Saturday, June 30, 2007

More On the Relationship Of Global Warming To Ocean Cycles and Solar Energy Trends

This excellent article convincingly demonstrates the relationship between solar energy input and oceanic cycles and global warming. These processes are entirely natural, and certainly show no connection to carbon dioxide emissions. The United Nation's IPCC has intentionally or not, gotten the cause of global warming wrong.

Temperature Cycles in North America, Greenland and the Arctic,
Relationship to Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Solar Trends
By: Joseph D’Aleo, CCM and George Taylor, CCM
AR4 devoted many pages to a discussion of mulitdecadal ocean teleconnections and various solar factors but in the end discounted them or concluded their relationship with climate changes were at best uncertain.

IPCC chapter 3 defined the circulation indices including the short term and decadal scale oscillations in the Pacific, and Atlantic and attributed their origin as natural. It noted that the decadal variability in the Pacific (the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO) is likely due to oceanic processes. “Extratropical ocean influences are likely to play a role as changes in the ocean gyre evolve and heat anomalies are subducted and reemerge”. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is thought to be due to changes in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. But in the end they do not make any connection of these cyclical oceanic changes to the observed global cyclical temperature changes. They only go as far as making a possible connection to regional variances.

Understanding the nature of teleconnections and changes in their behavior is central to
understanding regional climate variability and change.(AR4 3.6.1)

In chapter 2, the AR4 discussed at length the varied research on the direct solar irradiance variance and the uncertainties related to indirect solar influences through variance through the solar cycles of ultraviolet and solar wind/geomagnetic activity. They admit that ultraviolet radiation by warming through ozone chemistry and geomagnetic activity through the reduction of cosmic rays and through that low clouds could have an effect on climate but in the end chose to ignore the indirect effect.

They stated: Since TAR, new studies have confirmed and advanced the plausibility of indirect effects involving the modification of the stratosphere by solar UV irradiance variations (and possibly by solar-induced variations in the overlying mesosphere and lower thermosphere), with subsequent dynamical and radiative coupling to the troposphere. Whether solar wind fluctuations (Boberg and Lundstedt, 2002) or solar-induced heliospheric modulation of galactic cosmic rays (Marsh and Svensmark, 2000b) also contribute indirect forcings remains ambiguous. (AR4

For the total solar forcing, in the end the AR4 chose to ignore the considerable recent peer review work (including Svensmark (1997, 2006), Lockwood and Stamper (1999) Solanki et al. (2004), Shaviv (2005) and Scafetta and West 2006) and in favor of Wang et al. (2005) who used an untested flux transport model with variable meridional flow hypothesis and reduced the net long term variance of direct solar irradiance since the mini-ice age around 1750 by up to a factor of 7. This may ultimately prove to be AR4’s version of the AR3’s ‘hockey stick’ debacle.

In this supplement, we will discuss how the ocean multidecadal cycles and secular changes in direct and indirect solar influences are much stronger candidates for explaining the observed cyclical temperature variations in the United States, Greenland and the arctic than the greenhouse effect.

(the remainder of this article is here:

Solar Activity and Climate Change: A Consistent Correlation

Here is another article strongly supporting the direct correlation between variations in solar activity and global warming. Before mankind began burning fossil fuels, what caused carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to increase when the climate was warming? Obviously warming causes an increase in carbon dioxide, not the other way around.

Man-caused carbon dioxide emissions can not be causing global warming.

Linkages between
solar activity, climate
predictability and water
resource development*
W J R Alexander, F Bailey, D B Bredenkamp, A van der Merwe and N Willemse
Vol 49 No 2, June 2007, Pages 32–44, Paper 659

This study is based on the numerical analysis of the properties of routinely observed
hydrometeorological data which in South Africa alone is collected at a rate of more than
half a million station days per year, with some records approaching 100 continuous years
in length. The analysis of this data demonstrates an unequivocal synchronous linkage between these processes in South Africa and elsewhere, and solar activity. This confirms observations and reports by others in many countries during the past 150 years.

It is also shown with a high degree of assurance that there is a synchronous linkage
between the statistically significant, 21-year periodicity in these processes and the
acceleration and deceleration of the sun as it moves through galactic space. Despite a
diligent search, no evidence could be found of trends in the data that could be attributed to human activities.

It is essential that this information be accommodated in water resource development and
operation procedures in the years ahead.
(continued at:

An Economist's Perspective on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol (Part 1)

This is a long article and unfortunately I was unable to copy the graphs used. Still I think it is possible to follow his line of thought.

An Economist’s Perspective on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol
By Ross McKitrick
Associate Professor
Department of Economics,
The University of Guelph
and Visiting Associate Professor
School of Economics and Business
Wilfrid Laurier University
Presentation to the Department of Economics Annual Fall Workshop
The University of Manitoba
November 7, 2003

An Economist’s Perspective on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol
Ross McKitrick
0. Introduction
I have spent many years trying to figure out what is the optimal climate change policy for Canada. I believe the answer is, roughly, "keep studying the basics, don’t try to stop it and learn to adapt." But one does not come to this view with reference to economics alone. So in my discussion today I will try to give a snapshot of some of the range of technical issues that I have tried to think through in pursuit of an optimal climate policy.

There are no intellectual shortcuts on this issue. Even a simple question like "what is the cost of Kyoto" turns out to be maddeningly difficult to answer. Kyoto is, at best, a target: the costs are attached to the specific policies that will be used to reach that target, and to date no one knows what those policies will be for Canada. Broadening the issue to ask "what is the cost of climate change for Canada?" only piles up the ambiguity.

There is no formal definition of "climate," only traditional rules based on rather ad hoc averages of geophysical data, the sampling of which is often very unsystematic. There is even less agreement on what constitutes "change," which is why every time a forest burns or an iceberg calves someone asks: "Is this a sign of global warming?" Witness the apocalyptic thrill as seers and sages scan the skies for signs, omens and portents of global warming; but climate change is an elusive concept, and no one is sure what the thing would look like, even if it was already happening.

This ambiguity is reflected in the two key documents that govern much of the thinking on this issue. The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defined "climate change" as follows:
"Climate change" means a change of climate which is
attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that
alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which
is in addition to natural climate variability observed
over comparable time periods.

The recent Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defined it differently (
"Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any climate change over time,
whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity."

This is a very important difference: The IPCC is looking for signs of any change, whereas the policy instruments prescribed by the UNFCCC are not triggered unless it is a particular kind of change: that attributable to human activity. When IPCC officials declare that "climate change" is for real, this is about as informative as announcing that the passage of time is for real. Of course the climate changes: if it didn’t Winnipeg would still be under a glacier. But the fact that the last ice age ended doesn’t imply that the policy mechanisms of the UNFCCC should kick in.

That’s the problem with the ambiguity over the term "climate change"—and it seems to trip up a lot of people—accepting the reality of "climate change"does not mean accepting the need for policy interventions. And denying that global warming is a problem requiring costly policy measures is not the same as denying "climate change."

This purported link between two fundamentally different concepts was written into those pamphlets Environment Canada sent out two years ago. They began, ominously, "Our Climate is Changing" and concluded with the stuff on the back about the importance of turning down your thermostat and doing the laundry in cold water. It’s always comforting when big, complicated issues turn out to have such simple solutions, so perhaps we should take our cue from this line of thinking.

Therefore, rather than start with one of the complicated, ambiguous questions posed above I will organize my presentation around the practical question, "Does the possibility of climate change imply that I should wash my socks in cold water?" The affirmative answer offered by the Government of Canada arises from a long chain of assertions like this:

1. The "climate" is a well-defined thing, the mean state of which is measured with precision.

2. The equations of motion of the climate are sufficiently-well understood that the full range of natural variability is quantified and future climate states can be predicted.

3. By adding to the stock of atmospheric CO2 humans have an affect on the climate which necessarily involves a general warming of the Earth’s surface.

4. The present state of the climate can only be explained by invoking this mechanism.

5. Continued use of fossil fuels, by adding CO2 to the air, will cause unprecedented changes to the future climate.

6. These changes will be generally deleterious.

7. We ought to reduce emissions of CO2.

8. The best mechanism to accomplish this is through the Kyoto Protocol.

9. The best way for Canada to comply with Kyoto is to pursue a package of measures as outlined in the Canadian Climate Change Plan, which includes encouraging Canadians to do their laundry in cold water.

To the extent time permits I will grapple with each of these assertions. Notwithstanding the simplicity of the solution proffered in #9 I find the chain of thinking problematic at each step.

1. The "climate" is a well-defined thing, the mean state of which is measured with precision.
"It’s sunny out" is a statement about the weather. "Palm trees do not grow in Winnipeg" is a statement about the climate. Climate is a rather abstract concept that stands behind the weather. Dictionaries define it with phrases like "prevailing conditions" and "averages over some period of time" and so forth. Linacre (1992) surveyed 16 published definitions and reduced them to the following:

"Climate is the synthesis of atmospheric conditions characteristic of a particular place in the long-term. It is expressed by means of averages of the various elements of weather, and also by the probabilities of other conditions, including extreme values."

Note the ambiguities: Does ‘long-term’ in a geophysical setting mean 5 years? 30 years? 300 years? What are the ‘various elements’ and how do they average together? For example how would one average warm and wet, then compare it to the average of cold and dry?

Very well, it’s vague: so is ‘the economy.’ We don’t need to have a precise definition of ‘economy’ to study it, so we shouldn’t impose undue burdens on other fields. We can work with averages and aggregates in economics without doing too much violence to theoretical consistency (usually). But in the case of thermodynamic phenomena there is a catch, which as far as I know has not been discussed in the context of climate change before Chris Essex and I wrote Taken By Storm.

The catch does not involve a novel, contentious or obscure theory; it involves an old, standard, well-known definition from introductory thermodynamics. Indeed it seems to have been overlooked precisely because it is so elementary. The main problem in the debate over what the Global Temperature is doing is that there is no such thing as a Global Temperature.
Temperature is a continuous field, not a scalar, and there is no physics to guide reducing this field to a scalar, by averaging or any other method. Consequently the common practice of climate measurement is an ad hoc approximation of a non-existent quantity. Figure 1 shows NASA’s version of this simulacrum.

Figure 1. The "Global Temperature" from
Even if climate scientists were willing to use one arbitrary average and call it the "Global Temperature," they also face the acute problem of sampling. Meteorological services use a 30-year interval to define "normals" for temperature. These are not "normal" temperatures, the name notwithstanding, they are just averages. On a geological scale the "normal" for Winnipeg would be that of the interior of a glacier. Why don’t we use, say, 300 years? The answer is the data do not exist. But this does not provide scientific justification for defining ‘climate’ as a 30-year average.

Equally problematic is the collapse that occurred around 1990 in the number of climate monitoring stations around the world. Figure 2 (Peterson and Vose 1997) shows the numbers for the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), graphed in terms of the number of stations with at least 10 years of reliable data (a) and the corresponding geographical coverage (b). In the early 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the budget cuts in many OECD economies led to a sudden sharp drop in the number of active weather stations.

Figure 2: From Peterson and Vose (1997).

Figure 3 shows the total number of stations in the GHCN and the raw (arithmetic) average of temperatures for those stations. Notice that at the same time as the number of stations takes a dive (around 1990) the average temperature (red bars) jumps. This is due, at least in part, to the disproportionate loss of stations in remote and rural locations, as opposed to places like airports and urban areas where it gets warmer over time because of the build-up of the urban environment.

This poses a problem for users of the data. Someone has to come up with an algorithm for deciding how much of the change in average temperature post-1990 is due to an actual change in the climate and how much is due to the change in the sample. When we hear over and over about records being set after 1990 in observed "global temperatures" this might mean the climate has changed, or it means an inadequate adjustment is being used, and there is no formal way to decide between these.

Nevertheless, confident assertions are routinely made about ‘changes in the global temperature’ on the order of tenths of a degree C per decade. The confidence masks pervasive uncertainty in the underlying concepts and data quality.

This discussion only looked at temperature. If we look at precipitation, humidity, air pressure and so forth the situation only gets worse. Ad hoc averaging rules, inconsistent sampling and a lack of theoretical guidance as to how to define and interpret the basic quantities pervade the topic and consequently I am very skeptical about our ability to define and measure "climate" of the Earth with the sort of precision we expect in a medical thermometer.

2. The equations of motion of the climate are sufficiently-well understood that the full range of natural variability is quantified and future climate states can be predicted.

There is no theory of climate. This is an overlooked but elementary point Chris Essex and I tried to reinsert into the climate discussion. By ‘theory’ I mean a set of known equations representing laws of nature. There is a theory of how atoms and molecules behave: that is, there are differential equations that can be written down and used for predicting things.

Average up from them to the everyday level we experience and you find a theory also exists for describing the behaviour of fluids (it’s called Navier-Stokes theory). The theory can be derived by the averaging-up process, but conveniently it was already known before this approach was undertaken, so the path was well-marked. Also, experimental data are available to guide the theorizing. So this aspect of the scientific work went ahead with the intellectual odds in its favour, and nonetheless it was very hard.

Now think about the next step: averaging up to a theory that describes air and water motions on the scale of climate—time scales of decades or centuries and spatial scales of regions and continents. We are used to seeing numbers like "annual average temperature." But remember, we compute these things, we do not observe them. Nature does not work with annual averages. Nature integrates temperature over time, but in different ways in different materials, over different time scales. The growth and decline of glaciers represents a local "averaging" of temperature and precipitation, as does the migration of the northern tree line in a particular region. The appropriate time scale, be it annual, decadal or some other, is up to nature herself, and is not determined by what we find convenient for organizing our data.

Al Gore's Traveling Global Warming Picture Show

Another spoof of Al Gore's traveling global warming circus.

Al Gore, The God Of Hellfire

This is very silly, but I used to like this song way back when.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Environmentalists Run Amok....The Spotted Owl Story

I don't know how much of this article is true. I bring this to attention because it sheds light on the impact "environmentalists", and of course all of this is analagous the movement to stop global warming. Maybe some of you can comment on the issue of the Spotted Owl and educate all of us.

Stupid Human Tricks: The Sad Case of the Spotted Owl

By Tom DeWeese Commentary June 29, 2007
Environmentalists are quick to lecture the rest of us about the ways of nature. Don't clean the dead trees off the forest floor, it's natural. Cattle and horses on the range aren't native, so let the grizzles and wolves devour them, it's natural. Man isn't part of the ecology, lock him out of vast areas of land, it's natural.

It's interesting to note how the "natural" argument only applies when it is used to impose the radical environmental agenda. Case in point, the Northern Spotted Owl.Spotted owls, we were told a decade ago, were disappearing because big bad timber companies were cutting down "old growth" forests. So the environmental movement rushed to the forests, hugged the trees and issued news releases to decry the evils of the logging industry. Save the owl. Save the trees. Kill the timber industry.

Of course, that was exactly the point. Kill the timber industry. As a result of the hysteria to save the "endangered" owls, U.S. timber sales were reduced by 80-90%, forcing saw mills to close, loggers to go broke and whole towns which depended on the industry to literally disappear. The federal crackdown on the industry caused a shift in U.S. domestic lumber supplies to foreign soils. In short, American industry suffered in the name of protecting the spotted owl.

Turns out it wasn't true. A decade and thousands of broken dreams later, comes this report from the federal government on the real reasons for the spotted owl's endangerment: "Oops."According to a new government draft plan to save the species, scientists are no longer saying the greatest threat to the Spotted Owl is logging activity. "The draft recovery plan recognizes the primary threat to northern spotted owls as competition with barred owls."

According to the report, barred owls are less selective about the habitat they use and the prey they feed upon and are out competing northern spotted owls for habitat and food, causing its decline.In fact, for the entire decade since the issue emerged on the political scene, the property rights and land use movements have been reporting the fact that the spotted owl is only a sub-species of Mexican spotted owls, which are not endangered at all. Some experts will say the only way to tell the difference between the two is by their accents. (OK, I'm kidding, but this ridiculous story needs some humor).

It was no secret that the spotted owl didn't need "old growth forests" to survive, since spotted owls were found living under bridges and in McDonald signs. What it needed was a good food source like any other species. Now we know it was undercut by another owl - a completely natural occurrence.

What was accomplished during the ten-year fight besides the destruction of an entire industry? The establishment of a very radical and dangerous political agenda called the environmental movement. Its power is now so great that no politician dare oppose them. Yet, that power, we now know for certain, was built on a lie. Some in the movement have even candidly admitted that if they didn't have the spotted owl they would have invented something like it to drive their agenda. In fact they did invent it and the purpose was to destroy the timber industry and private property rights. They called it an environmental emergency.

Now the truth has come out. So, will the same federal government which rushed to impose harsh treatment of innocent property owners and industry now roll back those stifling regulations and let freedom breath? Of course not. Agendas are agendas, regardless of the facts. So instead, after the nation spent millions of dollars to destroy an industry's private property rights, still, the government plans to spend $200 million more on a "barred owl removal plan" in order to save the spotted owl.

And as usual, when a new government debacle is rolled out, there is always an emergency to drive the policy. Now, according to Ren Loheofener, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region, "Because the range and numbers of barred owls are expanding rapidly, our effectiveness in addressing this threat depends on immediate action..."Here's an immediate action sane folks could recommend: Let the barred owls alone to do what comes natural to them. If the Spotted Owl can't keep up - then good riddance. It's been used to cause enough pain and obviously its time is up.

It's a natural process. Species come and go. We've got plenty of Mexican spotted owls to play with if we get homesick for them. Of course, the final chapter is yet to be written. Soon, if the new "recovery plan" is successful, it won't be long before the environmental movement has a new emergency -- man's wanton destruction of the barred owl. Creating false environmental disasters just comes natural for some people.

(Tom DeWeese is the editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, an activist think tank headquartered in Warrenton, Va.)Copyright 2007, Tom DeWeese

A Tribute To Soldiers....

My humble tribute to my Brit friends and to all American soldiers past, present and future, on this 4th of July.

Read this A sad farewell to one of the family of the "Chosen men of the Jackets of Green"

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who preserves the freedom of the press,

And it is the soldier, not the poet, who protects our freedom of speech,

It is the soldier, not the campus organiser, Who puts his life on the line, To give others the freedom to demonstrate,

And it is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who protects the protesters right To burn the flag.

Freedom is NEVER free!

Read this Last post for a great hero!

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring thereI've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue, I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee No 412 Squadron, RCAF Killed 11 December 1941

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"

A Brit's View.....

Save this.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dusty, Dirty Snow Causing Melting, Global Warming

That old culprit DUST is causing snow and glacial melting. Who would ever have thought that? First it was volcanoes putting out the dust or ash, then it was forest fires and "slash and burn" agricultural methods. Now researchers in the American west correlate the dust to man's activities in the dusty, dry deserts.

How does this coincide with the concept that carbon dioxide emissions are causing all of the global warming? I bet someone will come up with the idea of selling "dust credits". I smell the stench of more laws, more lawsuits, more "documentary films".


denver & the west
Dusty snow blamed for faster melting
By Katy Human Denver Post Staff Writer
Desert dust loosened by cattle's hooves and miners' machinery is blowing onto Colorado's snowcapped mountains, catching the sun and making snow melt faster, according to a new report.
More than a month faster.

"The snowpack 150 years ago was probably much cleaner, and by being cleaner, it lasted longer, potentially weeks longer," said Tom Painter, a researcher with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder.
The faster melt means less water late in the summer for farmers relying on flowing streams, and less for city water providers, who also use mountain snowpacks to store water for later in the summer, Painter said.

Dirty snow could also mean more warming in the region, he said, as white snow reflects solar radiation back into space, and dark grit absorbs heat.
In 2006, eight dust storms from northern Arizona and New Mexico covered Colorado's San Juan Mountains with layers of orange and red grit, Painter and his colleagues reported. In most years there are fewer than four such dust storms.

Last year's dusty snow melted 24 to 35 days earlier than in dust-free years, the scientists reported, based on computer water models and ground data.
The study is published online and in the current edition of Geophysical Research Letters.
Joe Sloan, a community-relations expert with Denver Water, said the study bodes poorly for the region.

Fast melting can increase flood risk, Sloan said, "and when melt is slower, it's easier to manage, it's a better resource from the water provider's view."
The new findings are not limited to Colorado's San Juan Mountains, Painter said.
"Around the world, but particularly in the Southwest, it appears that dust emission has increased," Painter said.

Researchers have even found evidence that windstorms increasingly coat Antarctica's high peaks with dust - sent there from Patagonia, where intensified sheep grazing has damaged soils, according to Joseph McConnell of the Desert Research Institute based in Reno, Nev.
Jayne Belnap, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist in Moab, Utah, said that in the West, cattle, people, the military and energy exploration are to blame for disturbing the region's delicate soils.

"The idea that deserts create lots of dust naturally doesn't fly," said Belnap, who was not directly involved in the study.
Staff writer Katy Human can be reached at 303-954-1910 or

Who, Or What Is To Blame For Forest Fires?

People are understandably upset after losing their homes to forest fires. The following article tells part of the story. The question is who to blame, and what can we do? Are environmentalists to blame? Can we control nature or do we just make things worse by trying to manipulate a complex ecosystem we don't fully understand?


Crowd aims fury at regional panel
Land use agency is criticized for failing to allow adequate clearing of combustible materials.
By Eric Bailey and J. Michael Kennedy, Times Staff WritersJune 26, 2007

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The mood of the crowd jammed into the meeting room was angry. Many had lost their homes to the forest fire that swept through the Sierra Nevada just south of Lake Tahoe.

They said they were angry at bureaucrats and environmentalists who made cutting of trees and clearing of land difficult. There was always too much red tape, they said, and now it was too late. In all, a crowd of nearly 2,000 people descended on the South Tahoe Middle School auditorium Monday night, wanting to be heard in the face of their losses. And if there was an object of scorn in the crowd, it was the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a powerful bi-state environmental land use agency charged with managing the resources of the basin.

When a speaker mentioned the agency, the crowd responded with a chorus of boos. "What a joke!" yelled one man. The wrangling began in earnest over the assignment of blame, including arguments over whether federal and state forest managers had made their tree clearing rules too strict in the face of pressure by environmentalists.

A common sentiment Monday was expressed by Jerry Martin, a bartender at the Horizon Casino Resort, whose house was still standing, although eight others around it had burned to the ground. He said U.S. Forest Service rules regulating the harvesting of dead trees were too stringent for those living next to government land. "I hate to get political, but environmentalists wouldn't let us cut down the dead trees," he said.

The amount of fuel in the Tahoe Basin has reached critical levels after years of discord among environmentalists and government agencies over how to thin forests and reduce the fire threat. And it has led to predictions of a devastating wildfire because the basin is one of the areas with the most fire starts in the Sierra Nevada. More than 21,000 acres of Tahoe land have been cleared to guard against wildfires, at a cost of $50 million, but an additional 67,000 acres need to be cleared and thinned.

"It's like painting the Golden Gate Bridge," said Julie Regan, a spokeswoman for the regional planning agency. "Once you're finished at one end it's time to start again on the other. "In April, the U.S. Forest Service finally settled on a 10-year plan to thin and burn 38,000 acres of land to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. But the plan had little effect on the homes in the community of Meyers, where most of Sunday's fire damage occurred. Regan said only 462 acres within the Angora fire boundary had been treated for fuel reduction because it was low on the priority list.

Sgt. Don Atkinson of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department said heavy growth in the area, especially manzanita plants, contributed to the danger. He said fire officials request that underbrush be cleared at least 30 feet from residences. "Sometimes people do it and sometimes people don't," he said. "There's a lot of residences where manzanita grows right up to the house, and that's unfortunate. It's very flammable and it's got oils and stuff in it that really tend to drive a fire.

But the people at the meeting Monday said that regional planning agency regulations were the source of much of the problem when it came to clearing the land. A man got up and said, "I've lived here 35 years. Is this going to open TRPA's eyes?" The room erupted into cheers and applause. Regan said that of the 1,300 parcels in the neighborhood that sustained the most damage, only 274 were new or remodeled — and therefore more likely to have cleared "defensible space." "The majority of homes in Lake Tahoe have not completed defensible space," she said.

She also said part of the reason may be that residents don't realize that no permit is necessary to cut down dead trees on private property. "It's important to relay the message that homeowners can cut a tree down without a permit," she said. "If they want to cut down trees, all they have to do is call their fire districts," she said. Lauri Kemper of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board said most people in the basin are reluctant to clear out trees. "I've lived here for 22 years and folks like their trees," she said. "They like it for the habitat and the beauty they create." reported from South Lake Tahoe, Kennedy from Los Angeles. Times staff writer Lee Romney and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Human Evolution and Climate Change: We Will Survive

There is a lot of fear being spread around the world about global warming and catastrophic climate change. Some fools are even promoting a series of music events on all seven continents to promote their message that we must act now. They say the crises is upon us and the need is urgent to stop global warming.

Unfortunately these people always seem to ignore science, history, and even simple common sense. They rely on their feelings rather than reason and logical thought. Read this article about human evolution. Modern humans evolved, spread and thrived through ice ages, and every kind of natural disaster and climate changes, more severe than we are experiencing now. This is not mere speculation, but fact based on the study of written history and archaeology, (ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, etc.). That is not all.

Now, as the following article explains, DNA evidence in human genes is showing how remarkably adaptable human beings are to changes in climate, diet, exposure to diseases, and probably everything else in our environment. Are we being unnecessarily frightened by current weather events and global warming? Only you can answer that question for yourself. Maybe it is just human nature to be afraid, to be cautious. Maybe that helps our survival. My advice is to not believe everything you are told or hear.


Humans Have Spread Globally, and Evolved Locally

Published: June 26, 2007

Historians often assume that they need pay no attention to human evolution because the process ground to a halt in the distant past. That assumption is looking less and less secure in light of new findings based on decoding human DNA.

People have continued to evolve since leaving the ancestral homeland in northeastern Africa some 50,000 years ago, both through the random process known as genetic drift and through natural selection. The genome bears many fingerprints in places where natural selection has recently remolded the human clay, researchers have found, as people in the various continents adapted to new diseases, climates, diets and, perhaps, behavioral demands.

A striking feature of many of these changes is that they are local. The genes under selective pressure found in one continent-based population or race are mostly different from those that occur in the others. These genes so far make up a small fraction of all human genes.

A notable instance of recent natural selection is the emergence of lactose tolerance — the ability to digest lactose in adulthood — among the cattle-herding people of northern Europe some 5,000 years ago. Lactase, the enzyme that digests the principal sugar of milk, is usually switched off after weaning. But because of the great nutritional benefit for cattle herders of being able to digest lactose in adulthood, a genetic change that keeps the lactase gene switched on spread through the population.

Lactose tolerance is not confined to Europeans. Last year, Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Maryland and colleagues tested 43 ethnic groups in East Africa and found three separate mutations, all different from the European one, that keep the lactase gene switched on in adulthood. One of the mutations, found in peoples of Kenya and Tanzania, may have arisen as recently as 3,000 years ago.

That lactose tolerance has evolved independently four times is an instance of convergent evolution. Natural selection has used the different mutations available in European and East African populations to make each develop lactose tolerance. In Africa, those who carried the mutation were able to leave 10 times more progeny, creating a strong selective advantage.

Researchers studying other single genes have found evidence for recent evolutionary change in the genes that mediate conditions like skin color, resistance to malaria and salt retention.
The most striking instances of recent human evolution have emerged from a new kind of study, one in which the genome is scanned for evidence of selective pressures by looking at a few hundred thousand specific sites where variation is common.

Last year Benjamin Voight, Jonathan Pritchard and colleagues at the University of Chicago searched for genes under natural selection in Africans, Europeans and East Asians. In each race, some 200 genes showed signals of selection, but without much overlap, suggesting that the populations on each continent were adapting to local challenges.

Another study, by Scott Williamson of Cornell University and colleagues, published in PLoS Genetics this month, found 100 genes under selection in Chinese, African-Americans and European-Americans.
In most cases, the source of selective pressure is unknown. But many genes associated with resistance to disease emerge from the scans, confirming that disease is a powerful selective force. Another category of genes under selective pressure covers those involved in metabolism, suggesting that people were responding to changes in diet, perhaps associated with the switch from hunting and gathering to agriculture.
(the article is continued at the original source)

The Cost Of Controlling Global Warming? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

If you want to feel a real chill, read the following article and consider hundreds and hundreds of lawyers around the country filing lawsuits against companies that emit carbon dioxide, (which of course we all know causes global warming). Then of course these polluting companies will need lawyers to defend themselves. All of this is going to cost a lot of money. Guess who is ultimately going to pay?

Then of course there will be the buying and selling of "carbon credits". Anyone emitting the pollutant carbon dioxide will have to pay for that "right". They estimate this market could be as much as $100 BILLION per year!!! There will be buyers and sellers, and the inevitable "middle man", or broker. And you think your electric bill is high now? Just wait.

Guess what all of that leads to? A cleaner environment you say? More stable and predictable weather maybe? Don't hold your breath. It all leads to higher costs to the consumer, not just for the energy you use, but everything you eat, wear, or use to provide shelter. The economic forecast looks grim. Blame it all on carbon dioxide and global warming.


Don't like the heat? Try suing
Lawyers anticipate a rising sea of work tied to climate change
12:00 AM CDT on Monday, June 25, 2007
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

Think this global-warming controversy will blow over soon? The lawyers don't.
Top Dallas firm Thompson & Knight started a dedicated climate-change practice June 4 with 26 lawyers. Today, Dallas' Vinson & Elkins will unveil its 41-lawyer group, headed by a former senior counsel for the World Bank.

The law firms – and a dozen others nationwide – are getting ready for a predicted explosion of climate-related work tied to government regulation, lawsuits against energy companies and new markets that will trade the rights to emit carbon.

"We're not here to act as climatologists," said Thompson & Knight's climate chief, Scott Deatherage, though he has a degree in marine biology and knows plenty of the science behind global warming. "We're here to steer our clients through what is likely to be new regulation, and that's going to have risks and opportunities."

One potential opportunity is the $30 billion global market for rights to put carbon into the air; if the U.S. comes on board, the market could grow by $100 billion, and the credits are likely to become investments that draw Wall Street attention.
Vinson & Elkins' Christopher Carr, who helped the World Bank oversee its carbon finance unit, predicts a nationwide "cap" on carbon emissions in just a few years.

"It's not a question of if; it's when, and most importantly, how it will be set up," Mr. Carr said.
By their geography, the Dallas firms have a number of energy companies as clients. But they also expect to represent plaintiffs who've been harmed by global warming and pollution.

Potential suit in Canada
Steve Susman of Susman Godfrey in Houston has been a pioneer in such litigation. He led the charge this year to force TXU Energy into building fewer coal-fired plants in Texas than it had planned.
Now he's among several lawyers talking with a group of Inuits in northern Canada who have seen an entire island sink under rising seas from global warming. The tribe is weighing its options, including suing carbon-emitting corporations such as power companies for heating the planet, he said.

"Melting glaciers isn't going to get that much going, but wait until the first big ski area closes because it has no snow," said Mr. Susman, who teaches a climate-change litigation course at the University of Houston Law School. "Or wait until portions of lower Manhattan and San Francisco are under water."

Some lawyers are trying to tie the damage from Hurricane Katrina to global warming – and the energy companies who may have contributed to that warming.
Mr. Susman predicts large insurance companies, which have paid out billions of dollars in claims in the past two decades because of powerful hurricanes, eventually will become plaintiffs in broad greenhouse-effect litigation against energy companies.

It might seem difficult to convince judges and juries that losses from intense storms or rising sea levels came from carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. Even if American power plants caused the warming, what of China and India and other industrial countries' roles in the process?

But lawyers are testing those waters.
"You're going to see some really serious exposure on the part of companies that are emitting CO{-2}," Mr. Susman predicted. "I can't say for sure it's going to be as big as the tobacco settlements, but then again it may even be bigger. We're not going to know until the regulatory environment becomes clearer."

Ahead of the game
Attorneys such as Mr. Carr and Mr. Deatherage see big changes coming from Washington, and many of their Texas-based energy clients want to be ahead of the game when rules are made.
"I think we'll have a climate-change statute post-2008," Mr. Deatherage said. Energy companies are jockeying now to make sure investments in clean-air technologies qualify for tax or carbon credits down the road.

Public-nuisance laws that are being cited in suits related to environmental hazards such as lead paint could come into play with global warming and energy companies.
Whether states and municipalities can really extract potential damages for the "nuisance" of global warming isn't clear. California has sued automakers over global warming; the automakers, in turn, have sued the state over clean-air rules.

The Bush administration's recognition of climate change along with overall Democratic momentum in Congress has pushed both energy-related companies and their law firms into action.
The regulatory side, not the litigation side, is where the bulk of the legal work will come from, said Mr. Carr, who hopes to bring his experience with carbon-credit trading to bear with Vinson & Elkins' numerous energy clients.
"While there may be some litigation in the shorter term, the transactional area is going to be a significant source of long-term legal work," he said. "To me, it's personally important that we get the business legislation right."

Public opinion
Others also downplay the idea of big money from climate-change lawsuits. Going after Big Tobacco had plenty of public support, but going after Big Energy could be a different story.
"While it made a nice little story to gang up on tobacco companies who are killing us with a poison product, it won't be so fun to gang up on energy companies when they're in fact keeping the lights on and getting you to work on time," said Darren McKinney of the American Tort Reform Association in Washington, D.C., which works to reduce frivolous lawsuits. "We're not going to get public support for litigation that drives energy costs through the roof."

But as they succeeded in extracting concessions from tobacco companies, Mr. Susman predicts lawyers will be effective players – more so than, say, diplomats – in helping solve the problem of global warming.
And, he said, the law firms girding today for the coming environmental war are making a good business decision, Mr. Susman said.
"I think these guys are smart, because there's going to be a lot of litigation in this area and they want to get ahead of it," he said.

Forest Fires and Global Warming: Who Is To Blame?

As the recent forest fire near Lake Tahoe in California is being controlled, after a great loss of property, there will be the inevitable cry that these wild fires a being caused by, or made worse by global warming. Once again there will be the finger pointing and the blame game going on. The Forest Service will be accused of neglect. The Federal Government will be accused of under-funding and catering to the "big lumber companies". And of course anyone burning fossil fuels anywhere in the world is to blame for global warming.

All of this of course is nonsense. There have always been wild fires, and there always will be. As the following article clearly explains, what has changed is the millions of people moving into our forests and putting themselves and their dwellings in mortal danger. Just like building on a flood plain, below sea level (New Orleans), or on the beach in a hurricane-prone area, it is people to blame, not the weather, or "climate change".

Of course the climate changes, it always has and always will. The irony of all of this stupidity is the people making these poor decisions then expect "big brother" (the Government, i.e. taxpayers) to protect them, and help them rebuild.
We should be getting smarter, with all of our education and availability of information, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case.


At Your Peril
On Fringe of Forests, Homes and Wildfires Meet

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Published: June 26, 2007
COLEVILLE, Calif. — Lori and Don Morris had just started unpacking the boxes this month in their new dream house — four acres, national forest view, wide open land at their doorstep — when a wildfire raced down the stark bluffs over this high-desert town near the Nevada border.

Lori Morris of Coleville, Calif., stood on a hillside overlooking her home, which was spared by a wildfire that devoured 1,100 acres nearby.
More than 300 federal firefighters from as far away as Montana arrived, battling heat, 60-mile-an-hour wind gusts and flames bolting through 1,100 acres of bone-dry sagebrush and juniper. The Morrises, along with 200 other residents, watched helplessly as, miraculously, their homes were spared.

“Both of us were aware that these things happen,” said Ms. Morris, 47, as she looked out the window to the charred hillside. “We just didn’t think it would happen this fast.”
A new generation of Americans like the Morrises, in moving to places perched on the edge of vast, undeveloped government lands in the West, are living out a dangerous experiment, many of them ignorant of the risk.

Their migration — more than 8.6 million new homes in the West within 30 miles of a national forest since 1982, according to research at the University of Wisconsin — has coincided with profound environmental changes that have worsened the fire hazard, including years of drought, record-setting heat and forest management policies that have allowed brush and dead trees to build up.
“It’s like a tsunami, this big wave of development that’s rolling toward the public lands,” said Volker C. Radeloff, a professor of forest ecology and management at the University of Wisconsin. “And the number of fires keeps going up.”

But now federal agencies at the front lines of defending these new communities from peril are starting to say enough is enough. The constellation of federally owned parks, forests and arid sagebrush fiefs in the lower 48 states is collectively about three-fourths the size of all the land east of the Mississippi River, and is becoming too expensive to protect with so many people pushing up against the fringes.

This spring, the United States Forest Service began warning state and local officials across the West that they would need to pick up more of the tab from the federal government, and do more to make homes less vulnerable to fire. About 45 percent of the Forest Service’s proposed budget for 2008 is designated for firefighting, compared with 13 percent in 1991. Last year, the agency spent $2.5 billion, a record, thinning fuels and fighting fires that burned 9.9 million acres, also a record.

“A lot of people are saying, ‘If you’re not going to do your part, we’re not going to risk our lives,’ ” said Stuart McMorrow, a forest-fuels expert with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, which covers 31 square miles near Lake Tahoe.
“It’s coming to a head,” Mr. McMorrow said, “this notion that people move out to the woods and put themselves in dangerous situations.”

The Costs
Costs are also spiraling up like smoke for states and other federal agencies.
Wyoming budgeted $1.2 million for its 2006 fire season, then ended up spending $30 million. California, braced for what fire officials have said could be one of the worst seasons in history this year, has set aside $850 million for wildfire suppression.

The Department of Interior, which includes the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management, the country’s largest landlord, spent $424 million fighting fire last year. Early season firefights have cost $215 million already this year even before the traditionally worst months arrive.
The insurance industry, in the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, has also begun taking a much harder look at the places where people and trees meet, and is less willing to write policies for homeowners who do not meet a “wildfire checklist” by taking measures to protect their homes.

“Fire has emerged as more and more a megacatastrophic risk like we saw with Katrina,” said Carole Walker, the executive director of Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “The financial exposure is huge, well into the billions.”
The result is a new tough-love approach from fire officials, where the soft and fuzzy reminders from Smokey Bear have given way to blunter assessments. The new rural Westerners, fire officials say and insurers increasingly demand, will have to start thinking more like the self-reliant Westerners of old.

That means clearing defensible spaces around homes and inspecting roofs and vents through which flying cinders can descend. Those measures protect homes, but also firefighters, since structures cleared of fuels are less dangerous to defend.
(Page 2 of 3)
All the while, federally owned public lands continue to attract more people as they evolve into something they were never intended to be: a real-estate amenity. As golf courses were to a past development wave, wild and scenic is to this one.

In Lake Tahoe, for example, glossy home magazines are filled with advertisements including cheery phrases like “adjacent to Forest Service land” and no mention of the fire risks.
“It’s like ocean frontage,” said Larry Swanson, an economist at the University of Montana in Missoula who studies public lands. “You would not have these high private property values without the public lands nearby, and the public lands are a huge part of the package that is driving the growth trends.”

Usually a summertime phenomenon, fire season has come early this year in many parts of the country, including Florida and Georgia. But it is in the West, where acres have always outnumbered humans, that the scale is greatest and the threat most acute.
Forests in the West are more prone to catastrophic fires than are Eastern ones, said David M. Theobald, a professor at Colorado State University who has analyzed population growth and fire patterns.

That puts a higher percentage of the new housing areas in severe-fire zones — more than 50 percent in California and Colorado, 47 percent in Montana and more than 65 percent in Washington and Oregon, according to a soon-to-be published paper by Mr. Theobald and a colleague, William Romme. In the 37 states east of the Rockies, only about 10 percent of the new rural housing areas are in so-called high-fire zones.

Drought and the possible effects of climate change on the seasons have added their own vehement kick. In California, Nevada, Idaho and Montana, officials are prepared for a devastating fire year. Wildfires erupted throughout the winter.
“We had fires every month,” said Joe DuRosseau, division chief of special operations for the fire department in Reno, Nev., which fought a 750-acre fire west of town during the last week of May. “It’s a very dry year, and the fuels are extremely dry.”

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked for additional firefighting personnel, and officials worry that this summer could rival 2003, when fires caused more than $2 billion in damage, including 5,000 homes that burned in San Diego County.

Set for Battle
People like Robert A. Harrington, Montana’s state forester at the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, are haunted by the possibility of a year like 1910, when devastating fires in the northern Rockies could be not stopped. There are similar fears in more heavily populated areas like Lake Tahoe.
On Monday, in Lake Tahoe firefighters battled a fire that had destroyed 160 homes.
“On a good weekend there’s a couple million people in and around the Tahoe area, with ingress and egress along Interstate 80, essentially one way in and out,” said George D. Gentry, the executive officer of California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Imagine a conflagration starts and we have to evacuate people.”

North of the lake, where second homes pepper the 1.2 million acres of often remote wilderness, Forest Service firefighters train on roads, where turning a fire engine around is tricky even on a good day.
Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, a fire management officer there, said new housing in the far-flung fringe had made her job infinitely more challenging.
“There’s a housing area going up where the 80 and Highway 20 come together, with one-acre plots going at $1 million each,” Ms. Pincha-Tulley said. “I thought, ‘Oh great, this is just what I need.’ ”

Some residents in the high-risk areas worry that the federal government will be tempted to pass the problem along to local governments or homeowners.
“The federal government is there to protect the community from disasters,” said Ron Ehli, 50, a volunteer fire chief in Hamilton, Mont., an increasingly popular getaway in the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula.

“Where Florida might have hurricanes, or California earthquakes, we have wildfires,” Mr. Ehli said. “And the federal government should be there to protect us.”
Truth be told, the nation’s founders would probably be shocked that the government was still in the land or firefighting business. Land, as the early framers of the republic saw it, through legislation like the Homestead Act, was for settlement and farming, and especially for private ownership.

(Page 3 of 3)
But much of the western half of the United States did not cooperate. It was too steep, wooded, wild and dry to be tamed the way land was in the East. So hundreds of millions of acres became and remained public land, owned by the government. For most of the past century, the government’s policy of fighting fires on that land was single-minded: if it burns, put it out and figure the costs later.

So the natural fire cycle that cleans out the undergrowth and dying trees broke down, and combustibles began to mount. At the same time, the timber industry paid huge fees to the Forest Service to allow cutting of valuable forest sections that kept the firefighting budget afloat.
But that has changed. The timber money has slowed to a trickle in many national forests as companies have moved operations to places where trees grow faster, like the South, or gotten into the real estate business themselves, like the giant Plum Creek Timber Company in Montana, which owns hundreds of thousands of acres in the state.

Still, some Forest Service critics say the agency remains too dependent on timber sales and firefighting money from Congress. Together, suggest the critics — an odd-bedfellows coalition that includes local environmental groups like the Friends of the Bitterroot and free-market libertarians from the Cato Institute — the financing sources have skewed wildfire policy.

“We have now turned the fundamental function of the Forest Service into the fire service,” said Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Mr. Grijalva said the knowledge by Forest Service administrators that Congress would pay for firefighting in defense of the nation’s public lands had led to a “self-fulfilling prophecy” of more and more money for firefighting.

Cuts in Spending
The surge in fire costs has in turn forced spending cuts in recent years in many other Forest Service programs, including campground maintenance, research, road repair and backcountry wilderness management.
“They’ve shifted the priorities,” Mr. Grijalva said. “And that puts property and people at risk, no question about it.”

Forest Service officials say they are used to being blamed. “Neither our strategy nor our priorities have changed,” said Mark E. Rey, under secretary for natural resources and the environment at the Department of Agriculture.
Safety of firefighters comes first, Mr. Rey said, then safety of residents, protection of structures and protection of resources.

What has changed, he said, is growth in the number of people living in harm’s way. That has bumped up costs because defending structures, Mr. Rey said, is more expensive than wilderness firefighting. At the same time, the knowledge of the woods and their dangers are fading as rural residents age and newcomers move in.

Ravalli County, Mont., for example, around the town of Hamilton, grew by 25 percent, to about 40,000 people, from 1995 to 2005. In the 2000 census, almost one-third of the residents said they had lived somewhere else five years earlier.
“I personally feel if they’re stupid enough to build their house with trees and stuff all around, it’s their dumb luck,” said Nancy Garness, 53, a baker at the Coffee Cup Cafe in Hamilton, who came to the area with her parents in the late 1950s when she was 4.
Insurance professionals say much the same thing.

“We all went through a period of, ‘write the policy and take the money,’ ” said Barry Whitmore, a State Farm Insurance agent in Hamilton. “Now we’ve got a wildfire checklist, and based on the answers, a home is either insurable or not insurable.”

In Coleville, a town of 400 people in the eastern Sierra Nevada, Ms. Morris and her husband are leaving little to chance.
Not much more than a wide spot in the road about 200 miles east of San Francisco, Coleville is showing signs of discovery, with a handful of new houses and real estate signs along the main road, which is also lined with cottonwoods and scrub brush.
Ms. Morris said it was love at first sight when she discovered the town a few months ago. The Morris abuts land owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
“There’s hundreds of miles of forests,” she said. “The beauty of it. We have every kind of tree you can imagine right out the backyard.”

Now, after the fire, many of those trees are charred and blackened, and soot and ash fill the air every time the wind kicks up. Still, Ms. Morris says she is not going anywhere; instead, she is joining the local volunteer fire department.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Apocalypse Now.........Maybe......Global Warming? Carbon Dioxide?

Just a thought......

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
APOKALYPSIS, literally: the lifting of the veil), is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the mass of humankind. Today the term is often used to mean "end of the world", which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton which literally means "revelation at the end of the world".

A "Skeptic" In Court.....This is Science?

Richard Littlemore

Ball Bails on Johnson Lawsuit
14 Jun 07
The self-styled Canadian climate change expert, Dr. Tim Ball, has abandoned his libel suit against University of Lethbridge Professor of Environmental Science Dan Johnson. Ball dropped the suit without conditions, but also without acknowledging that Johnson’s original comments were accurate and were reported in good faith.“This is great news,” Dr. Johnson said today, “but it still leaves a cloud over my name that I would like removed. Even though I can now demand that Ball pay what the court calls ‘taxed costs,’ that won’t begin to cover the actual legal bills, to make up for lost time or to repair the damage that Ball has done to my reputation.”

Ball, a spokesperson for two industry front groups fighting against climate change regulation, sued Johnson and the Calgary Herald over a letter the paper ran on April 23, 2006. In an earlier Opinion Page article in which Ball attacked the qualifications of renowned climate change author Tim Flannery, the Herald described Ball as “the first climatology PhD in Canada and … a professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years.”Johnson wrote a Letter to the Editor challenging those details. He noted that when Ball received his PhD (in Geography) in 1983, “Canada already had PhDs in climatology and it is important to recognize them and their research.” Johnson also pointed out that Ball had been a professor for a much shorter time (Ball later admitted eight years), during which Ball did “not show any evidence of research regarding climate and atmosphere.”

Ball filed suit, asking for damages of $325,000 plus costs.But Calgary Herald satisfied itself as to the accuracy of Dan Johnson’s letter, and rose in defence. In a Statement of Defence filed with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Herald dismissed Ball’s “credibility and credentials as an expert on the issue of global warming,” saying: “The Plantiff (Dr. Ball) is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”In the face of this rebuff, and of the earlier Statement of Defence filed by Dan Johnson, Ball discontinued his lawsuit.

Since his retirement from the University of Winnipeg in 1995, Tim Ball has worked as an industry-supported climate-change campaigner, sowing doubt about the science of global warming. He first associated himself with a Calgary-based group called the Friends of Science, which the Globe and Mail reported in August of 2006 was funded primarily by the oil and gas industry. Ball then moved to the chairmanship of a new group called the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, which the Toronto Star reported in January 2007, is a creation of the Toronto-based energy-industry lobby firm the High Park Group.

“I never intended any specific damage to Tim Ball’s reputation,” Dan Johnson said today. “But climate change is a critical global issue and I thought it was important to set the record straight. If people want to argue the science, I’m all for that, but Tim Ball was claiming expertise and specific credentials that he does not have. That needed to be corrected.”Johnson said he is now considering whether to accept basic costs or to seek special costs, adding, “I also deserve an apology. I think the nation deserves an apology.”Johnson said he would like to thank and acknowledge James Hoggan and the team of for offering considerable assistance in putting together his defence.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire.....Jerry Lee Lewis and Global Warming

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire.........


Click here to see and hear "The Killer"

The Snows of Kilimanjaro Fading Away Due To Solar Radiation

Another report and observation from one of my science experts.

Kilimanjaro, formerly Kaiser-Wilhelm-Spitze, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania. Although it does not have the highest elevation, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain rise[1] in the world,[2] rising 4,600 metres (15,000 ft) from its base, and includes the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 metres (19,340 ft), providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains.


Another for your pot.

If solar radiation, then Kilimanjaro is in the same class as Mars, which is currently losing its southern polar icecap, evidently also by solar radiation. An indigestible coincidence if one supposes this has nothing to do with earth's global warming.

By the way, our winter ice in Korea also ablated rather than melted. In our 5 years there I don't recall the ice ever melting away. It just faded away. Like MacArthur. The cold dry Siberians always got there first.


Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:48 a.m. EDT
Kilimanjaro Ice Melt Due to Radiation, Not Global Warming
The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania have been diminishing for more than a century but probably not due to global warming, researchers report.
While the retreat of glaciers and mountaintop ice in the mid-latitudes - where much of the world's human population lives - is definitely linked to global climate change, the same cannot be said of Kilimanjaro, the researchers wrote in the July-August edition of American Scientist magazine.

Kilimanjaro's icy top, which provided the title for an iconic short story by Ernest Hemingway, has been waning for more than a century, according to Philip Mote of the University of Washington in the United States and Georg Kaser of the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Most of the retreat occurred before 1953, nearly two decades before any conclusive evidence of atmospheric warming was available, they wrote.

"It is certainly possible that the icecap has come and gone many times over hundreds of thousands of years," Mote, a climatologist, said in a statement.
"But for temperate glaciers, there is ample evidence that they are shrinking, in part because of warming from greenhouse gases."
Unlike mid-latitude glaciers, which are warmed and melted by surrounding air in the summer, the disappearance of Kilimanjaro's ice is driven by solar radiation, since the air around it is rarely above freezing, they wrote.

Kilimanjaro, an extinct volcano near Tanzania's border with Kenya, is the highest peak in Africa at 19,563 feet (5,963 metres) and attracts hordes of tourists and climbers for its spectacular views.
The researchers attributed the ice decline to complex interacting factors, including the vertical shape of the ice's edge, which allows it to shrink but not expand.
Decreased snowfall, which reduces ice buildup and determines how much energy the ice absorbs, also plays a role.
Much of Kilimanjaro's ice is vanishing by sublimation - where ice at very low temperatures converts straight to water vapor without going through a watery phase - rather than by melting, the scientists said.

Fluctuating weather patterns related to the Indian Ocean also could affect the shifting balance between the ice's increase, which might have occurred for decades before the first explorers reached Kilimanjaro's summit in 1889, and the shrinking that has been going on since.
© Reuters 2007.

"Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil", by David Goodstein

Here is what sounds like another excellent book about our impending energy crises. This (to me) is a far greater danger than "global warming". See also the following review from

Out of Gas: The End of the Age Of Oil (Paperback) by David Goodstein (Author) $13.95
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September 10, 2006
Dennis Littrell (SoCal) - See all my reviews For those of you who are just getting interested in the subject, David Goodstein's Out of Gas is the book you want to read first. I have read several books on the impending energy crisis, including:

Deffeyes, Kenneth S. Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak (2005)

Heinberg, Richard. The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2nd Ed., 2005)

Huber, Peter W. and Mark P. Mills. The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (2005)

Leeb, Stephen and Donna Leeb. The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself--and Profit--from the Coming Energy Crisis (2005)

Simmons, Matthew R. Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (2005)

and I can say that Professor Goodstein's modest, short and very much to the point book is as good as, if not better than, any of those five. He introduces the subject in a clear and no nonsense way and includes a lot of background information essential to understanding how energy works and why we are about to face a crisis. For readers who are expert on the physics and technology of heat engines and entropy, this book will be a little too basic in part. But even for such experts, Goodstein is essential reading because not only does he understand the science of the energy crisis, he understands the politics. Especially edifying is the material in the Postscript.

Let me reference a few ideas: OPEC (a cartel, as Goodstein explains, patterned after the Texas Railroad Commission which was the cartel that controlled oil production in the US before our supply peaked) likes to maintain prices within a range, "partly in order not to discourage demand for oil, but also to prevent investment in alternative fuels." This we know, of course. But Goodstein adds, "The implied threat is, if you invest money to develop a competitor to oil, we will flood the market with cheap oil and wipe out your investment." (pp. 126-127) This explains in part why we have been so slow to develop alternative sources. Investors are afraid. However, as Goodstein explains, if OPEC no longer has "excess pumping capacity" to flood the market, theirs becomes an empty threat.

Notice another point here: not only are OPEC countries tempted to overstate capacity so that by OPEC rules they are allowed to pump more oil, they are induced to lie about their reserves to scare potential investors away from alternative energy sources. In fact the entire oil industry itself "has a very strong incentive to deny any looming shortage of oil." In other words, to overstate their reserves. Another reason they overstate their reserves "is to keep down the price of oil properties they would like to acquire." (p. 127) Goodstein also explains why "reserves to production" (R/P) numbers have stayed about the same for many decades and why many experts say we still have forty years of oil left, same as we have had for most of the twentieth century.

Quite simply "proven" reserves are reported as "whatever fits the current needs" of the company. (p. 128) It used to be the case that under-reporting was good since it kept the price of oil from plummeting. Now the real danger is to acknowledge that a company doesn't have much oil left. This will cause their stock price to plunge, which is what happened to the Royal Dutch Shell Group "when it was forced by outside auditors to reduce its claims of proven reserves..." (p. 129)

Goodstein's take on the various alternatives to oil, including coal, shale oil, nuclear energy, renewables, etc. is very much in concert with the opinions of other experts. We will be using more coal, dirty as it is, and more nuclear energy, and natural gas. These are the three main alternatives. Not long after we run out of oil we will run out of natural gas and then coal and then even nuclear power plants will grow cold for lack of uranium, which if used to supply energy at the current rate of consumption will be depleted in five to twenty-five years. (p. 106)

Goodstein explores wind and solar and makes it clear that in the long run--if we and civilization are going to make it to the long run--we will have to develop the technology to exploit these renewable sources. This will require a huge investment. We will need the political leadership and will to make the kind of commitment that President Kennedy made in putting a man on the moon.

Goodstein believes that solving the energy problem will require the same sort of formidable and creative technology as did the space program. He adds that "Unfortunately, our present national and international leadership is reluctant even to acknowledge that there is a problem." (p. 123) It is essential that we make the commitment to develop alternatives fuels and we make that commitment NOW because (1) we will need the oil we have left to make the thousands of petrochemical products we will continue to use; (2) we need to free ourselves from dependence on the oil producing countries; and (3) there is an outside danger that the continued burning of fossils fuels will trigger a runaway greenhouse catastrophe that could lead to sterilizing the earth as has happened on Venus.

Note well this horrific downside--far worse than any "nuclear winter"--and note too we could go past the point of no return without even realizing it, and be left with no way to stop the meltdown. Bottom line: "The challenge is enormous but the stakes are even larger. If future generations are to thrive, we who have consumed Earth's legacy of cheap oil must now provide for a world without it." (p. 131)