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The One and Only Global Warming Thread

Old 04-15-06, 02:41 PM
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The media should be first in line to blame. They ALWAYS presented a special report telling viewers that global warming is "indeed" man-made without any reliable information to back up their claim.
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Old 04-17-06, 07:09 AM
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If only we all cared about the environment as much as Spain, there wouldn't be a global warming problem.

Why were they allowed to increase emmissions 15% from 1990 to 2008? I thought the point was to reduce them. Doesn't matter, they are up 48% anyway. (Isn't that quite a bit more than the "do nothing" US is up?)
Spain's CO2 emissions rose 48 pct from 1990 to 2004 34 minutes ago

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's carbon dioxide emissions rose 47.87 percent between 1990 and 2004, over two percentage points higher than an earlier calculation, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.


The higher figure consolidated Spain's position as the worst performer among rich nations in greenhouse gas controls.

Under the Kyoto protocol to limit carbon dioxide emissions and curb global warming, Spain is allowed to increase its emissions by only 15 percent between the the base year 1990 and 2008.

The new figure is contained in a report the Spanish government is sending to the European Commission, a ministry spokeswoman said.

It is higher than the previous one in part because of the impact of a drought, which reduced power companies' hydroelectric generating capacity and forced them to use more fossil fuels.

The 2004/2005 hydrological year was the driest on record.

Based on 2003 emissions, Spain was already the worst performer among developed nations with a 41.7 percent increase on 1990, compared with a fall of 1.4 percent for the European Union as a whole.

Rapid industrial growth and a rise in living standards since the 1980s has led to higher car ownership in Spain and higher electricity consumption.

Spain's Environment and Industry Ministries are now working on their national allocation plan for 2008-2012, which shares out emissions rights and will influence how much different industries and companies will have to spend on buying additional emissions rights if they are over the limit.

That is due to be submitted to Brussels in June.
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Old 04-17-06, 09:25 AM
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But, but... That can't be! Kyoto is a flawless plan, a fully binding cure-all, and its signers are magically destined to reduce CO2 emissions and save us all from the wicked witch of global warming! [/sarcasm]
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Old 04-18-06, 01:12 PM
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You can't have a global warming thread without Al Gore in it.

Gore movie puts heat on Bush

Boring Al Gore has made a movie. It is on the most boring of all subjects - global warming. It is more than 80 minutes long and the first two or three go by slowly enough so that you can notice that Gore has gained weight and that his speech still seems out of sync.
But a moment later, you will be captivated, then riveted and then scared out of your wits. Our Earth is going to hell in a handbasket.

You will see the Arctic and Antarctic icecaps melting. You will see Greenland oozing into the sea. You will see the atmosphere polluted with greenhouse gases that block heat from escaping. You will see .photos from space of what the icecaps looked like once and what they look like now, and, in animation, you will see how high the oceans might rise. Shanghai and Calcutta swamped. Much of Florida, too. The water takes a hunk of New York. The fuss about what to do with Ground Zero will turn to naught. It will be under water.

"An Inconvenient Truth" is a cinematic version of the lecture that Gore has given for years warning of the dangers of global warming. The case Gore makes is worthy of sleepless nights: Our Earth is in extremis. It's not just that polar bears are drowning because they cannot reach receding ice floes or that "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" will exist someday only as a Hemingway short story. It's rather that Hurricane Katrina is not past, but prologue. Katrina produced several hundred thousand evacuees. The flooding of Calcutta would produce many millions.

You cannot see this film and not think of George W. Bush, the man who beat Gore in 2000. Bush has been studiously anti-science, a man of applied ignorance who has undernourished his mind with the empty calories of comfy dogma. For instance, his insistence on abstinence as the preferred method of birth control would be laughable were it not so reckless. It is similar to Bush's initial approach to global warming. It may be that Gore will do more good for his country and the world with this movie than Bush ever did by winning in 2000.

Gore insists his presidential aspirations are behind him. "I think there are other ways to serve," he told me. No doubt. But on paper, he is the near-perfect Democratic candidate for 2008. He won the popular vote in 2000. He opposed going to war in Iraq, but he supported the previous Gulf War - right both times. He is much more a person of the 21st century than most of the other potential candidates. Gore could be a great President. First, he has to be a good candidate.

In the meantime, he is a man on a mission. Wherever he goes, he finds time and an audience to deliver his (free) lecture on global warming. It and the film leave no doubt of the peril we face and neither do they leave any doubt that Gore, at last, is a man at home in his role. He is master teacher, pedagogue, know-it-all, smarter than most of us, better informed and, having tried for and failed to gain the presidency, has raised his sights to save the world. We simply cannot afford for Al Gore to lose again.
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Old 04-18-06, 01:17 PM
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That seems more like an Al Gore thread with Global warming in it.
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Old 04-18-06, 05:42 PM
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More on Al:

Jewish World Review April 11, 2006/ 14 Nissan, 5766

Wesley Pruden

A little warming, a lot of hysteria

Al Gore has been looking for work for five years now, and he's still steamed about the warm weather. Somebody has even made a movie about it, though it won't necessarily be opening soon at a theater anywhere near you.

The movie is an "indie," short for movies made independently of one of the big studios. Indies usually show up on cable at 3 in the morning. The movie about Al is called "An Inconvenient Truth," and The Washington Post describes it as "a movie about global warming. Starring Al Gore. Doing a slide show. About 'soil evaporation.' " Which gives you an idea.

Al has been a true believer since before anyone else believed. Al came to lunch with us at The Washington Times years ago, even before Bill Clinton picked him as a running mate, to tell us that even if some of his facts were cooked, his cause was so noble that we ought to help him peddle the cooked stuff, fibs, stretchers, tall tales and all. (We passed, of course.)

The debate was supposed to be over by now, but it's not. Nearly everyone agrees that some of the planet's colder neighborhoods are a little warmer than they used to be, and Al thinks the devil made us do it. Al and proponents of global warming argue that whatever bad happens, happens because of the greed of man, and mostly Americans at that. Icebergs floating too far south? Man did it. Torrential rains in Monument Valley? Blame it on global warming. A drought in Tacoma-Seattle? Fog in Phoenix? Man set fire to the globe. Keep it scary, and keep it coming.

Al has been going coast to coast (always in coach class, with his lunch in a paper sack) collecting wild applause from other true believers, and just when he imagines he can take a day off from his Oldest Established Permanent Floating Clap Game, a reputable skeptic comes along with actual inconvenient truths.

"Since the early 1990s," writes Prof. Robert Carter, a professor of geology at Cook University in Australia, "the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each alarmist article is larded with words such as 'if,' 'might,' 'could,' 'probably,' 'perhaps,' 'expected,' 'projected' or 'modeled' — and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense."

The professor, writing in the London Daily Telegraph, does not dispute the evidence that we're in an era of rising temperatures. Who does? But he suggests that man exhibits considerable hubris — insolence, even — if he imagines that he's responsible. Consider the official temperature records, kept at the University of East Anglia in England: Between 1998 and 2005, global average temperatures actually went down. [This seems to be a bit disingenuous. 1998 was the year of the big El Niño so it is not surprising the "trend" since then has been a slight cooling. Overall, the current trend is still a slight warming. - movielib]

This seven-year period, he observes, nevertheless coincides with a period in which man was pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as if there were no tomorrow, which is, of course, exactly what Al and his fellow hysterics keep telling us. Of course, this is only a tiny blip of time. But Al and his pals argue triumphantly that the 28 years between 1970 and 1998, another tiny blip, were decades of deadly manmade warming. Then what should we make of the warming trend between 1918 and 1940, well before the years of greatest carbon dioxide making? How to explain the period between 1940 and 1965, years of pell-mell worldwide industrialization, when the earth recorded not warming, but cooling, temperatures?

Not so long ago, the media fad was all about the coming ice age. Newsweek reported in 1975 that the earth was cooling and the effects on food production would be catastrophic. Farmers in Northern Europe could expect the growing season to shrink by two weeks by the end of the century. That didn't happen.

Well, nobody's perfect. But our scientists were aware of their modest gifts then. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climactic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," the National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1975. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions." They should ask Al to explain this. He could take them to the movies.
I have little doubt that critics will rave, the film will earn more money than any other documentary with the possible exception of some by Michael Moore. I also have little doubt the Academy will give it an Oscar. That will not stop it from being hooey.
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Old 04-20-06, 12:42 PM
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Fewer Pirates = Global Warming

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

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Old 04-20-06, 03:15 PM
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Here's the trailer for the Al Gore movie.
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Old 04-20-06, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dimension X

What this tells me is that "An Inconvenient Truth" = Lies.

There is much dispute that 2005 is the warmest year on record, for example. That title probably belongs to 1998. And don't forget how little time we have been keeping records. The temperatures about a thousand years ago were almost certainly as high or perhaps even a little higher than today. But we don't have "records" from actual temperature recorders so it doesn't count. And remember all the CO2 humans were pumping into the atmosphere in the year 1000? Didn't think so.

At the very least the above claims by Al Gore are debateable but the trailer (and I trust the film itself) do not tell you that.

Then the claim that global warming is driving stronger hurricanes is touted. This is not only in dispute but, from what I can gather, many, maybe even most, alarmists don't buy this one. Probably the world's leading expert on hurricanes and hurricane forecasting, Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, outright rejects any alleged cause and effect relationship.

And is the film going to tell us the truth that frequency and strength of hurricanes have gone through several 15-30 year periods during the last century of fewer and weaker hurricane periods cycling with more and stronger hurricane periods with some other periods being as bad as the one in which we find ourselves at present? I wouldn't count on it.

Again, at the very least, the claim of global warming making for more and/or stronger hurricanes is sharply disputed. The trailer (and I bet the film) are not going to tell you that.

Last edited by movielib; 04-20-06 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 04-20-06, 07:19 PM
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We do have records from the past. They just have larger error bars. paleo-climate records in sediments and isotope levels and tree rings etc can't be rejected because they're not digital. They should however be taken in the context that they are much more difficult to calibrate, but it can be done, and the margins of error can be quoted. To totally reject them based on your logic wipes out a vast sum of scientific research in unrelated fields. I'm not arguing what the temperature did 1000 years ago, I am just arguing that the information obtained from paleo records can be analyzed and knowledge can be obtained about past trends.

Good point on the hurricanes. I am immediately suspect of anyone that blames the reasonably well studied atlantic hurricane cycle on global warming.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I thought you might get a kick out of watching that.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dimension X
I thought you might get a kick out of watching that.
A kick in the nuts would elicit less vomiting.

What's worse is I know I'm going to have to see the film because I want to be able to talk about it.
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Old 04-21-06, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
Will you read the following story in your local paper? Will you hear about it on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or even Fox News? I doubt it because, as we all know, there are only a handful of scientists who don't accept the "we're all going to die" scenario and they are in the thrall of Exxon (because they have been funded with a few million dollars for research by industry; but pay no attention to the billions the alarmists get from government and environmental groups) and, besides, they are nuts. (I found a grand total of two links on Google News, to the Telegraph in London and to Capitalism Magazine in the Bahamas, although the open letter has been out there for four days.)
The above story, as I said in Post #14, had a grand total of two links on Google News within four days of when it broke. Now there is a counter open letter from 90 scientists and all of a sudden ... It's NEWS! Here is the Google News link page which, as of now, has links to many publications which picked up the story almost immediately:

Now not every one of the "all 85 related items" are links to this particular story but most of them are. Many more than the two publications which picked up the initial story. And, contrary to the first story, the second story has been picked up by at least some major outlets such as Reuters, ABC and the CBC. And many (not all) of these stories do not even mention the earlier letter.

Is there anyone who truly thinks the mainstream press has no bias on global warming?

In the interest of fairness, here is the letter from the "90":

Dear prime minister:

As climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across Canada, we wish to convey our views on the current state of knowledge of climate change and to call upon you to provide national leadership in addressing the issue. The scientific views we express are shared by the vast majority of the national and international climate science community.

We concur with the climate science assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001, which has also been supported by the Royal Society of Canada and the national academies of science of all G-8 countries, as well as those of China, India and Brazil. We endorse the conclusions of the IPCC assessment that "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities" and of the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment that "Arctic temperatures have risen at almost twice the rate of those in the rest of the world over the past few decades."

Climate variability and change is a global issue and the international IPCC process for assessment of climate science, with its rigorous scientific peer review processes, is the appropriate mechanism for assessing what is known and not known about climate science. Many Canadian climate scientists are participating in the preparation of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report which will be completed in 2007.

The following points emerge from the assessments and ongoing research by respected Canadian and international researchers:

-There is increasingly unambiguous evidence of changing climate in Canada and around the world.

-There will be increasing impacts of climate change on Canada's natural ecosystems and on our socio-economic activities.

-Advances in climate science since the 2001 IPCC Assessment have provided more evidence supporting the need for action and development of a strategy for adaptation to projected changes.

-Canada needs a national climate-change strategy with continued investments in research to track the rate and nature of changes, understand what is happening, to refine projections of changes induced by anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases and to analyse opportunities and threats presented by these changes.

We have supplied justification and more detail for each of these points in the accompanying documentation.

We urge you and your government to develop an effective national strategy to deal with the many important aspects of climate that will affect both Canada and the rest of the world in the near future. We believe that sound policy requires good scientific input.

We would be pleased to provide a scientific briefing and further support, clarification and information at any time.

Yours sincerely:

Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country.
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Old 04-26-06, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kenbuzz
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

Do you honestly expect us to believe that there are only 17 pirates left in the world? Why the reports of global piracy have been on the rise this year, especially in Africa. Shouldnt that mean a reversal in temperature in the last few years? And what of the time before pirates existed? Shouldn't the temperature then have been in the 1000's of degrees?

No no no. I don't think this pirate correlation is valid!
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Old 04-26-06, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kcbrett5
Do you honestly expect us to believe that there are only 17 pirates left in the world? Why the reports of global piracy have been on the rise this year, especially in Africa. Shouldnt that mean a reversal in temperature in the last few years? And what of the time before pirates existed? Shouldn't the temperature then have been in the 1000's of degrees?

No no no. I don't think this pirate correlation is valid!
Obviously, the correlation shoud be with Ninjas. And the real honest to god ninjas, not the kids that take some martial arts classes and beat up their dog, or those people that steal the close parking spots at the grocery store. While that is ninja like behavior, I doubt they've assassinated any samurai lately.
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Old 04-27-06, 11:09 AM
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Someone fighting back against the media attacks on global warming skeptics. But, of course, who in the media will print it?

So Now We're Holocaust Deniers
By Dr. Roy Spencer : 27 Apr 2006

As part of the current media frenzy over the imminent demise of the Earth from global warming, it has become fashionable to demonize global warming skeptics through a variety of tactics. This has recently been accomplished by comparing scientists who don't believe in a global climate catastrophe to those who deny the Holocaust, to those who denied cigarettes cause cancer, or to 'flat-Earthers'.

It is interesting that it is not the scientists who are making the comparisons to Holocaust-deniers, but members of the media. For instance, Scott Pelley, who recently interviewed NASA's James Hansen for CBS's '60 Minutes', has been quoted on the CBS News PublicEye blog,

"There is virtually no disagreement in the scientific community any longer about 'global warming'....the science that has been done in the last three to five years has been conclusive."

Pelley posted this quote to the same blog:

"If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?"

This comparison between global warming skeptics and Holocaust-deniers illustrates the upside-down worldview that makes the public increasingly distrustful of the media. The Holocaust has mounds of documented evidence: survivors, eye witnesses, photographs, movie footage, concentration camps, artifacts, death showers, ovens, human bones. What does manmade global warming have? The theory that mankind has caused the globally averaged temperature to be 1 degree F warmer than it was a century ago. (I'm sure holocaust survivors appreciate the minimization of their ordeal through use of this analogy.)

In stark contrast, what we do have as a direct result of the environmentalist-led restrictions on the use of DDT is tens of millions of deaths, and hundreds of millions of cases of severe illness, from malaria in Africa. The silence from scientists on this is remarkable. Thankfully, the trend against DDT bans is finally changing, with countries like South Africa virtually eliminating malaria with DDT. Is mankind really ready for another major policy catastrophe based upon environmentalist (and media) rhetoric?

Whenever you see any media statement that "the science is settled" on global warming, note that exactly what is settled about global warming goes unmentioned. If it were stated, the statement would either be false, or at least it would not convey the necessary urgency to 'do something about global warming'. Or maybe today's journalists can not deal with that level of complexity...but for the time being I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

So, just what part of, "the science is settled on global warming", is really settled? Well, I would say that our current period of globally-averaged warmth is pretty indisputable, though possibly over-estimated. I say "globally-averaged" because some areas have actually cooled in the last 100 years. Furthermore, the majority of climate scientists would probably agree that some part of that warmth is manmade. But in contrast to the warmth itself, which has actually been measured with thermometers, its attribution to mankind's greenhouse gas emissions is only one possible explanation among many.

A minority of us would suggest that we really don't know how much of the current warmth is manmade versus natural. I suspect we are the Holocaust-denying, cancer-ignoring, flat-Earthers who still think the Moon landing was staged.

Marc Morano of Cybercast News Service recently reported on a curious teleconference where environmental group representatives, members of the media, and a Democratic congressional staffer joined in bashing those who would stand in the way of convincing the public that we should all "be afraid, be very afraid". One of those participating was Mark Hertsgaard, author of an article in the recent Earth Day issue of Vanity Fair, which had a (literally) green cover that included environmental experts such as Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and (of course) Al Gore.

In his article, Morano related some of Hertsgaard's comments:

"People in the American media in the last six weeks have begun to say 'the debate is over'. [There is] a lot more coverage than we have ever seen of 'global warming'; a lot more pointed coverage than we have ever seen. It is very striking that it is years behind the coverage in Europe," Hertsgaard said.

"People in Europe talked about the 'the climate loonies in the United States.' The Brits do not understand why people pay attention [to skeptics]", he added.

So, once again, we apparently need to look to Europe for our cues on what we should believe about global warming and climate policy, just as we should rely on their judicial rulings.

Further, the teleconference group derided "free-market think tanks". Reporter Paul Thacker offered, "I have often felt that these think tanks are kinda there just to dissuade journalists from covering these issues effectively...". Yes, and you know it's a well kept secret that free-market advocates only exist to keep everyone from learning how well socialism has worked throughout history. (Note the free-market comfort from which a free speech-loving journalist in a free-market economy can so freely bite the invisible hand that feeds him.)

Even Dr. Global Warming himself, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- who participated in the same teleconference -- cautioned the others against pushing the rhetoric too far: "I am a little concerned about this, in the sense that we are still at a point where the natural fluctuations of climate are still large -- at least, the natural fluctuations of weather compared to long-term climate change." This is a much more moderate musing than some of his recent views, which include the warning that we might have only ten years left to turn things around, global warming-wise.

Dr. Hansen's advice might be too late. With upcoming movies, books, and the inevitable continuing stream of news stories about global warming science being settled, the tone of the debate does not appear to be ready to moderate any time soon. Despite the recent Gallup Poll results which indicated that, even though Americans believe that global warming will probably be worse than the media coverage suggests, on the environmental worries scale, global warming still only rates a 2.

Still, I'm left wondering...why does the global warming issue seem so much more important to the media than to the public -- to the point where they have do demonize skeptics with ad hominem attacks? Do they know something we don't know? I suspect it is more the reverse.

And how, exactly, do the media make the jump from "global warming being real", to the warming being entirely manmade, to the warming being catastrophic, to the faulting of the U.S. government for not implementing policy changes (Kyoto, Domenici-Bingaman) that won't help the problem anyway? That wasn't a rhetorical question...I really do want to know the answer. Send me an e-mail if you happen to know.

Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite. He's also a member of the TCS Science Roundtable.

Last edited by movielib; 04-27-06 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-27-06, 06:38 PM
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Here's a meticulous, point-by-point refutation of the April 3 global warming cover story from Time magazine from April 3: (PDF) (HTML)

Last edited by movielib; 04-29-06 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 04-28-06, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
Here's a meticulous, point-by-point refutation of the April 3 global warming cover story from Time magazine from April 3:

Thanks for the link.

What they say in the beginning of that report is the same stuff that I noticed when I saw the Time issue. The Time issue is opinion disguised as news. The environment is indeed getting better, despite what Time says. Time ignored people who disagree with its article.

Unfortunatley, and this is obvisouly not your fault, that report is in PDF, and my computer froze after the first page, and I had to reboot. Twice.

Google lists several pages with the title of the report, but they all ultimately link to a PDF document. I wonder why CEI refuses to put the report up in HTML.
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Old 04-28-06, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Thanks for the link.

What they say in the beginning of that report is the same stuff that I noticed when I saw the Time issue. The Time issue is opinion disguised as news. The environment is indeed getting better, despite what Time says. Time ignored people who disagree with its article.

Unfortunatley, and this is obvisouly not your fault, that report is in PDF, and my computer froze after the first page, and I had to reboot. Twice.

Google lists several pages with the title of the report, but they all ultimately link to a PDF document. I wonder why CEI refuses to put the report up in HTML.
I have the Firefox extension that allows you to get PDF files in HTML. Unfortunately when I put that HTML link into the post the link didn't work so I posted the PDF link.
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Old 04-29-06, 10:30 AM
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Now the HTML link works:

I'm adding it to Post #42 also.
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Old 04-29-06, 01:25 PM
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Unfortunately, that doesn't work for me. That's not your fault, of course.

I'm using the Mozilla browser from a few years ago.

I don't think google has a cache of it yet, but they should eventully. I already checked yesterday anyway.

I don't know why CEI doesn't do it HTML in the first place.
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Old 04-29-06, 01:53 PM
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The link works on my Firefox browser, both at home and at work.

You should download and use Firefox anyway.

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Old 04-30-06, 08:48 AM
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The mainstream media has repeatedly said that global warming is a serious problem, and that people should conserve energy and gasoline.

However, now that higher gasoline pirces are encouraging conservtion, the mainstream media treats this as bad news.

This is major hypocrisy on the part of the mainstream media.

April 30, 2006
As Gas Prices Go Up, Impact Trickles Down

It is hard to watch the numbers flutter ever upward on the gas pump these days. A look at the ripple effect of rising gas prices across the country:

The End of Fun and Games

Gas prices are not doing much for the love life of Fernanda Tapia.

A student at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., Ms. Tapia, 21, is among the untold number of money-strapped college students who have been grounded by the pumps.

Ms. Tapia's red 2004 Dodge Neon was supposed to be a ticket to freedom when her brother passed it down to her in January. She had planned to drive to Manhattan each weekend to visit her boyfriend at New York University, and also dreamed of going out to restaurants and making day trips with friends.

But the car has been nothing but a money-guzzler, she said, leaving her so short of cash that the car often sits in the parking lot outside her apartment.

"When I first got the car it was all fun and games, but I found out it's pretty expensive to fill the tank," Ms. Tapia said. "I don't even want to put gas in my car right now."

Unexpectedly high gas prices are also putting a crimp in the summer plans.

J. R. Cowan, a history major at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., said he decided against a cross-country summer trip because "gas would cost double what I budgeted for when I started dreaming about California last year."

When Amanda Early, a junior at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., accepted a four-day-a-week summer job in public relations near the campus, she did not realize it would amount to a sentence of spending an entire summer in New Jersey. Ms. Early had planned to drive home to Connecticut every weekend, but she said gas prices would force her to remain in New Jersey in the house she shares with four other girls.

"This is a college town," Ms. Early said, "and it is nowhere near as much fun in the summer."

A sophomore at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who declined to give his name because he did not want to risk angering a prospective employer, said he might turn down a summer job delivering prescriptions for a pharmacy in a Boston suburb. The $10 hourly wage was acceptable, he said, but not the requirement that he drive his own car and pay for gas.


Defending Big Oil

John C. Felmy, the chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, the main trade association for the oil business, sounds frustrated.

As an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University, he said, he drove to Boston with his debate team during the Arab oil embargo. More than 30 years later, he can recite the topic for 1973-74 without hesitation: "Resolved, the federal government should control the supply and utilization of energy in the United States."

On the drive back, Mr. Felmy recalled, his group was almost stranded in Connecticut because no gas was available, a result, he said, of government misallocation. Government, Mr. Felmy said, can make energy problems worse.

"I thought we'd learned from bad energy policy by now," he said, although there are days when he is not so sure. Those are the days when his computer flashes with hate e-mail from people who blame the American oil industry for the rise in oil prices.

"People just simply don't know the facts," he said, "but they accuse you of everything you can imagine."

Mr. Felmy's organization has been arguing to anyone who will listen that over the long haul, oil company profits are almost identical to the average for manufacturers in the United States, and that since 1982, the price of petroleum products is up less than the price of pulp and paper or lumber, and only about one-third as much as drugs and pharmaceuticals. But it has been tough going, with the public and with legislators, he said.

"The politicians are reading all the polls, they know how concerned consumers are, and they are trying to figure out what to do about it," he said. "Some are lashing out, attacking the industry, using information that is simply inaccurate."

Mr. Felmy said he was proud of what he did for a living, and he called institute members "honorable companies."

"They're doing what they should do, what is legally required for their shareholders, unlike other companies you've heard about in the news," he said. "They are managing their business properly, keeping fuels flowing to consumers, even though we're operating in places where sometimes people are shooting at us."

His industry, Mr. Felmy said, is "1.4 million Americans working to keep your gas tank full 24 hours a day."


Driving Guzzlers for a Living

Few drivers feel the pain of soaring gas prices as acutely as the New York City cabbie stuck behind the wheel of a Crown Victoria sedan with a thirsty, overworked eight-cylinder engine.

At the entrance to the Checker Management taxi depot in the Long Island City section of Queens is a trio of old, battered pumps where returning cabbies refill their bottomless tanks after their 12-hour shifts.

The old pumps offer only regular unleaded, and for the very modern price of $3.15 and nine-tenths of a cent per gallon. It is still lower than prices in Manhattan, where most of these cabbies go through a full tank of gas lurching and screeching around traffic-clogged streets for 12 hours.

Back at the depot, they replenish their tanks, shaking their heads in disgust as the pumps' rusty digit counters spin.

"We drive 12 hours a day, so we feel it more than anyone," said one driver, Peter Lee, 54, who began driving cabs in New York in 1972. He pointed to the depot's fleet of Fords, mostly Crown Victoria sedans.

"These things get about 10 miles per gallon in the city, 8 miles if the customer wants the air-conditioner on," he said, adding that gas mileage was made worse by the choppy gas-brake-gas-brake driving style required in New York City. "New York people are always late and telling you to drive fast, so you have to keep gunning the engine and then braking, which uses more gas."

The drivers at the depot, just across the East River from Midtown, are almost all immigrants, and all kinds of languages, dialects and accents can be heard in the tight locker room. They wolf down home-cooked meals — whether couscous, curry or rice and beans — before their shifts. With the Manhattan skyline looming to the west, they gather in the parking lot and grouse about gas prices.

Drivers often log 150 miles a shift and spend almost $50 in gas, Mr. Lee said, about $20 more per day than a year ago. He recommended that the city order a 50-cent surcharge for each fare to compensate cabbies for price increases.

Most drivers at the depot rent their cabs for 12 hours at a time, usually paying more than $100. They pay up front in cash and get a key to a cab with a full tank of gas; they must refill it when they return the cab.

"Compared to a year ago, I pay $15 more a day in gas," said Miguel Gonzalez, 67, of Queens. "I only take home $100 a day, so that's my lunch and dinner right there."

Lesly Richardson, 50, a Haitian immigrant from Brooklyn, nodded in agreement.

"That's $100 a week," he said. "That's your grocery bill."


New Hope for Ethanol

These are happy days for an ethanol man.

The price of grain-alcohol fuel is up sharply as demand has surged, and Colorado's newest ethanol plant is almost ready to open after four years of preparation and sweat by Dan R. Sanders and his family.

"It's great for us," said Mr. Sanders, 28, as he watched one of the first loads of corn — ethanol's main ingredient — arrive on Friday morning from a farm in northeastern Colorado.

When Mr. Sanders's company, Front Range Energy, begins shipping next month from this $60 million factory in Windsor, Colo., an hour north of Denver, it will just about double Colorado's ethanol production, adding 40 million gallons a year to the pipeline. And at least two other plants around the state are in planning.

Ethanol, which is essentially identical to the old corn liquor of moonshine fame, is increasingly blended with gas to reduce emissions and replace other additives like MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether, which is a suspected carcinogen.

But more and more vehicles are also able to burn commercially available ethanol fuels like E85 — 85 percent grain alcohol — and kits can also be bought that allow cars to burn an even higher percentage of ethanol. All this has further increased the demand, and the price. In most parts of the country, E85 sells for 30 cents to 60 cents a gallon less than regular unleaded gasoline, but most cars get fewer miles to the gallon burning ethanol.

Ethanol has its critics. Some economists say that farm subsidies blur the fuel's real cost, making it a less than perfect long-term alternative in thinking about the world after oil.

But here in Colorado, people like Mr. Sanders say the economics make more sense than ever. Until recently, ethanol could only make money if distilled close to its fuel source, he said. That is why corn-country Iowa dominates the nation's production.

Increasing demand is shattering that boundary, making factories feasible closer to where the product gets sold. About half of Front Range's output, Mr. Sanders said, will go no further than Denver.

The Sanderses have also lined up local buyers for the waste. The left-over corn mash will be sold as cattle feed, while the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation will be made into dry ice and sold in the Denver market.

But operations like this are still small potatoes by the scale of big oil. On a day when the Chevron Corporation was announcing $4 billion in profits, Mr. Sanders and his wife, Jana, and their 2-year-old daughter, Ellie, were watching the corn arrive. And Ellie was not even very interested.


Cutting Into Travel and Food

Jeremy Cole looks at the black numbers on the blue Marathon Gas sign in Kirtland, Ohio — $2.87 for a gallon of regular — and thinks of his broken vow.

For two years, Mr. Cole, 19, had given his girlfriend a gift on the 25th of each month, to commemorate the day they met — Jan. 25, 2002 — at Willow Hill Baptist Church in Willoughby, Ohio.

But for the past three months he has missed the date as gas prices have risen.

This month, Mr. Cole bought her a rose and a pink wind chime, because she loves to hang pink things from the ceiling of her bedroom.

The fuel warning light in his 1993 Honda Accord was glowing. It was a 25-mile drive to her house in Chardon, and Mr. Cole, who studies computers at Lakeland Community College and earns $8.18 an hour working in a factory that heat-treats metal, did not have money for gas. So he stayed home.

"I won't be able to see her till I get paid," he said. "Ever since gas prices went up, it's like I'm barely able to see her."

Until this year, Mr. Cole said, he always filled his tank. On one recent day, though, he bought only five gallons for $14.35, barely enough to drive to school, work and straight back home.

A guitar lies across his back seat, and his trunk is filled with amplifiers. Mr. Cole plays in a band called In All His Ruin. Before gas prices jumped, band members drove separately to practice at the drummer's house in Chesterland, 15 miles away. Now they all meet at Mr. Cole's house and carpool, squeezing themselves and their equipment into a different member's car every week.

On the way home, Mr. Cole used to stop at Wendy's and order the No. 6 combo meal: spicy chicken sandwich, medium Dr. Pepper, medium fries. Now he orders junior hamburgers from the dollar menu.

"It's not a gourmet meal anymore," he says. "French fries are an extravagance now. It makes me angry that I have to change my whole life because of gas prices."


At $2.39 a Gallon, a Bargain

Cheap gas prices are in the eye of the beholder.

At the Flying J Travel Plaza in Casper, Wyo., a gallon of regular unleaded gas sold this week for $2.39, about as low as anywhere in the country and more than $1 less than some places in California and Hawaii.

But gratitude at the pumps? Forget it.

"Gas prices don't seem low to me," said Dick Gilbert, a tow truck operator, who was out $170 filling his vehicle's two tanks. "And they just keep going higher."

Mr. Gilbert was preparing to burn most of the gas on a 250-mile round trip to retrieve a broken-down truck. He will charge his customer $2.50 a mile, but even so, he said rising gas prices were eating into his profits.

In an adjoining gas lane, Cindy Wright spoke of the pain high gas prices cause the single mothers who make up many of the clients at the public health clinic in Torrington, where she is a nurse.

"They can't afford to drive," she said. In another sign of the times, Ms. Wright said, a relative who owns an auto repair shop arrived at work one morning recently to find that thieves had siphoned gas from vehicles left there overnight.


Caught in the Middle

Pity the people who sell gas in San Francisco or lease franchise stations from the oil companies. No, really. As if working around fumes and grime were not enough, now customers are rude — even hostile — about the sudden escalation in gas prices, which in San Francisco are among the highest in the country.

"Someone today threw the money down, and said, 'This is ridiculous,' " said Stella Liu, 51, who leases a 76 gas station from Conoco and runs an adjacent automotive repair business. Other customers scream at her cashier before jumping into their cars and tearing away from the station.

Ms. Liu, though, is sympathetic. She too has to buy gas to fuel her 50-minute commute (one way) from the suburbs. "If I were making the money, I wouldn't be here," she said, "We are all in the same boat."

Prices may fluctuate, Ms. Liu said, but even when gas is $3.36 for a gallon of regular, as it was on Friday at her station in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, her profit is unchanged because she is paying more to her supplier.

"It's the same for me as it is for the customer, maybe worse," she said. Business is down because people are buying less gas — choosing a quarter or a half a tank — and then paying by credit card. "We have to pay insurance and workers compensation, the rent," she said. "We are making the same money we did years ago. Only now, it barely covers the cost of our overhead."

Many customers understand the dealers are not at fault, but others simply rage at the nearest target.

She advises angry customers to contact Conoco.

"I tell people, I'm just the dealer. I have no control over the price. I don't even know why the price is going up."


Trying to Share the Pain

In a region where buses advertise that "Gas isn't expensive if you don't buy any," Matt Mulholland of Lynwood, Wash., assumed it would be easy to arrange a carpool for his daily commute, especially as gas approached — and passed — $3 a gallon.

"Let's save time and gas!! yes yes YES please," Mr. Mulholland wrote on the Craigslist Web site.

A month later, Mr. Mulholland, 32, still drives alone. No one responded to repeated pleas to share the 40-mile round trip from his home north of Seattle to Bellevue, a city east of Lake Washington. He is disappointed, not least because, with a passenger, he could zip into Interstate 405's high-occupancy vehicle lanes and prune his hourlong commute.

"I look at cars around me and they always have one person," said Mr. Mulholland, who works as an estimator for an auto body company. "I thought I'd probably have more chance of getting somebody interested now, when they're talking about prices peaking at $4 by the end of the summer."

But so far, the shock of $3 gas has not persuaded many commuters to change their behavior.

There has been no increase in registration for the Rideshare program, which arranges carpools and vanpools for the county that includes Seattle and Bellevue, said Cathy Blumenthal, the program's coordinator for King County Metro Transit.

By contrast, 5,000 people — a 62 percent increase over the previous year — signed up to share rides last fall after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita drove local gas prices toward $3.

While Mrs. Blumenthal wonders if people are waiting — either for prices to surge or recede — before they alter their driving habits, Mr. Mulholland is more pessimistic.

Complaints about gas prices are "hype, a hot button," he said. "People talk without doing anything."


This article was written and reported by Kirk Johnson in Windsor, Colo.; Corey Kilgannon in New York; Jessica Kowal in Lynwood, Wash.; Christopher Maag in Kirtland, Ohio; Carolyn Marshall in San Francisco; Doug McInnis in Casper, Wyo.; Matthew L. Wald in Washington; and Katie Zezima in Boston.
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Old 05-01-06, 08:20 AM
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Another story you are unlikely to read in your local paper or see on network or cable news:
Scientists Group to Refute Global Warming Claims
Monday, 1 May 2006, 10:08 am
Press Release: Centre for Resource Management Studies
Media Release - Immediate

A group of leading New Zealand climate scientists has announced today the formation of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, aimed at refuting what it believes are unfounded claims about anthropogenic (man-made)global warming.

The coalition includes such well-known climate scientists as:

- Dr Vincent Gray, of Wellington, an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most recently a visiting scholar at the Beijing Climate Centre in China.

- Dr Gerrit J. van der Lingen, of Christchurch, geologist/paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, former director GRAINZ (Geoscience Research and Investigations New Zealand).

- Prof. August H. ("Augie") Auer, of Auckland, past professor of atmospheric science, University of Wyoming; previously chief meteorologist, Meteorological Service (MetService) of New Zealand.

- Professor Bob Carter, a New Zealander, now at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.

- Warwick Hughes, a New Zealand earth scientist living in Perth, who conducts a comprehensive website:

- Roger Dewhurst, of Katikati, consulting environmental geologist and hydrogeologist

Also involved are other New Zealanders concerned that only one side of the climate change debate is being brought to public attention.

Mr Owen McShane, of Kaiwaka, director of the Centre for Resource Management Studies, who is convenor of the establishment committee, said that the coalition's three main roles will be:

- To publish and distribute papers and commentaries produced by members of the Coalition.

- To audit statements by other organizations, both in New Zealand and overseas, which are published in New Zealand, or are expected to influence New Zealand public policy and public opinion.

- To audit the forthcoming IPCC report, either on its own, or through the Asia Pacific Climate Science Coalition, or equivalent organization, if one has been established in time.

"Many scientists and economists are concerned that the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has an effective monopoly on public announcements on this matter, and its statements go largely unchallenged - or go largely unchallenged in a format that will carry weight with governments, the media or the general public," said Mr McShane.

"Hence, a new ‘sceptical consensus’ has developed that, before the next IPCC report is published in February next year, there should be a panel, or panels, of experts who have established themselves as ‘auditors’ of the IPCC, both here in New Zealand and abroad.

"Those of us involved in forming this coalition believe that now is the time for individual countries like New Zealand to assemble their own national expert panels, so that these panels can form larger groupings with like minded-panels from other countries so as to be ready to deal with the reports to be published by the IPCC next year. Their aim should not be to repeat, or parallel, the work of the IPCC, but to audit its reports, and to let the members of the IPCC know that such auditors are waiting in the wings," said Mr McShane.

The coalition has registered a website domain name,, which it expects to have running within a day or two.

A draft constitution for the coalition provides for a governing council, and three specialist panels:

- A science panel to focus on scientific and technological inputs. The science and technology would be wide ranging, covering atmospheric science, tectonic plate movement, nuclear power, solar activity, and similar issues.

- An economics panel to focus on the economic inputs, and include micro and macro economic issues, the statistical analysis, the nature of the computer models, and even the epistemology.

- A public policy panel to focus on public policy outcomes, on governmental relations and groupings, but also focus on historical analysis, and cost-benefit analysis of proposed policies and regulations.
And here is an article about one of the New Zealand skeptics:
[April 30, 2006]


(New Zealand Press Association Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Wellington, May 1 NZPA - Augie Auer is irritated.

The former Met Service chief meteorologist is irked by the bad science that has gone into the dire predictions about the effects of man-made global warming on the planet.

Professor Auer, of Auckland, past professor of atmospheric science at the University of Wyoming, is part of a group of leading climate scientists who have formed the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, aimed at refuting what it believes are unfounded claims about man-made global warming.

In fact, he says, if we didn't have the greenhouse effect, the planet would be 33degC colder than it is now.

"The average temperature of the planet is about plus 15degC, it would be minus 18degC if we didn't have the effect of the greenhouse warming.''

He said the whole history of global warming dated back to about the 1980s and he partly blames the media and partly scientists for the fears that have been raised.

Some journalists were "a bit scientific illiterate'' and when scientists put out the results of what their computer modelling effort would suggest, it was usually worst-case scenarios that were reported.

"It was usually an envelope of figures, one which said the planet could warm 6deg in the next 100 years and the other end of the envelope was perhaps half a deg in 100 years.

"And you know which one would be quoted,'' said Prof Auer.

"And the scientists were, I feel, in some respects, to blame because they never came forward and said wait a minute, you took that out of context, you know there's another end to it here.''

That in turn started a rather insidious triangle in which maintaining that high danger, that crisis environment, drove the research funding, he said.

"Crises are what always drives the funding.''

Prof Auer said the issue that aroused his particular interest was what farmers called the Fart Tax.

"It was absolutely unfounded in any scientific necessity,'' he said.

But then came all the predictions regarding the dire consequences of global warming.

"If you think back, you have never heard anything positive that could come about from global warming ... everything is always negative, alarmist, fear, doom,'' he said.

"One of my favourites is the fact we talk about the oceans will rise and the wave motion will get stronger and the beaches will erode ... have you ever seen a beach build back?

"Beaches have been eroding since time began, it's what beaches do. Rocks weather in the rain and wind, they don't build back.

"People have lost track of just what is realistic about all this,'' Prof Auer said.

Then there was the attempt to impose the carbon tax.

"That's what really got me going because I thought, well wait a minute here, there's too much of this punitive correction being levelled on populations around the world,'' he said.

"Every time you pop a can of pop open and go to pour it out and all the bubbles come up you could be contributing, if you buy into this argument, to the global warming issue because that's a source of carbon dioxide.

"That's how really silly it can get.''

He said the global warming issue had been based on hysteria.

"It's been based on some very poor science and the bottom line is, that the greenhouse effect, which unfortunately the public's perception of is something that's very bad and very harmful, the fact of the matter is, it's a near miraculous process that keeps this planet liveable, inhabitable and keeps the vegetation growing on it ... it makes it really a beautiful place, not literally the third rock from the sun.''

Prof Auer said that three quarters of the planet was ocean, and 95 percent of the greenhouse effect was governed by water vapour.

"Of that remaining 5 percent, only about 3.6 percent is governed by CO2 and when you break it down even further, studies have shown that the anthropogenic (man-made) contribution to CO2 versus the natural is about 3.2 percent.

"So if you multiply the total contribution 3.6 by the man-made portion of it, 3.2, you find out that the anthropogenic contribution of CO2 to the the global greenhouse effect is 0.117 percent, roughly 0.12 percent, that's like 12c in $100.

"It's miniscule ... it's nothing,'' he said.

"So if that's the driving science, why do we need to be all concerned about CO2 and why do we need Kyoto and why do we need all the consequences from it?''

Prof Auer said that what the coalition was trying to achieve was to have the other side of the issue heard.

He said there were now many scientists worldwide -- "and I'm pleased to say many young ones coming up through the ranks'' -- who were beginning to question the validity of global warming.

"I have always subscribed to the philosophy that good science wins out.

"I've always told my colleagues: just be patient, that the global warming argument, particularly with all the disastrous consequences that are being promulgated ... this is all a non-sustainable argument. In other words the facts will, in time, prove them to be wrong.''

The coalition has registered a website domain name,, which it expects to have running within a day or two.
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Old 05-03-06, 12:43 PM
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And here's an article from the NOAA.

Report Reconciles Atmospheric Temperature Trends
First of 21 reports from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program significantly revises, updates conclusions from previous key reports
Press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
dtd 2 May 2006

noaa 06-051

Kent Laborde

For Immediate Release

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program issued the first of 21 Synthesis and Assessment S&A Products today with findings that improve our understanding of climate change and human influences on temperature trends.

“Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences,” also referred to as S&A Product 1.1, tackles some of the long-standing difficulties that have impeded understanding of changes in atmospheric temperatures and the basic causes of these changes.

According to the published report, there is no longer a discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere. This discrepancy had previously been used to challenge the validity of climate models used to detect and attribute the causes of observed climate change. This is an important revision to and update of the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This synthesis and assessment report exposes the remaining differences among different observing systems and data sets related to recent changes in tropospheric and stratospheric temperature,” said Chief Editor Dr. Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. "Discrepancies between the data sets and the models have been reduced and our understanding of observed climate changes and their causes have increased. The evidence continues to support a substantial human impact on global temperature increases. This should constitute a valuable source of information to policymakers.

S&A Product 1.1 corrects errors that have been identified in the satellite data and other temperature observations. These and other analyses have increased confidence in the understanding of observed climatic changes and their causes. The published report also states that research to detect climate change and attribute its causes using patterns of observed temperature change in space and time shows clear evidence of human influences on the climate system due to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone. Also, the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone alone.

The previously reported discrepancy between surface and atmospheric temperature trends is no longer apparent on a global scale. These trends are consistent with climate model simulations. One issue does remain however, and that is related to the rates of warming in the tropics. Here, models and theory predict an amplification of surface warming higher in the atmosphere. However, this greater warming aloft is not evident in three of the five observational data sets used in the report. Whether this is a result of uncertainties in the observed data, flaws in climate models, or a combination of these is not yet known. Using the evidence available, the author team favors the first explanation.

“The publication of S&A Product 1.1 signals a tremendous accomplishment, not simply because of its scientific content, but also because of the breadth in scope of contributing authors’ backgrounds and the meticulous research they undertook,” said Dr. James Mahoney, recently retired CCSP director. “The findings reflect years of effort in tackling difficult and complex issues that have hampered our understanding of global climate. It is the first of several significant products that are illustrative of the outstanding research that will result from the CCSP.”

During a workshop in 2002 that was attended by senior leadership in the Bush Administration’s scientific agencies, as well as more than 1,000 physical and social scientists, the CCSP adopted five overarching scientific goals that guide all climate research conducted by the federal government. The 21 S&A Products further refine these goals and address key topics that are necessary to resolve in order to make well informed decisions. The S&A Products are designed to inform public debate, policy and operational decisions, as well as defining and setting the future direction and priorities of the program.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, 61 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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