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The One and Only Global Warming Thread

Old 03-27-06, 11:03 AM
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The One and Only Global Warming Thread

The Ad Council and the Environmental Defense Fund have teamed to produce Global Waming PSAs. You can view them here:

Here is one reaction:

Ad Council needs to be counseled
By Dimitri Vassilaros
Sunday, March 26, 2006

Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Advertising Council, says global warming is a nonpartisan political issue. Little wonder considering the only information she recalls seeing about the anything but nonpartisan political issue was provided by Environmental Defense, an organization so ultra-liberal that Teresa Heinz is on its board [I would have left out this cheap - and silly - shot. - movielib].

The Ad Council, in conjunction with what was the Environmental Defense Fund, announced a public service campaign on Thursday to combat so-called "global warming." The council uses volunteer talent from advertising agencies and the media "to deliver critical messages to the American public."

Drivel, too.

States the council about its campaign selection criteria: "The issue should be noncommercial, nondenominational, nonpartisan politically and not be designated to influence specific legislation."

States the council's Web site: "According to Environmental Defense, our nation's most distinguished science community agrees that global warming is an urgent problem, we are causing it and we have time to avoid the most dangerous consequences, which could happen in our children's lifetime."

That was good enough for Conlon, who has undergraduate and master's degrees in communications.

One public service announcement (PSA) features a man on railroad tracks with his back to an oncoming train (the growing threat of global warming). When he steps off the tracks, the viewer sees a little girl (the next generation, get it?) still on them with the onrushing train seconds away.

Like that 1964 political TV ad of a little daisy-plucking girl incinerated by a nuclear bomb that Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater supposedly would have triggered.

That PSA and another using kids to suggest global warming is a ticking time bomb are sent to broadcast stations. They may be aired free of charge and usually are "proof" the station serves the public and thereby is worthy of retaining its Federal Communications Commission license to broadcast.

Had Conlon or the Ad Council done even the most rudimentary Web search for "global warming," surely even they would have seen that the white-hot political issue is far from settled science with experts on all sides predicting all sorts of things.

"We know there are people who would make it a political issue," she said about global warming. Conlon's naivete truly is stunning -- especially when explaining why the campaign is not controversial.

"We look at the message and what the call to action should be," she said. "All our campaigns have something in common, an individual call to action. It's a nonpartisan political issue because this is something that every person can do."

Like using energy-efficient light bulbs, not using plug-in air fresheners and driving tiny little econo-coffins that promise great gas mileage but do not even imply the driver could survive a head-on collision with a squirrel.

Conlon claims the campaign will not influence specific legislation. But by accepting as fact the unproven premise that humans cause global warming -- a "fact" still in considerable dispute -- the campaign inevitably influences all legislation about it. [This is not entirely accurate. It is a fact that humans contribute to global warming. The point of the skeptics is that our contribution is tiny. - movielib]

If she could do it again, would she have at least asked for more information from other sources?

"I don't know what it would have added to this," Ms. Conlon said.

Other than balance.
Finally the PSAs for drugs and cigarettes have competition in the stupid and misleading departments. And it is a pure crock that the ads meet the Ad Council's own criteria of "noncommercial, nondenominational, nonpartisan politically and not be designated to influence specific legislation."

Also, just in case one hasn't been getting enough of a Global Warming Hysteria fix from the mainstream media lately (which would be hard to believe), Time magazine is pulling out all the stops for a new Cover Story of Doom:,00.html
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Old 03-27-06, 11:14 AM
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Abortion is bi-partisan as well, right?
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Old 03-27-06, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Abortion is bi-partisan as well, right?
So it's not the first time the Ad Council has violated its own criteria.
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Old 03-27-06, 12:31 PM
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The biggest cause of global warming is irrational opposition to the construction of more nuclear power plants.
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Old 03-27-06, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
The biggest cause of global warming is irrational opposition to the construction of more nuclear power plants.
While I do not believe CO2 emissions contribute very much to global warming, the irrational opposition to nuclear power is certainly the biggest factor in preventing those emissions from decreasing.
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Old 03-27-06, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I do not believe CO2 emissions contribute very much to global warming
Neither do I.

But what I said is the best response that I have to the people who worry about global warming. It makes them happy (because I agree with them that global warming is real) and ticked off (because I support nuclear power) at the same time.
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Old 03-27-06, 02:35 PM
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The figure above shows the monthly temperature deviations from a seasonally adjusted average for the lower stratosphere - Earth's atmosphere from 14 to 22 km (9 to 14 miles). Red is an increase in the temperature from the average, and blue is a decrease in temperature. The large increase in 1982 was caused by the volcanic eruption of El Chichon, and the increase in 1991 was caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. November 2000 was the coldest month on record for stratospheric temperatures. The long-term downward trend in lower stratospheric temperatures is believed to be the result of ozone depletion (primarily), and to a lesser extent the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations due to the burning of fossil fuels.

This chart shows the monthly temperature changes for the lower troposphere - Earth's atmosphere from the surface to 8 km, or 5 miles up. The temperature in this region is more strongly influenced by oceanic activity, particularly the "El Niño" and "La Niña" phenomena, which originate as changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulations in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The overall trend in the tropospheric data is now +0.08 deg. C/decade (through 2004). Click on the charts to get the numerical data.

Surface thermometer measurements indicate that the temperature of the Earth is warming at an average rate close to +0.20 deg. C/decade since 1979, while the satellite data shows a warming trend of about half of this. These differences are the basis for discussions over whether our knowledge of how the atmosphere works might be in error, since the warming aloft in the troposphere should be at least as strong as that observed at the surface. A scientific report on what this apparent discrepency between the satellite and surface data means in the context of global warming theory will be completed in 2005 as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

This page, updated approximately monthly, will continue to provide the latest temperature measurements of various layers of the Earth's atmosphere from space.
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Old 03-27-06, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
While I do not believe CO2 emissions contribute very much to global warming, the irrational opposition to nuclear power is certainly the biggest factor in preventing those emissions from decreasing.
Don't forget irrational opposition to wind generators that whack the occasional endangered bird, or reservoirs that flood some habitats. Or the fear than drilling into a volcano for a geothermal station will open a pit to hell or something. No one bitches about strip mining coal until the whole hill is gone. I don't get it.
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Old 03-27-06, 09:53 PM
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But it must be true, because Time did a cover story on it...

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Old 03-28-06, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Holy Jackson
Don't forget irrational opposition to wind generators that whack the occasional endangered bird, or reservoirs that flood some habitats. Or the fear than drilling into a volcano for a geothermal station will open a pit to hell or something. No one bitches about strip mining coal until the whole hill is gone. I don't get it.
Many of the people who favored windmills in theory changed their mind when it started to become reality.

I suspect the same thing will happen with solar power when that becomes cost effective too. But only time will tell if I am right or not.
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Old 03-28-06, 02:51 PM
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Living in the southwest, I'd love to see a solar panel on every roof top. Of course it still wouldn't do much since about 70% of the local power station's electricity goes to fuel the mines and ore refineries, but some napkin calculations showed that it would generate around half of consumer consumption and would pay for itself in about 50 years. Of course all the voters deciding on any legislation to start such a project would be dead then.
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Old 03-29-06, 12:32 PM
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If it pays for itself, then I'll take a million of them.
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Old 03-29-06, 02:00 PM
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You'll probably be dead of old age when they do though.
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Old 04-10-06, 10:30 AM
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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.)

Open Kyoto to debate
Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit the science of global warming

Special to the Financial Post
Published: Thursday, April 06, 2006

An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Dear Prime Minister:

As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines, we are writing to propose that balanced, comprehensive public-consultation sessions be held so as to examine the scientific foundation of the federal government's climate-change plans. This would be entirely consistent with your recent commitment to conduct a review of the Kyoto Protocol. Although many of us made the same suggestion to then-prime ministers Martin and Chretien, neither responded, and, to date, no formal, independent climate-science review has been conducted in Canada. Much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of the protocol in Canada will be squandered without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science.

Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future. Yet this is precisely what the United Nations did in creating and promoting Kyoto and still does in the alarmist forecasts on which Canada's climate policies are based. Even if the climate models were realistic, the environmental impact of Canada delaying implementation of Kyoto or other greenhouse-gas reduction schemes, pending completion of consultations, would be insignificant. Directing your government to convene balanced, open hearings as soon as possible would be a most prudent and responsible course of action.

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formulation. The study of global climate change is, as you have said, an "emerging science," one that is perhaps the most complex ever tackled. It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth's climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.

We appreciate the difficulty any government has formulating sensible science-based policy when the loudest voices always seem to be pushing in the opposite direction. However, by convening open, unbiased consultations, Canadians will be permitted to hear from experts on both sides of the debate in the climate-science community. When the public comes to understand that there is no "consensus" among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change, the government will be in a far better position to develop plans that reflect reality and so benefit both the environment and the economy.

"Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural "noise." The new Canadian government's commitment to reducing air, land and water pollution is commendable, but allocating funds to "stopping climate change" would be irrational. We need to continue intensive research into the real causes of climate change and help our most vulnerable citizens adapt to whatever nature throws at us next.

We believe the Canadian public and government decision-makers need and deserve to hear the whole story concerning this very complex issue. It was only 30 years ago that many of today's global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.

We hope that you will examine our proposal carefully and we stand willing and able to furnish you with more information on this crucially important topic.

CC: The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources

- - -


Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Dr. Tad Murty, former senior research scientist, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, former director of Australia's National Tidal Facility and professor of earth sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide; currently adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Dr. R. Timothy Patterson, professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University, Ottawa

Dr. Fred Michel, director, Institute of Environmental Science and associate professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa

Dr. Madhav Khandekar, former research scientist, Environment Canada. Member of editorial board of Climate Research and Natural Hazards

Dr. Paul Copper, FRSC, professor emeritus, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.

Dr. Ross McKitrick, associate professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph, Ont.

Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology, University of Winnipeg; environmental consultant

Dr. Andreas Prokocon, adjunct professor of earth sciences, University of Ottawa; consultant in statistics and geology

Mr. David Nowell, M.Sc. (Meteorology), fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Canadian member and past chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa

Dr. Christopher Essex, professor of applied mathematics and associate director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.

Dr. Gordon E. Swaters, professor of applied mathematics, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, and member, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Research Group, University of Alberta

Dr. L. Graham Smith, associate professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.

Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten, professor and Canada Research Chair in environmental studies and climate change, Dept. of Economics, University of Victoria

Dr. Petr Chylek, adjunct professor, Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax

Dr./Cdr. M. R. Morgan, FRMS, climate consultant, former meteorology advisor to the World Meteorological Organization. Previously research scientist in climatology at University of Exeter, U.K.

Dr. Keith D. Hage, climate consultant and professor emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta

Dr. David E. Wojick, P.Eng., energy consultant, Star Tannery, Va., and Sioux Lookout, Ont.

Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, B.C.

Dr. Douglas Leahey, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary

Paavo Siitam, M.Sc., agronomist, chemist, Cobourg, Ont.

Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, associate professor, The University of Auckland, N.Z.

Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Freeman J. Dyson, emeritus professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.

Mr. George Taylor, Dept. of Meteorology, Oregon State University; Oregon State climatologist; past president, American Association of State Climatologists

Dr. Ian Plimer, professor of geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide; emeritus professor of earth sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Mr. William Kininmonth, Australasian Climate Research, former Head National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology, Scientific and Technical Review

Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Dr. Gerrit J. van der Lingen, geologist/paleoclimatologist, Climate Change Consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences, University of Virginia

Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, emeritus professor of paleogeophysics & geodynamics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, Calif.

Dr. Roy W. Spencer, principal research scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville

Dr. Al Pekarek, associate professor of geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn.

Dr. Marcel Leroux, professor emeritus of climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS

Dr. Paul Reiter, professor, Institut Pasteur, Unit of Insects and Infectious Diseases, Paris, France. Expert reviewer, IPCC Working group II, chapter 8 (human health)

Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, physicist and chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, reader, Dept. of Geography, University of Hull, U.K.; editor, Energy & Environment

Dr. Hans H.J. Labohm, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations) and an economist who has focused on climate change

Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, senior scientist emeritus, University of Kansas, past director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey

Dr. Asmunn Moene, past head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway

Dr. August H. Auer, past professor of atmospheric science, University of Wyoming; previously chief meteorologist, Meteorological Service (MetService) of New Zealand

Dr. Vincent Gray, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001,' Wellington, N.Z.

Dr. Howard Hayden, emeritus professor of physics, University of Connecticut

Dr Benny Peiser, professor of social anthropology, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.

Dr. Jack Barrett, chemist and spectroscopist, formerly with Imperial College London, U.K.

Dr. William J.R. Alexander, professor emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Member, United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000

Dr. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences, University of Virginia; former director, U.S. Weather Satellite Service

Dr. Harry N.A. Priem, emeritus professor of planetary geology and isotope geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences; past president of the Royal Netherlands Geological & Mining Society

Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh, E.G. Bailey professor of energy conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University

Dr. Sallie Baliunas, astrophysicist and climate researcher, Boston, Mass.

Douglas Hoyt, senior scientist at Raytheon (retired) and co-author of the book The Role of the Sun in Climate Change; previously with NCAR, NOAA, and the World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland

Dipl.-Ing. Peter Dietze, independent energy advisor and scientific climate and carbon modeller, official IPCC reviewer, Bavaria, Germany

Dr. Boris Winterhalter, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Dr. Wibjorn Karlen, emeritus professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, physicist/meteorologist, previously with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif.; atmospheric consultant.

Dr. Art Robinson, founder, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, Cave Junction, Ore.

Dr. Arthur Rorsch, emeritus professor of molecular genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands; past board member, Netherlands organization for applied research (TNO) in environmental, food and public health

Dr. Alister McFarquhar, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.; international economist

Dr. Richard S. Courtney, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.
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Old 04-10-06, 10:44 AM
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And here's another global warming crisis that isn't: The Great Barrier Reef (sorry about the size; it's the only source I have):

Does anyone think any global warming skeptic has gotten $20 million for a single study from industry? Hoegh-Guldberg's $20 million grant is probably more than all the research funding skeptics get from industry worldwide in a year.
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Old 04-11-06, 12:27 AM
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New Global Warming flick to scare the shit out of you.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:18 AM
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Climate of Fear

Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less--hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested--a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences--as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union--formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.

All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists--a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.

Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest. However, even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited." Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming--not whether it would actually happen.

Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.

M. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:19 AM
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7 April 2006

Air trends 'amplifying' warming

By Richard Black

Environment Correspondent, BBC News website, in Vienna

Reduced air pollution and increased water evaporation appear to be adding to man-made global warming.

Research presented at a major European science meeting adds to other evidence that cleaner air is letting more solar energy through to the Earth's surface.

Other studies show that increased water vapour in the atmosphere is reinforcing the impact of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists suggest both trends may push temperatures higher than believed.

But they say there is an urgent need for further research, particularly at sea.

Dimming no more

Between the 1950s and 1980s, the amount of solar energy penetrating through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface appeared to be declining, by about 2% per decade.

This trend received some publicity under the term "global dimming".

Rising Sun (BBC)

Clean air makes bright skies
But in the 1980s, it appears to have reversed, according to two papers published last year in the journal Science.

The decline in Soviet industry and clean air laws in western countries apparently reduced concentrations of aerosols, tiny particles, in the atmosphere.

These aerosols may block solar radiation directly, or help clouds to form which in turn constitute a barrier; or both effects may occur.

The lead researcher on one of those Science papers was Martin Wild from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IACETH) in Zurich, and this week he has been discussing the implications of those findings at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting in Vienna.

Correlations and causality

The reversal of "global dimming" has been proposed in some circles as an alternative explanation for climatic change, removing the need to invoke human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dr Wild dismissed this picture. His analysis suggests that "global dimming" and the man-made greenhouse effect may have cancelled each other out until the early 1980s, but now "global brightening" is adding to the impact of human greenhouse emissions.

"There is always this argument that maybe the whole temperature rise wasn't due to greenhouse warming but due to solar variations," he told the BBC News website.

Graph of solar and greenhouse contributions to global warming.

"Solar brightening" may now be adding to greenhouse warming "During the solar dimming we had really no temperature rise. And only when the solar dimming disappeared could we really see what is going on in terms of the greenhouse effect, and that is only starting in the 1980s."

Analyses of global temperature indicate that a sharp upward trend commenced in the early 1980s.

But, said Dr Wild, there are strong regional variations in the "solar brightening" trend.

"In Eastern Europe, we see a very strong recovery [in solar radiation] - almost back to what it was before dimming began," he said.

"But India continues with the dimming - that's very much thought to be due to increasing air pollution.

"The general position is that air pollution is still increasing in the tropics, but decreasing outside the tropics; so probably that will amplify warming a little bit outside the tropics but not inside."

Data deficit

There are, Dr Wild admitted, holes in the picture of change.

"The term 'global dimming' is a bit dangerous," he said. "I usually call it 'solar dimming' not 'global dimming' because we really only know about this where we have measurements; and we don't have measurements at many places, for example over the oceans, or land in the tropics."

More research facilities are needed, he said, in tropical regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, and especially the oceans.

As well as extending measurements of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface, he urged more research on aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere and on trends in cloud cover.

Instruments in Alpine station. Image: Rolf Philipona

Water builds heat in Europe
Rolf Philipona from the World Radiation Center in Davos, Switzerland, is attempting to improve aerosol measurements in northern Europe.

"We're trying to put a paper together which shows the aerosol depth and the amount of aerosol in the air column from about six to eight stations in Europe," he told the BBC News website.

"In Germany and Switzerland we would have stations very high up, extending all the way to the North Sea."

Last year Dr Philipona released research indicating that European warming is largely driven by increases in humidity.

The mechanism is that rising levels of what are conventionally called "greenhouse gases", such as carbon dioxide and methane, cause more evaporation of water, which in the atmosphere is itself a greenhouse gas.

He believes this is having more impact than changes to the transmission of solar energy through the atmosphere.

"From my results I believe it's the greenhouse warming and in particular the water vapour feedback," he said.

"Studies and papers are also coming now which are looking more closely at what water vapour is doing in other regions; and there are several pieces of work showing water vapour is increasing over land areas like the United States."

Satellites and ships

Animated guide to the greenhouse effect A further implication of "global brightening" is that the temperature difference between night and day may reduce.

The "blanket" of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has a net heating effect during day and night, whereas changes in solar energy reaching the surface are felt only in daytime.

Disproportionately higher night-time temperatures have already been noted in many parts of the world, and research in the Philippines has linked this trend to a reduction in rice yield.

The conclusions presented here present two major challenges to the research community.

One is to find ways of extending experimental investigations into the oceans and the developing world.

The second is to integrate them into computer models of climate, something which is only just beginning to happen.
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Old 04-14-06, 10:44 AM
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Another story you won't see on TV or read in your paper because it is good news and also helps to explain one more reason the climate models are so pathetically poor:,00.html

Special report Climate change

Fragrance of pine forests helps to slow climate change

James Randerson
Friday April 14, 2006
The Guardian

The fresh fragrance released by trees in northern pine forests is a significant component in slowing climate change, according to research.

The particles that carry the forests' olfactory assault also help to cool the planet by bouncing energy from the sun back into space. Now researchers have worked out that the forests produce enough microscopic particles to load the atmosphere around them with 1,000-2,000 particles per cubic centimetre of air.

The discovery will help plug a big hole in climate change models and so help scientists to make more accurate predictions of global warming from greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Hans-Christen Hansson of the Air Pollution Laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, said airborne particles are a big unknown factor for climate scientists. "We are afraid we have totally misjudged the trend of climate change because the particles are not in the models in a comprehensive way."

The particles, called monoterpenes, give pine and spruce forests their characteristic aroma. They either affect climate directly by bouncing sunlight back into space or by seeding clouds, which do the same thing. "That gives us a very big uncertainty for projection of the effects of greenhouse gases," he added.

Industrial chimneys and emissions from cars also spew out particles which contribute to so-called "global dimming" - bouncing the sun's energy back into space - but disentangling this from the effects of natural particles has proved difficult. "We didn't know really what the natural background was before," Professor Hansson said. The new work will help researchers to separate human-made from natural effects and improve mathematical models of the climate.

The team studied particles generated by the so-called boreal forest. This occurs between 50 and 60 degrees north and covers swaths of Alaska, Canada, Siberia and Europe, a total of 15m square kilometres. "Given the large global coverage of boreal forest, this could have really big implications for climate," said a team member, Peter Tunved.

The team monitored particles collected at three locations in Sweden, including two in the Arctic circle. They found a strong correlation between the time an air mass had spent over the forest and the load of particles it carried, showing that the trees must be the source. Their results appear in the latest edition of Science.

While boreal forests lock up carbon and produce particles that keep the atmosphere cool, they should not be relied on to keep us from burning up, according to Prof Hansson. "Particles have a lifetime of up to a week while the greenhouse gases have a lifetime of years to decades. So you can't really use particles in some desperate mitigation technique to stop climate change. I don't think that's the way to stop the greenhouse gas effect."
As far as I can tell from Google News, the only other media outlet that has picked up this story is The Hindu in India.

But never fear. Those very pine forests are threatened by... you guessed it, global warming!

Bug threatens Canada's pine forests, climate change blamed

LAC LE JEUNE, Canada, March 20, 2006 (AFP) - A bug plague blamed on climate change is sweeping through western Canada's pine forests, and other woodlands throughout North America are at risk, experts warn.

A tiny beetle and the fungus it spreads have already wiped out six billion Canadian dollars' (5.14 billion US dollars') worth of timber, and is predicted to eliminate thousands of jobs and push many rural towns into extinction.

"This is the first manifestation of pestilence as a result of climate change," said Avrim Lazar, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada.

The mountain pine beetle "takes out approximately 480 billion cubic meters (17 trillion cubic feet) (of wood) a year, three times Canada's annual harvest," Lazar said in an interview.

So far, the pestilence has hit Canada's westernmost province of British Columbia hardest, with pockets of destruction in adjacent Alberta and the western United States.

Experts fear this is a harbinger of more infestations of these or other unchecked indigenous pests that will hit timberlands throughout North America.

The fate of Lac Le Jeune on the Nicola Plateau highlands, about 180 miles (290 kilometres) northeast of Vancouver, is typical.

As the beetle infestation grew in recent years, pine tree needles turned red. Because the dry deadwood posed a fire and windfall hazard, this winter authorities cut 25,000 trees from a once-lush provincial park, leaving 144 camp sites exposed on the lakefront.

The logs were added to the mountains of deadwood piled outside sawmills throughout British Columbia.

Chief provincial government forester Jim Snetsinger said British Columbia aims to salvage as much wood as possible before it rots. Although beetle wood is stained "denim" blue, products made from it are structurally sound.

But this salvage operation is so massive it is re-shaping the province's enormous forest industry, worth about 17.7 billion dollars (15.2 billion US) annually and an economic mainstay.

About 15 million hectares (37 million acres), or 25 percent of British Columbia's commercial forests, are pine, and the sudden glut of wood -- the province grows seven percent of the world's softwood -- is affecting international trade patterns, said Lazar.

Environmentalists such as the Sierra Club protest that more money is needed for research. Lazar's industry association wants Canada to more aggressively lobby for global reduction of greenhouse gases.

Research is under way, such as a study on the effect of pheromones on beetle reproduction, while Snetsinger hopes future technologies will help.

Still, British Columbia's main response has been to log as much wood as possible, and replant.

It has led to a glut of short-term jobs that will eventually vanish entirely until new seedlings mature in 50 to 80 years.

While the mountain pine beetle, a tiny insect the size of a grain of rice, is blamed for the devastation, the cause behind its spread is complex.

For millennia, pine beetles have feasted on lodge pole pine and laid eggs under the bark. Historically, beetle populations would swell each summer and die back by as much as 95 percent each winter when temperatures plunged to minus 20 C (minus 4.0 F).

But as the global climate warmed in the past 100 years, said Snetsinger, "the mean average winter temperature increased by 2.2 to 2.6 degrees in the interior of the province."

It has now been 15 years since temperatures dropped low enough, for long enough, to kill beetles.

Their population has exploded and they are now in nearly 40 percent of lodge pole pine. By 2013, estimates Snetsinger, "80 percent of susceptible pine will have been affected."

The trees die from the double blow of burrowing insects and a fungus they transport through their protective bark. Once inside, the fungus strangles the flow of water from the trees' roots.

In the end, said Snetsinger, "the tree dies of dehydration."

Misguided forestry management has also helped the beetle thrive. Pine beetles prefer old trees, and historically old trees burned in natural forest fires. In recent decades, such old growth was saved by forest firefighters.

"Things are getting out of balance," said Lazar. "This is just the beginning. Our industry is so dependent on healthy biology."
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Old 04-14-06, 04:18 PM
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So the conclusion I can draw from your two climate articles is that:

Pine forests inhibit global warming, but arctic climate has already warmed enough that they're all being killed by disease. Therefore, climate will warm more than previously anticipated.
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Old 04-14-06, 05:24 PM
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We're all gonna die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-14-06, 05:37 PM
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Not me, I've got a helm of immortality +1!!
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Old 04-14-06, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Holy Jackson
So the conclusion I can draw from your two climate articles is that:

Pine forests inhibit global warming, but arctic climate has already warmed enough that they're all being killed by disease. Therefore, climate will warm more than previously anticipated.
Yes you could. There are studies almost every week that say that either climate will warm more or less than previously believed. Of course it's the former that get by far more attention.

But one of the the individual lessons of the first one is, as I said, that the cooling effect of the pines will likely be totally overlooked because it is mitigating and who wants to hear that. Also, as I said, it is one more factor that shows how sorely lacking the models are. There are probably dozens, if not hundreds of variables of which the models are ignorant yet they are what is invariably relied upon for dire warnings. It also has not escaped my attention that if the hitherto unknown mitigating effect of the pines is real, then the total attributed to human CO2 emissions should be adjusted upward, if only a little bit. These things go both ways. The point is that the alarmists usually only see it one way and continue to flaunt their flawed models as real.

One point of the second article is that no matter what the cause of something bad (be it frogs dying from chytrid fungal infections, hurricanes, islands being overwhelmed by water, floods, droughts or this latest pine forest plague), it will immediately be said that global warming is behind it all in spite of the fact that there are often other explanations that have greater credibility (for example, in the case of increased hurricanes, that there is, quite simply, a natural cycle that has been going on for ages; in the case of the islands, it's due to tectonic and volcanic activity, not rising seas). Rarely does anyone in the mainstream media point out such alternate explanations. For the alarmists and the media, the blame is always on global warming.

Last edited by movielib; 04-14-06 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-14-06, 06:09 PM
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global warming is an easy to comprehend scapegoat. What bothers me is that all of these things do point to one thing: change. Ice ages come and go, the great plains have alternatively been deserts, under ice, or even inland seas. Some events take millions of years to happen, like the drying of the great basin, but many events have happened in a time span short enough to be measured in years.
The good in the global warming hype is it at least gets people exposed to the idea that the world will not be the way it is today at all time, and they might just be around to see it change.
The, in my opinion greater, bad in global warming hype is that it focuses on the wrong things and discredits itself. When all the press releases are alarmist, it is easy to point out the flaws and the obviously overlooked and underaddressed alternative explanations for what is happening, and the alternate forcasts for what the earth could do instead of the normal heating up.
What worries me most is that this issue is going to end up in partisan bickering between environmentally liberal groups out to save every squirrel and environmentally consertave people with their heads in the sand, causing nothing to be done and leading to society getting caught with its pants down when things do eventually change.
Model forcasting is hard especially when dealing with chaotic systems, and entirely dependent on assumptions. All that it will really give you is an insight into which variables have greater effects, and which scenarios are possible based on your input assumptions and data.
Paleo climate studies are much more relevant because they show what has happened before, and therefore what is definitely possible, and on what timescales they occur.
Frankly, I think that the current immigration debate will prove to be far more relevant to the future when climate change does occur than any environmental regulations today. No one will care about squirrels in yosemite if a glacier is pushing the entire population of canada across our northern border.
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Old 04-14-06, 06:38 PM
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I agree with most of your last post (although I don't think we are seeing anything all that out of the ordinary compared to the past).

What strikes me are three things:

(1) The scientists:

The alarmists are pretty much all "global warming is a catastrophe, we must do something now, human CO2 emissions are to blame for virtually all of it, Kyoto is the only way and any scientist who denies it is a wacko fringe lunatic whose soul is owned by Exxon." The alarmists consistently misrepresent the positions, the numbers, the prominence, the honesty, the sincerity and the scientific objectivity of the skeptics. Perhaps the thing that strikes me the most is that the alarmists attack the credibility of the skeptics because the skeptics are sometimes funded (very modestly) by industry and free market think tanks. Yet they overlook the billions they get from governments and environmental groups and the fact that they get such funding only as long as they continue to cry wolf with regularity.

The skeptics admit the valid points of the other side. They do not deny there is global warming, they do not deny human CO2 emissions play a role (although they maintain it is small), they do not deny there will be some problems. They merely insist that Kyoto will help almost not at all and will cost far, far more than it's worth. They urge economic growth and technological advancement to meet the challenges of future problems.

(2) The politicians:

Here, those on both sides can be, and often are, idiots. You may very well hear a conservative politician say such things as "global warming doesn't exists" or is "a hoax." You will never, or almost never, hear a skeptical scientist say that.

(3) The mainstream media:

We know where they are, beyond the pale of any responsible journalism.
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