Thursday, May 31, 2007

NASA Head Questions Global Warming

This is a perfect example of the politicization of science and how ugly it can get. I have been speaking out on this since the beginning. This NASA official, Michael Griffin will be forced to "step down", "retire", or commit "hari kari". One can not speak out against the status quo in the realm of political correctness. Tensions are high, the stake are high, the pressure is on. Watch closely, listen closely, trust nothing.

NASA head unsure global warming is a problem
Climate scientist dismisses remarks as showing ‘arrogance and ignorance’

WASHINGTON - The head of NASA said he was not sure global warming was a problem and added that it would be “arrogant” to assume the world’s climate should not change in the future. Scientists called the remarks ignorant.

“I have no doubt that global — that a trend of global warming exists,” NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a taped interview that aired Thursday on National Public Radio. “I am not sure that it is fair to say that is a problem we must wrestle with.”
“I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take,” Griffin said.

On Wednesday, Griffin’s own agency put out a news release about a research paper written by nearly 50 NASA and Columbia University scientists and published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The paper shows how “human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth’s climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet.”

Jerry Mahlman, a former top scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said Griffin’s remarks showed he was either “totally clueless” or “a deep anti-global warming ideologue.”
James Hansen, a top NASA climate scientist and lead author of the research paper, said Griffin’s comments showed “arrogance and ignorance” because millions of people will likely be harmed by global warming in the future.

Coincides with Bush's warming proposalWhite House science adviser Jack Marburger said he was not disturbed by Griffin’s remarks, but distanced them from President Bush, who on Thursday announced an international global warming proposal.

“It’s pretty obvious that the NASA administrator was speaking about his own personal views and by no means representing or attempting to represent the administration’s views or broader policy,” Marburger told The Associated Press. “He’s got a very wry sense of humor and is very outspoken.”

In a news briefing Thursday, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James Connaughton also downplayed Griffin’s remarks: “We’re dedicated to action. And, in fact, I think the conversation’s really moved beyond a statement of the problem.”
NASA spokesman David Mould said the radio interviewer was trying to push Griffin into saying something about global warming. NASA’s position is that it provides scientific data on the issue, but policy makers are the ones who decide, he said.

Hansen, director of the agency’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, said the consequences of global warming are dire and Griffin should know better.
“The devastation with sea level rise of several meters, with hundreds of millions of refugees, would dwarf that of New Orleans,” Hansen wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press, referring to Hurricane Katrina. “Is it arrogant to say that such would be a problem?”

New Orleans, Subsidence, Flooding and Global Warming

Here is a better solution (see the picture below) for rebuilding New Orleans. The city is built on a major river delta, (The Mississippi). River water slows down as it enters a standing body of water, (The Gulf of Mexico). When the flow of water decreases, the sediment, (clay, sand, and gravel) it is carrying is dropped, and deposited as sediment, forming a delta. Over time the sediment compacts as water is squeezed out. The compaction results in subsidence or settling of the land surface. Thus if you build on a delta, what you put there is going to sink.

New Orleans has been subsiding since the day it was founded. Geologists and engineers have known this for a long, long time. Most of the city is below sea level, and has been for a long time. Water flows downhill. Levees of any kind are only a temporary fix. Is it worth the money to build the levees higher, or the buildings higher, and maintain them forever? That is the question, because the flooding will happen again, and again, and again, global warming, or Al Gore, Democrats or Republicans, or not.

Man has tried to thwart nature, by building levees and straightening the Mississippi. Somehow, man always gets it wrong and nature does what it, (she) wants to. Rivers go where they want to go, (downhill, and to the lowest point), and our climate will change, as it always has. (Build your beachfront homes on stilts). Earthquakes will happen, (don't build on known active fault lines), and hurricanes, local flooding and tornadoes will always happen.


(satellite photo of the Mississippi River Delta, showing how it's sediments are spread farther out into the Gulf of Mexico, letting New Orleans subside, sink, and flood.........Peter's opinion)

And I love New Orleans, its history, music, cuisine, culture.....

Ethanol For Your Car or Milk For Your Babies?

We've come a long way. Blame Exxon/Mobil and Halliburton. They say a gallon of milk now costs more than a gallon of gasoline. How can that be? Call it environmental hysteria. Governmental stupidity. Now we're plowing up Iowa and growing corn to feed our SUV's instead of our children. Am I missing something in the logic of this? Is this the price we're willing to pay to free ourselves from our "addiction" to foreign oil?

I've been saying this is going to happen. Higher food prices, first my corn flakes and milk, but now beer and tequila (see the stories below). People are only going to be able to take so much of this hardship. We're going to have to become like the Irish and drink up while we can, global warming, flooding, Chinese or not. (See photo below).

See here:

Forget worries about $4 gas ... now it’s $4 milk
Ethanol production, worldwide demand sends prices for dairy goods soaring

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
The price of a gallon of milk has flirted with the $4 level in much of the country. Companies that use dairy products are passing along costs — but not Domino's Pizza, since competition is too feirce.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Liz Kooy loves sharp cheddar cheese and is willing to pay almost any price for it.

“Ten dollars a brick, I’d still buy it” and cut back on other purchases, the 36-year-old social worker laughed as she browsed the dairy aisle in a grocery store near downtown Chicago on Wednesday.
She might want to start looking for places to cut back.

Dairy market forecasters are warning that consumers can expect a sharp increase in dairy prices this summer. By June, the milk futures market predicts, the price paid to farmers will have increased 50 percent this year — driven by higher costs of transporting milk to market and increased demand for corn to produce ethanol.
U.S. retail milk prices have increased about 3 percent, or roughly a dime a gallon, this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But University of Illinois dairy specialist Michael Hutjens forecasts further increases of up to 40 cents a gallon for milk over the next few months, and up to 60 cents for a pound of cheese.
That would drive the cost of a gallon of whole milk around the country to an average of $3.78, based on the USDA’s monthly survey of milk prices in 30 metro areas.

Ethanol demand causes rising food prices

May 27: Corn is more expensive these days because of ethanol demand. NBC’s Scott Cohn reports.
Nightly NewsPrices in the last survey, earlier this month, ranged from $2.76 a gallon in Dallas to $3.86 in Chicago and $4.09 in New Orleans, where the dairy industry has struggled to bounce back from Hurricane Katrina.
Hutjens and others said higher gasoline prices have increased the costs of moving milk from farm to market, and corn — the primary feed for dairy cattle — is being gobbled up by producers of the fuel-additive ethanol. The USDA projects that 3.2 billion bushels of this year’s corn crop will be used to make ethanol, a 52 percent increase over 2006.
Ethanol has increased the average American's grocery bill $47 since July, and Iowa State University study concluded.
“There is no free lunch,” Hutjens said. “That corn then has to come away from that dedicated resource.”
Chris Galen, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation, pointed to another factor: Global demand for milk, he said, has grown in the past few years, primarily in the new Asian economic powers.
More on this story
U.S. food cost up $47 per person due to ethanol
Biofuel brews up higher German beer prices
Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila
“China of course is a big story,” he said. “They’re consuming more (milk protein); they’re using more dairy ingredients in animal feed.”
In years past, that demand might have been met by Australia and New Zealand, he said. But drought in Australia and the limits of New Zealand’s dairy industry have pushed China and its neighbors to buy American.
Hutjens said the biggest dairy price spikes are likely to come later this summer in the areas farthest from the Midwest corn and grain fields that feed most of the country’s dairy cattle.
CONTINUED: Worst in southeast and California

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Companies Gear Up For Greenhouse Gas Limits

Companies are betting strict legislation limiting, controlling, or affecting the emission of "greenhouse gases" is going to be enacted by the US congress. Either that, or they are hedging their bets and playing both sides. The amount of money, the effects on our economy and on our pocketbooks is staggering. We're already seeing rising food costs because of the laws passed and the subsidies being given to companies growing corn and distilling it into ethanol fuel.

It is apparent this is just the beginning of the attempt (in vain I claim) to stop global warming and control global climate change. An entire new industry is being created based on the false premise than man is causing global warming and that man can control it. Read this and weep over the insanity of it all. Maybe we should just accept the inevitable and join the party, (by investing). What do you think?

Companies gear up for greenhouse gas limits
Trading of permits grows as Congress considers caps
Congress hasn't come up with a plan for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions, but U.S. companies are wagering billions of dollars that it will.

Convinced that rules aimed at slowing climate change are inevitable, coal-fired power generators are reexamining construction plans, fund managers are raising billions of dollars to invest in projects to combat climate change, insurance firms are devising new products and at least one utility has inserted a novel global-warming provision in a contract.
"It's a matter of when, not if," said Paul Hanrahan, chief executive of AES in Arlington.

The companies are moving now as Senate committees consider five bills that would create a cap-and-trade system, which would issue tradable allowances for limited greenhouse-gas emissions. So far, 21 major corporations have joined a coalition pressing for "immediate action to enact mandatory national legislation."

The Bush administration's opposition to all the mandatory-cap-and-trade proposals hasn't deterred the flurry of activity in executive suites. Wall Street also is mobilizing, with attention to climate change at investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, insurance firms such as Marsh and hedge funds such as Cheyne Capital Management. Clifford Chance, a London law and consulting firm, estimated that the value of credits traded in the voluntary market would increase 16-fold, to $400 million, this year and swell to $3 trillion by 2010, even without legislation.

Cap-and-trade systemAmong utilities, AES, which owns facilities in two dozen countries, has formed a partnership with General Electric to invest in U.S. projects that will eliminate 10 million metric tons of existing greenhouse-gas output a year by 2010, primarily by reducing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Those projects would generate credits that could be sold in a cap-and-trade system; until then, the credits will be sold in the voluntary market for credits.

Wisconsin Energy, a Milwaukee utility, sold its nuclear plant to FLP Group in December, writing a novel stipulation into the deal. Under the terms, Wisconsin Energy would own for seven years whatever credits might be given to the plant for generating electricity without emitting carbon dioxide. After that, the two companies would each get half of the credits.

Companies are also taking a tougher look at plans for new coal plants, which produce a lot of carbon dioxide. The prospect of potentially costly greenhouse-gas regulation was one factor in a pledge made by the private-equity firms that are buying Texas utility TXU to shelve eight of the company's 11 proposed coal plants.

The money flowing into investment funds focused on climate-change issues still pales next to the huge amounts of capital flowing into conventional energy projects that emit carbon dioxide. But a growing number of influential banks and industrial firms have vested interests in projects tied to limiting greenhouse gases.

Mark Schwartz, former chief executive of Soros Fund Management and former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia, has teamed with Jesse M. Fink, co-founder and former chief operating officer of, to start a $300 million fund called MissionPoint Capital Partners to invest in projects related to climate change.

$1.5 billion invested in 'clean technology'
Goldman Sachs said it has invested $1.5 billion over the past two years in what it calls "alternative energy" and "clean technology." These investments promise good returns without new regulations, a spokesman said.

One investment that depends more heavily on climate concerns: a $2 billion coal gasification power project. Goldman subsidiary Cogentrix Energy last month signed a letter of intent to become the lead equity partner in the Texas power plant that would separate carbon dioxide from other emissions for use in enhanced oil recovery or underground storage. This will make the plant more expensive, but the technology could pay bigger dividends if regulations put a premium on global-warming gases.
Goldman has also invested in a wind-farm developer; a solar photovoltaic cell maker; a wind turbine manufacturer; a cellulosic ethanol firm; and the Chicago Climate Exchange, where U.S. companies trade carbon credits on a voluntary basis.
CONTINUED: Carbon regulation 'in the works'
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Will Global Warming Increase Hurricanes?

Here is another article linking global warming with the intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Two things are apparent to me. First, scientists greatly disagree with each other and admit their climate models are lacking. Second, and most importantly, if mankind is not causing and cannot control global warming, then our best course of action is simply to prepare for hurricanes as we always have. There is nothing we can do to prevent or control them.



Will Warming Lead to a Rise in Hurricanes?

Published: May 29, 2007
When people worry about the effects of global warming, they worry more about hurricanes than anything else. In surveys, almost three-quarters of Americans say there will be more and stronger hurricanes in a warming world. By contrast, fewer than one-quarter worry about increased coastal flooding.

Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times

Researchers hope to better predict storms like Katrina.
But as far as the scientific consensus is concerned, people have things just about backward.
There is no doubt that as the world warms, seas will rise, increasing the flood risk, simply because warmer water occupies more space. (And if the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets melt, the rise will be far greater.)

It seems similarly logical that as the world warms, hurricanes will be more frequent or more powerful or both. After all, they draw their strength from warm ocean waters. But while many scientists hold this view, there is far less consensus, in part because of new findings on other factors that may work against stronger, more frequent storms.

“Global warming is as real as it gets,” Richard A. Anthes, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, said last month at a weather conference in the Bahamas, where most of the conversation focused on hurricanes. But as for its link to hurricanes, Mr. Anthes said, “I don’t think it’s been proved conclusively.”
In a consensus statement issued last year, the World Meteorological Organization said it was likely that there would be some increase in hurricane wind speeds in a warmer world. But the organization, which is the United Nations weather agency, noted that decades-long periods of high and low hurricane activity, unconnected to any climate change, had been recorded before. (Climate experts say a period of high activity began in 1995.)
Also, measurement techniques have greatly improved in recent decades, making it difficult to compare data and detect trends.

So as the annual hurricane season begins on June 1, scientists are pressing on a number of fronts to learn how hurricanes form and move, what factors limit or expand their lethal potential and how to tell with greater precision when and where they will strike.

Perhaps the best known proponent of the idea that warming and hurricanes may be connected is Kerry A. Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His conclusion that the total power released in Atlantic and western Pacific hurricanes had increased perhaps by half in recent decades, reported in 2005 in the journal Nature, is one of the most discussed ideas in the debate.

He is not alone. Last year, researchers led by Carlos D. Hoyos of the Georgia Institute of Technology analyzed the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms, the most powerful, and concluded that their increased frequency since 1970 was “directly linked to the trend in sea-surface temperature,” which is increasing. They reported their findings in the journal Science.
Other experts challenge the idea that a warmer world means more and stronger storms.
For example, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Miami have been studying how vertical wind shear — the differences in wind direction or speed at different altitudes — can inhibit hurricane formation.

In work reported last month in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers said that in a warming world, wind shear in the Atlantic would increase, possibly enough to cancel out the hurricane-forcing effects of warmer water.
Last week, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts reported in the journal Nature that periods of frequent storminess had occurred in the past, even though things were cooler than they are now. They also concluded that wind currents were a crucial factor.

But even these researchers call the question open. “This doesn’t settle the issue,” said Gabriel Vecchi, the lead author of the wind shear study and a research scientist at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, in Princeton, N.J.
In February, researchers led by James Kossin, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin, recalibrated recent and early satellite data on hurricanes using information from the National Climatic Data Center, a NOAA archive in Asheville, N.C. They concluded that hurricane frequency had increased, but only in the Atlantic, possibly because temperatures there are chronically just about warm enough for storms; so even modest warming makes hurricanes more likely.

But when Christopher W. Landsea analyzed historical records of hurricane activity, he concluded that satellite observations and other new techniques had increased scientists’ ability to detect major storms, skewing the frequency data. Dr. Landsea, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, reported this conclusion this month in EOS, an electronic publication of the American Geophysical Union.

This kind of he-said-he-said debate often leads people to dismiss a subject as one about which nothing will ever be known with confidence. In fact, the give and take is an example of the way scientists tug and haul at their own and others’ findings until a consensus takes shape.
In the current debate over global warming and hurricanes, the problem is relatively new and the data are hard to obtain and analyze. (original article continued)

A Predictable Push For More Government Subsidies

With the currently popular rush to rein in "carbon emissions" (really meaning carbon dioxide) to curb the "disastrous" effects of global warming and climate change, lawmakers are seeking billions of dollars in subsidies to coal companies, power generating companies, and companies that build the plants that generate this supposedly "cleaner" form of power. Why is this not a surprise.

First intense fear is created among the people about global warming, then when voters have been thoroughly brainwashed, bills proposing more federal subsidies are proposed, and our lawmakers go along with popular opinion. The result? Taxpayers get screwed again.

Read the following article and see what you think. Is it any wonder so many big corporations are "going green"?

Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process

Published: May 29, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 28 — Even as Congressional leaders draft legislation to reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming, a powerful roster of Democrats and Republicans is pushing to subsidize coal as the king of alternative fuels.

Mike Mergen/Bloomberg News
Richard A. Gephardt, a former Democratic House majority leader, has been hired by Peabody Energy to help make the case for liquefied coal.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, is drafting a bill to promote renewable fuels, but not liquefied coal, for electricity.
Prodded by intense lobbying from the coal industry, lawmakers from coal states are proposing that taxpayers guarantee billions of dollars in construction loans for coal-to-liquid production plants, guarantee minimum prices for the new fuel, and guarantee big government purchases for the next 25 years.
With both House and Senate Democrats hoping to pass “energy independence” bills by mid-July, coal supporters argue that coal-based fuels are more American than gasoline and potentially greener than ethanol.

“For so many, filthy coal is a dirty four-letter word,” said Representative Nick V. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “These individuals, I tell you, have their heads buried in the sand.”

Environmental groups are adamantly opposed, warning that coal-based diesel fuels would at best do little to slow global warming and at worst would produce almost twice as much of the greenhouse gases tied to global warming as petroleum.

Coal companies are hardly alone in asking taxpayers to underwrite alternative fuels in the name of energy independence and reduced global warming. But the scale of proposed subsidies for coal could exceed those for any alternative fuel, including corn-based ethanol.

Among the proposed inducements winding through House and Senate committees: loan guarantees for six to 10 major coal-to-liquid plants, each likely to cost at least $3 billion; a tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of coal-based fuel sold through 2020; automatic subsidies if oil prices drop below $40 a barrel; and permission for the Air Force to sign 25-year contracts for almost a billion gallons a year of coal-based jet fuel.

Coal companies have spent millions of dollars lobbying on the issue, and have marshaled allies in organized labor, the Air Force and fuel-burning industries like the airlines. Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest coal company, urged in a recent advertising campaign that people “imagine a world where our country runs on energy from Middle America instead of the Middle East.”

Representative Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat whose district is dominated by coal mining, is writing key sections of the House energy bill. In the Senate, champions of coal-to-liquid fuels include Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Larry Craig of Wyoming, both Republicans.

President Bush has not weighed in on specific incentives, but he has often stressed the importance of coal as an alternative to foreign oil. In calling for a 20 percent cut in projected gasoline consumption by 2017, he has carefully referred to the need for “alternative” fuels rather than “renewable” fuels. Administration officials say that was specifically to make room for coal.

The political momentum to subsidize coal fuels is in odd juxtaposition to simultaneous efforts by Democrats to draft global-warming bills that would place new restrictions on coal-fired electric power plants.
The move reflects a tension, which many lawmakers gloss over, between slowing global warming and reducing dependence on foreign oil.
Many analysts say the huge coal reserves of the United States could indeed provide a substitute for foreign oil.

The technology to convert coal into liquid fuel is well-established, and the fuel can be used in conventional diesel cars and trucks, as well as jet engines, boats and ships. Industry executives contend that the fuels can compete against gasoline if oil prices are about $50 a barrel or higher.
But coal-to-liquid fuels produce almost twice the volume of greenhouse gases as ordinary diesel. In addition to the carbon dioxide emitted while using the fuel, the production process creates almost a ton of carbon dioxide for every barrel of liquid fuel.

Coal industry executives insist their fuel can actually be cleaner than oil, because they would capture the gas produced as the liquid fuel is being made and store it underground. Some could be injected into oil fields to push oil to the surface.

Several aspiring coal-to-liquid companies say that they would reduce greenhouse emissions even further by using renewable fuels for part of the process. But none of that has been done at commercial volumes, and many analysts say the economic issues are far from settled.

“There are many uncertainties,” said James T. Bartis, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, who testified last week before the Senate Energy Committee. “We don’t even know what the costs are yet.”

"The Chilling Stars: More Reviews

Two more reviews of the book "The Chilling Stars".

Fascinating book puts climate temperature change into context, April 14, 2007
Donald N. Anderson (Anchorage, Alaska) - See all my reviews Having read some of the research by Henrick Svensmark's team, I eagerly awaited this book. It explains in terms accessible to the intelligent layman how cosmic rays contribute to low level cloud formation. It expounds a most believable explanation for the current warming trend. I was more than amply rewarded as Mr. Calder's excellent writing takes a complicated subject and patiently explains its most prominent features.

After reading his chapter, "Adventures of the cosmic rays," I felt much better informed on this crucial topic. Later he moves through a wealth of observations, interdisciplinary discoveries, and innumerable research studies tying them to temperature effects. Our sun and the Milky Way galaxy have a major impact through cosmic rays on our planet's temperature. Research papers necessarily focus on a specific experiment or data gathering exercise, so this survey book is essential to fit Svensmark's research into the broader picture.

It surprised and delighted me by the tremendous variety of interrelationships that have been discovered. These all relate to the effect cosmic rays have on the formation of clouds in the earth's lower troposphere. An interesting outgrowth is that long term temperature measurements on earth have suggested something so esoteric as revisions to our sun's path through the galaxy.

We have known for a couple of centuries that there seemed to be some correlation between wheat prices (a proxy for temperature variation) and sunspots. Prominent researchers in the last 2 decades have suggested further study after observing that temperature history tracks sunspots better than greenhouse gases. Others note the rather small anthropogenic contribution to the growth of greenhouse gases. Thus, a significant human-caused temperature effect is unlikely, even if greenhouse gases are implicated. Still others found that the predicted warming of the atmosphere above the earth's surface simply did not occur.

In 1996 the existing theory for formation of clouds in the troposphere was killed (NASA measurements published in 1998). It became apparent that we knew a lot less about the formation of clouds than most people assumed. The Svensmark team has demonstrated a new cloud formation mechanism in a conceptually simple, but technically brilliant experiment. It showed the rapid formation of aerosols critical to building clouds in the basement of their labs in Copenhagen. This aerosol formation requires the presence of highly energetic cosmic rays that pass through all of us with great frequency (including their basement). With variations in the solar wind sweeping aside some cosmic rays, it is now possible to explain the last millennium's temperature variations.

The explanation works not only for the globe, but also for the various regions of the globe, such as Antarctica. Existing warming theory based on greenhouse gases has been unable to do this. CERN plans to replicate the Svensmark experiment with significant extensions using their large accelerators. Researchers have only minimal information on global cloud cover with which to make reflectivity calculations. Two spacecraft were inserted into orbit in April 2006 to specifically measure the earth's cloud cover. We should have better information to compute the effects of lower troposphere clouds on the earth's temperature in 2009-2010.

Europe's Gaia space mission starting in 2011 will more precisely map newly formed stars on the near side of our galaxy. Hopefully we can then date sources of cosmic rays that have affected the earth's long term temperature history. Because this new theory of climate change fits temperature and cosmic history so well, it is starting to become the driver suggesting important areas for further research. It is a welcome relief from a theory that, relying on dated and inaccurate information, is unable to withstand the impact of improved measurements, refined analysis, and new observations. This book covers so much territory in so few pages, no brief review can begin to do it justice. If you have any interest in global temperature trends you simply must read this book!

The Chilling Stars, March 3, 2007
John A. Jauregui "Solar Warming" (Garden Valley, ID) - See all my reviews Science writer Nigel Calder does an admirable job of explaining Henik Svensmark climate change observations and theories. He makes Henik's sun-earth climate change connection very understandable to the lay person. Unlike the current anthropogenic forcing theory of global warming which is based on just a few decades of measurements and unproven computer models, Svensmark's hard data spanning thousands of years of observation and analysis.

It's surprising that so much research has been done in this area, but has been largely ignored by the media and politicians. I guess if they cannot assign responsibilty for global warming to people its not worth pursuing. The important point is that this book reveals clear investment opportunities for significant profit as people and governments continue to make economic decisions based on faulty assumptions with regard to the cause and effect relationships of global warming. I would recommend this book strongly to any serious long range investor.

"The Chilling Stars": Another Review

This is a long review of the new book "The Chilling Stars" and warrants its own post.

The Best Popular Introduction to Climate Science, April 25, 2007
Fritz R. Ward "dayhiker" (Crestline, CA United States) - See all my reviews For many years it has been known that periods of global cooling are associated with with reduced solar activity. In the 1970s, Jack Eddy of the High Altitude Observatory in Colorado named the correlation between the lack of sunspots and the consequent decline in earth's temperature the "Maunder Minimum" and showed that similar sequences of global warming and cooling were also associated with increasing and decreasing solar activity. Until recently, however, no one has been able to provide a mechanism explaining why this correlation exists.

Henrik Svensmark, however, has done just that in his published work and with the help of science writer Nigel Calder has provided a very readable explanation of how solar activity affects climate change. This book has profound implications for policy debates in this country and deserves a wide audience. Svensmark's theory is that cosmic rays which originate from collapsing stars (novas) are the primary cause of cloud formation, in particular the formation of low level clouds, those 3,000 meters above the ground and lower. Muons, basically very dense electrons, which are among the few cosmic particles to survive the solar winds and contact with the earth's atmosphere to sufficiently interact with with atoms near the surface, liberate electrons in the atmosphere which in turn join with molecules that form stable clusters. These clusters attract a small amount of sulphuric acid and then water molecules to ultimately generate water droplets, the basis of cloud cover. But how exactly does cloud cover affect climate?

Most climate models simply see clouds as a byproduct of climate changes, but as Svensmark and Calder demonstrate, clouds themselves are the predominant factor in global cooling. Although they trap heat between the clouds and earth's surface, they also reflect radiant energy from the sun back into space. The net effect of low lying clouds is therefore a cooling one. And, as it happens, all periods of global cooling have coincided with increasing cosmic rays and cloud cover.

The implications of this theory are quite startling. For one thing, it almost completely eliminates increases and decreases of carbon dioxide and other so called green house gasses (GHG) from the equation of climate change, a matter of some concern to those who use fears of anthropomorphic global warming to advance their political agendas.

Indeed, when Svensmark first proposed his theory in the mid 1990s, it was called "dangerous" because, if correct, it would undermine the vast public funding currently available to the many scientists who feed off of global warming fears. Unfortunately for them, Svensmark's theories have since been experimentally vindicated, something that cannot be said for the "models" that GHG advocates use to prop up their increasingly discredited arguments.

Indeed, Svensmark's "chilling stars" are able to explain all the data that other climate change models note. For example, since 1900 the solar magnetic field has almost doubled, resulting in a dramatic decline in the amount of cosmic rays reaching the earth's surface. There has been a consequent temperature increase (.6 degrees Celsius) and an 8.6% decrease in cloud cover. This results in "a warming of 1.4 watts per square meter."(p. 80) But this figure is crucially important because it is precisely the same figure that advocates of the man made global warming hypothesis say is the result of increases in greenhouse gases.

What this means is that natural variation almost entirely explains all observed temperature increases this century, and this model, unlike the GHG model, is experimentally vindicated. But what really sets Svensmark and his colleagues apart from the man made global warming advocates is that this model, while also explaining the observed rise in temperature, also explains the data that the other models ignore, and in some cases irresponsibly cover up.

For example, it is well known that Antarctica is not experiencing global warming. This is part of a long term climate trend in which Antarctica has for thousands of years experienced cooling while the rest of the world warms, and warming as the rest of the world cools. It is part of the troubling evidence that skeptics of man made global warming routinely bring to the table and which popular films like Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" conveniently ignore.

Advocates of GHG as the primary mover of climate change typically try to brush off this anomaly by explaining that they need "more data." But Svensmark explains it easily. The Antarctic ice cap is the one place on earth that is so reflective that it actually loses more radiant energy on cloudless days than on cloudy ones. So, while cloud cover cools the rest of the planet, it warms Antarctica, and as the rest of the planet warms with a decrease in cloud cover, Antarctica cools.

Similarly, Svensmark's work explains the cooling trend the world experienced from the 1940s to the mid 1970s. This period also saw one of the greatest outputs of GHG in history and man made global warming theorists have a great deal of trouble dismissing it. Indeed, for a long time they ignored it but following the publication of Michael Crichton's novel 'State of Fear' this anomaly became common knowledge among the literate public.

This period also coincides with a slight reduction in solar activity and a slight increase in cosmic ray induced cooling. In terms of the history of global climate, this cooling was not very dramatic, but it was sufficient by 1975 to lead many popular publications to speculate on the coming of a new ice age. Interestingly enough, the solution to "global cooling" political activists sought in the 1970s also involved a reduction in fossil fuel usage, so one might reasonably be skeptical now of their claims to solve global warming by the same technique.

The value of Svensmark and Calder's book, however, extends far beyond the current debates on global climate change and what, if anything, we as a society should do about it. They note that periods of warming and cooling have had a tremendous impact on human history, including the development of agriculture, and on the whole development of life on earth. Indeed, their research suggests ways to narrow the search for life in other parts of our galaxy.

The final chapter of the book describes the myriad of research projects that will open up to investigators once this new (but already well tested) paradigm of climate change is adopted. But the promise of new research, even the promise of a better model, is hardly sufficient to insure the adoption of Svensmark's "Chilling Stars" as a new paradigm for research in the modern era.

Historically, as Thomas Kuhn has demonstrated, "science" advances by using a paradigm, a carefully constructed set of theories. These paradigms guide research until a point at which there are too many unexplainable gaps in the theory for the paradigm to continue to be useful. At this point, a new paradigm replaces it. Usually the process by which one paradigm replaces another is fraught with argument, debate, and in some cases dramatic confrontations among advocates of competing ideas. This is how science operates and it generally works quite well.

Svensmark's work has been subjected to just this sort of rigorous testing for the last decade and has shown itself to be remarkably versatile. However, late 20th and 21st century science is altogether different than science in earlier periods of human history. Scientists used to be motivated by religious considerations (a desire to better understand creation) or humanitarian motives (curing diseases like polio) or simply curiosity. Such motivations are still common among many scientists.

But increasingly, political advocacy coupled with the public funding of science has led to a new motivation for science: the advancement of a political agenda. In such an environment, it may not matter that the work of Svensmark and his colleagues better explains climate, the development of life on the planet, and even better predicts the future. The political usefulness of their studies does not, at present anyway, coincide with that of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and so it is quite possible that their work simply will not get the attention it deserves.

This signals a dramatic, and perhaps fundamental, change in the way science operates. Will the future see a continued commitment to experimental research and the free publication of diverse views, or will the modern scientists win out, stifling open debate and corrupting data to advance their agendas.

The case of Michael Mann and his famous "hockey stick" graph is instructive in this regard. Mann, an advocate of the man made global warming hypothesis, knew that the medieval warming period and the little ice age of the last millenia contradicted the GHG theory. So he simply revised history by creating a chart that that showed a stable climate for a thousand years followed by a dramatic increase in the 20th century. He also hid his raw data and algorithms from public and scientific scrutiny for almost a decade, an act that would have immediately disqualified his work from serious consideration among the previous generation of scientists. But in the "Brave New World" of science, his graph graced numerous IPCC publications. Calder rightly calls Mann's work "Orwellian" and dismisses it in favor of finding a theory that accurately explains, rather than explains away, actual climate changes in earth's history. But one cannot help but wonder if Orwell's vision was correct. Time, and in particular, the reception of this spectacular book, will tell. Be sure to get the book yourself and enjoy the read.

"The Chilling Stars"

Here are some reviews of a new book demonstrating how and why the Earth's changes in climate are caused by variations in the amount of energy produced by the sun.

The Chilling Stars: The New Theory of Climate Change (Paperback) by Henrik Svensmark (Author)

See here:


Richard A. Barca - See all my reviews An excellent book! I read it through the first time for shear pleasure, and am now re-reading it in detail with tri-colored highlighters. As a geologist I was especially impressed with the cosmoclimatology ties to the geologic record. In addition to doing occasional geological consulting, primarily in environmental geology these days, I am also an adjunct instructor at a local community college where I teach Introduction to Geology and also Physical Geography. I have long been a supporter of solar and cosmic control over Earth's climate, rather than man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and this book gives me some great information to incorporate into my Global Warming sections of these two classes. I am also putting a new course together on "Geology and Climate Changes," and "The Chilling Stars: The New Theory of Climate Change" is of considerable benefit in that regard as well. Thank you.

Richard A. Barca
Independent Consulting Geologist,
Community College Adjunct Faculty Member

A clear indication on the lack of consensus in the Global Warming debate, May 12, 2007
BritinUSA (USA) - See all my reviews As the title suggests, this book indicates that the so-called 'consensus' on the causes of Global Warming is far from the truth. The authors succinctly describe the theory of cloud creation that plays such a critical role in the Earth's global temperature. That the planet as a whole is warming is not open for debate, it is warming and has done in the past. In fact it is this evidence of previous warming and cooling that first leads the open-minded individual to conclude that human intervention cannot be the root cause.

As our solar system moves around the galaxy, we move closer to - or further from - clusters of stars that generate the cosmic rays that the authors claim is the key to cloud formation. More cosmic rays = more clouds = cooler temperatures. Added into the mix is our own sun and the magnetic influence it creates (called solar wind), this can drive the cosmic rays away from the Earth when the sun is active (as it is now). This resulting reduction in cosmic rays prevents the formation of clouds thereby causing a warming effect.

This is an easy book to read and also takes time to highlight the problems of some scientists who propose alternative theories to explain global warming. Problems such as a lack of funding and a general reluctance on behalf of their peers and the press to give them a fair hearing. Henrik Svensmark may have hit the nail on the head with his theory, and unlike the predictions of IPCC, his may be provable in the next few years, assuming of course that he can secure the necessary funding.

An old idea finally gains traction, April 28, 2007
globalcooler (seminole, FL United States) - See all my reviews
The authors have written an easily-understood description of what will turn out to be the greatest external forcing of Earth's climate. They clearly describe the effect of the sun's magnetic field on the intensity of cosmic rays impinging on the Earth, and the subsequent creation of cloud condensation nuclei as the cosmic rays interact with the Earth's atmosphere, particularly the lower troposphere where climate-cooling clouds reside.

Changes in cloud cover of a few percent causes climate forcing that dwarfs the effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is clearly a strong amplification effect of any electromagnetic radiation variability of the sun, and it explains a variety of climate variations over the Earth's history. I was also surprised by the lack of interest in providing the initial funding to Svensmark for even a low-cost scientific experiment, given the massive impact it will have on our understanding of climate if it withstands myriad experiments over the next decade.

The link between cosmic rays and cloud cover is described as a radical theory that has rapdily gained considerable scientific support over the past decade, even though the number of researchers is miniscule compared with the resources being poured into AGW research. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the leading edge of climate research, and I hope to live long enough to see Svensmark receive his Nobel in Stockholm for this pioneering work.

Monday, May 28, 2007

More Information On Global Warming

Here is yet another web site loaded with information about global warming. It is a bit dated, but still valuable.
See here:

Global Warming
If some environmentalists are to be believed, we are on the verge of massive global climate change which will see a significant rise in sea levels, chaotic weather patterns, and catastrophic droughts all caused by small increase in global average temperature.
This site provides links to resources skeptical of those sort of doomsday scenarios. The articles linked to here are written by a wide variety of people, from scientists to laypeople, and their inclusion here should not be read as an endorsement of their positions.
Just as when dealing with things coming out of the environmentalist camp, you need to use your brain and decide for yourself to what extent global warming poses a threat to humanity.

Articles about global warming on this site:
Ross Gelbspan's Pulitzer Prize (1/22/2004)
New York Times Screws Up Correction of Global Warming Story (7/16/2002)
New York Times Leads in Global Warming Nonsense (7/10/2002)
Coloring the Debate Over Global Warming (7/2/2002)
Typical Al Gore Nonsense on Global Warming (5/14/2002)
Tuvalu Is Not Sinking (3/28/2002)
Climate Change During Medieval Warm Period Very Similar to 20th Century Rise in Temperature (3/24/2002)
Global Warming Shatters Reporter's Abilities to Do Simple Math (3/21/2002)
NBC's Dishonest Coverage of Glacier National Park (10/3/2001)
Richard Lindzen on the NAS Global Warming Report (6/27/2001)
Does CO2 Lead to Global Warming or Vice Versa (6/21/2001)
Does NAS Report Put Bush on the Hot Spot with Global Warming? (6/14/2001)
The Problem with Media Coverage of Global Warming (4/19/2001)
Does Global Warming Necessarily Mean More Disease? (4/12/2001)
A Leftist Opposed to the Global Warming Treaty (11/8/2000)
Feeling the Heat (10/31/2000)
What Is Stephen Hawking Talking About? (10/3/2000)
Articles about global warming on other sites:
Basic introduction to global warming
The coming climate - an excellent overview of global warming claims from Scientific American. - lots of information critical of global warming claims
Instant Expert Guide to Global Warming from the Heartland Institute
Long Hot Year: Latest Science Debunks Global Warming Hysteria by Patrick J. Michaels
Questions People Ask About Climate Change by Kenneth Green, D.Env.
Still waiting for greenhouse - well designed with lots of easy to understand graphics
World Climate Report - a comprehensive resource taking a skeptical look at global warming research and claims.
The Scientific Controversy
Is tere a scientific consensus about global warming?
Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?
How accurate are warming predictions?
Where are global temperatures headed?
Is global warming causing extreme weather?
Will global warming cause sea levels to rise?
Could global warming be good for us?

The Political Controversy

The Kyoto Treaty

Media Coverage of Global Warming
Uncategorized links
Holes in the greenhouse effect by Patrick J. Michaels
Cool politics by Jonathan H. Adler
Stay cool from The Economist
Avoiding global warming John McCarthy
Global warming: bad science
Global warming: inventing an apocalypse by Kevin McFarlane
Global Warming Politics
Patrick Michaels testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science by Patrick Michaels
Oz greenhouse sceptic
Global Politics, Political Warming
The Heated Rhetoric of Global Warming by Jerry Taylor
Holes in the Greenhouse Effect? by Patrick J. Michaels
Manmade Global Warming? by Steve Milloy
"Listen to the Rhythm "... of the Wobbling Sun? by Steve Milloy
A Flash of Light in the Darkness by Steve Milloy
Damn the Science, Full Speed Ahead by Steve Milloy
Tree Ring Circus by Steve Milloy
Global Warming Meltdown? by Steve Milloy
More Hot Air Over Global Warming by Steve Milloy
Global Warming, Asteroids and!The Washington Qost by Steve Milloy>/li>
True Confessions (Global Warming-Style) by Steve Milloy !
Global Warming's Dirty Little Secret by Patrick Michaels
The Lethal Hot Air of Summer by Patrick J. Michaels "
Administration Attempts Shoot-Down of Satellite by Patrick J. Michaels
Fighting Fire With Facts by Patrick J. Michaels "
Logic Goes Extinct as Planet Warms by Patrick J. Michaels "
Sun to Blame for Global Warming by John Carlisle
Global warming - is the Sun to blame? from The BBC "
Blazing hot from The New Scientist
Why So Hot? Don't Blame Man, Blame the Sun by Sallie Baliunas
Global warming whining by Fred Singer
Hot enough for you? by Tim Patterson and Tom Harris
The Uncertainty Principle from The Detroit News
Scientific Responsibility in Global Climate Change Research by S. Ichtiaque Rasool
Back-tracking, arm-twisting pervade Bonn global warming meeting by Dave Gorak
Arctic Melts While Logic Fiddles by Patrick J. Michaels (CATO Institute)
Global Warming? from the Detroit News
NET launches misinformation campaign by S. Fred Singer
Discuss (4 Replies) Printer Friendly

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming

The issue of carbon dioxide emissions causing global warming and consequent destructive climate change is so important, this warrants publishing this article. It comes from:

I have mentioned this website before and it is very good, and I think highly reputable.

Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming: Where We Stand on the Issue
C. D. Idso and K. E. Idso
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
There is little doubt the air's CO2 concentration has risen significantly since the inception of the Industrial Revolution; and there are few who do not attribute the CO2 increase to the increase in humanity's use of fossil fuels. There is also little doubt the earth has warmed slightly over the same period; but there is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that future increases in the air's CO2 content will produce any global warming; for there are numerous problems with the popular hypothesis that links the two phenomena.

A weak short-term correlation between CO2 and temperature proves nothing about causation. Proponents of the notion that increases in the air's CO2 content lead to global warming point to the past century's weak correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global air temperature as proof of their contention. However, they typically gloss over the fact that correlation does not imply causation, and that a hundred years is not enough time to establish the validity of such a relationship when it comes to earth's temperature history.

The observation that two things have risen together for a period of time says nothing about one trend being the cause of the other. To establish a causal relationship it must be demonstrated that the presumed cause precedes the presumed effect. Furthermore, this relationship should be demonstrable over several cycles of increases and decreases in both parameters. And even when these criteria are met, as in the case of solar/climate relationships, many people are unwilling to acknowledge that variations in the presumed cause truly produced the observed analogous variations in the presumed effect.

In thus considering the seven greatest temperature transitions of the past half-million years - three glacial terminations and four glacial inceptions - we note that increases and decreases in atmospheric CO2 concentration not only did not precede the changes in air temperature, they followed them, and by hundreds to thousands of years! There were also long periods of time when atmospheric CO2 remained unchanged, while air temperature dropped, as well as times when the air's CO2 content dropped, while air temperature remained unchanged or actually rose. Hence, the climate history of the past half-million years provides absolutely no evidence to suggest that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 concentration will lead to significant global warming.

Strong negative climatic feedbacks prohibit catastrophic warming. Strong negative feedbacks play major roles in earth's climate system. If they did not, no life would exist on the planet, for some perturbation would long ago have sent the world careening into a state of cosmic cold or horrendous heat; and we know from the fossil record that neither of these extremes has ever occurred, even over billions of years, and in spite of a large increase in the luminosity of the sun throughout geologic time.

Consider, in this regard, the water vapor that would be added to the atmosphere by enhanced evaporation in a warmer world. The extra moisture would likely lead to the production of more and higher-water-content clouds, both of which consequences would tend to cool the planet by reflecting more solar radiation back to space.

A warmer world would also mean a warmer ocean, which would likely lead to an increase in the productivity of marine algae or phytoplankton. This phenomenon, in turn, would enhance the biotic production of certain sulfur-based substances that diffuse into the air, where they are oxidized and converted into particles that function as cloud condensation nuclei. The resulting increase in the number of cloud-forming particles would thus produce more and smaller cloud droplets, which are more reflective of incoming solar radiation; and this phenomenon would also tend to cool the planet.

All of these warming-induced cloud-related cooling effects are very powerful. It has been shown, for example, that the warming predicted to result from a doubling of the air's CO2 content may be totally countered by: (1) a mere 1% increase in the reflectivity of the planet, or (2) a 10% increase in the amount of the world's low-level clouds, or (3) a 15 to 20% reduction in the mean droplet radius of earth's boundary-layer clouds, or (4) a 20 to 25% increase in cloud liquid water content. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the warming-induced production of high-level clouds over the equatorial oceans almost totally nullifies that region's powerful water vapor greenhouse effect, which supplies much of the temperature increase in the CO2-induced global warming scenario.

Most of these important negative feedbacks are not adequately represented in state-of-the-art climate models. What is more, many related (and totally ignored!) phenomena are set in motion when the land surfaces of the globe warm. In response to the increase in temperature between 25°N latitude and the equator, for example, the soil-to-air flux of various sulfur gases rises by a factor of 25, as a consequence of warmth-induced increases in soil microbial activity; and this phenomenon can lead to the production of more cloud condensation nuclei just as biological processes over the sea do. Clearly, therefore, any number of combinations of these several negative feedbacks could easily thwart the impetus for warming provided by future increases in the air's CO2 content.

Growth-enhancing effects of CO2 create an impetus for cooling. Carbon dioxide is a powerful aerial fertilizer, directly enhancing the growth of almost all terrestrial plants and many aquatic plants as its atmospheric concentration rises. And just as increased algal productivity at sea increases the emission of sulfur gases to the atmosphere, ultimately leading to more and brighter clouds over the world's oceans, so too do CO2-induced increases in terrestrial plant productivity lead to enhanced emissions of various sulfur gases over land, where they likewise ultimately cool the planet. In addition, many non-sulfur-based biogenic materials of the terrestrial environment play major roles as water- and ice-nucleating aerosols; and the airborne presence of these materials should also be enhanced by rising levels of atmospheric CO2.

Hence, it is possible that incorporation of this multifaceted CO2-induced cooling effect into the suite of equations that comprise the current generation of global climate models might actually tip the climatic scales in favor of global cooling in the face of continued growth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

There is no evidence for warming-induced increases in extreme weather. Proponents of the CO2-induced global warming hypothesis often predict that extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and hurricanes will become more numerous and/or extreme in a warmer world; however, there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, many studies have revealed that the numbers and intensities of extreme weather events have remained relatively constant over the last century of modest global warming or have actually declined.

Costs of damages from these phenomena, however, have risen dramatically; but this phenomenon has been demonstrated to be the result of evolving societal, demographic and economic factors.

Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 are a boon to the biosphere. In lieu of global warming, a little of which would in all probability be good for the planet, where do the above considerations leave us? Simply with the biospheric benefits that come from the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment: enhanced plant growth, increased plant water use efficiency, greater food production for both people and animals, plus a host of other biological benefits too numerous to describe in this short statement.

And these benefits are not mere predictions. They are real. Already, in fact, they are evident in long-term tree-ring records, which reveal a history of increasing forest growth rates that have closely paralleled the progression of the Industrial Revolution. They can also be seen in the slow but inexorable spreading of woody plants into areas where only grasses grew before. In fact, the atmosphere itself bears witness to the increasing prowess of the entire biosphere in the yearly expanding amplitude of the its seasonal CO2 cycle. This oscillatory "breath of the biosphere" - its inhalation of CO2, produced by spring and summer terrestrial plant growth, and its exhalation of CO2, produced by fall and winter biomass decomposition - has been documented to be growing greater and greater each year in response to the ever-increasing growth stimulation provided by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.

Atmospheric CO2 enrichment brings growth and prosperity to man and nature alike. This, then, is what we truly believe will be the result of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content: a reinvigorated biosphere characteristic of those prior periods of earth's history when the air's CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today, coupled with a climate not much different from that of the present. Are we right? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain now: there is much more real-world evidence for the encouraging scenario we paint here than for the doom-and-gloom predictions of apocalypse that are preached by those who blindly follow the manifestly less-than-adequate prognostications of imperfect climate models.

Our policy prescription relative to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is thus to leave well enough alone and let nature and humanity take their inextricably intertwined course. All indications are that both will be well served by the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO2.

Supporting references. This brief was written in 1998. References to the voluminous scientific literature that supports the many factual statements of this position paper may be found on our website - - which we update weekly.

Turn to CO2 Science for all your greenhouse gas reporting needs.Is carbon dioxide a harmful air pollutant, or is it an amazingly effective aerial fertilizer?Explore the positive side of the issue in two half-hour documentaries -- The Greening of Planet Earth and The Greening of Planet Earth

Carbon Emissions and Global Warming: A BIG DEAL

If there is anyone who does not understand the seriousness of the issue of "carbon emissions" (primarily carbon dioxide, CO2), and their relationship to global warming and supposed climate change, this article from the NY Times sheds some light.

This is not just a scientific issue, but a political issue at every level. These conflicts range from local zoning ordinances governing whether an individual can put up a windmill in their back yard, to states debating whether more coal burning power plants should be build, to our Congress in Washington, D.C. This article reveals the political concerns maneuvering for position that is going on at the international level. The U.S. is currently at odds with many of our usually most staunch allies, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and now Japan.

This is very serious and we must learn all we can and communicate with our leaders what we know and how we think. Here is the article from:

U.S. Rebuffs Germany on Greenhouse Gas Cuts
Published: May 26, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 25 — The United States has rejected Germany’s proposal for deep long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for a battle that will pit President Bush against his European allies at next month’s meeting of the world’s richest countries.

In unusually harsh language, Bush administration negotiators took issue with the German draft of the communiqué for the meeting of the Group of 8 industrialized nations, complaining that the proposal “crosses multiple red lines in terms of what we simply cannot agree to.”
“We have tried to tread lightly, but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position,” the American response said.

Germany, backed by Britain and now Japan, has proposed cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who will be the host of the meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm next month, has been pushing hard to get the Group of 8 to take significant action on climate change.

It had been a foregone conclusion that the Western European members of the Group of 8 — Germany, Italy, France and Britain — would back the reductions. But on Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan threw his lot in with the Europeans, and proposed cutting carbon emissions as part of a new framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose mandatory caps on gases end in 2012.

“The Kyoto Protocol was the first, concrete step for the human race to tackle global warming, but we must admit that it has limitations,” Mr. Abe said at a conference in Tokyo. He specifically called on the United States and China, the biggest producers of carbon emissions, to lead the fight against global warming.

The United States has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol because of concerns about damage to the American economy. Bush administration officials have also balked because China and India are not part of it.
("The US opposes Kyoto because it will have no effect on
global warming." Peter)

The push back by the Bush administration over the German proposal has left many European diplomats furious. “The United States, on this issue, is virtually isolated,” one European diplomat said on condition of anonymity under diplomatic rules, and then added, “with the exception of other big polluters.”

Both Ms. Merkel and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain have, in private talks with President Bush, pushed for the United States to agree to the European proposal.

Kristen A. Hellmer, a spokeswoman for the White House on environmental issues, said: “All the G-8 countries are committed to pursuing an agreement. We just come at it from different perspectives.”

A clearly disappointed Ms. Merkel, speaking to Germany’s lower house of Parliament on Thursday, sought to lower expectations that Mr. Bush would agree to the more ambitious agenda sought by Europe and Japan. “I can say quite openly that, today, I don’t know whether we will succeed in that at Heiligendamm,” she said.

The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, produces between a fifth and a quarter of the world’s emissions, according to government data.
Emissions in Europe and the United States have been slowing of late, with a slight drop in the United States in 2006. But much more growth is forecast by various agencies on both sides of the Atlantic and particularly in Asia.

Helene Cooper reported from Washington, and Andrew C. Revkin from New York.