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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sea level rise greatest lie ever told

Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told'

The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker.

Christopher Booker
Daily Telegraph 28 Mar 2009

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.

Although the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".

When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.

Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a trend".

When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an "expert reviewer" on the IPCC's last two reports, he was "astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one". Yet the results of all this "deliberate ignorance" and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.

•For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview "Claim that sea level is rising is a total fraud"; or email him – morner@pog.nu – to buy a copy of his booklet 'The Greatest Lie Ever Told'
Fined, frozen and now jailed

The Marine Fisheries Agency was certainly onto a winner when it enlisted the aid of the Assets Recovery Agency in its ruthless war against our fishermen. In December 2007 Charles McBride and his son Charles, from Kilkeel in Northern Ireland, were fined £385,000 for under-declaring catches of whitefish and prawns in the Irish Sea, threatening the loss of their homes and boat. But the Assets Recovery Agency, using powers designed to recover money from drug dealers, also froze all their assets. To pay the fines, the McBrides tried to borrow against their assets. Now, for this effort to pay the fines, Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced the two men to two and three months in gaol for “contempt of court”.

Blown away

The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, timed his jibe impeccably last week when he said that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”. Britain’s largest windfarm companies are pulling out of wind as fast as they can. Despite 100 per cent subsidies, the credit crunch and technical problems spell an end to Gordon Brown’s £100 billion dream of meeting our EU target to derive 35 per cent of our electricity from “renewables” by 2020.

Meanwhile the Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the “great wind fantasy” will soon be over.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour, The Real Meaning

The Real Meaning of Earth Hour

By Keith Lockitch

On Saturday, March 28, cities around the world will turn off their lights to observe “Earth Hour.” Iconic landmarks from the Sydney Opera House to Manhattan’s skyscrapers will be darkened to encourage reduced energy use and signal a commitment to fighting climate change.

While a one-hour blackout will admittedly have little effect on carbon emissions, what matters, organizers say, is the event’s symbolic meaning. That’s true, but not in the way organizers intend.

We hear constantly that the debate is over on climate change--that man-made greenhouse gases are indisputably causing a planetary emergency. But there is ample scientific evidence to reject the claims of climate catastrophe. And what’s never mentioned? The fact that reducing greenhouse gases to the degree sought by climate activists would, itself, cause significant harm.

Politicians and environmentalists, including those behind Earth Hour, are not calling on people just to change a few light bulbs, they are calling for a truly massive reduction in carbon emissions--as much as 80 percent below 1990 levels. Because our energy is overwhelmingly carbon-based (fossil fuels provide more than 80 percent of world energy), and because the claims of abundant “green energy” from breezes and sunbeams are a myth--this necessarily means a massive reduction in our energy use.

People don’t have a clear view of what this would mean in practice. We, in the industrialized world, take our abundant energy for granted and don’t consider just how much we benefit from its use in every minute of every day. Driving our cars to work and school, sitting in our lighted, heated homes and offices, powering our computers and countless other labor-saving appliances, we count on the indispensable values that industrial energy makes possible: hospitals and grocery stores, factories and farms, international travel and global telecommunications. It is hard for us to project the degree of sacrifice and harm that proposed climate policies would force upon us.

This blindness to the vital importance of energy is precisely what Earth Hour exploits. It sends the comforting-but-false message: Cutting off fossil fuels would be easy and even fun! People spend the hour stargazing and holding torch-lit beach parties; restaurants offer special candle-lit dinners. Earth Hour makes the renunciation of energy seem like a big party.

Participants spend an enjoyable sixty minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away. This bears no relation whatsoever to what life would actually be like under the sort of draconian carbon-reduction policies that climate activists are demanding: punishing carbon taxes, severe emissions caps, outright bans on the construction of power plants.

Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth Month, without any form of fossil fuel energy? Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating, electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators; without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible.

Those who claim that we must cut off our carbon emissions to prevent an alleged global catastrophe need to learn the indisputable fact that cutting off our carbon emissions would be a global catastrophe. What we really need is greater awareness of just how indispensable carbon-based energy is to human life (including, of course, to our ability to cope with any changes in the climate).

It is true that the importance of Earth Hour is its symbolic meaning. But that meaning is the opposite of the one intended. The lights of our cities and monuments are a symbol of human achievement, of what mankind has accomplished in rising from the cave to the skyscraper. Earth Hour presents the disturbing spectacle of people celebrating those lights being extinguished. Its call for people to renounce energy and to rejoice at darkened skyscrapers makes its real meaning unmistakably clear: Earth Hour symbolizes the renunciation of industrial civilization.

Keith Lockitch, PhD in physics, is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, focusing on science and environmentalism. The Ayn Rand Center is a division of the Ayn Rand Institute and promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

Copyright © 2009 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Physics for the Rest of Us

Physics for the Rest of Us
Kerry A. Dolan
03.11.09
Forbes Magazine dated March 30, 2009

A Berkeley professor dares to debunk the popular wisdom about the future of energy.
In his driveway in the heart of ultraliberal Berkeley, Calif. Professor Richard A. Muller has an unsurprising possession: a hybrid-electric Toyota Prius. What's surprising is his motivation for owning it. "It doesn't save me money," he explains. "It doesn't help slow global warming. I just love the technology."

It's a measure of how popular this physicist's lectures are that he can get away with such unpopular views. Surrounded by tree-hugging academics at UC, Berkeley, he dares to argue that coal and nuclear fission are good sources of energy. Hydrogen- and electric-powered cars won't do much to save either our atmosphere or our balance of trade, he says; solar panels on residential rooftops make no economic sense; those environmental preachers Al Gore and Thomas Friedman are exaggerating the effects of global warming.

Muller, 65, named a MacArthur "genius" in 1982, teaches a course called "Physics for Future Presidents," voted best class at Berkeley in 2008. Since 2000 it has grown from 54 students to 500, with a 100-person waiting list. Last year he put out a book with the same title (for a general audience). Over the past eight years he's attracted attention in public policy circles with his efforts to inject scientific understanding into the debates about terrorism, nuclear power, energy and global warming.

Muller concedes that the Earth is getting warmer and that this is worrisome. He agrees with studies that show global temperatures have increased roughly two degrees Fahrenheit over the last century and that carbon dioxide levels have risen 36% over the same period. But he says a vast amount of misinformation has been spread by scientifically uninformed folk: "deniers" on the one hand and "exaggerators" like Gore and Friedman on the other. "No one actually pays attention to the IPCC," he sighs, referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists, diplomats and politicians who have come to a consensus on the science.

The misinformation spread by the exaggerators, says Muller, includes the panic Al Gore creates in his documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. Gore shows the U.S. being flooded as the oceans rise. The more likely scenario, says Muller, is a 12-inch rise in sea levels over the next 100 years (his source: the IPCC). Another fallacy in Gore's film has to do with the bears. "Those polar bears that can't find the ice? There's no record of that," sniffs Muller.

Muller's gripe about Tom Friedman is his claim that global warming has caused an increase in hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. That's because we're looking harder for such storms and finding more, says Muller. "There is compelling evidence that the rate of such storms has been slowly going down," he says.

Muller's chief concern is the U.S.' lack of understanding about the science behind important policy issues. This conviction stems partly from the 34 years he spent as an adviser to the U.S. government on national security issues. "I was painfully aware that scientific issues were not understood by top officials," he says. "So many important issues have a high-tech angle to them."

The U.S. hasn't fired up a new nuclear power plant since 1996, and Muller lays the blame in part on irrational worries about radiation. "We need to educate the public. Nuclear is not as dangerous as they think it is," he says. For starters, the public doesn't understand that a certain amount of radioactivity is normal. Denver has 50% more radioactivity than the average U.S. city because of the granite in the rocks there, he says. Yet the cancer rate in Denver is lower than in
"We assuage public fears by passing ridiculously low limits on radioactivity," he says, but adds that low levels of radioactivity do concern him. Radioactivity levels are likely to be lower at Yucca Mountain, the proposed nuclear waste storage site in Nevada, than in Denver, but Muller says that hasn't calmed the public's fears about storing waste at Yucca.

Clean coal is yet another promising source of energy, says Muller. In this process, now under development, the carbon dioxide created by coal combustion is captured and pumped deep into the ground. In early 2008 the U.S. government canceled plans to build a 275-megawatt clean-coal plant because of cost overruns, but Muller says it can be built. The developing world will continue to use coal because it's cheap; Muller says clean coal will be necessary to control the carbon emissions.

Muller's bad news on photovoltaics: "The only way to break even on solar rooftop panels is through the subsidies." He is more optimistic about the future of concentrated solar power, in which a lens focuses the sun on a solar cell; the cost of that can be brought down to $1 per peak watt, he says. He concedes that a new genre of solar cells using ultrathin layers of copper, indium, gallium and selenide might change the picture for residential solar.
Muller is skeptical about battery-powered cars. "Electric vehicles are good for wealthy people," he says. People who think they are saving money by converting to electric or plug-in hybrid cars are not taking into account the cost of replacing batteries, he says.

Over the next several decades the biggest contributors to global warming will be China, India and Russia, as their economies grow and industrial production increases. If we really want to slow down global warming, we have to invest in, or invent, technology that's cheap enough to be deployed in China. "Anything that does not address China and India is a feel-good solution," he says.

Muller grew up in New York City's South Bronx. He studied physics at Columbia University and got his Ph.D. under the tutelage of Luis Alvarez, a UC, Berkeley professor and Nobel laureate in physics whose investigations included X-raying the pyramids and deciphering what killed the dinosaurs.

As physicists go, Muller is quite the Renaissance man. He began working in particle physics and spent time investigating ice ages. He has a controversial theory about a star he calls Nemesis that he says is orbiting the sun at a distance of a few light years. On the walls of his book-filled home hang photographs he has taken of wildlife during his world travels, including a gorilla in Rwanda and a lion cub in Kenya. He whips out his iPhone to show a visitor a video of how he came within a few feet of gorillas. The animals appear to ignore the tourists.

Muller's peers are happy to take him on in the great policy debates. John Harte, a physicist who teaches in UC, Berkeley's Energy & Resources Group, declares that the economics of both clean coal and nuclear power are doubtful enough to make solar, wind and geothermal generation well worth pursuing instead. Franklin Orr, director of Stanford University's Precourt Institute for Energy, agrees with Muller that there is room for nuclear and possibly clean coal (if nuclear waste storage and carbon capture can be solved) but doesn't agree with him that Al Gore and Tom Friedman are overstating the risks of global warming. Orr notes that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is dissolving in the ocean, changing the acidity and affecting the coral reefs.

Felix Kramer, founder of California Cars Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes plug-in hybrids, says Muller's math is faulty when it comes to the lifetime of electric batteries. He says the batteries in the Tesla, an all-electric sports car, should last about as long as the car--between 100,000 and 200,000 miles.

Muller says, "If Obama got strongly behind nuclear, then it could move much faster." He doesn't believe we need to choose between nuclear and solar: "This is an example of the 'green bickering' that I deplore: 'I am cleaner than thou.' We need all [those sources of energy]." He agrees with Orr that the CO2 dissolving in the oceans is a problem, and he addresses it in his book. "I consider this to be potentially a bigger problem than global warming," Muller says. But he is surprised that Orr doesn't see Gore and Friedman's exaggerations. "Certainly he would agree that Gore and Friedman are making claims that are way beyond those in the consensus of the IPCC. Maybe he is not part of the consensus."

Answering Kramer, Muller cites recent research by Consumer Reports showing that converting to plug-in hybrids costs $10,000, but the batteries have to be replaced at the end of three years.
Muller insists that he doesn't aim to tell anyone--future President or not--what to do about energy policy, or anything else. In all his years advising government, he says, "the most valuable thing I taught them was how to understand the issues so they could see the conclusion themselves, and then convince other people."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Antarctic Ice May Melt, But Not For Millenia

Antarctic Ice May Melt, But Not For Millennia

by Richard Harris

JPL/NASA
Scientists are concerned that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet could contribute to sea levels rising by 15 or 20 feet, but it's likely to take at least 1,000 years for that to happen. Ben Holt, Sr.

“The West Antarctic ice sheet is, in some ways, the planet's Achilles' heel.”

The PBS series NOVA has teamed up with National Geographic on a project called "Extreme Ice" that follows adventure photographer James Balog and a team of scientists through the world's icy regions in the largest-ever photographic study of the cryosphere.
March 18, 2009In The Arctic, A Time-Lapse View Of Climate Change

“We certainly don't need a collapse of the ice sheet to cause major problems with sea level rise.”Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of physics of the oceans, Potsdam University

Up In Greenland...
Scientists have been studying how melting ice in Greenland is affecting the flow of ice sheets over the bedrock. Runoff meltwater from the surface makes its way underneath the ice, lubricating the ice sheet and making it flow faster to the coast where it ultimately contributes to rising sea levels. Below, photographs from Richard Harris' recent reporting trip to Greenland.

March 19, 2009 · A huge chunk of Antarctic ice can't withstand nonstop global warming, according to a new study published in the latest Nature magazine. And if it melts, the ice will raise the global sea level by 15 or 20 feet — or more.

The only good news here is the catastrophe isn't likely to unfold quickly.

The ice in question is called the West Antarctic ice sheet. In some ways, it's the planet's Achilles' heel. It holds a vast amount of water, locked up as ice, and it's sitting below sea level, so it's inherently unstable.

Research On The West Antarctic Ice Sheet

David Pollard at Penn State University says there has been intense research recently to figure out how the ice sheet has behaved over the past 5 million years.

"Before there was only a vague idea of how the West Antarctic ice sheet grew and decayed over those time scales," he says.

Now, a scientific drilling project has brought back sediment samples taken from underneath the ice sheet, allowing scientists to study the mud layers, like so many tree rings, to show what ice there has done over history.

"It's really exciting," Pollard says. "They've shown it really has collapsed and re-grown, multiple times."

Pollard and a colleague have taken that detailed information and asked what it portends for the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

"The main reason that it collapsed in the past is the ocean has gotten warmer around the periphery of Antarctica, increasing the rate of melting of these floating ice shelves which fringe West Antarctica," Pollard says.

These floating ice shelves act like buttresses to keep the much larger ice sheet pinned back. And whenever the shelves melt away, the ice behind them flows into the sea and sea levels rise.
Warming ocean water around Antarctica, by a maybe 2 to 5 degrees Celsius, could trigger that chain of events, Pollard says. That degree of ocean warming is not forecast for this century, but at the rate the planet is heating up, it seems inevitable at some point. But Pollard's study indicates that the West Antarctic ice sheet won't melt away too rapidly. He figures that will take at least 1,000 years, and more likely 2,000 to 3,000 years.

But instead of being reassured by this long time horizon, Pollard says, "I'd say I feel more nervous."

That's because there's now a clear history showing this massive ice sheet has melted before, under conditions that the Earth may soon experience. And while the full effect may not unfold for thousands of years, it would transform the planet into a place we would not recognize today.

Behavior Of Ice Still Unknown

Stefan Rahmstorf at Postsdam University in Germany says there are still so many unknowns about how Antarctic ice behaves that Pollard's study is surely not the final word on this subject. Nor does it have to be.

"We certainly don't need a collapse of the ice sheet to cause major problems with sea level rise," he says.

Even if Antarctica contributes little or no water to the oceans this century, Rahmstorf says, there's a growing consensus that seas are likely to rise by at least two or three feet — and quite possibly more — before the end of this century "unless of course we stop the global warming fairly soon."

Rahmstorf is not involved in the current Antarctica research, but he was at a scientific meeting last week in Copenhagen about rising seas and other aspects of global warming. Rahmstorf says Europe's global warming policy at the moment is built around a goal to limit global warming to about 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Just like we have this temperature limit, we should also have a sea level limit," he says.
He advocates setting that "sea level limit" at about three feet of sea level rise. Even if that can be accomplished, many vulnerable low-lying places on earth would be swamped, Rahmstorf acknowledges. But it's hard to imagine doing any better. And, as West Antarctica reminds us, we could easily do much, much worse.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Goracular

Goracular

Al Gore, the infallible pope of global warming.

By JOHN FUND

Once again Al Gore has ducked the chance to debate critics of his global warming doomsday predictions. The former vice president loves to lecture others on the need to address global warming, but usually insists on appearing alone and largely unchallenged at conferences.

Al Gore

At the Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Gore was initially scheduled to appear with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, a noted skeptic on global warming. Mr. Gore changed his schedule so he could appear the previous day. President Klaus told me this week that the major reason he agreed to travel from Europe was the chance to interact with Mr. Gore. "I don't understand all of this reluctance to engage with others," he told me.

Sounds to me like a case of bologna rejecting the grinder. Mr. Gore knows that the science backing up his calls for dramatic reduction of carbon emissions is increasingly shaky and that even adopting the Kyoto targets for such reductions would do little to address the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Several other critics of Mr. Gore also tried to interact with him at the conference -- with little success. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at Harvard, asked Mr. Gore during the Q-and-A period what exactly he was trying to accomplish in practical terms with his proposals. Mr. Gore ignored the substance of the question and snidely said he was trying to save humanity.

The next question came from Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish statistician who has assembled a group of Nobel Prize winners who say many other global problems such as clean drinking water merit attention before futile efforts to deal with an exaggerated fear of global warming. "I don't mean to corner you, or maybe I do mean to corner you, but would you be willing to have a debate with me on that point?" asked Mr. Lomborg.

"I want to be polite to you," Mr. Gore replied. He then proceeded to say Mr. Lomborg's work had been discredited. "The scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we should pretend this is a 'on the one hand, on the other hand' issue," he said. "It's not a matter of theory or conjecture, for goodness sake."

Mr. Soon noted to me that while some scientific journals have challenged Mr. Lomborg's early work, none have disputed his contention that many other problems should be addressed with a higher priority than controlling carbon emissions. "He once again won't engage his critics," he sighs, referring to Mr. Gore.

I have a possible explanation. The last time Mr. Gore did debate anyone it was during the 2000 presidential race when he took on George W. Bush, not exactly a stellar orator. Mr. Gore managed to demonstrate enough arrogance and pomposity that he is generally thought to have lost those exchanges and blown his lead in the polls.

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!