Friday, November 30, 2007
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
-- Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons 1999), 9-10.
When consulting the wisdom of probability, one finds that the universe ought to be teeming with technology-toting aliens; but aside from a couple of interesting-but-inconclusive detections, no discernibly intelligent patterns have ever been observed by Earth's space-listening instruments. One might surmise that the conspicuous silence is "evidence of absence," but such a conclusion might be a bit premature under the circumstances.
Teacher hidden as Sudan mob urges death
By MOHAMED OSMAN, Associated Press Writer Fri Nov 30, 5:06 PM ET
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of a British teacher Friday and demanded her execution for insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad.
Sudan's Islamic government, which has long whipped up anti-Western, Muslim hard-line sentiment at home, was balancing between fueling outrage over the case of Gillian Gibbons and containing it.
The government does not want to seriously damage ties with Britain, but the show of anger underlines its stance that Sudanese oppose Western interference, lawyers and political foes said. The uproar comes as the U.N. is accusing Sudan of dragging its feet on the deployment of peacekeepers in the war-torn Darfur region.
Many in the protesting crowd shouted "Kill her! Kill her by firing squad!"
In response to the rally in central Khartoum, Gibbons was moved from the women's prison across the Nile in Oumdurman to a secret location, her chief lawyer Kamal al-Gizouli told the Associated Press. He said he visited her there to discuss her conviction Thursday on charges of insulting Islam.
The 54-year-old Gibbons, who was sentenced to 15 days in jail, spoke Friday with her son John and daughter Jessica in Britain by telephone.
"One of the things my mum said today was that I don't want any resentment towards Muslims," the son told AP. "She's holding up quite well."
Despite the fervor of the protest, the rest of Khartoum was quiet. The rally was far smaller than February 2006 protests held with government backing after European newspapers ran caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, suggesting popular anger over Gibbons did not run as deep.
In their mosque sermons Friday, several Muslim clerics harshly denounced Gibbons, saying she had intentionally insulted the prophet, but they not call for protests and said the punishment ordered by the court was sufficient.
Still, after prayers, several thousand people converged on Khartoum's Martyrs Square, near the presidential palace, and began calling for Gibbons' execution. Many seemed to be from Sufi groups, religious sects that emphasize reverence for the prophet.
Some angrily denounced the teacher, but others smiled as they beat drums and burned newspapers with Gibbons' picture, waving swords and clubs and green banners, the color of Islam.
Chants of "Kill her!" and "No tolerance: Execution!" rang out as hundreds of police in riot gear stood by, keeping the crowd contained but not moving against the rally.
Protesters dismissed Gibbons' claims that she didn't mean to insult the prophet.
"It is a premeditated action, and this unbeliever thinks that she can fool us?" said Yassin Mubarak, a young dreadlocked man swathed in green and carrying a sword. "What she did requires her life to be taken."
Several hundred protesters marched to Unity High School, where Gibbons worked, and chanted outside briefly before heading toward the nearby British Embassy. They were stopped by security forces two blocks from the embassy. The protest dispersed after an hour.
"I would like to tell the whole world that what happened here from this English teacher is not acceptable to us," said a protester, Sheikh Nasser Abu Shamah.
There was no overt sign that the government organized the protest, but such a public rally could not have taken place without at least official assent.
Gibbons was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail and deportation for insulting Islam with the naming of the teddy bear, which was part of a class project for her 7-year-old students at the private school.
She escaped harsher punishment that could have included up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine. Her time in jail since her arrest Sunday counts toward the sentence.
ROCHESTER, N.H. - A distraught man wearing what appeared to be a bomb strapped to his chest walked into a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign office Friday, took hostages and demanded to speak to the candidate, then surrendered after a six-hour standoff, authorities said.
Shortly after releasing the last hostage, Leeland Eisenberg walked out of the storefront office, put down a homemade bomb-like package and was immediately surrounded by SWAT team with guns drawn.
Remember biology class where you learned that children inherit one copy of a gene from mom and a second from dad? There's a twist: Some of those genes arrive switched off, so there is no backup if the other copy goes bad, making you more vulnerable to disorders from obesity to cancer.
Duke University scientists now have identified these "silenced genes," creating the first map of this unique group of about 200 genes believed to play a profound role in people's health.
More intriguing, the work marks an important step in studying how our environment — food, stress, pollution — interacts with genes to help determine why some people get sick and others do not.
"What we have is a bag of gold nuggets," lead researcher Dr. Randy Jirtle said about the collection of "imprinted" genes. The team's findings were published online Friday by the journal Genome Research.
Next comes work to prove exactly what role these genes play. "Some will be real gold and some will be fool's gold," Jirtle added.
Usually, people inherit a copy of each gene from each parent and both copies are active, programmed to do their jobs whenever needed. If one copy of a gene becomes mutated and quits working properly, often the other copy can compensate.
Genetic imprinting knocks out that backup. It means that for some genes, people inherit an active copy only from the mother or only from the father. Molecular signals tell, or "imprint," the copy from the other parent to be silent.
Jirtle compared it to flying a two-engine airplane with one engine cut off. If the other engine quits, the plane crashes. In genetic terms, if one tumor-suppressing gene is silenced and the active one breaks down, a person is more susceptible to cancer.
Only animals that have live births have imprinted genes. It was not until 1991 that it was proved that humans had them. Until now, only about 40 human imprinted genes had been identified.
The Duke map verified those 40 and identified 156 more. Researchers fed DNA sequences into a computer program that decoded patterns pointing to the presence of imprinted genes instead of active ones.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
...Nuclear experts who were shown police photographs of radioactivity readings contended the material was probably not as dangerous as authorities believe.
They said the police confused a scientific reading of the material as dealing with its “concentration” of uranium-235, when in fact it was just a “confidence” level of the machine to give an accurate reading. They suggested it may even have been natural uranium — a common and non-lethal element.
“Uranium is not very radiotoxic,” said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is now president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.
“The net effect of dispersing half a kilo (about a pound) of uranium — who cares? Each person would get so little it would have no effect,” Albright said.
In a breakout performance, Huckabee matched his surge in the Iowa polls, and elsewhere, with a confident, easygoing performance at the CNNYouTube debate. He shrewdly stayed out of the Rudy-Romney eye-scratching ("You never try to stop a dogfight," he said afterward), eloquently defended his support for college scholarships for illegals ("we are a better country than that"), and, when asked "what Jesus would do" about the death penalty, came up with the laugh line of the evening. "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office," the ordained Baptist preacher said.
Tongue in cheek, Huckabee even offered Rudy help on whether each word of the Bible is literally true. (The former New York mayor, who once considered the priesthood, did fine.)
Huckabee is no rube; he is a practiced, focused politician with communications skills that are equal to or exceed those of any of his rivals, Republican or Democrat. His serious weakness—and it is a big one—is his utter lack of foreign policy or military experience or exposure. In the end that may be fatal. In the meantime, he is complicating the calculus of the race.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007. This is the 75th annual lighting of the tree, which weighs 8 tons, stands 84 feet tall and is decorated with 30,000 energy-efficient lights. (Seth Wenig, Associated Press / November 28, 2007)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Mr. Cline postulates that human beings are no more than monkeys.
Yet, he states that human beings "are at once the ugliest and most beautiful creatures on the planet." That is, if human beings "would apply themselves."
Cline recognizes that these monkeys (aka human beings) are self-aware; and states what separates them from other animals (other monkeys) is their ability and propensity to HATE...
So, if human beings (aka monkeys) hate, does it not follow that these monkeys (unlike other monkeys) NEED GOD...(for forgiveness)...
Because these monkeys (aka human beings) hate, they are ALONE. They are separated from each other and from the remainder of the creation by their HATRED. This indeed is what separates these monkeys from the other monkeys.
Now, of what value is a made-up GOD?
If monkeys worship made-up gods, perhaps there is a REAL GOD... one who made these particular monkeys in HIS/HER OWN IMAGE... and who was extraordinarily distressed when these monkeys turned to self-hatred and so to other-hatred... just to be like the made-up gods...
No wonder some monkeys (aka human beings) believe that they are only monkeys (aka animals.)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Roughly 251 million years ago, an estimated 70 percent of land plants and animals died, along with 84 percent of ocean organisms—an event known as the end Permian extinction. The cause is unknown but it is known that this period was also an extremely warm one. A new analysis of the temperature and fossil records over the past 520 million years reveals that the end of the Permian is not alone in this association: global warming is consistently associated with planetwide die-offs.
"There have been three major greenhouse phases in the time period we analyzed and the peaks in temperature of each coincide with mass extinctions," says ecologist Peter Mayhew of the University of York in England, who led the research examining the fossil and temperature records. "The fossil record and temperature data sets already existed but nobody had looked at the relationships between them."
Who asks such a question?
Certainly not Caucasian Americans. Only African-Americans want to know if a candidate is black enough.
Turns out, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Hillary Clinton appears to be "blacker" than Barack Obama.
When asked such a question, Mr. Obama comments in the CBS News' article:
"My black activist friends from here to Boston say that you are not black, you are multiracial, and I want to know how you self-identify?" he was asked at a recent event.
Obama replies: "I self-identify as African American - that's how I'm treated and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it."
In the same article,
Of course, there are whites who will never vote for Obama because he is black.
"I don't want to sound prejudiced or anything, but for one, I am not going to vote for a colored man to be our president," said one South Carolina voter.
When asked if this country would vote for a black man for the highest office in the land, Sen. Obama deflects the question, suggesting merely raising it is a disservice to the American electorate.
Now, in my opinion, the only intelligent statement by any of the participants in this 'what color are you?' debate is Obama's as he strongly suggests the question is a disservice to the American electorate.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Original Post Written By: Joseph Bast
Published In: Heartland Perspective
Publication Date: November 21, 2007
Publisher: The Heartland Institute
...Gore issued no apologies or corrections when prominent scientists pointed out errors in his film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and book by the same title. The Internet is cluttered with rebuttals from authoritative sources, but nary a word of rebuttal or concession from Gore or evidence that he’s changed his stock presentations to take the facts into account.
The British High Court recently found Gore’s film contained at least nine errors and exaggerations so egregious they contradict the United Nations’ claims on the subject (no mean feat, since the UN anchors the alarmist corner of the global scientific debate). And those errors weren’t trivial. They were exactly the allegations Gore makes that turn global warming from an obscure scientific issue into a potential global crisis: that it is man-made, will cause flooding, is killing wildlife, and so on.
If Gore weren’t in it just for the money, he surely acted is if he were. And now his decision to join a venture capital firm to explicitly profit, enormously, from public concern and public policies that he helped create seems to prove it.
Gore’s cashing in on alarmism is ironic, because he claims repeatedly that anyone who disagrees with him has sold out to oil companies. If funding is a source of bias or makes a source unreliable, then Gore must plainly be the most biased and unreliable voice in the global warming debate.
Global warming or paranoia?
by Henry Payne
Posted on planetgore.nationalreview.com
“One should never extrapolate about climate change from any single weather event or season,” writes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman this Sunday before devoting his entire column to doing exactly that.
The California wildfires, Hurricane Katrina, Georgia’s drought, and a balmy October in DC – Friedman sees the hand of global warming everywhere.
Friedman is not only one of the best-known journalists on the planet – a Times columnist, Discovery Channel reporter, frequent NBC news guest – he is also a reflection of current green thinking in the mainstream media.
Once known for his thorough foreign affairs reporting, Friedman has become a zealous convert to the green religion and now writes on little else. This Sunday’s column was typically hysterical.
The missive was inspired by Friedman’s flight into Los Angeles (gulping 5 gallons of jet fuel per mile from his 11,499 sq. ft. home outside Washington, DC). Viewing the smoke from the wildfires, Friedman panicked: “I’ve never seen that before.”
If Friedman - like a good reporter should - had then sourced a forestry expert like the University of Maryland’s Robert Nelson he would have learned that, in fact, “historically, fires in these ecosystems burned through an area every 35-100 years, part of a normal ecological cycle – so-called ‘crown fires.’” (The Wall Street Journal, Monday)
But instead, Friedman consults lefty-friend and alternative energy expert Nate Lewis of the California Institute of Technology, who stokes Friedman’s fear.
“Did we do that? . . . Did we make it hot or did she (Mother Nature) make it hot? Did we make that drought or did she make that drought? Is man's cumulative impact on the climate now as responsible for the weather as Mother Nature herself?” Friedman hyperventilates.
''That is the question Katrina really introduced for the first time,” says Lewis, “the sense that soon, if not already, what we used to call acts of God are really acts of man.”
Actually, what Friedman and Lewis are experiencing isn’t climate change at all. It’s called paranoia.
Unravelling the sceptics
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website
What do "climate sceptics" believe?
You might think that you know the answer, having heard, seen and read numerous counter-blasts aimed at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the course of this year, as the three components of its landmark climate assessment were published.
Despite having reported on climate change for more than a decade, I realised at the beginning of the year that I was not entirely sure.
On a sceptic's blog I would read "global warming isn't happening". Then I would read an op-ed saying "warming is happening but it's entirely natural". Later, someone would tell me "it is happening, it is caused by greenhouse gases, but the effect is so small it won't matter".
Either there was a genuine divergence in the views of the sceptical science community, I concluded, or their analyses were somehow getting scrambled in transmission through blogs, newsletters, and the mainstream media.
I hope it will scotch the view that sceptical scientists generally believe the Earth's surface is not getting warmer
What sceptics believe is an important question, because their voices are heard in governments, editors' offices, boardrooms, and - most importantly - the street.
Their arguments sway the political approaches of some important countries, notably the US, which in turn influence the global discussions on whether to do anything about rising CO2 levels.
So I decided I had better try to find out.
The best approach seemed to be the simplest - just ask them. But first I had to define who I meant by "them".
Rather than choosing a group of people myself, I decided to use a group which had already been compiled by sceptics' organisations.
In April 2006, a group of 61 self-styled "accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines" wrote an open letter to Canada's newly elected prime minister, Stephen Harper, asking his government to initiate hearings into the scientific foundations of the nation's climate change plan.
The letter, complete with a list of signatories, was published in Canada's Financial Post newspaper.
Many, though not all, of the signatories were indeed scientists active in fields relating to climate science. And the group was large enough to suggest I might receive a workable number of replies.
So I compiled a questionnaire about their views on climate change science, with a dose of politics thrown in, and mailed it out.
I cannot guarantee that all 61 received it; I was unable to obtain contact details for one person, and was less than certain that I had correct details for three of the others.
On the other hand, I was fairly sure that the questionnaire would be spread through the blogosphere and - what should we call it? - the emailosphere? - which turned out to be so.
I went into this exercise not completely knowing what to expect; I guessed I would receive a wide variety of responses, and I was right.
Fourteen of the group filled in the questionnaire, in varying degrees of detail; another 11 replied without filling it in.
Of these, some sent links to articles explaining their position. Some replied with academic papers, for which I am grateful, especially to Doug Hoyt who mailed a number of references that I had not previously seen.
Some said this was a worthwhile exercise. Some, in circulated emails, said the opposite, in terms which were sometimes so frank that others of the group apologised on their behalf.
So to the results. Ten out of the 14 agreed that the Earth's surface temperature had risen over the last 50 years; three said it had not, with one equivocal response.
Nine agreed that atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide had risen over the last century, with two saying decidedly that levels had not risen. Eight said that human factors were principally driving the rise.
Twelve of the fourteen agreed that in principle, rising greenhouse gas concentrations should increase temperatures.
But eight cited the Sun as the principal factor behind the observed temperature increase.
And nine said the "urban heat island" effect - where progressive urbanisation around weather stations has increased the amount of heat generated locally - had affected the record of historical temperatures.
Eleven believed rising greenhouse gas concentrations would not result in "dangerous" climate change, and 12 said it would be unwise for the global community to restrain production of carbon dioxide and the other relevant gases, with several suggesting that such restraint would bring economic disruption.
One of my more gracious respondents, Arthur Rorsch, suggested that rising CO2 might help "green" the world, with increases in food supply.
There was general disdain for the Kyoto Protocol, with respondents split roughly equally between saying it was the wrong approach to an important issue, and a meaningless exercise because there was no point in trying to curb emissions.
There was general agreement, too, that computer models which try to project the climate of the future are unreliable. Several respondents said the climate system was inherently unpredictable and therefore impossible to model in a computer.
The other questions produced sets of responses which I could not boil down into anything approaching a consensus view.
I do not think that anyone would take this exercise as a comprehensive assessment of the views of climate sceptics, which is probably an impossible task.
They are a disparate community, and if you put any two together they would surely disagree on some aspect of the science - just as would any two researchers you picked out from any discipline.
But I hope it provides a snapshot of where the scientific disagreements that sceptics have with the IPCC begin and end - for one thing, scotching the view (prevalent in my in-box) that sceptical scientists generally believe the Earth's surface is not really getting warmer.
The IPCC and many of the world's climate scientists would, of course, profoundly disagree with the conclusions evidenced by this small group, and I have linked to some articles which detail some of the science behind their disagreement.
This exercise would not be complete without discussing some of the non-scientific comments and responses to my mailout, which represent a window into the suspicion, indignation and politicisation surrounding climate science today.
That, though, is for later in the week.
Just when everyone was getting sick of explaining that climate models are producing projections not predictions per se, it seems that some of them are indeed producing predictions.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
"This AD14 adenovirus has been around since 1955, but in the last year and a half, it mutated to a more lethal form," said (Dr. Joe) Anzaldua.
Earlier this year, experts believe the virus caused hundreds to get sick at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio. Nineteen-year-old trainee Paige Renee Villers died.
There's no scientific explanation for why the virus pops up in certain areas, which means it could happen in Houston, or anywhere.
The symptoms are like any other cold, except doctors said they get continually worse.
They said this virus can kill a person in as little as three days, and it can affect anyone of any age.
There are some common-sense things you can do to help prevent the virus, like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer.
A mutated version of an adenovirus, a common family of viruses that normally causes simple infections, has caused severe respiratory illness in patients of all ages, including healthy young adults, say U.S. health officials.
The new and virulent strain of adenovirus serotype 14 (Ad14) killed 10 people in parts of the United States earlier this year, mostly from severe pneumonia. It also put dozens into hospitals...
Divided We Fail: Faith Week
From November 17 through the 25, AARP will be reaching out to more than 200 diverse communities of faith to ask them to reflect on the importance of health care and lifetime financial security issues.
In conjunction with Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and the National Council of Churches, Faith Week activities will reach more than 100,000 individuals across the nation in more then 50 cities.
"America's faith communities have always led our nation through times of uncertainty," said Nancy Leamond, Group Executive Officer of Social Impact at AARP. "Our churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples provide hope and inspire us to transform ourselves, our communities, and our country. They challenge us to rise above narrow self-interests and become stewards for future generations. AARP's Divided We Fail initiative is honored to be in fellowship with so many congregations to champion affordable, quality health care and long-term financial security for all."
AARP has consulted with faith and community leaders across the nation and will be working throughout the week to open a dialogue in numerous communities. Members of these communities will be able to hear the Divided We Fail message during services and will have access to materials so they can create change in their homes and communities by sharing their stories and learning what they can do to improve the health and financial longevity of their communities.
"Health care and financial security are not just buzz words for politicians and Wall Street executives" said Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. "Each day individuals in our faith communities feel the effect of lacking health care or not being able to afford retirement. When voices of faith unite in the name of education and change, the result is incontestable. Divided We Fail is indeed a unique opportunity for faith communities to voice their opinions and create change."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
During talks in Brussels last year, Romanians asked if Christmas pig-killing might enjoy the exemption given to Muslim and Jewish butchers. The commission said no.
The exemption would allow farmers to continue to slaughter their pigs in their own backyards without use of a required stunning device prior to cutting their throats.
According to THE ECONOMIST, the refusal to exempt on the grounds of 'religious rite' caused some offense as
officials in Bucharest say that Christmas pigs are killed around the feast of St. Ignatius, on December 20th.
The pigs to be slaughtered are often sprinkled with Holy Water. The adults watching the 'ceremony' will have fasted, and will not eat of foods made from the pigs until Christmas Eve. Children are sometimes given the day off from school, and are fed little bites of charred pig to cheer them up because often they are fond of the pig that was slaughtered.
Romania joined the European Union in January of this year. It wants to keep its Christmas traditions, and the European Union wants to keep "border-hopping diseases" under control.
The Jena case began in August 2006 after a black student sat under a tree known as a gathering spot for white students. Three white students later hung nooses from the tree. They were suspended by the school but not prosecuted. Six black teenagers, however, were charged by LaSalle Parish prosecutor Reed Walters with attempted second-degree murder of a white student who was beaten unconscious in December 2006. The charges have since been reduced to aggravated second-degree assault, but civil rights protesters have complained that no charges were filed against the white students who hung the nooses.
"The FBI report confirms what we have been saying for many months about the severe increase in hate crimes," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who organized Friday's march. "What is not reported, however, is the lack of prosecution and serious investigation by the Justice Department to counter this increase in hate crimes." Sharpton called for Attorney General Michael Mukasey to meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders to discuss this enforcement.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This 'novel' is hilarious at times, provocative at others.
Some political scientists have argued "that religious groups 'distort' American politics by focusing on abortion rather than 'the least advantaged.' While this may strike some as a perfectly reasonable argument, it assumes that the human embryo has no moral status. If this assumption is wrong, if the fetus does have a claim to protection, it is precisely 'the least advantaged' that the right-to-life movement is defending."
Shields goes on to state that most Americans falsely believe that Roe vs. Wade is more restrictive of abortion than it actually is. He writes that 80% of Americans think abortion is not available during all nine months of pregnancy. This 'mass legal illiteracy' causes Americans to support keeping Roe vs. Wade intact.
He also verifies that most conservative Christians who are activists "quietly labor to engage those who disagree with them in a civil and reasonable way" and are trying to overcome the "long shadow of fundamentalists such as Jerry Falwell and Randy Terry..."
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I wish I were really well-traveled in terms of hundreds and hundreds of cities, but I’m not. The only thing that’s surprised me is how provincial some places seem. For me, Tokyo doesn’t feel like an international city the way London, New York and Paris do, in the fashion sense or in the cultural sense. It seems inward-looking and doesn’t seem like it has an international reach.
I was in Tokyo this summer, and Tim may have forgotten (or not known) that Tokyo is actually 27 different cities, each with its own flavor, own style of architecture, own cultural bent... at least this was my impression. So, I decided to check out the dictionary for a definition of provincial:
1. belonging or peculiar to some particular province; local: the provincial newspaper.
2. of or pertaining to the provinces: provincial customs; provincial dress.
3. having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial: a provincial point of view.
4. (often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. noting or pertaining to the styles of architecture, furniture, etc., found in the provinces, esp. when imitating styles currently or formerly in fashion in or around the capital: Italian Provincial.
5. History/Historical. of or pertaining to any of the American provinces of Great Britain.
6. a person who lives in or comes from the provinces.
7. a person who lacks urban sophistication or broad-mindedness.
a. the head of an ecclesiastical province.
b. a member of a religious order presiding over the order in a given district or province.
Turns out, Tim may be right. I think many parts of Tokyo are indeed "rustic" and "local." These happen to make Tokyo a wonderful experience.
My daughter, Kim, is presently writing a Senior thesis on Japan's tendency to be "inward." She leans toward the idea that Japan is not provincial, but nationalistic. Perhaps this is what Tim Gunn noticed on his visit to Tokyo.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The relatively inconspicuous, 1731-m-high Kelut stratovolcano contains a summit crater lake that has been the source of some of Indonesia's most deadly eruptions. A cluster of summit lava domes cut by numerous craters has given the summit a very irregular profile. Satellitic cones and lava domes are also located low on the eastern, western, and SSW flanks. Eruptive activity has in general migrated in a clockwise direction around the summit vent complex. More than 30 eruptions have been recorded from Gunung Kelut since 1000 AD. The ejection of water from the crater lake during Kelut's typically short, but violent eruptions has created pyroclastic flows and lahars that have caused widespread fatalities and destruction. After more than 5000 persons were killed during an eruption in 1919, an ambitious engineering project sought to drain the crater lake. This initial effort lowered the lake by more than 50 m, but the 1951 eruption deepened the crater by 70 m, leaving 50 million cubic meters of water after repair of the damaged drainage tunnels. After more than 200 deaths in the 1966 eruption, a new deeper tunnel was constructed, and the lake's volume before the 1990 eruption was only about 1 million cubic meters.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The European Parliament's inquiry into CIA operations in Europe started in January, following media reports that U.S. intelligence officers interrogated al-Qaida suspects at secret prisons in Eastern Europe and transported some to locations further afield on secret flights that passed through Europe following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
New York-based Human Rights Watch also identified Romania and Poland as possible hosts of secret U.S.-run detention facilities.
Clandestine detention centers and the secret transfer of terrorist suspects via Europe to countries where they could face torture — a process known in intelligence jargon as "extraordinary rendition" — would breach the continent's human rights treaties.
Source: Houston Chronicle
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The Malaysian carmaker Proton has announced plans to develop an "Islamic car", designed for Muslim motorists.
Proton is planning on teaming up with manufacturers in Iran and Turkey to create the unique vehicle.
The car could boast special features like a compass pointing to Mecca and a dedicated space to keep a copy of the Koran and a headscarf.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
This week's display by Anak Krakatau _ or "Child of Krakatau" _ is impressive, yet it is a mere sneeze when compared to the blast in August 1883 that obliterated its "father" in the most powerful explosion in recorded history.
That blast was heard as far away as 2,500 miles and choked the atmosphere with ash and dust, altering weather patterns for years. Some 36,000 people were killed in the eruptions and ensuing tsunamis.
Now the 985-foot peak growing from the ocean where Krakatau once stood is erupting, one of several Indonesian volcanoes that have roared to life in recent weeks.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Google is changing its corporate motto from the original "Don't be evil."
The new motto, according to unnamed company sources, is: "Be semi-evil. Be quasi-evil. Be the margarine of evil. Be the Diet Coke of evil — just one calorie; not evil enough!"
...Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope.
The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. ” Thank you, thank you,” the people were saying. One man said, “Thank you for peace.”
Indonesia (Reuters) - Authorities have lowered the alert level on Indonesia's steaming Mount Kelud volcano because of a decline in its activity and advised people to return to their homes, a government official said on Thursday.
Indonesia's volcanology centre had raised the alert status of the deadly volcano on the densely populated Java island to the highest level about two weeks ago and asked people living on or near its slopes to evacuate as an eruption appeared imminent.
"The alert is downgraded to the second highest due to less intense activity," said Umar Rosadi, a volcanology centre official monitoring Kelud.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
KEDIRI, East Java (JP): With volcanologists apparently unable to determine the exact day Mount Kelud will erupt, villagers in the area have turned to local mystics and soothsayers for their opinions.
While their predictions have been varied, they do all seem to agree on one thing: The mountain will erupt in the next seven days.
A post on CNN's anti-war agenda by Bob Parks at Canada Free Press...
But think about it. Listening to the major networks and print pubs war coverage is like listening to a football game...
...In war, the traditional way of gauging who is winning or not is, unfortunately, a count of battlefield casualties. It seems logical, the last man standing wins. But as I’ve always had problems with the media and their portrayal of things in the Middle East, I asked one simple question: how many of the enemy have we killed?
We have everyone from activists to actors to congressmen and women to pundits all telling us how many of our servicemen and women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. People keep score in blogs and even on the sides of their homes, yet we never hear the one number that may put at ease, for some, the sacrifice made by our sons and daughters.
How many of the enemy have we killed? A simple question.
The beauty of being an online columnist is that when you throw a question out there, sometimes someone who knows something about the topic contacts you and gives you the answer, which I’m happy to pass on to you.
Larry Schweikart, Professor of History at the University of Dayton sent me the following:
"Last August, President Bush invited me and a few other military historians to spend an hour with him in the Oval Office. When I brought up this “enemy dead” issue, he shook his head and said, “I’m afraid since Vietnam and the ‘body counts’ we really can’t even use this as a measuring stick [as far as the public was concerned].” It was a sad commentary on how out of whack things got--especially if you think (as I do) that not all Muslims are terrorists. That means there are a finite number, and we have to be getting pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.
Since then, I’ve updated the numbers with refinements and calculate that a low estimate of 30,000 terrorists have been killed since 9/11, and an upperbound number of 60,000. On top of that, between 120 and 240,000 terrorists have been wounded. This is where it gets tricky. Likely because their medicine isn’t as good as ours, they have a higher death rate among wounded, which probably means that instead of 1 out of 8 dying of wounds, it’s more like 3 out of 8, and that number is in my first set of stats. In addition, we have captured close to 50,000 terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, and since the beginning of hostilities in Iraq, using traditional desertion rates, I figure at least another 10,000 jihadists have put away the old IED and gone home.
So, a low estimate is that we have removed from the order of battle about 210,000 on the low end to 360,000 on the high end. This is an entire generation of jihadists, and will, if nothing else, significantly feminize Muslim society."
Workers were rushing to complete a system of dams at one of Indonesia's deadliest volcanos, fearing an eruption could send a wave of superheated mud, rock and ash surging down its slopes.
Volcanologists have warned that Mount Kelud on densely populated Java island is on the verge of a major eruption, with highly pressurized magma forming under its crater lake and smoke clouds shooting a kilometer (half mile) into the sky.
Cement dams up to 20 meters (65 feet) high and six meters (20 feet) thick have been under construction for several months to channel the possible hot mud flows away from villages.
By Jakarta correspondent Geoff Thompson
Posted 9 hours 23 minutes ago
East Java's Mount Kelud volcano is continuing to show signs it could erupt at any moment, as nearby residents ignore warnings to stay away from the area.
Scientists are worried and baffled by the fact that Mt Kelud has not exploded despite its crater lake reaching temperatures four times higher than the last time it erupted in 1990.
Instead, an island-like crust has formed, permitting a slower release of pressure.
"This could go on, or it could be that the volcano is keeping its energy for a bigger eruption," vulcanologist Saut Simatupang warns.
The uncertainty is making it harder to persuade evacuated residents against returning to their property.
Mt Kelud's past eruptions have killed at least 15,000 people.
McCain wants a categorical ban, but accepts that exceptions may, under extreme situations, be made. Krauthammer wants to define the exceptions so that a policy may be more coherent and, in his view, honest. Others, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, suggest that specific processes be put into place that would allow for the authorization of such techniques of coercion, going so far as to suggest something like a "warrant" for torture "to be required as a precondition to the infliction of any type of torture under any circumstances. "
This appears to be neither practical nor prudent, for the circumstances in which such a use of coercion might be conceived would often not allow time for such a warrant to be issued. The War on Terror is not fought on convenient terms. Furthermore, institutionalizing torture under such a procedure would almost surely lead to a continual renegotiation of the rules and constant flexing of the definitions.
We are simply not capable, I would argue, of constructing a set of principles and rules for torture that could adequately envision the real-life scenarios under which the pressure and temptation to use extreme coercion would be seriously contemplated.
Instead, I would suggest that Senator McCain is correct in arguing that a categorical ban should be adopted as state policy for the U.S., its military, and its agents. At the same time, I would admit that such a policy, like others, has limitations that, under extreme circumstances, may be transcended by other moral claims. The key point is this� at all times and in all cases the use of torture is understood to be morally suspect in the extreme, and generally unjustified.
My humble, oh so humble, thoughts on torture: As for waterboarding, this is a simulation of drowning as I understand it. The person only feels like he or she is drowning... A matter of degree, in other words.
Slapping is not punching. So is a slap not an act of torture? Does it not come down to the perception of the person being "tortured?" Each individual has his or her own strengths and weaknesses... for one person, a slap across the face may be so humiliating that it could be defined as torture for that individual. For another, it would take a broken rib.
The intention is also of importance: Is the intent to harm the person? Can any valuable information be obtained via torture? Evidence that I have read most recently indicates that torture is highly ineffective. Therefore, the intent must be to humiliate, harm, destroy that person.
In which case, torture is NEVER justified...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Known as the "quiet crisis," the number of people with health insurance who might be bankrupted by a medical crisis is growing. We have heard a lot about the 47 million without any health insurance, but we've heard less about the tens of millions of middle-class Americans who are underinsured. More than half of underinsured adults go without needed medical care. Even while scrimping on care, more than half of America's underinsured have debt due to medical expenses.
Too many Americans are locked into jobs or stopped from opening their own businesses because of worries about affording or maintaining health insurance. The threat of rising health insurance premiums and the prospect of losing coverage altogether has become a constant concern for far too many American families. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 Americans (87%) are concerned about health or medical costs going up. And 8 in 10 adults say they are dissatisfied with the "total cost of health care in this country."
Monday, November 5, 2007
By Karima Anjani
Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia's Mount Kelud volcano in Java began erupting around dawn today, the country's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Agency said.
Kelud spewed white ash as high as 500 meters, Saut Simatupang, head of the agency, said today in a telephone interview. ``The eruption isn't over,'' Simatupang said. ``What we saw this morning was a small eruption.''
Sunday, November 4, 2007
In addition to the changing ocean sink, drought and heat wave conditions may change the uptake of carbon on land. The infamously hot summer of 2003 in Europe for example cut the rate of photosynthesis by 50%, dumping as much carbon into the air as had been taken up by that same area for the four previous years [Ciais et al., 2005].
The warming at the end of the last ice age was prompted by changes in Earth's orbit around the sun, but it was greatly amplified by the rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The orbits pushed on ice sheets, which pushed on climate. The climate changes triggered a strong positive carbon cycle feedback which is, yes, still poorly understood.
Now industrial activity is pushing on atmospheric CO2 directly. The question is when and how strongly the carbon cycle will push back.
What will Americans who called for American withdrawal -- especially among those who supported the war until now -- tell future historians? That 3,600 American lives in four and a half years was too high a price to pay to fight the cruelest individuals and ideology on earth at that time? (By contrast, in World War II, America lost more than 300,000 lives in three and a half years, fighting the cruelest ideology of that era.) That they thought that an Islamist victory in Iraq would make America more secure? And what will Republican senators and representatives tell their descendants? That they read the polls and saw that most Americans supported withdrawal, so they changed their minds and abandoned the cause of freedom in Iraq and fled an unpopular Republican war president?
History may not harshly judge those who opposed entering Iraq at the outset. But that is not what matters now. All that matters now -- and what history will judge -- is an American's position on whether to stay and fight in Iraq or whether to leave Iraq.
Just about every generation has some horrific evil that it must fight. For the Democratic Party today that evil is carbon dioxide emissions. For the rest of us, it is an ideology that teaches that its deity is sanctified by the blood of innocents, just as the Aztec deities were.
History will see that clearly. And judge accordingly.
Dense "tule" fog in central California led to a 100 car pile up on Hwy 99. Visibility was said to be "about two feet."
Two people were killed, and many injured had to be extracted from their vehicles. Hours after the accident, people were reportedly sitting on the roadside waiting to be interviewed by investigators.
...as far as the definition of torture is concerned, a lot depends on what is meant by "severe." In a memorandum on 1 August 2002, the then Assistant US Attorney General Jay Bybee said that "the adjective severe conveys that the pain or suffering must be of such a high level of intensity that the pain is difficult for the subject to endure." He even suggested that "severe pain" must be severe enough to result in organ failure or death.
Such an interpretation would obviously leave an interrogator a great deal of latitude, and that memo was subsequently disowned by the Bush administration.
What seems to have evolved is a series of interrogation techniques which in the US view do not amount to torture as defined by the UN Convention but which go beyond the simple business of asking questions.
Recent reports on the American ABC News network, quoting CIA sources, listed six so-called "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques."
1. Grab: the interrogator grabs a suspect's shirt front and shakes him.
2. Slap: an open-handed slap to produce fear and some pain.
3. Belly Slap: a hard slap to the stomach with an open hand. This is designed to be painful but not to cause injury. A punch is said to have been ruled out by doctors.
4. Standing: Prisoners stand for 40 hours and more, shackled to the floor. Said to be effective, it also denies them sleep and is part of a process known as sensory deprivation ( this was a technique used by British forces in Northern Ireland for a time until it was stopped).
5. Cold Cell: a prisoner is made to stand naked in a cold, though not freezing, cell and doused with water.
6. Water Boarding: the prisoner is bound to a board with feet raised, and cellophane wrapped round his head. Water is poured onto his face and is said to produce a fear of drowning which leads to a rapid demand for the suffering to end.
And, of course I love you. Indeed, I believe at this time in your and my life I love you more than I ever have. I find you to be a strong, intelligent (on most issues), warm and confident woman and you make me proud when I see how well you have and do manage your affairs through difficulties which would make a weaker person turn and run. And it is exceedingly pleasant to observe H (my son) and K (my daughter) turning out so well as they dip themselves into the adult world. They are both a credit to your tenacity. Watching you over the years has been like seeing a mother lion, fangs and claws bared against any and all who would harm her cubs.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
When I come to the end of the road and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room. Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little but not too long, and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared, Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take, and each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan, a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.
why is she refusing to take a stand on secret prisons? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that these rendition camps began during the mid-90s under her husband's administration.
If she is elected president, the current policy could get modified a little bit. Waterboarding will almost definitely get banned. But when it comes to secret prisons in general, they will still exist under a Hillary administration.
A new biography of our sitting president, George W. Bush. This week's THE ECONOMIST states that Draper comes to a non-judgmental conclusion that Bush's virtues are also his vices: he is quick to act, highly emotional, and determined with a strong sense of purpose. These attributes can appear like stupidity, recklessness, and self-righteousness.
This year has had the mildest hurricane season in thirty years. Of course, there are no portentious headlines or news magazine cover stories asking whether this is evidence that climate change is a crock, even though climate change was -- to activists and activist scientists, at least -- the putative cause of the tough hurricane season two years ago. If the news media were even remotely honest, it would cross-examine the people who claimed that Katrina was caused by global warming and ask them to explain this year's calm in the same context.
Sinclair's Musings: "... and scientists predict that by 2050 there will be 32.9 scare stories for every person in Britain"
If the frequency of hurricanes has nothing to do with climate change then, as far as I and other lay observers are concerned, it is a pretty random pattern. God may not play dice but as we don't know the factors driving hurricanes let us assume they're random.
November 3, 2007
MYT 1:00:32 AM
Indonesia officials deny Mt Kelud erupted
By Heri Retnowati
SUGIHWARAS, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia's volcano centre said Mount Kelud in East Java has not erupted, as earlier reported on Saturday.
"There was no eruption. If there had been an eruption, our equipment near the crater would have been damaged," said Surono, head of the Centre for Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation.
MOUNT KELUD, Indonesia - One of Indonesia's deadliest volcanos began erupting Saturday, but there was no visual confirmation of activity because the peak was cloaked in dense fog, a senior government volcanologist said.
Seismic readings showed Mt. Kelud was erupting, said Saut Simatupang, a leading scientist with Indonesia's Volcanology Center. The mountain was put on high alert several weeks ago and tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate the area.
New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
August 20, 2007
Posted By Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov – 4:44 PM ET
Washington DC – An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.” The latest study to cast doubt on climate fears finds that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would not have the previously predicted dire impacts on global temperatures. This new study is not unique, as a host of recent peer-reviewed studies have cast a chill on global warming fears.
“Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,” declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned “in one fell swoop” the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. The study entitled “Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System,” was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz.
“Effectively, this (new study) means that the global economy will spend trillions of dollars trying to avoid a warming of ~ 1.0 K by 2100 A.D.” Dr. Wilson wrote in a note to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on August 19, 2007. Wilson, a former operations astronomer at the Hubble Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore MD, was referring to the trillions of dollars that would be spent under such international global warming treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.
“Previously, I have indicated that the widely accepted values for temperature increase associated with a doubling of CO2 were far too high i.e. 2 – 4.5 Kelvin. This new peer-reviewed paper claims a value of 1.1 +/- 0.5 K increase for a doubling of CO2,” he added.
Climate fears reduced to ‘children’s games’
Other scientists are echoing Wilson’s analysis. Former Harvard physicist Dr. Lubos Motl said the new study has reduced proponents of man-made climate fears to “playing the children’s game to scare each other.”
“Recall that most of the 1.1 degree - about 0.7 degrees - has already occurred since the beginning of the industrial era. This fact itself is an indication that the climate sensitivity is unlikely to be much greater than 1 Celsius degree: the effect of most of the doubling has already been made and it led to 0.7 K of warming,” Motl wrote in an August 17, 2007 blog post.
“By the end of the (CO2) doubling i.e. 560 ppm (parts per million) expected slightly before (the year) 2100 -- assuming a business-as-usual continued growth of CO2 that has been linear for some time -- Schwartz and others would expect 0.4 C of extra warming only - a typical fluctuation that occurs within four months and certainly nothing that the politicians should pay attention to,” Motl explained.
“As far as I can say, all the people who end up with 2 or even 3 Celsius degrees for the climate sensitivity are just playing the children's game to scare each other, as [MIT climate scientist] Richard Lindzen says, by making artificial biased assumptions about positive feedbacks. There is no reasonable, balanced, and self-consistent work that would lead to such a relatively high sensitivity,” Motl concluded.
Overturning IPCC consensus ‘in one fell swoop’
The new study was also touted as “overturning the UN IPCC 'consensus’ in one fell swoop” by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Joel Schwartz in an August 17, 2007 blog post.
“New research from Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab concludes that the Earth’s climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assumes,” wrote AEI’s Schwartz, who hold a master’s degree in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology.
The study’s “result is 63% lower than the IPCC’s estimate of 3 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 (2.0–4.5 degrees C, 2SD range). Right now we’re about 41% above the estimated pre-industrial CO2 level of 270 ppm. At the current rate of increase of about 0.55% per year, CO2 will double around 2070. Based on Schwartz’s results, we should expect about a 0.6 degrees C additional increase in temperature between now and 2070 due to this additional CO2. That doesn’t seem particularly alarming,” AEI’s Schwartz explained.
“In other words, there’s hardly any additional warming ‘in the pipeline’ from previous greenhouse gas emissions. This is in contrast to the IPCC, which predicts that the Earth’s average temperature will rise an additional 0.6 degrees C during the 21st Century even if greenhouse gas concentrations stopped increasing,” he added.
“Along with dozens of other studies in the scientific literature, [this] new study belies Al Gore’s claim that there is no legitimate scholarly alternative to climate catastrophism. Indeed, if Schwartz’s results are correct, that alone would be enough to overturn in one fell swoop the IPCC’s scientific ‘consensus’, the environmentalists’ climate hysteria, and the political pretext for the energy-restriction policies that have become so popular with the world’s environmental regulators, elected officials, and corporations. The question is, will anyone in the mainstream media notice?” AEI’s Schwartz concluded.
UK officially admits: Global warming has stopped!
Recent scientific studies may make 2007 go down in history as the "tipping point" of man-made global warming fears. A progression of peer-reviewed studies have been published which serve to debunk the United Nations, former Vice President Al Gore, and the media engineered “consensus” on climate change.
Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter, who has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, noted in a June 18, 2007 essay that global warming has stopped.
“The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2. Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 %),”
In August 2007, the UK Met Office was finally forced to concede the obvious: global warming has stopped. The UK Met Office acknowledged the flat lining of global temperatures, but in an apparent attempt to keep stoking man-made climate alarm, the Met Office is now promoting more unproven dire computer model projections of the future. They now claim climate computer models predict “global warming will begin in earnest in 2009” because greenhouse emissions will then overtake natural climate variability.
Southern Hemisphere is COOLING
UN scientist Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar, a retired Environment Canada scientist and an expert IPCC reviewer in 2007, explained on August 6, 2007 that the Southern Hemisphere is cooling. “In the Southern Hemisphere, the land-area mean temperature has slowly but surely declined in the last few years. The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina received several centimeters of snowfall in early July, and the last time it snowed in Buenos Aires was in 1918! Most of Australia experienced one of its coldest months of June this year. Several other locations in the Southern Hemisphere have experienced lower temperatures in the last few years. Further, the sea surface temperatures over world oceans are slowly declining since mid-1998, according to a recent world-wide analysis of ocean surface temperatures," Dr. Khandekar explained.
Meteorologist Joseph Conklin, who launched the skeptical website www.ClimatePolice.com in 2007, recently declared the “global warming movement [is] falling apart.”
“A few months ago, a study came out that demonstrated global temperatures have leveled off. But instead of possibly admitting that this whole global warming thing is a farce, a group of British scientists concluded that the real global warming won’t start until 2009,” Conklin wrote in an August 10, 2007 blog post on his website.
Climate models made by unlicensed 'software engineers'
But the credibility of these computer model predictions took a significant hit in June 2007 when Dr. Jim Renwick, a top UN IPCC scientist, admitted that climate models do not account for half the variability in nature and thus are not reliable. "Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well," Renwick conceded.
Another high-profile UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, recently echoed Renwick’s sentiments about climate models by referring to them as “story lines.”
“In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers ‘what if’ projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios,” Trenberth wrote in journal Nature’s blog on June 4, 2007. He also admitted that the climate models have major shortcomings because “they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess."
IPCC reviewer and climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports going back to 1990 and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of "Climate Change 2001," declared “The claims of the IPCC are dangerous unscientific nonsense” in an April 10, 2007 article.
“All [UN IPCC does] is make ‘projections’ and ‘estimates’. No climate model has ever been properly tested, which is what ‘validation’ means, and their ‘projections’ are nothing more than the opinions of ‘experts’ with a conflict of interest, because they are paid to produce the models. There is no actual scientific evidence for all these ‘projections’ and ‘estimates,'” Gray noted.
In addtion, meteorologist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, recently compared scientists who promote computer models predicting future climate doom to unlicensed “software engineers."
"I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society," Tennekes wrote on February 28, 2007.
Sampling of very recent inconvenient scientific developments for proponents of catastrophic man-made global warming:
1) New peer-reviewed study finds global warming over last century linked to natural causes: Published in Geophysical Research Letters: Excerpt: “Tsonis et al. investigate the collective behavior of known climate cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, and the North Pacific Oscillation. By studying the last 100 years of these cycles' patterns, they find that the systems synchronized several times. Further, in cases where the synchronous state was followed by an increase in the coupling strength among the cycles, the synchronous state was destroyed. Then a new climate state emerged, associated with global temperature changes and El Nino/Southern Oscillation variability. The authors show that this mechanism explains all global temperature tendency changes and El Nino variability in the 20th century. Authors: Anastasios A. Tsonis, Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov: Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. See August 2, 2007 Science Daily – “Synchronized Chaos: Mechanisms For Major Climate Shifts”
2) Belgian weather institute’s (RMI) August 2007 study dismisses decisive role of CO2 in warming: Excerpt: "Brussels: CO2 is not the big bogeyman of climate change and global warming. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific study done by the Royal Meteorological Institute, which will be published this summer. The study does not state that CO2 plays no role in warming the earth. "But it can never play the decisive role that is currently attributed to it", climate scientist Luc Debontridder said. "Not CO2, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. It is responsible for at least 75 % of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore's movie has hyped CO2 so much that nobody seems to take note of it." said Debontridder. "Every change in weather conditions is blamed on CO2. But the warm winters of the last few years (in Belgium) are simply due to the 'North-Atlantic Oscillation'. And this has absolutely nothing to do with CO2," he added.
3) Updated: September 27, 2007: New peer-reviewed study counters global warming theory, finds carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age. Excerpt: Deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before atmospheric CO2, ruling out the greenhouse gas as driver of meltdown, says study in Science. Carbon dioxide did not cause the end of the last ice age, a new study in Science suggests, contrary to past inferences from ice core records. “There has been this continual reference to the correspondence between CO2 and climate change as reflected in ice core records as justification for the role of CO2 in climate change,” said USC geologist Lowell Stott, lead author of the study, slated for advance online publication Sept. 27 in Science Express. “You can no longer argue that CO2 alone caused the end of the ice ages.” Deep-sea temperatures warmed about 1,300 years before the tropical surface ocean and well before the rise in atmospheric CO2, the study found. The finding suggests the rise in greenhouse gas was likely a result of warming and may have accelerated the meltdown – but was not its main cause. < > “The climate dynamic is much more complex than simply saying that CO2 rises and the temperature warms,” Stott said. The complexities “have to be understood in order to appreciate how the climate system has changed in the past and how it will change in the future.”
4) New peer-reviewed study finds clouds may greatly reduce global warming: Excerpt: This study published on August 9, 2007 in the Geophysical Research Letters finds that climate models fail test against real clouds. "To give an idea of how strong this enhanced cooling mechanism is, if it was operating on global warming, it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent," Dr. Roy Spencer said. "At least 80 percent of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds, and those are largely under the control of precipitation systems. Until we understand how precipitation systems change with warming, I don't believe we can know how much of our current warming is manmade. Without that knowledge, we can't predict future climate change with any degree of certainty," Spencer added. The paper was co-authored by University of Alabama Huntsville's Dr. John R. Christy and Dr. W. Danny Braswell, and Dr. Justin Hnilo of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA.
5) New peer-reviewed study finds that the solar system regulates the earth’s climate - The paper, authored by Richard Mackey, was published August 17, 2007 in the Journal of Coastal Research - Excerpt: “According to the findings reviewed in this paper, the variable output of the sun, the sun’s gravitational relationship between the earth (and the moon) and earth’s variable orbital relationship with the sun, regulate the earth’s climate. The processes by which the sun affects the earth show periodicities on many time scales; each process is stochastic and immensely complex.
6) New peer-reviewed study on Surface Warming and the Solar Cycle: Excerpt: The study found that times of high solar activity are on average 0.2 degrees C warmer than times of low solar activity, and that there is a polar amplification of the warming. This result is the first to document a statistically significant globally coherent temperature response to the solar cycle, the authors note. Authors: Charles D. Camp and Ka Kit Tung: Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL030207, 2007 [EPW Blog Note: Despite the fact that one of the co-author’s protests this study being used to chill climate fears, this paper is an important contribution to establishing the solar climate link.]
7) Update - August 29, 2007: SURVEY: LESS THAN HALF OF ALL PUBLISHED SCIENTISTS ENDORSE GLOBAL WARMING THEORY - Excerpt: "Of 539 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers 'implicit' endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no 'consensus.'" A July 2007 review of 539 abstracts in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 2004 through 2007 found that climate science continues to shift toward the views of global warming skeptics. Excerpt: “There appears to be little evidence in the learned journals to justify the climate-change alarm.”
8) Chinese scientists Lin Zhen-Shan, and Sun Xian’s 2007 study, published in the peer-reviewed Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, noted that CO2’s impact on warming may be “excessively exaggerated.” Excerpt: “The global climate warming is not solely affected by the CO2 greenhouse effect. The best example is temperature obviously cooling however atmospheric CO2 concentration is ascending from 1940s to 1970s. Although the CO2 greenhouse effect on global climate change is unsuspicious, it could have been excessively exaggerated. It is high time to reconsider the trend of global climate change,” the two scientists concluded.
9) Updated: October 2, 2007: Danish National Space Center Study concludes: “The Sun still appears to be the main forcing agent in global climate change.” The report was authored by Physicist Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen. Several other recent scientific studies and scientists have debunked a media hyped UK study alleging there has not been a solar-climate link in the past 20 years. UK Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn confirmed the Danish study and also debunked the “No Solar-Climate Link Study” on July 14, 2007. Excerpt: “[The study claiming to prove a] ‘refutation’ of the decisive role of solar activity in driving climate is as valid as claiming a particular year was not warm by simply looking at the winter half of data. The most significant and persistent cycle of variation in the world’s temperature follows the 22-year magnetic cycle of the sun’s activity,” Corbyn, who heads the UK based long-term solar forecast group Weather Action, wrote. Other studies and scientists have found also confirmed the solar-climate link.
10) A June 29, 2007 critique by Gerd Burger of Berlin’s Institute of Meteorology in the peer-reviewed Science Magazine challenged a previously touted study claiming the 20th century had been unusually warm. Excerpt: “Burger argues that [the 2006 temperature analysis by] Osborn and Briffa did not apply the appropriate statistical tests that link the proxy records to observational data, and as such, Osborn and Briffa did not properly quantify the statistical uncertainties in their analyses. Burger repeated all analyses with the appropriate adjustments and concluded “As a result, the ‘highly significant’ occurrences of positive anomalies during the 20th century disappear.” Burger's technical comments in Science Magazine state: “Osborn and Briffa (Reports, 10 February 2006, p. 841) identified anomalous periods of warmth or cold in the Northern Hemisphere that were synchronous across 14 temperature-sensitive proxies. However, their finding that the spatial extent of 20th-century warming is exceptional ignores the effect of proxy screening on the corresponding significance levels. After appropriate correction, the significance of the 20th-century warming anomaly disappears.”
11) An April 2007 study revealed the Earth’s climate “seesawing” during the last 10,000 years, according to Swedish researchers Svante Björck, Karl Ljung and Dan Hammarlund of Lund University. Excerpt: During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. As revealed by findings presented by Quaternary scientists at Lund University, Sweden, cold periods in the north have corresponded to warmth in the south and vice verse. These results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. < > We can identify a persistent "seesaw" pattern. When the South Atlantic was warm it was cold in the North Atlantic and vice versa. This is most certainly related to large-scale ocean circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. The main current system - "the Great Ocean Conveyor" - is driven by sinking of dense, relatively cold and salty water in the northern North Atlantic. This results in southward-flowing deep-water that is replaced by warm surface water brought to high northern latitudes from the tropics and ultimately from the South Atlantic, says Svante Björck. < > Our results from Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha island group, between South Africa and Argentina, for the first time give evidence of warming of the South Atlantic associated with cooling in the north. This is a major breakthrough in palaeoclimate research.
12) An August 2007 NASA temperature data error discovery has lead to 1934 -- not the previously hyped 1998 -- being declared the hottest in U.S. history since records began. Revised data now reveals four of the top ten hottest years in the U.S. were in the 1930's while only three of the hottest years occurred in the last decade. Excerpt: "NASA has yet to own up fully to its historic error in misinterpreting US surface temperatures to conform to the Global Warming hypothesis, as discovered by Stephen McIntyre at ClimateAudit.org." [EPW Blog note: 80% of man-made CO2 emissions occurred after 1940.
13) Numerous U.S. temperature collection data errors exposed by team of researchers led by Meteorologist Anthony Watts in 2007 (LINK) - “The (U.S.) National Climate Data Center (NCDC) is in the middle of a scandal. Their global observing network, the heart and soul of surface weather measurement, is a disaster. Urbanization has placed many sites in unsuitable locations — on hot black asphalt, next to trash burn barrels, beside heat exhaust vents, even attached to hot chimneys and above outdoor grills! The data and approach taken by many global warming alarmists is seriously flawed. If the global data were properly adjusted for urbanization and station siting, and land use change issues were addressed, what would emerge is a cyclical pattern of rises and falls with much less of any background trend,” Meteorologist Joseph Conklin wrote in an August 10, 2007 blog post.
14) Team of Scientists Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature' – The study was published in Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. Excerpt from a March 18, 2007 article in Science Daily: “Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, Canada.” The Science Daily article reads: "It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth", Bjarne Andresen says, an expert of thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate.” He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically locally, it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth. The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average 'global exchange rate.’” The article concludes: “Thus claims of disaster may be a consequence of which averaging method has been used, the researchers point out.”
15) Updated: September 26, 2007: New Report from the international group Institute of Physics’ finds no “consensus” on global warming. Excerpt: As world leaders gathered in New York for a high-level UN meeting on climate change, a new report by some of the world's most renowned scientists urges policymakers to keep their eyes on the "science grapevine", arguing that their understanding of global warming is still far from complete. Recognizing that powerful computer-based simulations are a key element in predicting climate change, a new Institute of Physics (IOP) report, published on 26 September 2007, shows that leading climate-physicists' views on the reliability of these models differ. The IOP is also urging world leaders "to remain alert to the latest scientific thought on climate change".
16) A July 2007 analysis of peer-reviewed literature thoroughly debunks fears of Greenland and the Arctic melting and predictions of a frightening sea level rise. Excerpt: "Research in 2006 found that Greenland has been warming since the 1880’s, but since 1955, temperature averages at Greenland stations have been colder than the period between 1881-1955. A 2006 study found Greenland has cooled since the 1930's and 1940's, with 1941 being the warmest year on record. Another 2006 study concluded Greenland was as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s and the rate of warming from 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than the warming from 1995-2005. One 2005 study found Greenland gaining ice in the interior higher elevations and thinning ice at the lower elevations. In addition, the often media promoted fears of Greenland’s ice completely melting and a subsequent catastrophic sea level rise are directly at odds with the latest scientific studies." [See July 30, 2007 Report - Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt –
17) Update - September 11, 2007: Antarctic ice GROWS to record levels. Excerpt: While the news focus has been on the lowest ice extent since satellite monitoring began in 1979 for the Arctic, the Southern Hemisphere (Antarctica) has quietly set a new record for most ice extent since 1979. This can be seen on this graphic from this University of Illinois site The Cryosphere Today, which updated snow and ice extent for both hemispheres daily. The Southern Hemispheric areal coverage is the highest in the satellite record, just beating out 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2006. Since 1979, the trend has been up for the total Antarctic ice extent. < > This winter has been an especially harsh one in the Southern Hemisphere with cold and snow records set in Australia, South America and Africa. A February 2007 study reveals Antarctica is not following predicted global warming models. Excerpt: “A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models." The research was led by David Bromwich, professor of professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geography, and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. [See: Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions -
18) Update - September 14, 2007: A soon to be released survey finds Polar Bear population rising in warmer part of the Arctic. Excerpt: Fears that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will die off in the next 50 years are overblown, says [Arctic biologist] Mitchell Taylor, the Government of Nunavut’s director of wildlife research. “I think it’s naïve and presumptuous,” Taylor said. < > The Government of Nunavut is conducting a study of the [southern less ice region of the] Davis Strait bear population. Results of the study won’t be released until 2008, but Taylor says it appears there are some 3,000 bears in an area - a big jump from the current estimate of about 850 bears. “That’s not theory. That’s not based on a model. That’s observation of reality,” he says. And despite the fact that some of the most dramatic changes to sea ice is seen in seasonal ice areas such as Davis Strait, seven or eight of the bears measured and weighed for the study this summer are among the biggest on record, Taylor said. “Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears. It's not safe to camp there. They're fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape,” Taylor said, according to a September 14, 2007 article. [EPW Blog Note: In a classic case of observed reality versus unproven computer model predictions, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs.’ ]
19) Even the alarmist UN has cut sea level rise estimates dramatically since 2001 and has reduced man’s estimated impact on the climate by 25%. Meanwhile a separate 2006 UN report found that cow emissions are more damaging to the planet than all of the CO2 emissions from cars and trucks.
20) Update - September 10, 2007: New study claims UN IPCC peer-review process is "an illusion." A September 2007 analysis of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientific review process entitled “Peer Review? What Peer Review?” by climate data analyst John McLean, revealed very few scientists are actively involved in the UN's peer-review process. According to the analysis, “The IPCC would have us believe that its reports are diligently reviewed by many hundreds of scientists and that these reviewers endorse the contents of the report. Analyses of reviewer comments show a very different and disturbing story.” The paper continued: "In [the IPCC's] Chapter 9, the key science chapter, the IPCC concludes that 'it is very highly likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the last 50 years.' The IPCC leads us to believe that this statement is very much supported by the majority of reviewers. The reality is that there is surprisingly little explicit support for this key notion. Among the 23 independent reviewers just 4 explicitly endorsed the chapter with its hypothesis, and one other endorsed only a specific section. Moreover, only 62 of the IPCC’s 308 reviewers commented on this chapter at all." The analysis concluded: “The IPCC reports appear to be largely based on a consensus of scientific papers, but those papers are the product of research for which the funding is strongly influenced by previous IPCC reports. This makes the claim of a human influence self-perpetuating and for a corruption of the normal scientific process.”
21) A May 2007 Senate Environment & Public Works report detailed a sampling of scientists who were once believers in man-made global warming and who now are skeptical. [See May 15, 2007 report: Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics: Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research –
22) An upcoming Fall 2007 blockbuster U.S. Senate report is set to be released that will feature a sampling of peer-reviewed studies and hundreds of scientists (many current and former UN scientists) who have spoken out recently against Gore, the UN, and the media engineered climate “consensus.” Please keep checking this blog for updates.
Prominent scientists speak out to calm CO2 emission fears
Many prominent scientists have spoken out in 2007 to debunk many fears relating to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball recently explained that one of the reasons climate models are failing is because they overestimate the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ball described how CO2’s warming impact diminishes. “Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint,” Ball explained in a June 6, 2007 article in Canada Free Press.
Boston College paleoclimatologist Dr. Amy Frappier recently explained how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can cease to have a warming impact. Frappier noted in a February 1, 2007 article in Boston College’s newspaper The Heights, that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere do not consistently continue to have a warming effect on Earth, but the impact of the gases instead stabilize and cease having a warming effect.
"At some point the heat-trapping capacity of [CO2] and its effect gets saturated," said Frappier, "and you don't have increased heating." "The geologic record shows that many millions of years ago, CO2 levels were indeed higher - in some cases many times higher - than today," Frappier, who believes mankind is having an impact on the climate, explained. According the article, Frappier criticizes Gore because “the movie (An Inconvenient Truth) fails to mention any ancient incongruity between carbon dioxide and temperature.”
Spitting outside has ‘same effect’ as doubling CO2
In May 2007, the “father of meteorology” Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin, dismissed fears of increased man-made CO2 in the atmosphere.
“You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide,” Bryson, who has been identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world, said. “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air,” Bryson added.
Environmental economist Dennis Avery, co-author with climate scientist Dr. Fred Singer of the new book "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years," explained the impact man-made CO2 has had on global temperatures. "The earth has warmed only a net 0.2 degrees C of net warming since 1940. Human-emitted CO2 gets the blame for only half of that—or 0.1 degree C of warming over 65 years! We've had no warming at all since 1998. Remember, too, that each added unit of CO2 has less impact on the climate. The first 40 parts per million of human-emitted CO2 added to the atmosphere in the 1940s had as much climate impact as the next 360 ppm," Avery wrote in August 2007. The book, "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years," details more than 100 scientific studies with more than 300 co-authors revealing how solar activity is linked to the Earth's natural temperature cycles.
"How do the Greens project a mind-numbing surge of global warming from this New Math on Global Warming?" Avery asked, calling the new scientific research debunking climate fears a "real crisis" for Gore and the proponents of man-made catastrophic global warming.
‘Temperature drives CO2’
Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, the chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, recently spoke out against fears of rising CO2 impacts promoted by Gore and others. Giegengack does not even consider global warming among the top ten environmental problems.
“In terms of [global warming’s] capacity to cause the human species harm, I don’t think it makes it into the top 10,” Giegengack said in an interview in the May/June 2007 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette. Giegengack also noted “for most of Earth’s history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler.” “[Gore] claims that temperature increases solely because more CO2 in the atmosphere traps the sun’s heat. That’s just wrong … It’s a natural interplay. As temperature rises, CO2 rises, and vice versa,” Giegengack explained. “It’s hard for us to say that CO2 drives temperature. It’s easier to say temperature drives CO2,” he added. "The driving mechanism is exactly the opposite of what Al Gore claims, both in his film and in that book. It's the temperature that, through those 650,000 years, controlled the CO2; not the CO2 that controlled the temperature," he added.
“Certain ‘feedback loops’ naturally control the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A warmer temperature drives gases out of solution in the ocean and releases them,” he continued. “[Today, humans] are putting 6.5 billion tons of fossil-fuel carbon into the atmosphere, and only 3.5 billion is staying there, so 3 billion tons is going somewhere else. In the past, when the Earth’s climate rose, CO2 came out of the ocean, the soils, and the permafrost. Today as temperatures rise, excess CO2 is instead going into those and other reservoirs. This reversed flux is very important. Because of this, if we reduced the rate at which we put carbon into the atmosphere, it won’t reduce the concentration in the atmosphere; CO2 is just going to come back out of these reservoirs ... If we were to stop manufacturing CO2 tomorrow, we wouldn’t see the effects of that for generations,” Giegengack said.
Man-made CO2 equivalent to linoleum on first floor of 100 story building
Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and former chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, explained how miniscule mankind’s CO2 emissions are in relation to the atmosphere.
“If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our annual anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor,” D’Aleo wrote in an August 15, 2007 blog on his website www.IceCap.US.
“Carbon dioxide is 0.000383 of our atmosphere by volume (0.038%). Only 2.75% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic in origin. The amount we emit is said to be up from 1% a decade ago. Despite the increase in emissions, the rate of change of atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa remains the same as the long term average (+0.45%/year). We are responsible for just 0.001% of this atmosphere. If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor. This is likely because the oceans are a far more important sink for excess carbon dioxide than generally accepted,” he explained.
NASA's James Hansen calls climate skeptics ‘court jesters’
In the face of this growing surge of scientific research and the increasing number of scientists speaking out, NASA scientist James Hansen wrote this past week that skeptics of a predicted climate catastrophe were engaging in “deceit” and were nothing more than “court jesters.”
“The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present,” Hanson wrote on August 16, 2007. [EPW Blog Note: It is ironic to have accusations of ‘deceit’ coming from a man who conceded in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that the use of “extreme scenarios" to dramatize global warming “may have been appropriate at one time” to drive the public's attention to the issue --- a disturbing admission by a prominent scientist. Also worth noting is Hansen’s humorous allegation that he was muzzled by the current Administration despite the fact he did over 1400 on-the-job media interviews.
If the scientific case is so strong for predictions of catastrophic man-made global warming, why do its promoters like Hansen and his close ally Gore feel the need to resort to insults and intimidation when attempting to silence skeptics?
Media continues to ignore growing scientific evidence
The mainstream media’s response to these recent scientific developments casting significant doubt on warming fears has been – utter silence.
In fact, the media is continuing to promote the unfounded scaremongering of both Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Both Newsweek and NBC Nightly News thoroughly embarrassed themselves recently with “news” items on global warming. [EPW Blog Note: Newsweek’s cover article featured such shoddy reporting that the magazine was forced to debunk itself in the very next issue, as one of its own editors slapped the magazine down for a “highly contrived” and “ fundamentally misleading” article on global warming.