Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are climate "experts" really muffled by the White House?

Yesterday, a House Committee held a hearing on political interference into global warming, led by Henry Waxman (D, Calif.) As you probably heard from the media, it produced irrefutable evidence that the White House is censoring honest climate scientists. Let's see who the three star witnesses were: Francesca Griffo os UCS released the results of a questionnaire sent to 1,600 climate scientists at 7 federal agencies. Some 150 scientists — 58 percent of those responding — reported at least one incident of political interference with their work during the past 5 years. But only 19 percent of the 1,600 scientists responded to the questionnaire, which means the report draws inferences from a self-selected minority rather than from an unbiased sample. Then Drew Shindell of NASA, recounted what happened when he published a paper forecasting a warming trend in Antarctica. The Bush White House did not try to stop him from publishing the paper, nor did it try to stop NASA from putting out a press release on it. White House officials committed the crime of twice rejecting the titles he and the NASA press corps proposed for the press release, and eventually told them what title to use.

But the biggest testimony came from self-styled whistleblower Rick Piltz, who resigned in a huff from the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) in March 2005. First of all, as Piltz acknowledged at the hearing, he is himself not a climatologist but a political scientist, and his job at the CCSP was to produce reports by editing the contributions of agency scientists. You can read everything about the hearing in Marlo Lewis' article Waxman’s Kyoto Strategy but here are a few things to be considered:

It is worth noting that the two CCSP reports cited by Piltz were not strictly speaking science studies but policy documents. For example, the latest edition of Our Changing Planet, says as part of its subtitle, “A Supplement to the President’s Fiscal Year 2004 and 2005 Budgets.” One would think that is exactly the sort of document the White House has a legitimate interest in reviewing before publishing and sending to the Hill. In one of the drafts, Phil Cooney of CEQ crossed out several lines predicting “reductions” in mountain glaciers and snow pack in “polar regions” and “serious impacts on native populations that rely on fishing and hunting.” His marginal note says the deleted material was “straying from research strategy into speculative findings/musings.” True or false? A team of researchers led by Curt Davis of the University of Missouri-Columbia found that Antarctica’s snow pack is thickening. Similarly, a team led by Ola Johannessen of the University of Bergen found that the interior of Greenland’s ice sheet is thickening. So in the case of these polar areas, the draft report’s prediction appears to be not only speculative but wrong. As for impacts on native peoples, there is evidence that Inuit culture flourished during previous periods when the Arctic was as warm as or warmer than it is today. In short, Cooney’s description of the deleted material as “speculative findings/musings” is correct.

Cooney also inserted in a draft of Our Changing Planet the word “extremely” before the word “difficult,” in this sentence: “The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult.” As proof, Virginia State Climatologist Patrick Michaels points out that in Arctic areas where it is warming, polar bear populations are increasing, and in areas where it is cooling, bear populations are declining.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Environmentalist Lunacies: Billions to go Waterless

Part of the renewed environmentalist frenzy caused by the upcoming IPCC report, one headline was present through all the media: Billions to go Waterless in Climate Shock! I'm struggling to grasp the idea behind the headline (I'm not talking about logic, or fact, but just the idea that came out of some wacko mind). How can anybody on our planet go waterless?? The Earth is 71% covered by water. The human body is 72% water. There is water everywhere. Just live with this: we'll never run out of water! More than this, the doomsday theories say that ocean levels will rise considerably with the global warming. You understand what that means? It means even more water!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hollywood Values

Very well said by our friends at Libertas, about the real values of Hollywood:

Save a tree, kill a baby. Ban cigarettes, legalize pot. Screw the Iraqi’s, save Darfur. McCarthy is bad, Castro is good. Bush is Hitler, Che is a hero. Save the planet, live in a mansion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

On "Greed" and Economic Success

Two articles drew my attention today. First one is Thomas Sewell's The “Greed” Fallacy which counters the Marxist-inspired viewpoint that equivalates business success with greed. It explains that the labor market for CEO's is what's driving compensations so high (to the outrage of the socialists). And in the end he turns to oil prices: Every time oil prices shoot up, there are cries of “greed” and demands by politicians for an investigation of collusion by Big Oil. Now that oil prices have dropped big time, does that mean that oil companies have lost their “greed”? Or could it all be supply and demand — a cause and effect explanation that seems to be harder for some people to understand than emotions like “greed”?

In An Excellent Economic State of the Union, Larry Kudlow tries to point out something that the media is struggling to avoid: that the economy is doing exceptionally well. Jobs continue to boom. So do real incomes, productivity, and profits. Economist Michael Darda points out that real wages over the first five years of the Bush expansion are actually growing more rapidly than over the first five years of the Papa Bush/Bill Clinton boom. Meanwhile, unemployment today is only 4.5 percent. Federal, state, and local tax collections are soaring through the roof. Budget deficits are plunging. Inflation-adjusted GDP is averaging just more than 3 percent. Family wealth stands at a record of slightly more than $54 trillion. Total employment is at a record 146 million.

Then, defying the liberal dreams that America doens't matter in the world anymore, he says that in fact, this America boom is spearheading a global economic surge. While the American free-market model is often derided as “cowboy capitalism,” imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. And it isn’t just China, India, and Russia who are acquiescing to the worldwide spread of American capitalism. It’s also Eastern Europe and parts of South America. Heck, even the socialists in Old Europe — like France and Germany — are getting into the act by reducing individual and corporate tax rates to promote growth. Mr. Kudlow takes on Kyoto as well: As for the global-warming alarmists, imposing carbon caps or carbon taxes won’t do anyone any good. On the economic side of things, this will severely depress production and employment. And for what? An estimated global temperature reduction of 4/100ths of 1 degree Fahrenheit?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Al Gore afraid to debate his Junk Science with Scientists

While in Denmark to promote his environmental lunacies, Al Gore had the opportunity to debate it with an actual scientist, not the regular activists who create the "global warming consensus". Bjorn Lomborg, a famed European scientist and expert climatologist was supposed to publicly debate Al Gore, but Gore withdrew from the planned meeting. Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten culture editor, penned an interesting expose of the former VP ducking out on the Wall Street journal's Opinion Journal site today taking the former VP to task. How many other papers do you think will mention Gore's cowardice?

Among the specific facts that Rose pointed out are:
  • Gore says global warming has increased malaria in Nairobi, but the World Health Organization says the country is considered malaria free, unlike in the 1920's and 30's when it had epidemics regularly.
  • Gore says that Antarctica is melting and presents picture to "prove" it, but those pictures are from only 2 percent of Antarctica whereas 98 percent of the continent has actually COOLED over the last 35 years.
  • Gore says seas will rise 20 feet, but the U.N. climate panel only thinks it will be 1 foot. Also seas rose only 1 foot over the last 150 years already with little real trouble world wide.
  • Gore says the heat of global warming will kill "2,000" people in the U.K., but freezing temperatures will kill 20,000 more without such "warming". Why are the 2,000 killed by warming more important than the 20,000 who would be killed by freezing?

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Case for Global Warming

With these warm temperatures in the Northeast, you start hearing all the reputed weather experts, from Al Gore and Barbara Boxer to Matt Lauer and Matt Damon warning us about the big dangers of global warming. They are ignoring the non-stop storms in the Rockies, 1 foot of snow in New Mexico, snowstorms in Israel, snowflakes in Florida and 6 feet of snow in my native Romania, but this is not the point I'm trying to make.

Let's suppose that we, the Americans (this is a very important detail, since Europeans, Chinese, Russians, Indians and South Americans seem to have 0 impact on the climate), are causing global warming. Let's also suppose that temperatures this century will raise 5 degrees, not the 2 degrees prophecied by Al Gore. And now let's see what this will mean. It will mean nicer weather, fewer snowstorms, fewer winter accidents, lower energy consumption, better resource conservation, decreased oil prices, bigger crops, less famine, less floods caused by spring thawing. It will also mean cheaper gas, lower heating costs, a superbowl at Giants Stadium, better agricultural yields, less traffic jams during the winter, less ice-related accidents.

OK, the global warming nuts will scream ocean levels will rise! Well, if you smart-ass liberals would have actually attended high-school, you'd have learned that when ice turns into water, it reduces its volume... so much for those icebergs meltdown resulting in higher oceans. Plus, while higher temperatures would melt some icebergs, they would also cause evaporation at lower latitudes, which would further compensate for the alleged oceans rise. And if the waters will really rise, as those polito-metheorologists are preaching: As long as one third of the Netherlands is situated up to 2 feet below sea level, believe me, a few American cities will somehow find a way to cope with 3 inches of water.