Sunday, February 28, 2010

A perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC

The emerging errors of the IPCC's 2007 report are not incidental but fundamental, says Christopher Booker
Hurricane in Havana: despite predictions of more 'extreme weather events', hurricane activity is lower than it was 60 years ago Photo: AFP/GETTY

The news from sunny Bali that there is to be an international investigation into the conduct of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri would have made front-page headlines a few weeks back. But while Scotland and North America are still swept by blizzards, in their worst winter for decades, there has been something of a lull in the global warming storm – after three months when the IPCC and Dr Pachauri were themselves battered by almost daily blizzards of new scandals and revelations. And one reason for this lull is that the real message of all the scandals has been lost.
The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC's last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other "extreme weather events" were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The "science is settled", the "consensus" is intact.
But this completely misses the point. Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.

All these alarms were given special prominence in the IPCC's 2007 report and each of them has now been shown to be based, not on hard evidence, but on scare stories, derived not from proper scientists but from environmental activists. Those glaciers are not vanishing; the damage to the rainforest is not from climate change but logging and agriculture; African crop yields are more likely to increase than diminish; the modest rise in sea levels is slowing not accelerating; hurricane activity is lower than it was 60 years ago; droughts were more frequent in the past; there has been no increase in floods or heatwaves.
Furthermore, it has also emerged in almost every case that the decision to include these scare stories rather than hard scientific evidence was deliberate. As several IPCC scientists have pointed out about the scare over Himalayan glaciers, for instance, those responsible for including it were well aware that proper science said something quite different. But it was inserted nevertheless – because that was the story wanted by those in charge.
In addition, we can now read in shocking detail the truth of the outrageous efforts made to ensure that the same 2007 report was able to keep on board IPCC's most shameless stunt of all – the notorious "hockey stick" graph purporting to show that in the late 20th century, temperatures had been hurtling up to unprecedented levels. This was deemed necessary because, after the graph was made the centrepiece of the IPCC's 2001 report, it had been exposed as no more than a statistical illusion. (For a full account see Andrew Montford's The Hockey Stick Illusion, and also my own book The Real Global Warming Disaster.)
In other words, in crucial respects the IPCC's 2007 report was no more than reckless propaganda, designed to panic the world's politicians into agreeing at Copenhagen in 2009 that we should all pay by far the largest single bill ever presented to the human race, amounting to tens of trillions of dollars. And as we know, faced with the prospect of this financial and economic abyss, December's Copenhagen conference ended in shambles, with virtually nothing agreed. Read more.

Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel

The group expressed 'regret' last month for an erroneous projection in its influential 2007 climate report that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

In the next few days, the world's leading authority on global warming plans to roll out a strategy to tackle a tough problem: restoring its own bruised reputation.
A months-long crisis at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has upended the world's perception of global warming, after hacked emails and other disclosures revealed deep divisions among scientists working with the United Nation-sponsored group. That has raised questions about the panel's objectivity in assessing one of today's most hotly debated scientific fields.
The problem stems from the IPCC's thorny mission: Take sophisticated and sometimes inconclusive science, and boil it down to usable advice for lawmakers. To meet that goal, scientists working with the IPCC say they sometimes faced institutional bias toward oversimplification, a Wall Street Journal examination shows.
Richard Alley, a geoscientist who helped write the IPCC's latest report, issued in 2007, described a trip that summer to Greenland's ice sheet with senators who urged him to be as specific as possible about the potential for sea-level rise. The point many of them made, he said: Give more explicit advice—because, if the sea rises, "the levee has to be built some height."

The tension within the IPCC stretches back a decade or more, according to interviews with scientists and a review of hundreds of IPCC documents and emails. It has complicated the panel's work on matters ranging from the study of tree rings to the proper use of massively complex climate computer models.
Rajendra Pachauri

The IPCC has faced withering criticism. Emails hacked from a U.K. climate lab and posted online late last year appear to show scientists trying to squelch researchers who disagreed with their conclusion that humans are largely responsible for climate change. And last month, the IPCC admitted its celebrated 2007 report contained an error: a false claim that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. The IPCC report got the date from a World Wildlife Fund report.
Even some who agree with the IPCC conclusion that humans are significantly contributing to climate change say the IPCC has morphed from a scientific analyst to a political actor. "It's very much an advocacy organization that's couched in the role of advice," says Roger Pielke, a University of Colorado political scientist. He says many IPCC participants want "to compel action" instead of "just summarizing science."
To restore its credibility, the IPCC will focus on enforcing rules already on the books, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri and other officials said in interviews. Scientific claims must be checked with several experts before being published. IPCC reports must reflect disagreements when consensus can't be reached. And people who write reports must refrain from advocating specific environmental actions—a political line the IPCC isn't supposed to cross. Read more.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An inconvenient challenge

I am an arts and (though I shudder to associate Law with such "disciplines" as Sociology) social sciences man. My interests are literature, theatre and history. I love technology, but all I know about serious science is Professor Karl Popper's* explanation of the scientific method as the postulation of hypotheses followed by the performance of rigorous experiments to falsify them, resulting in provisional "truths".

One of the first bloggers I followed was A.W. Montford, known to me until recently only as Bishop Hill. Of late he has found a new audience on the topic of climate change. I have just finished his book The Hockey Stick Illusion. I feared it would be hard going but I was wrong. Despite some necessary (and thank goodness elegant) explanations of abstruse complexities, it is a page-turner. I commend it to you.
In reading it, I have acquired a new hero - a rare event at my time of life. Steve McIntyre has something in common with one of my other heroes, John Harrison. Both were derided by the closed ranks of the scientific establishment, largely on the basis of a snobbish reaction against an unqualified** "outsider." Harrison's inventions made the modern world possible. McIntyre's work (done for intellectual curiosity and at his own expense) may yet save it.
A prize-winning mathematician as a young man in Canada, McIntyre's family circumstances dictated a remunerative practical life as a mining engineer, rather than in academia. In retirement, he became interested in climate science, his gut instincts telling him that there was something wrong with a leaflet sent to every home in Canada in 2002 to promote the Kyoto Protocol. His reading led him to the work of Professor Michael E. Mann. Mann's paper, published in Nature on 23rd April 1998, strongly influenced the IPCC's and the world's politicians' view that anthropogenic global warming (AGW, or colloquially "climate change") was a potentially apocalyptic threat. A graph from that paper, showing the Earth's temperature as steady for centuries, with a sudden up-tick post-industrialisation, became the most influential image in selling AGW theory to the world. It (in its various forms over the years) is known as "the Hockey Stick" and its scientific supporters, clustered around Mann, are known as "the Hockey Team." Read more.

Global Warming Myth Buried Under Snowstorm of Hubris

Snow and ice at Tottenham Court Road Station, London (Photo credit: Adam Smith)

“God is not the author of confusion.” That role was seized by Nobel laureates Al Gore (a divinity school drop-out] and the IPCC.
In March of 2000, the UK Independent ran this headline, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”
“Global warming…is now accepted as a reality by the international community.”
Dr. David Viner of the now infamous Climatic Research Unit (CRU) [home to Climategate and the key scientists behind the IPCC curtain] stated that “within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event.’” [ reminds us of the Himalayan Glaciers that were scheduled by the IPCC to disappear in 2035.]
“’Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.’”
Fast forward ten years and the UK Express headline for 23 February blares, “UK Braced For Yet More Snow Storms.”
“Hope for a respite from the wintry weather were dashed yesterday…”
Sigh. Where is global warming when you want it?
Of course, the global warming crowd now tells us that all this snow is a sign! They were right! On his blog for 23 February, Al Gore declares this as “Fact. Climate Change [aka Global Warming] causes more frequent and severe snowstorms.”
A succinct comment on this conundrum was posted on Andrew Revkin’s blog:
“23. Eva – February 12th, 2010 – 4:25 pm
In 1899, Washington DC had 54 inches of snow. We are told that was because there was less CO2 and it was cold. In 2010, Washington DC had 55 inches of snow. We are told that is due to global warming.”
“Why does the global warming community expect the rest of the world to be as neurotic and confused as they are?”
Snow or no snow, heat wave or none, arctic ice decline or increase—none of these affect this key point: Earth has warmed over the last century and that warming is all within the bounds of natural climate change. As Freeman Dyson observed, “Climate change is part of the normal order of things, and we know it was happening before humans came.”
How much warming? The guess is something on the order of 0. 7 C since about 1880. [The shenanigans by the CRU ‘Hockey Stick Team’ and at NASA:GISS may require some modification of that insignificant number.]
So, when NASA puts out some headline like “End of Warmest Decade,” you have to ask two questions. 1) How much warming? [Nothing outside the bounds of natural climate change even if NASA’s figures have been manipulated like they were to make 1998 the warmest year on record over 1934.] and 2) Were you expecting cooler as Earth moves away from the last little ice age? [Never mind that NASA cannot count to ten and that the decade is not over.] Read more.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Al Gore's Nine Lies

A lot has happened since Newsweek's Nov. 9 cover story -- most recently the retraction of Al Gore's rising-seas scenario. Newscom View Enlarged Image

Climate Fraud: The godfather of climate hysteria is in hiding as another of his wild claims unravels — this one about global warming causing seas to swallow us up.
We've not seen or heard much of the former vice president, Oscar winner and Nobel Prize recipient recently as the case for disastrous man-made climate change collapses.
Perhaps he's off reading how scientists were forced to withdraw a study on a projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding two "technical" mistakes that undermined the findings.
The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, allegedly confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that sea levels would rise due to climate change. The IPCC put the rise at 59 centimeters by 2100. The Nature Geoscience study put it at up to 82 centimeters. Read more.

Minority Report Says IPCC is Discredited

One group of Senate Republicans wants the Environmental Protection Agency to halt its plans to regulate greenhouse gases because its conclusions are based on what the lawmakers call faulty and possibly manipulated data.
A minority report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee says federal agencies cannot rely on information obtained from the embattled UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit following the release of e-mails in which climate scientists appeared to discuss muzzling their critics and mistakes in the IPCC's landmark 2007 report.
"The emails and accompanying documents seriously compromise the IPCC-backed consensus and its central conclusion that anthropogenic emissions are inexorably leading to environmental catastrophes," the 84-page minority report concluded. "Because the EPA‘s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases rests in large part on the IPCC‘s science, the endangerment finding should be thrown out." Read more.

Advances Made in Hydrogen Storage

Researchers have completed work on a crucial component for an experimental hydrogen storage system for cars, part of efforts to reduce pollution and the use of fossil fuels in transportation.

The system uses a fine metal powder to absorb hydrogen gas under high pressure. When the powder absorbs hydrogen, it becomes a "metal hydride," and the process is called "hydriding." By then decreasing the pressure in the vessel or warming the metal hydride, the hydrogen can be released to drive a fuel cell or engine.
A complication in perfecting the technology, however, is that the hydriding process generates heat, which hinders the absorption process and prevents the hydrogen storage vessel from being filled rapidly, says Issam Mudawar, a Purdue Univ. professor of mechanical engineering who leads the work with research assistant professor Timothée Pourpoint and doctoral student Milan Visaria.
Issam Mudawar, at left, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering, and doctoral student Milan Visaria display their first- and second-generation heat exchangers, a crucial component of a hydrogen storage system for cars. The final design is a coil of stainless steel tubing that fits inside a hydrogen storage "pressure vessel" 4 inches in diameter. Purdue has filed a final patent on the heat exchanger. Photo by: Andrew Hancock

"If you're driving your hydrogen car, you can't wait an hour at the filling station," Mudawar says. "For this system to be practical, you have to be able to cool the hydride efficiently so that the storage vessel can be filled within five minutes with enough fuel to drive 300 miles." Read more.

ClimateGate Ocean Rise: Sea Level Rise Never Began: Scientists Withdraw Claims of Sea Levels Rising

In June 2008, a foolish and egomaniacal soon-to-be president, Barack Obama, said "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow...." Well, no. Climate scientists have now withdrawn their claims that sea levels are rising, were rising and will ever rise. Bottomline: There is no proof that climate change and/or global warming is causing sea levels to rise.

Ocean Rise - Sea Levels Rise: No


Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.
At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.
Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.
Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper's estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.
Nature Publishing Group, which publishes Nature Geoscience, said this was the first paper retracted from the journal since it was launched in 2007....
In a statement the authors of the paper said: "Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.
"One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes." Read more.

The NASA Files: It’s The Data, Not The Globe, That’s Cooked (Part 1)

To the activist judges and activist journalists we know, add the activist scientists we don’t. Bill Whittle talks to bestselling author Christopher C. Horner, author of Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed. Watch part one and comment here: http://pjtv.com/v/3102

U.N. says emissions vows not enough to avoid rise of 2 degrees C

Of course there is nothing we can do to stop climate change. The UN has a vested interest in wealth redistribution and won't let this one go. Why the media is going along I don't know.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Emission cuts pledges made by 60 countries will not be enough to keep the average global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius or less, modeling released on Tuesday by the United Nations says.
Scientists say temperatures should be limited to a rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times if devastating climate change is to be avoided.

Yearly greenhouse gas emissions should not be more than 40 and 48.3 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2020 and should peak between 2015 and 2021, according to new modeling released on Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Keeping within that range and cutting global emissions by between 48 percent and 72 percent between 2020 and 2050 will give the planet a "medium" or 50-50 chance of staying within the 2 degree limit, said the report, which was based on modeling by nine research centres.
However, the same study found that the world is likely to go over those targets. The pledges were made by nations that signed up to the Copenhagen Accord.
"The expected emissions for 2020 range between 48.8 to 51.2 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent, based on whether high or low pledges will be fulfilled," the report said.
In other words, even in a best-case scenario where all countries implement their promised cuts, the total amount of emissions produced would still be between 0.5 and 8.8 gigatonnes over what scientists see as tolerable.
Greenhouse gas levels are rising, particularly for carbon dioxide, because more is remaining in the atmosphere than natural processes can deal with.
Carbon dioxide is naturally taken up and released by plants and the oceans but mankind's burning of fossil fuels such as coal for power and destruction of forests means the planet's annual "carbon budget" is being exceeded. Read more.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Global Warming Skeptics' Trifecta

Three setbacks befell global warming partisans last week. For skeptics, it was like winning the trifecta at the race track.

First, Phil Jones, erstwhile head of the Climate Research Unit at England’s East Anglia University and the man at the center of the “Climategate” scandal, admitted in a BBC interview that there has been no global warming since 1995.
Not only that, he also said he now accepts the view that the Medieval “Warm Period,” which covered much of Europe and North America was probably warmer than today’s temperatures in those areas. It’s pretty tough to say that was caused by man since the Industrial Revolution came nearly a millennium later.
In that interview, Professor Jones admitted to being a poor record keeper. It seems that much base data at the CRU, which was a clearing house on “climate change,” was now nowhere to be found.

Defenders of the global warming theory have developed a new party line, to wit: All those snowstorms this month are weather, whereas climate is made up of weather phenomena over a period of time. Ok. So, what does that make 15 years of no global warming, weather or climate?
The second setback for the warmists was the announcement by Yvo de Boer that on July 1 he will resign his post as executive secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. For three years, the Dutch bureaucrat has headed this body which organized the failed Copenhagen convention last December. During that time he pushed and prodded member states to pledge to make deep reductions in emissions of “greenhouse gases,” in the belief that long-term global warming was a reality and was caused by industrial production.
In Copenhagen and previous such conferences, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mixed science with politics. Many IPCC bureaucrats wanted to use the “settled science” argument to force industrialized countries to transfer huge amounts of money to less developed ones, with the UN overseeing it, a step toward world government. These dreams evaporated in Copenhagen.
While all this was going on, the Obama branch of the global warming party suffered the third global warming setback, a possible mortal blow to its cap-and-trade scheme, whereby limits would be set on how much carbon dioxide and other gasses could be emitted by business and industry. Those who went over the limit could buy “credits” from those who were under it. These would be brokered by companies such as the one in which Al Gore is an investor. The government would get a large new revenue pool and the brokers would get richer. Alas for it and them, last week, three prominent members of a business lobby for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, BP, Conoco Philips and Caterpillar, withdrew. Read more.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Flyer's fuel cell buses moving people at Winter Olympics

With the Winter Olympic games set to kick off next week in Vancouver, British Columbia, many of the visitors to the ski resort of Whistler (just north of the city) will be getting zero emissions transportation. BC Transit has deployed 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses in Whistler as part of its ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The silent electric drive buses have a range of over 300 miles between fill-ups that take 8-10 minutes.
The buses are nearly twice as efficient as existing diesel buses, consuming 28 liters of hydrogen per 100 kilometers driven compared to 52 L/100 km for the diesels. New Flyer built the bus chassis with Vancouver-based Ballard Power systems providing the fuel cell system. This should be an interesting test of fuel cell technology with the fuel cell buses operating in cold weather conditions and mountainous terrain. BC Transit expects the new buses to operate for 15 years. Read more.

ALEX MILLS: IPCC findings should be scrutinized, questioned

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The basis for governments to restrict the use of fossil fuels comes from a study conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the United Nations. Even the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency based her finding that man-made greenhouse gases endanger human life and should be regulated upon the IPCC conclusions.

Since November, the IPCC has been attacked after revelations that some of the scientific leaders “cooked the books” to show that the earth’s temperature was causing all kinds of bad things to happen.
On Tuesday the State of Texas filed a petition with the EPA administrator asking her to “reconsider her Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act.”
The petition was filed by the Texas Attorney General’s office on behalf of the governor, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of the General Land Office, Commission on Environmental Quality and the Public Utility Commission.
“Texas is compelled to take action against EPA’s Endangerment Finding issued on Dec. 15, 2009, because it will lead to unprecedented bureaucratic licensing and regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers, small businesses, hospitals and even schools,” the petition said.
“ EPA’s administrator relied on a fundamentally flawed and legally unsupported methodology to reach her decision,” the petition continued. “And although the administrator is legally required to undertake a scientific assessment before reaching a decision that is supposed to be based on scientific conclusions, the administrator outsourced the actual scientific study, as well as her required review of the scientific literature necessary to make that assessment. In doing so, EPA relied primarily on the conclusion of outside organizations, particularly the IPCC.”
The petition said the EPA cannot legally support its reliance on the IPCC’s assessment especially because of “troubling revelations about the conduct, objectivity, reliability and propriety of the IPCC’s processes, assessments and contributors have become public.”
What the attorney general is referring to started when e-mails were released that revealed that scientists, who believed that global warming was real and primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels, had intentionally tried to discredit scientists who disagreed. They allegedly even manipulated data and used questionable studies to support their conclusions. Read more.

Global warming advocates ignore the boulders

By George F. Will
Science, many scientists say, has been restored to her rightful throne because progressives have regained power. Progressives, say progressives, emulate the cool detachment of scientific discourse. So hear the calm, collected voice of a scientist lavishly honored by progressives, Rajendra Pachauri.

He is chairman of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 version of the increasingly weird Nobel Peace Prize. Denouncing persons skeptical about the shrill certitudes of those who say global warming poses an imminent threat to the planet, he says:
"They are the same people who deny the link between smoking and cancer. They are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder -- and I hope they put it on their faces every day."
Do not judge him as harshly as he speaks of others. Nothing prepared him for the unnerving horror of encountering disagreement. Global warming alarmists, long cosseted by echoing media, manifest an interesting incongruity -- hysteria and name-calling accompanying serene assertions about the "settled science" of climate change. Were it settled, we would be spared the hyperbole that amounts to Ring Lardner's "Shut up, he explained."
The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov. 19 with the publication of e-mails indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to strengthen "evidence" of global warming. Read more.

ClimateGate update: “Noble cause corruption” edition

Steven Mosher, the guy who brought the ClimateGate emails to general attention, looks back and ascribes what went wrong not to fraud but to “noble cause corruption“, the belief that cutting corners of process is permissible for the sake of achieving an outcome that serves the greater good. The commenters aren’t on board with the idea that the corruption is noble. “SPN news” in particular offers an irreverent explanation.

A PajamasMedia exclusive series on “ClimateGate 2.0″ is now up to part 4. (See also Parts One, Two, and Three.)
MIT Professor Richard Lindzen published the following letter to the editor of The Boston Globe, which is short and to the point:
KERRY EMANUEL’S Feb. 15 op-ed “Climate changes are proven fact’’ is more advocacy than assessment. Vague terms such as “consistent with,’’ “probably,’’ and “potentially’’ hardly change this. Certainly climate change is real; it occurs all the time. To claim that the little we’ve seen is larger than any change we “have been able to discern’’ for a thousand years is disingenuous. Panels of the National Academy of Sciences and Congress have concluded that the methods used to claim this cannot be used for more than 400 years, if at all. Even the head of the deservedly maligned Climatic Research Unit acknowledges that the medieval period may well have been warmer than the present.
The claim that everything other than models represents “mere opinion and speculation’’ is also peculiar. Despite their faults, models show that projections of significant warming depend critically on clouds and water vapor, and the physics of these processes can be observationally tested (the normal scientific approach); at this point, the models seem to be failing.
Finally, given a generation of environmental propaganda, a presidential science adviser (John Holdren) who has promoted alarm since the 1970s, and a government that proposes funding levels for climate research about 20 times the levels in 1991, courage seems hardly the appropriate description – at least for scientists supporting such alarm.
Richard S. Lindzen
Cambridge
The writer is Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Read more.

Climategate: What's Wrong with this Picture?

Scientific Nobel Prizes are traditionally awarded to scientists whose work has been found to be a foundational discovery in the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Medicine. However the rules are different for a Nobel Peace Prize. The Peace Prize is more of a popularity contest; otherwise, how could we explain that The PLO thug Yasser Arafat was a recipient. In 2007 the Nobel Committee awarded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a Nobel Peace Prize to be shared with former Vice President Al Gore. It is important to note that the Peace Prize was not awarded for any discipline in science. As time has passed, the work that went into the award-winning report has come under scrutiny as questions of sloppy scientific methods are raised in the wake of Climategate. Looking closely at the report, scientific flaws are reveled.

Buried deep in the pages of the report are several graphs claiming to show that the average temperature of the Earth has been warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution. One of the more infamous graphs is the Northern Hemisphere Temperature Reconstruction Graph (below). This graph leaves off the Antarctic continent where routinely temperatures are recorded at well below -40o Celsius. The coldest temperature on Earth ever recorded was -89o C was at Vostok Station on the Antarctic plateau in 1983. This Northern Hemisphere only temperature graph, was plotted with an accuracy of one tenth of a degree Celsius, and is touted as strong "evidence" for what has been termed Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). The devil is in the details, as they say.
So just what are details concerning the accuracy of these temperature graphs? The data that went into compiling the graph above were of two types. The earliest plots are derived from proxy data and the more recent plots are from instrument derived data. Proxy data is indirect data taken from tree rings, coral or sediments. Instrument data is theoretically the most accurate because it is actually recorded off a thermometer or other calibrated sensors. Reconciling the different sets of data is supremely difficult. The techniques used to reconcile the data create known values of error termed margins of error. Yet there are no error bars plotted on this Northern Hemisphere only graph. Is this just an oversight?
Looking closely at the graph reveals a significant problem. None of the proxy data derived temperature traces agree with each other. Specifically just after A. D. 1600 the temperature trace in lavender shows temperatures cooling while the blue line shows that temperatures are warming. In each case the trends are less than two tenths of a degree Celsius in variance. Read more.

As the World Turns (Away from Climate Change Catastrophists)

It seems that a new revelation debunking the climate alarmists’ case is emerging each week. The most recent comes from no less an authority than Professor Phil Jones himself, the gate keeper (or data keeper) of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Daily Mail recently ran an intriguing story about Jones and some of his incredible about-faces on the issue. Entitled, “Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995,” this is how the article begins: “The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.
“Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers. Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.
“The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory. Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.”
These are telling admissions indeed from someone who until recently had insisted that the man-made global warming theory has to be accepted as gospel. And given that he was the director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research from which the Climategate scandal erupted, this is even more significant. Read more.

Climategate zombies and fraud - Mack Thrasher, Laurentian Valley

Where is the response of the Canadian Media and Government to Climategate? This writer wants to know.
Lorrie Goldstein's article ZOMBIE LAND on Thursday, Feb. 4 was right on the money.

I have been corresponding with the CBC Ombudsman regularly complaining about their leftist reporting on the fictional notion humans are responsible for global warming.
They prefer to promote the alarmism such as the myth of melting glaciers, melting arctic, pictures of polar bears eating a cub, a stranded inuit hunter on an ice floe, pictures of smoke stacks emitting Co2, and Al Gore's science fiction movie over and over again. The CTV network is no better.
I have seen nothing on the climate gate scandal and how crooked scientists and the IPCC have been misinforming our policy makers. We now know, as I have said before, this is the biggest fraud in the history of the planet, and Al Gore is under seige and looking for a place to hide. There are groups demanding that he be stripped of his Nobel peace prize. The IPCC and its leader, Pachuri, who also received the award, are included in those demands.
A survey of Canadian school children indicates that most of them believe that humans are responsible for climate change and that the arctic is melting. That worries me, as I have said before indoctrination of children is criminal. Do you remember David Suzuki in the tree house with the children? It reminded me of Hitler's youth movement, only he is recruiting our children as eco spies. I think he should be stripped of his Order of Canada.
Why aren't they interviewing real credible scientists, such as Professor Tim Patterson at Carlton University? The truth is, and the real science supports the fact that humans are not responsible for climate change.
An example of the green zombie thinking is our local landfill site. Our taxes went up this year mainly because of the insanity of McGuinty's (gestapo) MOE police. They are forcing the municipalities to install a system to capture methane (natural gas) at a cost of some $3 million, and then they are going to burn it off. How stupid is that? Clean incineration of garbage would at least produce needed power and solve some of the waste problem, but they would rather pollute our farm lands with inefficient and costly wind farms and solar panels that will be nothing but junk in 20 years. Read more.

Climategate's guerrilla warriors: pesky foes or careful watchdogs?

Exploring the increasingly influential community of online bloggers who take aim at climate-change science
Much remains murky about the scandal dubbed Climategate, which involves the release last fall of e-mails leaked or stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Initial accounts focused on e-mails that seemed to show scientists deliberately distorting research to make the danger of global warming appear worse than it is. Others have suggested this could be a misreading of the e-mails, most of which, though not all, simply suggest working professionals wrangling over contentious issues and occasionally slagging their critics.

The question of scientific misconduct is still under investigation at East Anglia. But what's clear is that the scandal – one of the biggest to hit the science community in the past decade – wouldn't still be hanging so heavily over climate-change researchers if it weren't for bloggers such as Stephen McIntyre.
A Toronto-based retired mining executive who has emerged as a uniquely polarizing figure in one of our era's most contentious issues, Mr. McIntyre has been an outspoken critic of the CRU's research on his blog, Climate Audit, and has launched countless freedom-of-information requests for data used by its scientists. He likes to speculate that the Climategate e-mails were released by a whistleblower unhappy at the research unit's intransigence over making data public. That may or may not be true, but whoever got hold of the e-mails and made them public clearly kept a close eye on Mr. McIntyre's struggles with the CRU, which form a strong theme in the leaked e-mails.
Many reveal researchers bristling at the armchair scientist's criticism. One e-mail, written by Benjamin Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, called Mr. McIntyre “the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of climate science.” Another referred to him as a “bozo.” But Mr. McIntyre doesn't mind the criticism: His website is now getting a million hits a month, double what it got before Climategate. Read more.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Climate change causes not all that 'settled,' says lead IPCC scientist ; Dr. Phil Jones gives an astounding interview to the BBC about the science of 'global warming.

But now Jones, who was a principal author, told the BBC that scientists don't really know if there was worldwide warming then, and if there was, "then obviously the late 20th century warmth would not be unprecedented."

Then, as a crowning touch, he said that there has been "no statistically significant global warming since 1995," although he added that he didn't believe the cooling trend that has occurred since then is statistically significant, either.
Now, let's ask ourselves: Why would this interview not be important enough to be on the front pages of our major national newspapers and be the lead item on the evening news?
It certainly has been in Great Britain, where all the major papers (and, obviously, the BBC) have covered it well.
There is more, too: The former head of the IPCC, British scientist Robert Watson, said recently that it is curious that all the errors recently revealed in the IPCC report (Himalayan glaciers melting, greater impacts of natural disasters, crop failures in Africa, etc.) "appear to have gone in the same direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact." Read more.

Climategate: The Big Picture

As new fraud is revealed almost daily, the full story of how the AGW scam came to pass is taking shape.
It’s been less than three months since the Climategate files were first revealed to the world, and an amazing lot has happened — so much that I think it’s worth bringing things together in one place.

This is an extension of the “fast facts” post I wrote a couple months ago. The facts and threads are now coming together into a narrative, a big picture combining what we learned from the letters and what we have learned since.
The Back Story
The idea that humans are causing changes in the climate is not at all new, going back at least to the Victorian era. But it’s taken on a lot of political weight since the early 1990s, leading to the UN’s endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 (followed promptly by the U.S. Senate rejection of the Kyoto Protocol in 1998).
The Kyoto Protocol was supported by the scientific findings of a UN-chartered group called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC released a series of Assessment Reports (AR), with the most recent to date being the IPCC AR4 in 2007. Each of these ARs has repeated and reinforced the conclusion that the primary climate change is a warming of the average temperature of the earth over the last hundred or so years, brought about primarily by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. This theory is what is commonly called anthropogenic — meaning “human caused” — global warming (AGW).
The notion that humans were causing climate change was always more controversial than it was presented by the media — it’s hard to make a story out of someone saying “that’s silly, we don’t know enough to say that.” As time went on, however, the IPCC reports claimed greater and greater certainty, and became the basis for things like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Legal reactions to it became the basis for cap and trade schemes worldwide, and the general reaction became the basis for Al Gore’s Oscar and his share of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Then the Climategate files came out, and the dominoes started to fall. Read more.

Climategate 2.0 — The NASA Files: U.S. Climate Science as Corrupt as CRU

(On December 31, 2009, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute with the documents I requested from them with an FOIA in August 2007. My request asked NASA to release their internal discussions regarding errors of theirs materially effecting their temperature claims caught by Steve McIntyre. NASA had stonewalled my request for more than two years.)

Dr. James Hansen has an extraordinary history of alarmism and dodgy claims: He has testified in support of the destruction of private property in the name of global warming alarmism and referred to coal rail cars as the equivalent of Nazi death trains, all while insisting that any president named George Bush was muzzling him. He has proven himself a global warming zealot leading a taxpayer-funded institute.
On August 11, 2007, James Hansen emailed the New York Times’ Andrew Revkin:
As for the future in the US, you can look for the warming to become more obvious during the next decade or two.
However, observations and projections in the refereed literature which take into account the past decade of no warming, shifts in oceanic currents, and other, obviously dominant climate “forcings” have since turned the other direction.
Getting it dead wrong is close enough for government work, and it’s pretty clear that Hansen is only protected and still employed because he is a government employee who gets things wrong in a way that supports a politically favored agenda. Hansen’s nuttiness is acceptable nuttiness. He is a sacred cow despite years of questionable practices and avocations. Read more.

Damage lies in perceptions - The Cape Breton Post

Sometimes politicians and scientists forget who they work for and focus their productivity toward a small vested interest - namely themselves. In an ideal world both groups should be actively finding solutions that benefit mankind with transparency and debate. Alas this is not an ideal world and regular purging of wrongdoers has become not only possible, but obligatory because of online collaboration of those outside the cozy peer group.
The parallel between the MLA spending controversy and Climategate is not obvious, but try this. Nova Scotia MLAs and the scientists involved in the UN’s reports on climate change have failed the public in similar ways by providing too easy opportunity for the harshest critics to discredit these entire enterprises.

In the overall scheme, abuse of expense entitlements, as Finance Minister Graham Steele points out, amounts to a drop in the bucket. Similarly, the alleged misdeeds of climate scientists at East Anglia University, whose emails were leaked in November, and the goofs uncovered in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, do not, as the skeptics and deniers claim, unhinge the case for human-driven global warming.
However, careless indulgence, amounting to arrogant negligence in both cases, has resulted in open season on politics and politicians in the first instance, and on climate science and scientists in the second.
The damage could be severe. In the political realm, the view that politicians are parasites who do nothing useful has migrated, for the time being at least, from the fringe of opinion into the mainstream because so many Nova Scotians are outraged by what they interpret as politicians exploiting loose rules they wrote for their own advantage. On climate, the fusillade against the climate science consensus that’s been raging since November has added to public confusion on the issue and thus weakened pressure for urgent government action.
We’re starting to hear the argument now that MLAs have been pilloried enough on expense spending, out of all proportion to the actual misdeeds, and that it’s time to ease up for the sake of politics itself. Nova Scotians seem not to be in that mood, however, and a steady drizzle of expense-related stories, with more to come, makes it hard for agitated taxpayers to calm down. Read more.

Census discovers 5,000 marine species

Strange how they found exactly 5000 new species all with miracle cure potential and are of course endangered by mans activity. Fear mongering and exaggeration seem to be standard fare when applying for government research grants. With Climategate behind us now I don't think these peers are going to get a free ride.
The hirsuta crab was so unusual it warranted a whole new family designation

A preview of the Census of Marine Life has revealed that the project has discovered over 5,000 new species.

These include bizarre and colourful creatures, as well as many organisms that produce therapeutic chemicals.
A panel of scientists presented these early insights at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Diego.
The final report from the decade-long census will be released in October 2010.
The project has involved more than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries, and the researchers involved believe the census will lay the scientific foundations for marine policies to protect vulnerable habitats. Read more.

ClimateDepot's Morano: Global Warming Already Dead, ClimateGate 'Withheld Embalming Fluid'

Noted climate change skeptic addresses 2010 CPAC on global warming after accepting Accuracy in Media award.
It seems like everyday a new flaw is exposed in the argument that mankind’s use of carbon-based energy sources is warming the planet. And Marc Morano, the executive editor and chief correspondent for ClimateDepot.com has been credited with exposing many of those flaws.

On Feb. 18 at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, Morano accepted the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award for extensively covering one of the most “uncovered” stories of 2009 – “ClimateGate,” the scandal involving the promoters of the theory of anthropogenic global warming at the East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit. Morano offered remarks about the state of the debate long since declared over by climate provocateurs like former Vice President Al Gore, and said it wasn’t looking promising for their efforts. Read more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A surreal argument for biofuels

The corruption of science joins well with political expediency. I say put the interests of people first but don't hide your intentions. A leaked paper has set out the idea that palm oil plantations can be considered 'forests' – and the EU seems to be buying it
A hut in Riau, Indonesia, where palm oil plantations are a major cause of deforestation. Photograph: Ahmad Zamroni/Getty Images
Could destroying the rainforests make good environmental sense? This barmy idea is set out, albeit less explicitly, in a paper on biofuels under discussion by senior Brussels officials.
Even though palm oil plantations are a major source of tropical deforestation – and hence a major contributor to climate change – the leaked paper suggests that such plantations can often be deemed as ecologically sustainable. And if that isn't puzzling enough, it also indicates that forests that have been chopped down to make way for biofuel plantations can still be considered as forests.
Not since René Magritte completed the "This is not a pipe" painting has something as surreal been produced in the Belgian capital. Yet unlike Magritte's work, this paper – known in Brussels parlance as a "communication" – could soon be taken literally across Europe. It is intended to guide EU governments as they formulate strategies on how to power one-tenth of all cars, vans and trucks with biofuels by 2020. Read more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer to step down in July

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer has resigned to join a consultancy group as an adviser, the U.N. climate secretariat said on Thursday, two months after a disappointing Copenhagen summit.

De Boer will step down on July 1 to join KPMG, the U.N. framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) said in a statement. He has led the agency since 2006.
"It was a difficult decision to make, but I believe the time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge, working on climate and sustainability with the private sector and academia," de Boer said in the statement.
"Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming. This calls for new partnerships with the business sector and I now have the chance to help make this happen," he added. Read more.

Top U.N. Climate Official Resigning

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Yvo de Boer, the top U.N. climate change official, told The Associated Press Thursday that he was resigning after nearly four years, a period when governments struggled without success to agree on a new global warming deal.

His departure takes effect July 1, five months before 193 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach a binding worldwide accord on controlling greenhouse gases.
De Boer said from Bonn, Germany that he was announcing his departure now to allow U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to find a successor well before the Mexico conference.
The media-savvy former Dutch civil servant and climate negotiator was widely credited with raising the profile of climate issues through his frequent press encounters and his backstage lobbying of world leaders. Read more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Climategate: Skeptics Can’t Relax Yet — Real Fraud Is Measured in Dollar Signs, Not Degrees

The Climategate files have led to a reexamination of the science behind climate change, and the arguments of the so-called climate skeptics have been vindicated. It’s time for them to take a deserved victory lap.

But skeptics can’t afford to get cocky.
Elsewhere in Pajamas Media, there are a number of reactions to the bombshell interview with Dr. Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and one of the first people to feel the consequences of Climategate. Those other PJM articles cover, in much greater detail than I will, the implications of the interview in which Jones begins to come clean about the machinations of the climate clique. Clarity regarding the science is important, but it’s not the science that has made “climate change” what it is today. To understand that, we need to look at what has really driven the issue into prominence.
To understand that — as always — we must ask: Who benefits, and how?
Start with the scientists. An academic scientist rarely gets wealthy. There have been a lot of mistaken comments over the last months about how specific academics have gotten rich from million-dollar grants, or from half-million dollar “stimulus” awards.
Academics don’t function like that. The principal investigator doesn’t take home the grant. The money is instead split with the university, and the remainder allocated under strict accounting rules to pay for graduate assistantships, post-doctoral appointments, research expenses, and things like travel. (See a discussion of this at PJM: “Climategate: Who Benefits when the IPCC Lies.”) Read more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Climategate' scientist attacks bloggers

In a flurry of interviews in recent days, the scientist at the heart of the "climategate" affair has broken a 12-week silence about the controversy that followed the publication of emails stolen from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.

Phil Jones, who has temporarily stood aside as the unit's director, admitted to the journal Nature that his much-criticised failure to keep records about the location of Chinese weather stations used in a major paper was "not acceptable".
In effect, Jones conceded that British climate sceptic Doug Keenan had been right in some of his criticisms of a 20-year-old paper that had used the Chinese data in an analysis that ruled out local urban influences as a significant factor in global warming.
Jones said he might submit a correction to Nature. But he nonetheless attacked bloggers and other critics for "hijacking the peer-review process... Why don't they do their own [temperature] reconstructions? If they want to criticise, they should write their own papers," he said.
Jones's main research is devoted to constructing a global record of thermometer measurements over the past 160 years. In a separate interview with the BBC discussing this work, he agreed that warming since 1975 had been no more rapid than in other recent eras, from 1860 to 1880 and 1910 to 1940.
But he said that, unlike past periods of warming, the most recent one could not be explained by natural factors such as solar changes or volcanic eruptions. Read more.

The Continuing Climate Meltdown

It has been a bad—make that dreadful—few weeks for what used to be called the "settled science" of global warming, and especially for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is supposed to be its gold standard.

First it turns out that the Himalayan glaciers are not going to melt anytime soon, notwithstanding dire U.N. predictions. Next came news that an IPCC claim that global warming could destroy 40% of the Amazon was based on a report by an environmental pressure group. Other IPCC sources of scholarly note have included a mountaineering magazine and a student paper.
Since the climategate email story broke in November, the standard defense is that while the scandal may have revealed some all-too-human behavior by a handful of leading climatologists, it made no difference to the underlying science. We think the science is still disputable. But there's no doubt that climategate has spurred at least some reporters to scrutinize the IPCC's headline-grabbing claims in a way they had rarely done previously.
Take the rain forest claim. In its 2007 report, the IPCC wrote that "up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state."

But as Jonathan Leake of London's Sunday Times reported last month, those claims were based on a report from the World Wildlife Fund, which in turn had fundamentally misrepresented a study in the journal Nature. The Nature study, Mr. Leake writes, "did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning."
The IPCC has relied on World Wildlife Fund studies regarding the "transformation of natural coastal areas," the "destruction of more mangroves," "glacial lake outbursts causing mudflows and avalanches," changes in the ecosystem of the "Mesoamerican reef," and so on. The Wildlife Fund is a green lobby that believes in global warming, and its "research" reflects its advocacy, not the scientific method. Read more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Real Climategate Scandal

The global warming scandal keeps getting worse. Revelations over the last few weeks show that many important assertions in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were based on misquotes and false claims from environmental groups, not on published academic research as originally claimed. This is on top of the recent mess regarding data, where the three most relied-on data series used by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 assessment report still not been released. Other information indicates that data have been systematically biased to produce a rise in measured temperatures when actual temperatures were falling or flat.
Take some of the false claims in the 2007 IPCC report.

– The IPCC claims that the Himalayan glaciers could melt away as soon as 2035. The forecast was based on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999, and the Indian glaciologist who was interviewed, Syed Hasnain, says that he was misquoted, indeed he had provide no date. Professor Hasnain discovered the mistake in 2008 when he read the IPCC’s published report, but he said: “There are many mistakes in it. It is a very poorly made report. . . . My job is not to point out mistakes. And you know the might of the IPCC. What about all the other glaciologists around the world who did not speak out?”
Even more disturbingly, Rajendra Pachauri, the U.N.’s climate chief, first denied that he knew about the error before the Copenhagen global warming conference. He only admitted that he knew about it before the conference when a writer for the journal Science, Pallava Bagla, pointed to email correspondence that he had with Pachauri last fall.
– The IPCC warned that because of global warming the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s.” They cited one study to support their claim, but when the research was published in 2008, after the IPCC report was released, the study noted: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.”
– The IPCC warned that up to 40 percent of the Amazon rain forest might be wiped out by global warming, but the sole source for that claim was a non-refereed report authored by two people who the Sunday Times of London referred to as “two green activists,” one of them with the World Wildlife Fund.
– The IPCC even got wrong the percentage of the Netherlands that is below sea level. The report claims that the percent is 55 percent, when the right number is 26 percent.
On February 3rd, Mr. Pachauri however defended the UN’s IPCC report by saying that the critics “are people who deny the link between smoking and cancer; they are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder. I hope that they apply [asbestos] to their faces every day.” While Pachauri admits that the IPCC was inaccurate about the Himalayan glaciers melting, he claimed that the attacks were motivated by “business interests” who “spread a lot of disinformation.” Read more.

Toy makers look to tech, green materials for 2010

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From Mattel's "Puppy Tweets" linking pets to a Twitter feed to biodegradable nursery toys, toy makers are focusing on fun technology and green materials to win sales in 2010.
The top U.S. toy fair kicks off in New York on Sunday, with an eye to selling retailers on the best playthings for the year. With the country slowly emerging from recession, toy makers will still focus on value, experts say.
"There isn't a sweet spot per se. The emphasis is on value more than price," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
"You will see the manufacturers emphasize how much play time or value the kid gets out of the toy and then talk about the amazing price associated with that play value," she said.
U.S. toy retail sales fell less than 1 percent in 2009 after a disastrous 2008, while the recent holiday quarter saw unit sales rise nearly 4 percent over the prior-year period, according to market research firm NPD Group. Read more.

Crystal twins hint at hydrogen storage breakthrough

Even apparently identical twins can differ in their appetite. The discovery of two crystals identical in appearance and chemical formula – and even with the same crystal symmetry – turn out to differ wildly in their capacity for storing hydrogen, much to the surprise of the chemists who made them.

The finding hints that there may be a previously unknown class of crystals that would be useful for gas storage or catalysis.
Hong-Cai Zhou at Texas A&M University in College Station and colleagues discovered the new crystal forms as part of their search for materials that will hold large quantities of hydrogen or methane to act as future fuel tanks. Like rival teams, they are concentrating on a family of crystalline compounds of metal ions and organic molecules called metal organic frameworks. Read more.

Shell security breach reveals employee details

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a security breach with contact details of 170,000 employees and contractors available on the internet.

A note with the data said it had been leaked by a group of workers concerned at some Shell's practices, suggesting campaigners infiltrated the company.
But Shell has said it does not believe this version of events.
It says the contact details do not include any home addresses and do not pose any risk to its employees.
The details - which include names, office telephone numbers and post codes of employees worldwide - have been e-mailed to environmental and human rights groups. Read more.

New hydrogen plant being built at Lemont refinery

Lemont, IL — Construction is underway on a new hydrogen production plant at the Citgo refinery in Lemont.

Linde North America, an international gases and engineering company, began startup procedures last week on the new plant, being built in the southwest corner of Citgo’s property, located at 135th Street and New Avenue, according to a release from the company.
Linde has invested more than $100 million to build the plant, which is expected to supply up to 45 million standard cubic feet of hydrogen per day.
The Citgo refinery is currently constructing a new processing unit that will produce ultra-low sulfur diesel to meet new government standards. The process requires hydrogen.
Between February and mid-March, the new plant will undergo a series of tests to prepare for full-time operation. A portion of the hydrogen will be flared, meaning it will be burned off, resulting in a clean-burning flame.
The process is safe, but produces extensive noise for anyone in the area, the company said.
The construction of the new plant has created 200 construction jobs, according to Linde. It will be the company’s second hydrogen plant at the refinery. The first began operating in 2003. Read more.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Prof Watson on Climate Science

Talk about Tap Dancing! Watch the video.

U.N. climate panel reforms urged to boost trust

OSLO (Reuters) – A leading U.N. climate panel should be split up or even turned into an online encyclopaedia to help restore trust after mistakes like an erroneous forecast on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, experts said.

Five leading climatologists suggested everything from sticking with the existing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to replacing it with an organisation modelled on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"IPCC: cherish it, tweak it or scrap it," the journal Nature said of proposed solutions published in Thursday's edition.
An error that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 -- a huge exaggeration of the thaw -- has exposed shortcomings in the IPCC's checks of its sources and led to calls for reforms of the panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Scandals over leaked e-mails from a British University and conflicts of interest by panel members have also damaged the IPCC, whose reports are the main guide for costly government policies to shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energies.
"Like the financial sector last year, the IPCC is currently experiencing a failure of trust that reveals flaws in its structure," wrote Eduardo Zorita of the GKSS Research Centre in Germany.
He said the IPCC, whose authors usually keep their existing jobs, should be replaced by an "International Climate Agency", perhaps with 200 staff. He said the IAEA, the European Central Bank or the U.S. Congressional Budget Office showed it was possible to be independent and respected. Read more.

Utah House Passes Resolution Implying Climate Change Conspiracy

State's Scientists Get a Hostile Reception
Utah’s House of Representatives passed a resolution on Tuesday that implies climate change science is a conspiracy and urges the EPA to stop all carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs.

As a resolution, it holds no legal weight, but it sends a message from — and about — Utah’s lawmakers.
Among other things, the resolution claims there is "a well organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome."
A last-minute amendment removed the words “conspiracy,” “gravy train” and “tricks," but the statements remaining are still inflammatory, echoing the claims of conservative groups such as the Heartland Institute, Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), and Utah’s Sutherland Institute.
A group of Brigham Young University scientists were so disturbed by the wording of the resolution, HJR 12, that they wrote to the legislature last week highlighting several inaccuracies and urging the legislature to reconsider. Read more.

The Fascist Green Police Super Bowl Ad Is Stuck In My Head - by James G. Lakely

And that’s the point, I guess. Watch this ad for a “clean diesel” car by Audi, and good luck getting this slightly modified version of the Cheap Trick classic “Dream Police” out of your head. I couldn’t get it out with a lobotomy. It’s been playing off and on in my brain since it first aired during the Super Bowl.

But beyond the diddy, I also can’t get the vision of a fascist “green” future out of my head — even if it’s portrayed with a heavy dollop of of “Reno: 911“-style cop-show parody. Good comedy has to have a grain of truth in it to work, and this spot has plenty. It’s not just a peek at a ridiculous future, but a look at our “be green or else” present. An overreaction? Tell that to the chief of America’s Green Police, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who Tweeted:

“Ok .. That ‘green police’ Audi commercial hits home..” Read more.

IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks

Unquestionably the world's final authority on the subject, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's findings and recommendations have formed the bedrock of literally every climate-related initiative worldwide for more than a decade. Likewise, virtually all such future endeavors -- be they Kyoto II, domestic cap-and-tax, or EPA carbon regulation, would inexorably be built upon the credibility of the same U.N. panel's "expert" counsel. But a glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systemic fraud has rocked that foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is now teetering on the verge of complete collapse.

Simply stated, we've been swindled. We've been set up as marks by a gang of opportunistic hucksters who have exploited the naïvely altruistic intentions of the environmental movement in an effort to control international energy consumption while redistributing global wealth and (in many cases) greedily lining their own pockets in the process.
Perhaps now, more people will finally understand what many have known for years: Man-made climate change was never really a problem -- but rather, a solution. Read more.

Barrasso Calls for UN Climate Chief’s Resignation

Administration’s Job-Killing Climate Policies Should Not Be Based on Flawed U.N. Science
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called on Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to resign after revelations of ongoing scientific fraud under Dr. Pachauri’s watch. Senator Barrasso delivered the following statement on the Senate Floor:

“Every day, new scandals emerge about the so called ‘facts’ in the UN reports. The integrity of the data and the integrity of the science have been compromised.
“Concrete action by world leaders is needed. Government delegations of the UN’s general assembly and UN Secretary Moon must pressure Dr. Rajendra Pachauri to step down as head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“It is time to conduct an independent investigation into the conduct of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scientific data behind these policies must be independently verified.
“Administration policies relating to climate change will cost millions of Americans their jobs. We need to get this right. To continue to rely on these corrupted U.N. Reports is an endorsement of fraudulent behavior. It is a signal to the American people that ideology is more important than their jobs.” Read more.

Global warming: IPCC's 'Pic and Pac' techniques lead them to another disastrous error

Many here in the West were shocked when African leaders almost demanded $100 billion in climate reparations. Today we learn why they felt justified in making those claims.

The story is very well and thoroughly told by Richard North at the weblog EU Referendum and echoed in a parallel story by Jonathan Leake in the UK's Sunday Times. Readers will want to see both stories. A lot of good investigative journalism was used in both stories, so go there--I don't want to steal their thunder.
The IPCC has widely reported that African agriculture would decline by 50% by 2020 due to global warming. As Western emissions have caused whatever manmade global warming has occurred, African farmers would seem justified in feeling put upon.
But the IPCC, again, using the same serial exaggeration techniques as they did for melting glaciers in the Himalayas, disappearing ice in the Andes, doomed rainforests in the Amazon and skyrocketing damages from hurricanes and floods, have managed to take a poorly sourced report about one country, multiply its estimates ten times, assume that Africa will all have the same climate effects as Morocco, and then tell the world that African agriculture is doomed.
It's very clear what is happening. The IPCC decides on a political point they wish to make. They search for an iconic illustration and decide that that will be the example the world sees. They then search for data to show the icon in danger. If the data doesn't suffice, it is laundered through successive paraphrasing with more distant sourcing until it is in effect sanitised. They pick the subject and pack the data. And it just doesn't matter what quality of data is used or if the claim is even true. Read more.

Is it time to overhaul the IPCC?

Climate scientists debate whether the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should be tweaked, overhauled, or scrapped.
Among the recent complaints about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is that one of its reports claimed incorrectly glaciers in the Himalayas could melt completely by 2035.

The United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – given the charge of providing world leaders with periodic updates on global warming and the policy options to tackle it -- is overdue for an overhaul.
That's the view of several climate scientists who set out their prescriptions for the embattled organization in the pages of today's issue of the journal Nature. The recommendations range from tweaks to the IPCC's procedures to scrapping the IPCC completely after it finishes its next set of reports, due out on 2014.

Over the course of its 22-year history, the IPCC has become "too cumbersome, too bureaucratic, too big, too slow, and too much aligned with government interests and not the people's interests," writes climate scientist Michael Hulme in an e-mail.
Dr. Hulme, a researcher at the University of East Anglia in England, is one of the scientists contributing to the recommendations. He also has served as a lead author and a contributing author to IPCC reports.
One result, he says, is a group that has gained too much authority, lending its pronouncements a scientifically and politically unhealthy air of infallibility.
Beyond what he and others see as an increasingly ossified organization, the IPCC faces a broader challenge:
Countering the growing impression, which critics say it hasn't discouraged, "that we march from ignorance and uncertainty toward enlightenment and certainty" in climate science, says Roger Pielke Jr., a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder who specializes in science policy. "The reality is that over time, uncertainties can also increase." Read more.

Inhofe getting last laugh on global warming, IPCC

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, was the object of much scorn back in December when he held an impromptu news conference in Copenhagen to declare that cap-and-trade was dead in Congress and the UN's IPCC global warming report a hoax.
At one point during the news conference, a German reporter told the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that he was "ridiculous" for making such claims.
The Copenhagen scorn heaped on Inhofe was not surprising, considering the months and months of abuse Inhofe had endured throughout the campaign launched by Environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer, D-CA, on behalf of the cap-and-trade proposal. For much of that time, cap-and-trade had a look of inevitability about it, particularly after the House passed the Waxman-Markey version of the bill.
Now, two months after Copenhagen and a succession of investigative reports in the British press exposing false claims, misrepresented data and outright scientific fraud in the IPCC report, Inhofe is looking more and more like a prophet who may finally be on the verge of being heard.
He went on Fox News earlier this week to discuss President Obama's proposal to establish a new government agency devoted to providing "timely and relevant" global warming information. The interview provides a succinct summary of why the so-called "global warming consensus" has fallen to pieces and what that means in terms of the legislative situation in Congress.
Bottomline, according to Inhofe, is this: "The Barbara Boxers, the John Kerrys, the Barack Obamas are in denial. They just can't believe that their post, their poster child is gone. So they don't want to believe it, they are still scheduling hearings and yet they don't have anywhere close to the votes. In the Senate today, in my opinion, they don't have as many as 20 votes and they need 60 votes to pass a cap-and-trade bill." Read more.

The Great Climate Debate commits suicide

I must confess that I am a little mystified as to which climate issue you are lamenting. Is it the young and promising debate or is it concrete action on the climate issue? I suggest that you cannot have concrete action until you have had the debate. It is the Climate Scientists, in league with cohorts in the UN, Government, NGOs and the media that have been exposed trying to bypass the debate and move directly to collecting the judicious grants and transfers on offer.
Michael Cosgrove draws a timeline of some of the key events which led to what he calls the “untimely suicide of what was a young and promising debate.”

I suppose that many of you are just as mystified as I am as to how the (albeit minimal) hopes of finally seeing some concrete action on the climate issue could possibly have been dashed just as the weight of scientific opinion and public opinion was beginning to put real pressure on the skeptics.
And I suppose that many of you are just as mystified as I am as to how it came to be that the debate became so totally discredited because of greedy, ego-driven and reckless actions carried out by some of the very people who were supposedly trying to help the planet.
We all know that governments and industrialists have had a tendency to minimise the problems –- all’s fair in love and war after all –- but what about the climate scientists? Are they any less corrupt than their opponents? What has happened since the run-up to Copenhagen and Climategate? How does it all fit together? Who loused the whole thing up? I have another question to ask, but I’ll save it for the end of this article.
Here are a few key dates from the sad and sorry saga of the untimely suicide of what was a young and promising debate. Read more.

Climate Fight Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze

One thing that comes out loud and clear is that this topic is still open for debate and the science is not settled!
WASHINGTON — As millions of people along the East Coast hole up in their snowbound homes, the two sides in the climate-change debate are seizing on the mounting drifts to bolster their arguments.
Skeptics of global warming are using the record-setting snows to mock those who warn of dangerous human-driven climate change — this looks more like global cooling, they taunt.
Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.

But some independent climate experts say the blizzards in the Northeast no more prove that the planet is cooling than the lack of snow in Vancouver or the downpours in Southern California prove that it is warming.
As an illustration of their point of view, the family of Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading climate skeptic in Congress, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and put a cardboard sign on top that read “Al Gore’s New Home.”
The extreme weather, Mr. Inhofe said by e-mail, reinforced doubts about scientists’ conclusion that global warming was “unequivocal” and most likely caused by human activity. Read more.

Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”


I have read the full report of this inquiry Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann and find the whole business interesting. Here are my reasons – quotes are from the report:

1: No specific charges for Mann to confront
Instead the University had received:
“numerous communications (emails, phone calls and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the progress of scientific discourse around the issue of anthropogenic global warming from approximately 1998. These accusations were based on perceptions of the content of the widely reported theft of emails from a server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.”
So, all sorts of wild claims were being made as part of the hysterical fall out from “climategate” – the illegal release of emails in the UK. This was promoted by conservative bloggers and media outlets, by the deniersphere’s echo chamber.
“….. no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official …the emails and other communications were reviewed [and] synthesized [into] the following four formal allegations. …. The four synthesized allegations were as follows:”
1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data?
2. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?
3. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any misuse of privileged or confidential information available to you in your capacity as an academic scholar?
4. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community.
So – no formal charges or accusations. This forced the inquiry to synthesis their own from implied accusations from the deluge of hysterical emails and comments. They were not accusations of the inquiry or the University themselves!
2: No evidence to substantiate allegations
None at all. Not for any of the four allegations! The report discusses each accusation and detail and gives it’s clear finding that “there is no substance for this allegation.”
Naturally Dr Mann expressed pleasure at the result:
“I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to support any of the allegations against me. …. This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.”
This does sort of expose the hysterical “climategate” beat up for what it was, doesn’t it. We can seriously discuss deficiencies in the way scientists at the University of East Anglia handled freedom of information requests, how they should be disciplined for this, etc., because there are specific charges and evidence. But the witch hunt against individuals like Dr Mann is exposed as hysterical hot air.
3: Further investigation by peers required Read more.