurate picture on individual storms and storm strength. He said the latest model doesn't produce storms surpassing 112 mph.

But NOAA hurricane meteorologist Chris Landsea, who wasn't part of this study, praised Knutson's work as "very consistent with what's being said all along."

"I think global warming is a big concern, but when it comes to hurricanes the evidence for changes is pretty darn tiny," Landsea said.

Hurricane season starts June 1 in the Atlantic and a Colorado State University forecast predicts about a 50 percent more active than normal storm season this year.

NOAA puts out its own seasonal forecast on May 22.

In a normal year about 10 named storms form. Six become hurricanes and two become major hurricanes. On average, about five hurricanes hit the United States every three years.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cold Water Thrown on Antarctic Global-Warming Predictions

Friday, May 09, 2008
By Andrea Thompson

Cold Water Thrown on Antarctic Global-Warming Predictions

Antarctica hasn't warmed as much over the last century as climate models had originally predicted, a new study finds.

Climate change's effects on Antarctica are of particular interest because of the substantial amount of water locked up in its ice sheets.

Should that water begin to melt, sea levels around the globe could rise and inundate low-lying coastal areas.

The new study, detailed in the April 5 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, marks the first time that researchers have been able to give a progress report on Antarctic climate model projections by comparing climate records to model simulations. (These comparisons have already been done for the other six continents.)

Information about Antarctica's harsh weather patterns has traditionally been limited, but temperature records from ice cores and ground weather stations have recently been constructed, giving scientists the missing information they needed.

"This is a really important exercise for these climate models," said study leader Andrew Monaghan of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Co.

Temperature gap

Monaghan and his team found that while climate models projected temperature increases of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius) over the past century, temperatures were observed to have risen by only 0.4 F (0.2 C).

"This is showing us that, over the past century, most of Antarctica has not undergone the fairly dramatic warming that has affected the rest of the globe," Monaghan said.

The gap between prediction and reality seemed to be caused by the models overestimating the amount of water vapor in the Antarctic atmosphere.

The cold air over the southernmost continent handles moisture differently than the atmosphere over warmer regions.

The models did, however, correctly capture the increases in snowfall over Antarctica in the late 20th century, followed by a decrease in the last decade.

One reason that Antarctica hasn't warmed as much as other parts of the globe is the existence of the man-made ozone hole overhead: It alters wind patterns, creating a swirling belt of winds around the landmass that keeps comparatively warm air from seeping in, preserving the continent's frigid temperatures.

One important exception to this rule is the Antarctic Peninsula, which has warmed by several degrees, in part because winds there draw in warmer air from the north.

Mixed verdict

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that sea levels could rise by 7 to 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) globally this century, in part due to ice melt at both poles and from mountain glaciers.

The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, suggests that warming in Antarctica could offset this amount by about 2 inches (5 centimeters) if the continent warms by 5.4 F (3 C), as warmer air would hold more moisture and generate more snowfall, which contributes to the growth of the ice sheets, locking up any additional water in the these large masses of ice.

That would mean a rise of only 5 to 21 inches (13 to 54 centimeters).

But these projections are by no means certain — if melt from Antarctic ice sheets outweighed the snowfall that contributes to their growth, sea level rise could be higher.

"The research clearly shows that you can actually slow down sea-level rise when you increase temperatures over Antarctica because snowfall increases, but warmer temperatures also have the potential to speed up sea-level rise due to enhanced melting along the edges of Antarctica," Monaghan said. "Over the next century, whether the ice sheet grows from increased snowfall or shrinks due to more melt will depend on how much temperatures increase in Antarctica, and potentially on erosion at the ice sheet edge by the warmer ocean and rising sea level."

The findings of the study don't call into question model projections for other parts of the globe, Monaghan said.

"The models are really doing quite a good job at simulating the 20th-century changes over the six inhabited continents," he told LiveScience.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Biofuels Backlash

The Biofuels Backlash

The Wall Street Journal

May 7, 2008


St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes, and for 30 years we invoked his name as we opposed ethanol subsidies. So imagine our great, pleasant surprise to see that the world is suddenly awakening to the folly of subsidized biofuels.

All it took was a mere global "food crisis." Last week chief economist Joseph Glauber of the USDA, which has been among Big Ethanol's best friends in Washington, blamed biofuels for increasing prices on corn and soybeans. Mr. Glauber also predicted that corn prices will continue their historic rise because of demand from "expanding use for ethanol."

Even the environmental left, which pushed ethanol for decades as an alternative to gasoline, is coming clean. Lester Brown, one of the original eco-Apostles, wrote in the Washington Post that "it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that food-to-fuel mandates have failed." We knew for sure the tide had turned when Time magazine's recent cover story, "The Clean Energy Myth," described how turning crops into fuel increases both food prices and atmospheric CO2. No one captures elite green wisdom better than Time's Manhattan editors. Can Vanity Fair be far behind?

All we can say is, welcome aboard. Corn ethanol can now join the scare over silicone breast implants and the pesticide Alar as among the greatest scams of the age. But before we move on to the next green miracle cure, it's worth recounting how much damage this ethanol political machine is doing.

To create just one gallon of fuel, ethanol slurps up 1,700 gallons of water, according to Cornell's David Pimentel, and 51 cents of tax credits. And it still can't compete against oil without a protective 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on imports and a federal mandate that forces it into our gas tanks. The record 30 million acres the U.S. will devote to ethanol production this year will consume almost a third of America's corn crop while yielding fuel amounting to less than 3% of petroleum consumption.

In December the Congressional Research Service warned that even devoting every last ear of American-grown corn to ethanol would not create enough "renewable fuel" to meet federal mandates. According to a 2007 OECD report, fossil-fuel production is up to 10,000 times as efficient as biofuel, measured by energy produced per unit of land.

Now scientists are showing that ethanol will exacerbate greenhouse gas emissions. A February report in the journal Science found that "corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years . . . Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%." Princeton's Timothy Searchinger and colleagues at Iowa State, of all places, found that markets for biofuel encourage farmers to level forests and convert wilderness into cropland. This is to replace the land diverted from food to fuel.

As usual, Congress is the last to know, but maybe even it is catching on. Credit goes to John McCain, the first presidential candidate in recent memory who has refused to bow before King Ethanol. Onetime ethanol opponent Hillary Clinton announced her support in 2006, as the Iowa caucuses beckoned. In 2006 Barack Obama proposed mandating a staggering 65 billion gallons a year of alternative fuel by 2025, but by this Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" he was suggesting that maybe helping "people get something to eat" was a higher priority than biofuels.

Mr. McCain and 24 other Senators are now urging EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to consider using his broad waiver authority to eliminate looming biofuel mandates. Otherwise, the law will force us to consume roughly four times the current requirement by 2022. In fact, with some concerned state governments submitting helpful petitions, Mr. Johnson could largely knock out the ethanol mandate regime, at least temporarily.

Over the longer term, however, this shouldn't be entrusted to unelected bureaucrats. The best policy would repeal the biofuel mandates and subsidies enacted in the 2005 and 2007 energy bills. We say repeal because there will be intense lobbying to keep the subsidies, or transfer them from projects that have failed to those that have not yet failed.

Like Suzanne Somers in "American Graffiti," the perfect biofuel is always just out of reach, only a few more billion dollars in subsidies away from commercial viability. But sometimes even massive government aid can't turn science projects into products. The industry's hope continues for cellulosic ethanol, but there's no getting around the fact that biofuels require vegetation to make fuel. Even cellulosic ethanol, while more efficient than corn, will require countless acres of fuel if it is ever going to replace oil. Perhaps some future technology will efficiently extract energy from useless corn stalks and fallen trees. But until that day, Congress's ethanol subsidies are merely force-feeding an industry that is doing far more harm than good.

The results include distorted investment decisions, higher carbon emissions, higher food prices for Americans, and an emerging humanitarian crisis in the developing world. The last thing the poor of Africa and the taxpayers of America need is another scheme to conjure gasoline out of corn and tax credits.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Great Global Warming Race

Junk Science: The Great Global Warming Race

Thursday, May 01, 2008

By Steven Milloy

The Great Global Warming Race

Can global warming’s vested interests close the deal on greenhouse gas regulation before the public wises up to their scam?

A new study indicates alarmist concern and a need to explain away the lack of actual global warming. Researchers belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in Nature (May 1) that after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations … temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming."

You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature. Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing.

When NASA’s James Hansen sounded the alarm in Congress 20 years ago, he predicted that rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or CO2, would drive global temperatures higher by 0.34 degrees Celsius during the 1990s. But surface temperatures increased during that decade by only 0.11 degrees Celsius and lower atmosphere temperatures actually decreased.

Global temperatures remain well below an El Nino-driven 1998 spike despite ever-increasing atmospheric CO2. Global warming hysterics purport that manmade emissions of CO2 are the primary driver of global climate and that controlling emissions will favorably affect climate. While this is obviously not so since it virtually supposes that without human activity climate change would not occur, it nevertheless remains their viewpoint.

The Nature study, however, reasserts Mother Nature in her rightful place as our climate dominatrix. Although there is no evidence that manmade CO2 emissions play any detectable role in climate change, the very idea that Mother Nature may cool the planet despite humanity’s furious output of greenhouse gases should be even worse for the climate alarmists’ way of thinking.

It would mean that greenhouse gas emissions are actually beneficial, since without them, Mother Nature’s cooling could be quite damaging. The last time the Earth significantly cooled was during the 14th to 19th centuries — a period known as the Little Ice Age.

Among other things during that period, the Vikings were forced to withdraw from a freezing Greenland and cooler Northern Hemisphere temperatures were responsible for, and or contributed to, numerous famines and much-related social upheaval. So will the Nature study dump climate alarmism into the ash can of history? Doubtful.

Just this week, Al Gore drummed up $683 million for an investment fund that aims to profit from government-subsidized global warming-related technologies. A few weeks ago, Gore launched a $300 million global warming ad campaign. Do you think he’s at all interested in returning that money to investors and contributors? Or that he and the IPCC are interested in returning their Nobel Peace Prizes?

The federal government has been doling out more than $5 billion annually for research into climate change and alternative energy. A generation ago, there were only a handful of climatologists around the world; now there are legions of taxpayer-funded climatologists, scientists and public health professionals from many disciplines also hooked up to the climate gravy train.

What about the private-sector profiteers? Will the carbon footprint industry give up its CO2-offset ATM? Will companies that have been lobbying to receive trillions of dollars of free carbon credits from Congress — including Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and Dupont — stop pushing for all that free money?

How many outspoken politicians and celebrities will be willing to acknowledge that they have made fools of themselves? I suppose that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Madonna and others could at least jet on back to their hypocritical Green lifestyles with a clear conscience of sorts.

Finally, there’s the environmental movement that is now just a November presidential election away from its dream of turning the United States into a centrally planned Green state where under the guise of saving the planet, the Green elites would get to pick and choose who gets to use how much energy and at what cost.

The bottom line of global warming — and that is why so many are behind it — is that its many vested interests are on the verge of a financial and political bonanza, something that scientific facts and climatic realities are likely only to spoil.

So when global temperature doesn’t behave as predicted, excuses and explanations must be found to prevent the almost-mature golden goose from being roasted for dinner. The spin on the Nature study provided by its authors to The New York Times is that, "We’re learning that [natural] climate variability is important and can mask the effects of human-induced global change. In the end this gives more confidence in the long-term projections."

The attempted logic here is that even though the alarmists have been wrong in the past — been there, done that — their failure somehow sets them up for more certain future success. We look past this logical fallacy at our own peril. I can’t wait for their Orwellian pronouncement that global cooling is the new global warming.

For the next 10 years, while alarmists ram through their misanthropic agenda, their time-buying story line will be "aren’t we lucky that Mother Nature has given us a temporary reprieve."

This will no doubt be followed 10 years later by "Whew, aren’t we glad we spent trillions to prevent catastrophic global warming?"

Meanwhile, for trained observers, it will simply be a matter of realizing that the global warming apocalypse never materialized because it was simply never going to happen anyway.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

My Rant

The claim that climate change is direct result of man's energy consumption is simply unproven and politically motivated. While they propound lies that certain lightbulbs or cars will destroy the earth and raise ocean levels as much as 20 feet within the next century, fascists, like Al Gore, fly around in their Gulfstream jets and live in homes that use 22 times the energy of an average American's home! Their propaganda is outrageous and potentially catastrophic for the economies of United States, the developed world and developing world.

The proof of global warming or man's influence on climate change is not settled science. Just consider the source of the big lie: the proselytizing hypocritical high priest of the pagan environmental religion Al Gore or the other Kool-Aid drinking climateers from the left such as Learjet liberals, Hollywood high school drop-outs, billonaire elitists, the left-leaning mainstream media, the United Nations, academia, environmental radicals, socialists, other anti-capitalists and so called "researchers", "experts" and/or "scientists" whose paychecks depend upon the apparent existence of the "issue".

United States energy conservation and independence is a worthy goal that should be supported by Republicans, the Democrat Party, true Democrats, Independents and environmentalists. Energy independence is a major national security concern. However, lying to our people, implementing the cap & trade boondoggle which will crush our economy or doing anything that will cause the United States to transfer an portion of its sovereignty to the United Nations is idiotic. Not in my name!