For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A different myth busted

On another environmental front, the garbage we produce is another area full of assumptions. One of the greatest of these is the amount of plastic and disposable diapers that, we are told, are filling out landfills excessively, and the idea that we're running out of landfill space. Problem was, for years no one actually bothered to compare perception to reality. Many still don't bother, however The Garbology Project was developed specifically to rectify the problem. Here's some of what they found.

In contrast to all of the concern directed at fast food packaging and disposable diapers, the archaeological data demonstrated that both items together accounted for less than 2 percent of landfill volume within refuse deposited over the last ten years. Even more surprisingly, because of industry-wide “light-weighting” -- that is, making the same form of item but with less resin -- plastic grocery bags had become thinner and more crushable to the point that 100 plastic bags consumed less space inside a landfill than 20 paper bags. If all three items at the center of public concern had been banned and were not replaced by anything, the garbage archaeologists were certain that landfill managers would not have noticed the difference.

At the opposite end of the contents’ spectrum were materials that occupied large portions of landfill space but received little public attention. Construction/demolition debris (C/D) was one. Because of definitional issues, C/D was not even included in the EPA’s national estimates of the refuse that goes to MSW (municipal solid waste, or standard community refuse) landfills. Like the EPA, the Garbage Project tried to avoid the issue of C/D in MSW landfills. In fact, the Garbage Project’s one sampling bias was an attempt to avoid areas where C/D was concentrated because it could easily disable expensive drilling equipment. Nevertheless, C/D accounted for 20 percent or more of excavated MSW by volume and was the second largest category of landfilled materials recovered by the Garbage Project. The largest category occupying landfill space was paper. This was true for refuse buried in the 1980s as well as for refuse dating as far back as the 1950s because in most landfills paper seemed to biodegrade very slowly. As a result, by volume nearly half of all of the refuse excavated by the Garbage Project has been newspapers, magazines, packaging paper and non-packaging paper, such as computer printouts and phonebooks.

Another myth busted...

Obligatory disclaimer...

I found this an interesting read.

Carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age

Deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before atmospheric CO2, ruling out the greenhouse gas as driver of meltdown, says study in Science.

Carbon dioxide did not cause the end of the last ice age, a new study in Science suggests, contrary to past inferences from ice core records.

“There has been this continual reference to the correspondence between CO2 and climate change as reflected in ice core records as justification for the role of CO2 in climate change,” said USC geologist Lowell Stott, lead author of the study, slated for advance online publication Sept. 27 in Science Express.

“You can no longer argue that CO2 alone caused the end of the ice ages.”


“The climate dynamic is much more complex than simply saying that CO2 rises and the temperature warms,” Stott said. The complexities “have to be understood in order to appreciate how the climate system has changed in the past and how it will change in the future.”

Read the whole article here.


Repackaged for mass marketing

Obligatory disclaimer...

One of the books I'm currently reading right now is called Rural Renaissance; Renewing the Quest for the Good Life. The book is very autobiographical, written in a conversational tone. The authors, John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist talk about their switch from highly paid Chicago ad. execs to back-to-earth types running a B&B on their self-sustaining property. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn't quite romanticize things as much as I thought it would. What I'm really liking is that this book is old enough that they talk about the things they did, from re-using materials to alternative energy to energy efficient appliances, from a point of view of being environmentally responsible, conserving energy and so on. Not a single reference to "carbon pollution," green house gases or CO2 anywhere.

Compare this to a series of pamphlets I picked up from the library not too long ago. These are all about how we can make changes in our homes to reduce our CO2 emissions and do our part to stop climate change.

So what do these pamphlets advise? Things like using caulking and weatherstripping to reduce heat and energy loss. Ways to improve heating systems for efficiency and energy savings. Insulating our basements, dealing with condensation, and ways to conserve electricity.

All of this is information that's been out there for years, and is just as useful today as they were 10 years ago. The only difference is that in the past, these sorts of pamphlets were markets as ways for home owners to save money by conserving energy, prevent damage to their homes, and generally improve their homes' efficiency. Now, it's being marketed as ways to reduce our CO2 emissions and reduce our impact on climate change.

While I appreciate that the city is willing to put this information out for free for home owners, even though it's useless to us in our apartment, I find it unfortunate that they felt it necessary to repackage it all to market to the AGW mindset. They even developed a whole new organization (or did they just change the name of an old one?) to do this., came up with new logos and layouts, and redesigned the pamphlets themselves from what I remember seeing in the past. Our tax dollars at work!

Re-branding costs money, and it's coming out of our pockets for no real reason. The advice given in these pamphlets isn't going to reduce CO2 emissions or affect climate change anymore now then they did before AGW exploded into our common psyche, and I doubt any more people will actually make the changes advised than before, either. The people who would be motivated to make these changes would be motivated to do so regardless of how it's marketed. The people who wouldn't be - won't!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

yet another interesting read...

Obligatory disclaimer...

Amazing how much reading you can get in, in between stages of cooking supper... ;-)

Global Warming and Nature's Thermostat

Be sure to check out the main site, Weather Questions, too.

A couple more articles of interest.

Obligatory disclaimer...

A few interesting points in this article.

Humans are naturally selective in what we notice. For instance, selectivity occurs when, after being introduced to someone, you seem to meet them frequently. They were always there, but just not part of your "noticing." Similarly, the media and the public have started to "notice" extreme weather, glacier melting, sea level rise, etc. more because alarmists tell us that an increase in such events is a precursor to the coming 'climate crisis'. Since people are on the lookout for such trends they seem to be accelerating even though recent quantitative studies demonstrate they are not (NRSP 'allied scientist' Dr. Madhav Khandekar has shown this clearly in his studies for the Alberta government, for example).

This is a lot like when people's fears increase because of crime rates. The perception is that crime is increasing and their neighbourhoods have become more dangerous places, when crime rates are often actually falling. They get the perception of increased crime rates because they're hearing about crimes from all over, more often, because it's in the news so much. The mind takes what it sees and applies it to what it's familiar with, so seeing more crime reports in the media becomes a perception of increased local crime.

Phenomena such as severe weather events are now often presented as unusual or unique: it was the highest or lowest temperature, rainfall, etc., 'ever.' What is referred to is the barely century-old instrumental data-based official weather record, an inadequate sample of the Earth's five billion year history. Long term geologic records indicate much greater and more rapid changes occurred long before civilizations started.

This is particularly true, I'm finding, with the scare articles about loss of Arctic ice. Especially with the term "melting" is used. It turns out that there was indeed been less ice there than today, as recent as 1905. Yet the articles claim Arctic ice is at its lowest point "in history." "History," it turns out, started in 1979, which is when we first started having satellite records.

Besides the public's lack of awareness of our planet's dynamic climate history, a difficulty in comprehending long time frames has made them susceptible to the propaganda of Al Gore and David Suzuki. Echoing Suzuki's myth of nature's "gentle rhythms", then Canadian environment minister Stéphane Dion told the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on October 4, 2005, "Climate change is a new phenomenon, a very worrying one, but a new phenomenon." Dion's total ignorance of the issue is revealed by simply noting one historical fact - half of North America was under a vast ice sheet just 22,000 years ago.

This is something I've noted as well. Heck, I went through school being taught the "gentle rhythms" belief, and that global climate change was something that only happened very slowly, over 10's of thousands of years. That Dion should claim climate change is a new phenomenon does nothing but make himself look amazingly ignorant. Unfortunately, people believe him!

The exploitation of climate science for purely political goals is occurring throughout the developed world. For example, politicians in Canada have started to ban inexpensive and convenient technologies such as light bulbs, coal fired electricity generation and used oil heating to "stop climate change." They can't show how the alternatives being promoted will actually help the environment – we are expected to simply believe that such sacrifices for the climate will benefit us all, even if real pollution levels rise, food prices increase as agricultural land is converted to biofuels production and millions of birds are cut to pieces by wind turbines. 'Believe' is the key word here, not 'think'.

This is one of the things that drives me nuts about the whole issue! I'll have more to say on that in another post.

Along with Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders and a handful of other Democrats, Boxer is promoting the ludicrously titled "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act", also referred to as the" Sanders/Boxer bill, S.309". The phrase 'global warming pollution' is wildly inappropriate but is used repeatedly by Gore, Boxer and others in the hopes that the public will look upon their actions as honest attempts to help the environment by reducing pollution. In reality, the major target of the act, Gore's crusade and other futile attempts to 'stop climate change' (e.g. the Kyoto Protocol) is carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas essential to life and in no way a pollutant. Using the sweeping and more threatening sounding term "greenhouse gases" (of which CO2 is only one), environmental alarmists clearly hope the public don't wake up to the fact that they are really speaking mostly about the benign gas CO2. While many politicians know very well that CO2 emission reduction is pointless and will have little if any impact on climate, some truly don't know the difference between CO2 and pollution – witness the Boxer-like statement of Canadian Liberal MP Joe Volpe before entering the House of Commons to vote in favour of Canada's ratification of Kyoto in 2002, "For all intents and purposes, there isn't anybody that I know that doesn't want cleaner air and a cleaner environment, so why would you vote no?"

Another point that gets my back up! CO2 and carbon, often used interchangeably, are both being labeled as pollutants! Well, carbon *can* be part of smog pollution. It is, after all, a solid and breathing it just isn't a good thing - any more than breathing any other particulate matter will cause problems. Thing is, we are carbon based life forms, living on a carbon bases planet. To label carbon and CO2 as pollutants is ignorant and disingenuous.

Divorcing themselves entirely from science, political opportunists proceed to claim the moral high ground by appealing to our natural instinct to protect children.

Ah, yes - the final and greatest emotional appeal! "Won't somebody please think about the children!"


Of course we have no chance of "reversing global warming" (and why would we want to? Global cooling is far more dangerous and climate is never constant). Boxer's rhetoric is simply an appeal to emotion over rational thought. Such an unscientific stance is bad for society and, ultimately, bad for the environment as well, but political spin doctors seem to have concluded that it still attracts many voters.

That's the greatest power AGW proponents have - appeal to emotion. The "skeptics" and "deniers" tend to use logic to explain their views. People don't respond to logic unless it is tied to emotion. The politicians know this and use it to full extent.

The specter of industry-caused "climate chaos" - a ridiculous term used by Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May - ultimately leading to the 'destruction of the planet' is a perfect vehicle for people who want to radically alter, or even dismantle, western civilization. Chief among these is Canadian Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and until recently, Executive Officer for Reform in the U.N. Secretary General's office. His comment, "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" speaks volumes about what is really going on in the minds of some environmentalists.

The following quotes illustrate the dangerous anti-human nature of cells within the environmental movement, many of whom have adopted today's climate crusade as their primary raison d'ĂȘtre:

Biologist David Graber (U.S. National Park Service): "They [natural things] have intrinsic value, more value - to me - than another human body, or a billion of them. Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. Somewhere along the line - about a billion years ago - we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."

Philosophy Professor Paul Taylor, City University of New York in "Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics", p. 115): "Given the total, absolute, and final disappearance of Homo Sapiens, not only would the Earth's community of life continue to exist, but in all probability, its well-being would be enhanced. Our presence, in short, is not needed. And if we were to take the standpoint of that Life Community and give voice to its true interests, the ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty "Good riddance!"

Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!: "Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."

Earth First! Journal editor John Daily: "Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs."

An equally extreme case is Peter Singer, a 'bioethicist' at Princeton University. He maintains that the suffering of a crippled ant deserves equal consideration to that of a crippled human child. If we could only save one, he says, we should decide by the flip a coin or else we would be "speciests".

And of course the macabre " Voluntary Human Extinction Movement " is apparently alive and well with its "volunteer" class members agreeing that, "All of us should voluntarily refrain from reproducing further, bringing about the eventual extinction of Homo sapiens." Asserting that "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health", the group's motto is "May we live long and die out."

In the extraordinary book "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" written 150 years ago by Charles Mackay, is written, "Men … think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."


Wow. What more can I add to that? Stunning!


Questionable connections...

Obligatory disclaimer...

An interesting article about the Rosia Montana situation.

Green Hypocrisy's Gold Standard

Thursday, September 20, 2007
By Steven Milloy

Is billionaire investor George Soros using environmental pressure groups to block a gold-mining project for his own financial benefit?

Last week the Romanian government suspended the environmental review process for Canadian company Gabriel Resources’ proposed gold-mining project in the Transylvanian village of Rosia Montana.

The ostensible reason for the suspension was a court challenge filed by the local anti-development activist group and the U.S.-based Open Society Institute about some paperwork unrelated to the environmental review.

As discussed previously in this column and in the documentary "Mine Your Own Business," controversy over the mine has been fabricated by what has seemed to be a leaderless and slapdash international collection of green non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, all oddly focused on this one mining project in a remote part of eastern Europe.

But the curtain is rising on the NGOs’ efforts to stop the mine and it seems that Soros, through the Open Society Institute he chairs, may be at the controls for reasons that have little to do with protecting the environment.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Data gathering

Obligatory disclaimer...

You know, life would be a whole lot easier if I'd just accept whatever I was hearing in the media, or what other people are telling me, in regards to AGW and climate change. But nooo... I've gotta go and research this stuff myself. Now I'm finding myself questioning assumptions I've had about all sorts of things!

Take temperature data. I regularly check the local weather for the day when making plans to go out - it makes it easier to tell the kids to wear a jacket if I can say the weather office says it's going to be chilly, than if I tell them it's chilly, y'know? *L* In fact, we've got WeatherEye downloaded on our computers. It's available through The Weather Network. A tiny icon on the task bar shows the current temperature. A mouse-over gives a bit more information. Clicking on it opens a window with short and long range forecasts and tabs to click that'll take you to web pages for weather maps, road conditions, etc. A useful little thing.

The other place I go to get my weather information is the Government of Canada weather office. I love this site! Aside from finding your local weather conditions, you can look through the databases and go back over a particular weather stations data for decades. I could easily spend hours there. The biggest surprise I had there, though, was discovering the weather station we get our temperature readings from has been in existence for a very short time.

I've noticed a couple of things, though. These two weather services don't always agree. Yesterday, for example, as the kids and I were heading out at noon, WeatherEye told us it was only 4C. The weather office, however, showed me that the temperature at that time was 11C. Why the difference?

Well, the weather office uses readings from a weather station located near an airport, outside the city. I have no idea where the Weather Network gets their reading from, but it's obviously not from the same station. Wherever their data is recorded, the weather there isn't always the same. That stands to reason. After all, we're just a few blocks from downtown and there have been days my husband has been hailed on while walking to his office, while outside our balcony we've still got sunshine.

So then I get to wondering out all sorts of other things. Take "normal" temperatures. When watching the weather report, you'll often hear that a temperature is X amount above or below "normal." I had always assumed that "normal" had meant "what the temperature usually is." It turns out that "normal" doesn't mean the same thing in weather recordings than it does in usual language use. "Normal" turns out to be just an average. Temperature data from the past 30 years is averaged out. Why 30 years? No real reason, except perhaps that most weather stations have been recording for at least that long. It's an arbitrary time line. They could just as easily have used 10 years, or 50 years.

So the temperature data for a specific station is averaged out (mean average, more specifically), and that average is labeled "normal." Temperature readings above or below that are called "anomalies." I'd always thought an anomaly was something that was unusual, strange, not the way things should be. Not in temperature data, though. With temperature data, an anomaly is simply a reading that isn't "normal," and "normal" is just an average. So "normal" temperature isn't actually normal, nor are temperature variations actually "anomalies" according to the usual ways those words are used. Unfortunately, when we hear the weather reports, no one bothers to explain that, so when we're told a temperature is above or below "normal," we tend to think that there's something unusual happening, when in reality, there's nothing strange happening at all.

Then there's the temperature data itself. Another assumption I'd made is that temperature data used for such things like calculating the global average temperature was what the actual temperature readings were. Wrong. They don't work with raw data. The raw data is adjusted for various things, like the Urban Heat Effect. Ok, that makes sense - but who determines which data needs to be adjusted, and by how much? If you've been following Climate Audit at all, you'll see exactly what a problem that actually is. If you check out Surface Stations even briefly, you can see that even the raw data is questionable!

Then there's the weather stations themselves. As I posted about earlier, not all countries have the same requirements for these, as Germany takes their temperature readings in the shade, while North American weather stations are (supposed to be) located in the open. Again, I find myself facing my assumptions. With my handy WeatherEye giving me updated temperature readings continuously, I assume these stations are all monitored continuously. Some are, but this is very recent. Here's a brief overview of the various definitions.

First, a typical weather station. There used to be a great many of these in the past, but there's quite a few less, now. Many have been abandoned for various reasons, from lack of funds to lack of volunteers to go out and check the data. That's right - these stations depended on unpaid volunteers to go out to wherever the station was located and record the data on a daily basis.

What about automated stations? Yes, they exist, too, "... either to save human labour or to enable measurements from remote areas." They have a problem, though. "Unlike manual weather stations, automatic weather stations cannot report the class and amount of clouds. Also, precipitation measurements are a bit problematic, especially for snow, as the gauge must empty itself between observations. For present weather, all phenomena which do not touch the sensor, such as fog patches, remain unobserved."

Then there's the equipment used. Many stations use the Stevenson screen. These stations, however, give a single reading - whatever the temperature is at the time the volunteer reads it. Newer MMTS equipped stations give two readings - a maximum and a minimum. Those numbers are then averaged to get the reading for the day. As long as they're not located next to air conditioning units, buildings, or on parking lots, the data should be fine.

In my faith in scientific accuracy, I never imagined that the basic data was so loose and flexible, with so many gaps and potential errors! I suppose, had I stopped to think about it, I should've known better. I certainly know how much temperatures and conditions can fluctuate in even a small area. Why I assumed "officially" gathered data would somehow not be effected by this, or accounted for, I have no idea.

I guess it was just easier that way.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oh, crud. :-(

Obligatory disclaimer...
You know, as much as I recognize the potential problems of biofuels, I still believed that at least some of them held promise. It seems I'm wrong. Biofuels have problems in completely different areas.

Rapeseed biofuel 'produces more greenhouse gas than oil or petrol.

Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Scientists found that the use of biofuels released twice as much as nitrous oxide as previously realized.

One of the issues that bugs me about AGW and climate change disaster proponents is their fixation on CO2. CO2 has a limited role within the greenhouse effect; a role that decreases as the amount of CO2 increases. Personally, I've come to believe that increased amounts of CO2 is a good thing. N2O, however, may be another story. It's actually a rather safe gas. Also known as laughing gas, it's used medicinally, as well as in food production. It's not any more dangerous than CO2 is, but it apparently behaves differently in the atmosphere.

...While its radiative warming effect is substantially less than CO2, nitrous oxide's persistence in the atmosphere, when considered over a 100 year period, per unit of weight, has 296 times more impact on global warming than that per mass unit of carbon dioxide ...

Nitrous oxide also attacks ozone in the stratosphere, aggravating the excess amount of UV light striking the earth's surface in recent decades, in a manner similar to various freons and related halogenated organics. Nitrous oxide is the main naturally-occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone.

Now, I take anything on Wikipedia with a huge grain of salt. Also, I don't know is if increasing amounts of N2O continues to have an exponentially increasing effect, or if, like CO2, its effect decreases. I also have questions about just how much we know about what does or doesn't damage the ozone layer, as I've found considerable debate on the subject.

In the end, though, it's just one more strike against the use of biofuels.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another link dump

Obligatory disclaimer...

Some interesting reads...

Fallacies of Global Warming
This one looks full face into a lot of basic assumptions we have, including many I had myself before I started doing my own research.

Carbon Dioxide and Global Climate Change: Separating Scientific Fact from Personal Opinion.
Read this one when you've got some time on your hands, as it's quite long. Highly informative.

British Truck Driver Sues to Ban Al Gore's Film from Schools (op ed)
Lorry Driver in Challenge to Gore School Film (article)
The interesting thing about this case is that the gentleman in question isn't a "skeptic" at all. He rightly points out that partisan politics doesn't belong in schools, not just ethically, but legally.

ABC's Liberal Weatherman Touts Emotional Benefits to Carbon Offsets.
This op ed includes a transcript of the show in question. It's almost embarrassing to read, they're so misinformed. Just as an example...
Ed Begley Jr. (Living With Ed): "Coal is a natural gas, but there's a lot of coal burned in this country to make kilowatts."

Coal is a natural gas, is it? *shudder*

Serious Dough
An article about the effects "green fuel" subsidies are having on food prices.

On a similar note:
Biofuels: is the Cure Worse than the Disease.
This is a 57 page pdf you can download and read at your leisure (hah! sorry. Leisure. That's a good one... :-) )

Here's a couple for all us breeders that are destroying the earth...

Global Swarming: Is is Time for Americans to Start Cutting our Baby Emissions
Having Large Families 'is an eco-crime'

You know, only a generation or two ago, a "large" family had 10 or more kids. Now, a large family is anything more than 2, and now we're supposed to feel guilty for even having that many!

This is why...

Obligatory disclaimer...

Here's an example of what bothers me most about the efforts to battle AGW and "climate change."

Great causes lose out to climate fight

By Paul Berton

... all scientific field and survey work by the Canadian Wildlife
Service, charged with studying and protecting wildlife in Canada, has
been stalled.

The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Network, responsible for noting changes ecosystems, has lost 80% of its budget.

The Migratory Bird Program, which monitors bird populations for signs of trouble, has lost half its budget.

A program that protects nationally significant habitats for wildlife and birds now gets nothing from a former budget of $1.9 million.

With so much money, time and effort being re-routed to fight a questionable cause with questionable results, many useful programmes are sacrificed. These are just a few environmental programmes, but there are many others unrelated to climate that are also being effects.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Amazing what you learn

You learn new things in the strangest places.

Yesterday I was with a group of people, including a woman from Germany, chatting in a park and, inevitably, the conversation turned to the weather. We'd just had a couple of really hot days and were wondering just how high the temperatures had done. I'd heard 24C, while another had heard 21C. The woman from Germany then started wondering, if it was 21C "in the shade," how hot it must've been in the sun.

She was surprised when I explained to her that the weather stations are in the sun, not the shade, plus a bit about how they're supposed to be certain heights from the ground, distances from buildings, etc. I also mentioned that the readings we got were most likely from a weather station located at an airport outside our city. It turns out that in Germany, temperature readings are always in the shade! She assumed, of course, that it was the same all over the world, just as I assumed the same about our own temperature recordings.

So here was have yet another disconnect regarding raw data used to calculate global temperature averages. In the US and Canada, our weather stations record temperatures taken in open areas (sheltered from the elements, yes, but they are supposed to be away from trees and buildings). Never mind that an astounding amount of the raw data is corrupted. In Germany, they are deliberately taken from shaded areas. This is going to effect the raw data. What about other countries? What are their standards for official temperature recordings?

There was a time, not that long ago, when I trusted the numbers given out. Not anymore.

Playing with numbers.

Here's another interesting email that was sent to me. Sorry, once again, I don't have a link. Click on the graphics for a larger view.

If the data doesn't fit the theory, change the data...

As some may know, a discovery by that pesky Canadian (one of the two man team that discovered Dr. Mann’s gross statistical error that destroyed the “Hockey Stick” graph of the 3rd IPCC Assessment Report) showed another significant failure of climate science math.

That Canadian, Steve McIntyre, proved that Dr. Hansen of NASA (Hansen is one of the “Fathers of the Modern Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory” and is infamous for his hysterical ‘doomed Earth’ scenarios of Global Warming, such as +100 ft. sea level rises) failed to program correctly in his software an adjustment to his Y2K calculations, whereas the correction suddenly made the late 20th century warming no longer significant. The graph above was used to discover this calculation error (it subtracted the raw data from the adjusted data which exposed the changes) – you simply can’t miss the sudden and massive jump at year 2000. Of course, this erroneous jump was used to claim the “sudden and urgent Anthropogenic Warming Effect” – but now we know it is merely a calculation error.

The corrected data left the 1930’s warming period far more significant then later in the century. The consequence, of course, is the refutation BY OBSERVATION that we are not being subjected to any anthropogenic climate influences (other than human error J - one pundit humorously claimed that this actually did prove anthropogenic effect – the effect that some humans can’t think clearly!) Of course, there are still those that believe a computer can model the infinitely complex Earth climate and still hold to the belief that man is somehow causing the climate change. Ah! – the modern state of science – where a computer model is more valid than reality!

But if it couldn’t become more bizarre, Dr. Hansen fights back ….. by changing the data! If using the current data with the correct software shows that there is no significant warming, then obviously the data must be wrong! After the revelation of his software error (and its correction), Dr. Hansen has recently applied adjustments to the data that (with no surprise) causes the past to be cooler! This adjustment now moves the year 1998 into a tie with the 1930’s.

Here is a sample of one site’s change difference.

This is the picture of the site.

You can see in the above graph that Hansen significantly dropped the Detroit Lake temperatures radically between 1900 and 1930 by about half a degree, and in the 30’s a further dramatic drop. It’s an amazing result – it completely removes the 30’s warming signal! Why the change? Of course, Hansen and NASA refuses to explain themselves (at this time). Heck they didn’t even tell anyone they made an adjustment until one of the people doing the audit via discovered the sudden update a few days ago while he was trying to understand why his (now old) information didn’t match up with the NASA site.

You would consider altering the data DOWNWARD to adjust for an UPWARD bias, such as Urban Heat Island Effect (concrete and asphalt is warmer than dirt). But this alteration of Hansen’s makes no sense…. the urbanization of the site occurred after the 1950’s with the building structures, roads, change in land use, and in the later in 1990’s when the monitor was changed from a Stephenson box (still there but not in use) to a MMTS digital system (the thing that looks like a can on a short pole). UHI effects occurred in the later in the 1980’s, not in the beginning of the century. In fact, Hansen actually creates a double bias in the 1970’s by making a further UPWARD adjustment to the temperature during the start of the urbanization in the 1980’s. It’s as if he is saying that putting Detroit Lake sensor near large heat sources lowers the reading? It appears he completely misunderstands UHI effects!

But Hansen has accomplished his goal …. 1990’s are now tied with 1930’s in warming. Gosh, man-made global warming is proven – it just takes the hand of a man to invent the data!

Reality check...

Some not so good news...

I'm not sure how this came about, but there's a perception that a healthy economy is harmful to the environment, despite all the evidence (see previous post) to the contrary.

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A cap-and-trade scheme
for controlling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would impose significant
economic costs on the U.S. economy and is not a sound policy response to
current concerns about global warming, says renown economist Arthur Laffer
in a new study released today.
"Dr. Laffer's analysis is another death knell for the cap-and-trade
approach to addressing concerns over carbon dioxide emissions," said Steven
Milloy, executive director of the Free Enterprise Education Institute
(FEEI), the nonprofit group sponsoring the study. "The Department of
Energy, Congressional Budget Office and, now, Dr. Laffer have all concluded
that cap- and-trade would be disastrous for the U.S. economy," added
"The Laffer paper confirms that cap-and-trade is a lose-lose
proposition," said Borelli. Given the well-established relationship between
economic prosperity and a clean environment, it's hard to see how harming
the economy won't also harm the environment," Borelli concluded.
"The Adverse Economic Impacts of Cap-and-Trade" is available online at
the following websites:,, and

Read the full article here.

How about some good news?

This was emailed to me and I don't have a link to an article online, so here's the whole thing.

The State of Humanity: Steadily Improving

By Julian L. Simon

Julian L. Simon is a professor of business and management at the University of Maryland and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. This essay is based on the introduction to his latest book, The State of Humanity, just published by the Cato Institute and Blackwell Publishers.

The 1980 Global 2000 Report to the President began by stating that "if present trends continue, the world in 2000 will be more crowded, more polluted, less stable ecologically, and more vulnerable to disruption than the world we live in now." In the Introduction to The Resourceful Earth, which I edited in 1984 with the late Herman Kahn, we rewrote that passage, stating, "If present trends continue, the world in 2000 will be less crowded (though more populated), less polluted, more stable ecologically, and less vulnerable to resource-supply disruption than the world we live in now."

The years have been kind to our forecasts--or more important, the years have been good for humanity. The benign trends we then observed have continued. Our species is better off in just about every measurable material way. And there is stronger reason than ever to believe that progressive trends will continue past the year 2000, past the year 2100, and indefinitely.

When we widen our scope beyond such physical matters as natural resources and the environment--to mortality, the standard of living, slavery and freedom, housing, and the like--we find that the trends pertaining to economic welfare are heartening also. Please notice that this benign assessment does not imply that there will not be increases in some troubles--AIDS at present, for example, and other diseases in the future, as well as social and political upheavals. New problems always will arise. But the assessment refers to broad aggregate measures of effects upon people rather than the bad phenomena themselves--life expectancy rather than AIDS, skin cancers (or even better, lifetime healthy days) rather than a hole in the ozone layer (if that is indeed a problem), and agriculture rather than global warming.

We have seen extraordinary progress for the human enterprise, especially in the past two centuries. Yet many people believe that conditions of life are generally worse than in the past, rather than better. We must therefore begin by discussing that perception, because it affects a reader's reaction to the facts. Pessimism about the environment and resources is so universal that it needs no documentation. The comparison one chooses is always crucial. A premise of The State of Humanity is that it usually makes sense to compare our present state of affairs with how it was before. That is the comparison that is usually relevant for policy purposes because it measures our progress. But many private and public discussions instead compare the present state of one group to the present state of other groups, as a supposed measure of "equity," or as the basis for indignation and righteousness, or to support political positions. Others compare the actual situation to the best possible, or to ideal purity, ostensibly to motivate improvement. A typical front-page story from the Washington Post (July 5, 1991) does both; it headlines a complaint of blacks that a nearby county Isn't Drawing Upscale Stores, and the caption under a picture says, Prince George's resident Howard Stone is angered by the shortage of upscale retail stores in his community. (Yes, that was on the front page.) This issue is very different from the sorts of problems that most of humanity has faced throughout most of its history.

The Path of Material Human Welfare

Let us distinguish three types of economic change: 1) Change that is mainly absolute rather than relative. An example is health improvement that benefits everyone worldwide. 2) Change that is mainly relative but also has an important overall effect. An example is a productivity improvement, due to people working smarter in one country, that allows that country to greatly increase its exports to the benefit of both exporters and importers but causes problems for some other exporting countries. 3) Change that is wholly relative. An example is a change in the price charged by one trading partner to another, or in the terms of trade between raw materials and consumer goods, or the dollar-yen exchange rate; in such zero-sum situations there is no on-balance change for bad or good. It is only the third category in which one finds bad news, and indeed bad news is inevitable for one party or the other.

This is my central assertion: Almost every absolute change, and the absolute component of almost every economic and social change or trend, points in a positive direction, as long as we view the matter over a reasonably long period of time. That is, all aspects of material human welfare are improving in the aggregate.

For proper understanding of the important aspects of an economy, we should look at the long-run movement. But short-run comparisons--between the sexes, age groups, races, political groups, which are usually purely relative--make more news.

Let's start with the longest and deepest trends. Surprising though they may be, these trends represent the uncontroversial settled findings of the economists and other experts who work in these fields.

Length of Life

The most important and amazing demographic fact--the greatest human achievement in history, in my view--is the decrease in the world's death rate. It took thousands of years to increase life expectancy at birth from just over 20 years to the high 20s. Then in just the past two centuries, the length of life one could expect for a newborn in the advanced countries jumped from less than 30 years to perhaps 75 years.

Starting in the 1950s, well after World War II, length of life in the poor countries leaped upward by perhaps 15 or even 20 years because of advances in agriculture, sanitation, and medicine. (China excelled in this respect before developing its economy, which is exceptional.)

The extraordinary decline in child mortality is an important element in increased life expectancy, for which every parent must give fervent thanks. But contrary to common belief, in the rich countries such as the United States the gains in life expectancy among the oldest cohorts have been particularly large in recent years. For example, among American males aged 65 to 74, mortality fell 26 percent from 1970 to 1988, and among females of that age, mortality fell 29 percent and 21 percent from 1960 and 1970 to 1988, respectively (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1990, p. 75).

The decrease in the death rate is the root cause of there being a much larger world population nowadays than in former times. In the 19th century, the planet Earth could sustain only 1 billion people. Ten thousand years ago, only 4 million could keep themselves alive. Now, more than 5 billion people are living longer and more healthily than ever before, on average. This increase in the world's population represents humanity's victory against death.

The trends in health are more complex. The decline in mortality is the most important overall indicator of health, of course. But whether keeping more people alive to older ages is accompanied by better or poorer health, on average, in those older years is in doubt.

Agricultural Labor Force

The best single measure of a country's standard of living is the proportion of the labor force devoted to agriculture. When everyone must work at farming, as was the case only two centuries ago, there can be little production of nonagricultural goods. In the advanced countries there has been an astonishing decline over the centuries in the proportion of the population working in agriculture, now only about 1 person in 50. That shift has enabled consumption per person to multiply by a factor of 20 or 40.

Raw Materials

People have since antiquity worried about running out of natural resources--flint, game animals, what-have-you. Yet, amazingly, all the historical evidence shows that raw materials--all of them--have become less scarce rather than more. It is beyond any doubt that natural resource scarcity--as measured by the economically meaningful indicator of cost or price--has been decreasing rather than increasing in the long run for all raw materials, with only temporary and local exceptions. And there is no reason why this trend should not continue forever. The trend toward greater availability includes the most counterintuitive case of all--oil.

Food is an especially important resource. The evidence is particularly strong that the trend in nutrition is benign despite rising population. The long-run price of food is down sharply, even relative to consumer products, as a result of increased productivity. And per person food consumption is up over the last 30 years. The increase of height in the West is another mark of improved nutrition.

(Africa's food production per person is down, but in the 1990s, few people any longer claim that Africa's suffering has anything to do with a shortage of land or water or sun. Hunger in Africa clearly stems from civil wars and government interference with agriculture, which periodic droughts have made more murderous.)

Only one important resource has shown a trend of increasing scarcity rather than increasing abundance. It is the most important and valuable resource of all--human beings. Certainly, there are more people on earth now than ever before. But if we measure the scarcity of people the same way that we measure the scarcity of other economic goods--by how much we must pay to obtain their services--we see that wages and salaries have been going up all over the world, in poor countries as well as in rich countries. The amount that one must pay to obtain the services of a barber or a professor has risen in India, just as the price of a barber or professor has risen in the United States over the decades. That increase in the price of people's services is a clear indication that people are becoming more scarce even though there are more of us.

The Standard of Living

The data show unmistakably how the standard of living has increased in the world and in the United States through the recent centuries and decades, right up through the 1980s. Aggregate data always bring forth the question: But are not the gains mainly by the rich classes, and at the expense of the poor? For a portion of U.S. history, income distribution did widen (though this is hardly proof that the rich were exploiting the poor). But there has been little or no such tendency during, say, the 20th century. And a widening gap does not negate the fact of a rising absolute standard of living for the poor. Nor is there evidence that an increasing proportion of the population lives below some fixed absolute poverty line. There have been extraordinary gains by the poor in America in consumption during this century, as well as a high standard of living by any historical and cross- national standards.

A related question concerns possible exploitation by the rich countries that might cause misery for the poor countries. But the distribution of the most important element of "real wealth"--life expectancy--has narrowed between rich and poor countries (as well as between the rich and poor segments of populations within countries) over previous decades--to wit, the extraordinary reduction in the gap between the mortality rate of China and those of the rich countries since World War II. The reduction in the gap between literacy rates and other measures of amount of education in rich and poor countries corroborates this convergence. The convergence in economic productivity in the rich countries, along with general growth, dovetails with the other measures of income distribution. Data on the absolute gap between yearly incomes of the rich and poor countries are beside the point; widening is inevitable if all get rich at the same proportional rate, and the absolute gap can increase even if the poor improve their incomes at a faster proportional rate than the rich. Here one should notice that increased life expectancy among the poor relative to the rich reduces the gap in lifetime income, which is a more meaningful measure than yearly income.

Cleanliness of the Environment

Ask an average roomful of people if our environment is becoming dirtier or cleaner, and most will say "dirtier." Yet the air in the United States and in other rich countries is irrefutably safer to breathe now than in decades past; the quantities of pollutants--especially particulates, which are the main threat to health--have been declining. And water quality has improved; the proportion of monitoring sites in the United States with water of good drinkability has increased since data collection began in 1961. More generally, the environment is increasingly healthy, with every prospect that this trend will continue.

When considering the state of the environment, we should think first of the terrible pollutions that were banished in the past century or so--the typhoid that polluted such rivers as the Hudson, smallpox that humanity has finally pursued to the ends of the earth and just about eradicated, the dysentery that distressed and killed people all over the world as it still does in India, the plagues and other epidemics that trouble us much less than in generations past, or not at all. Not only are we in the rich countries free of malaria (largely due to our intensive occupation of the land), but even the mosquitoes that do no more than cause itches with their bites are so absent from many urban areas that people no longer need screens for their homes and can have garden parties at dusk. It is a mark of our extraordinary success that these are no longer even thought of as pollutions.

The root cause of these victorious campaigns against the harshest pollutions was the nexus of increased technical capacity and increased affluence--wealth being the capacity to deal effectively with one's surroundings.

I am not saying that all is well everywhere, and I do not predict that all will be rosy in the future. Children are hungry, and sick people live out lives of physical or intellectual poverty and lack of opportunity; irrational war (not even for economic gain) or some new pollution may finish us off. For most relevant economic matters, however, the aggregate trends are improving.

Can All This Good News Be True?

Readers of articles like this often ask, "But what about the other side's data?" There are no other data. Test for yourself the assertion that the physical conditions of humanity have gotten better. Pick up the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States and Historical Statistics of the United States at the nearest library and consult the data on the measures of human welfare that depend on physical resources, for the United States or for the world as a whole. See the index for such topics as pollution, life expectancy, and the price indexes, plus the prices of the individual natural resources. While you're at it, check the amount of space per person in our homes and the presence of such amenities as inside toilets and telephones. You will find "official" data showing that just about every single measure of the quality of life shows improvement rather than the deterioration that the doomsayers claim has occurred.

What Is the Mechanism That Produces Progress Rather Than Increasing Misery?

How can it be that economic welfare grows over time along with population, instead of humanity's being reduced to misery and poverty as population grows and we use more and more resources? We need some theory to explain this controversion of common sense.

The process operates as follows: More people and increased income cause problems in the short run--shortages and pollutions. Short-run scarcity raises prices and pollution causes outcries. Those problems present opportunity and prompt the search for solutions. In a free society solutions are eventually found, though many people seek and fail to find solutions at cost to themselves. In the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. This theory fits the facts of history.

Technology exists now to produce in virtually inexhaustible quantities just about all the products made by nature--foodstuffs, oil, even pearls and diamonds--and make them cheaper in most cases than the cost of gathering them in their natural state. And the standard of living of commoners is higher today than that of royalty only two centuries ago--especially their health and life expectancy, and their mobility to all parts of the world.

The extent to which the political-social-economic system provides personal freedom from government coercion is a crucial element in the economics of resources and population. Skilled persons require an appropriate social and economic framework that provides incentives for working hard and taking risks, enabling their talents to flower and come to fruition. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.

We have in our hands now--actually, in our libraries--the technology to feed, clothe, and supply energy to an ever-growing population for the next 7 billion years. Most amazing is that most of this specific body of knowledge was developed within just the past two centuries or so, though it rests, of course, on basic knowledge that had accumulated for millennia.

Indeed, the last necessary additions to this body of technology--nuclear fission and space travel--occurred decades ago. Even if no new knowledge were ever gained after those advances, we would be able to go on increasing our population forever, while improving our standard of living and our control over our environment. The discovery of genetic manipulation certainly enhances our powers greatly, but even without it we could have continued our progress forever. Conclusion

Progress toward a more abundant material life does not come like manna from heaven, however. My message certainly is not one of complacency. The ultimate resource is people--especially skilled, spirited, and hopeful young people endowed with liberty--who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit and inevitably benefit the rest of us as well.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming

Obligatory disclaimer...

This is an interesting read.

Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis of
peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have
published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global
warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a
natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen
global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our
Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance.
"This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that
a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global
temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow
Dennis Avery.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm impressed

Obligatory disclaimer...

It's good to see this from David Suzuki.


This is, in many ways, "old news," but a lot of people either don't know, or refuse to acknowledge, the problems in alternative energy sources.

Personally, I believe that we will move away from fossil fuels, and that we will do so for the same reasons we started using them in the first place. They were better, for a wide variety of reasons, than what we were using before.

I also suspect that whatever we move on to hasn't been discovered yet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Interesting quote...

I find all sorts of gems at Junkfoodscience. Though Sandy Swarcz write about health issues, I see many parallels to things like AGW alarmism, such as this:

It’s gobs easier to plant a scare, than to convince people of the science countering it. Those who understand this natural brain process take advantage of it to manipulate public opinion. They know that whoever makes the first scary claim gains the upper hand. And for the media, fear sells. Saturating the media with a scare and giving it more attention creates the added perception that it’s a real threat. Balanced information barely gets a word in edgewise, nor is it likely to be believed. As one commenter noted, if a publication shows something is risky, then it agrees with people’s concerns, “but if you publish showing no risk, you are funded by the Sinister Conspiracy!”

Check out the rest of her post. Fascinating reading.

Could somebody please explain...

Obligatory disclaimer...

... how this is even possible?

An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Florida has melted away in just the last six days as melting at the top of the planet continues at a record rate.

If you follow the link to the article, you'll conveniently see a photo of a sheet of ice with a big, empty Florida shape Photoshopped out of it.

No where in the article does an actual temperature get mentioned, but it repeatedly talks about how quickly ice is melting in the Arctic.

When traveling through a certain route in Winnipeg, we frequently passed an area where the city dumps its snow. The result is a giant snow hill, and we could see heavy equipment, looking quite tiny in comparison, pushing more snow up the sides and over the top.

Months after winter ended, we'd drive by and the pile was still there. Greatly reduced, yes, but still there.

Temperatures in a Winnipeg summer can easily head towards the upper 20C range, yet it takes months to melt a pile of snow.

Compare this to the Arctic, where temperatures in the summer average -1.5C. The water temperature remains colder than the surface temperatures.

So if a hot, sunny prairie summer can't melt a pile of snow in months, how is it possible for ice the size of Florida to melt in 6 days? I mean, even ice bergs drift surprisingly far south before they melt away completely. The amount of heat needed to melt an Arctic ice sheet the size of Florida in 6 days would have to be incredible. I would go so far as to say impossible.

So what's really happening?