Global Warming Predictions 50 Years Ago

There is only one little problem with this entertaining film: temperatures had started falling in the late 1930s and continued falling until the late 1970s. This film at least has the amusing title of "The Unchained Goddess." Possibly the problem isn't that they aren't right at the margin, but that the impact from man is so small that it doesn't really alter these overall patterns very much. I am pretty sure that I have seen this before, possibly as a kid in the late 1960s.

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Massive Global Cooling Over last Year

Global temperatures had stopped rising over the last decade, and now they may be falling.

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming . . . .

Meteorologist Anthony Watts compiled the results of all the sources. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down. . . . .

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Simple "common-sense" approaches to handling Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

The Boston Globe has a piece saying that environmentalists love these compact fluorescent bulbs and that you just need a few minor commonsense approaches to dealing with them:

The Maine study, which shattered 65 bulbs to test air quality and clean-up methods made these recommendations: If a bulb breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum -- even on a rug -- to clean up a compact fluorescent light. Instead, while wearing rubber gloves, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the bulb broke. Use a glass jar with a screw top to contain the shards and clean-up debris.

“We found some very high levels (of mercury), even after we tried a number of clean-up techniques," said Mark Hyland, Maine director of the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management. During several of the experiments, for example, he said mercury in the air was more than 100 times levels considered safe even after a floor was cleaned. He said such levels would quickly decline if the room were ventilated and people followed their tips.

This is one of the parts of the story that I love:
They said most danger could be avoided if people exercised common-sense caution, such as not using the bulbs in table lamps that could be knocked over by children or pets and properly cleaning up broken bulbs.

Here are a couple of questions: How do the pennies that you save with these bulbs compare to the time and health costs of dealing with them? Remember you have to keep these bulbs on for at least 15 minutes once you turn them on (rather inconvenient if you ask me). So what bulbs are we supposed to use in table lamps or those lamps that can be knocked over?

Of course, in other posts I have mentioned some of the other costs from these "efficient" bulbs.

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It looks like global warming will actually doom us all

NewScientist.com lets us know that the earth will indeed burn up in a ball of fire, just not due to increased carbon dioxide.

In a few billion years, the Sun will fuse the last of its hydrogen into helium, turn into a red giant and expand to 250 times its current size. At first, the Sun’s loss of mass will loosen its gravitational pull on Earth, which will allow the planet to migrate to a wider orbit about 7.6 billion years from now.

This process has led some to speculate that the Earth might escape destruction – but survival now seems impossible, says Peter Schröder of the University of Guanajuato in Mexico and Robert Smith of the University of Sussex in the UK.

They created the most detailed model to date of the Sun’s transition to a red giant, based on observations of six nearby red giant stars. Sure enough, they found that Earth’s orbit will widen at first. But Earth will also induce a “tidal bulge” on the Sun’s surface, with its own gravitational pull. The bulge will lag just behind the Earth in its orbit, slowing it down enough to drag it to a fiery demise.

There is one last hope for anybody still living on Earth, the researchers say. In the past, some have suggested that Earth’s orbit could be tweaked by arranging the fly-by of a nearby asteroid to tug at it. This method could potentially maintain Earth’s speed enough to keep it in a widening orbit, they say. . . .

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January an extremely cold month historically, Snow cover highest in over 40 years

Canada's National Post today notes:

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them. . . .

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Warmer weather saves lives

I would have to look at this to see whether they are properly accounting for improved technology and increased wealth that can help keep people warm, but this is something that I have long pointed to at this website:

While summers in the UK became warmer in the period 1971 - 2003, there was no change in heat-related deaths, but annual cold-related mortality fell by 3% as winters became milder - so overall fewer people died as a result of extreme temperatures. . . .

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League of Conservation Voters endorsed McCain in 2004

I thought that this endorsement by the League of Conservation Voters was enlightening:

LCV has endorsed Republican John McCain for reelection in the U. S. Senate to represent Arizona. Senator McCain has been a leader on global warming, a strong voice of reason against drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and has voiced his opposition to the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill. He is the lead sponsor on the bipartisan McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 that would require a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to 2000 levels by the year 2010. Senator McCain said, "We must take action, and act appropriately. Many have hidden for too long behind what we do not know or the uncertainties around climate change. Their shield is shrinking." The Senator voted against an amendment that would have opened the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling and in a letter addressed to the President said, "I have thought long and hard about this debate and the vote that I will cast. I still hope we can achieve a more balanced national energy strategy, but I am not convinced that a key component of that policy should be to drill in ANWR." Before voting against the Energy Bill, he sent a letter to Congress stating his opposition to the manner in which the bill was developed, he said, "One of the other problems that I have with this bill is the way in which it was developed. This secretive, exclusive process has lead to a 1200 page monstrosity that is chock full of special interest giveaways and exemptions from environmental and other laws that frankly can´ withstand the light of scrutiny." If you would like to support Senator McCain's campaign, please contact Vivien Braslau at vivien_braslau@lcv.org.

Here is an interview where McCain is arguing that he is the strongest green candidate:

Why should voters consider you the strongest green candidate? What sets your platform on energy and the environment apart from the others?

My clear record of environmental advocacy and activism, ranging from my efforts to protect the Grand Canyon to working with [Connecticut Sen.] Joe Lieberman to get a cap-and-trade proposal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through the United States Senate.

You've said that global warming would be one of three key issues for your presidency. Why do you think the issue is important?

It's like Tony Blair said: Suppose we're wrong, and there's no such thing as greenhouse-gas emissions, and we adopt green technologies. All we've done is give our kids a better planet. But suppose we're right, and do nothing? Then what kind of a legacy are we handing on to future generations of Americans? I think we ought to frame the debate that way.

And I think most, if not all, of the ways that we can address this issue are through profit-motive, free-enterprise-system-driven green technologies. General Electric dedicated itself to green technologies, and guess what? They're still making a lot of money.

Yet, for the evidence on the global warming see here.

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Bill Clinton gets it partially right on global warming

Here is what Bill Clinton said in a campaign speech in Denver:

"We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."
[Emphasis added]

At least he understands how these regulations will make us poorer.

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The Cost of Owning Hybrids

I was reading about the Toyota Highlander Hybrids. The identical hybrid version of the Highlander apparently costs $5,100 more. On the highway, the hybrid gets 27 mpg versus 24 mpg for the regular version -- a 12.5 percent improvement. For city driving, it looks as if the improvement is much larger 18 to 25 mpg -- a 38 percent improvement. Assume an average improvement of 25 percent. A couple of simple calculations indicate that this is unlikely to be a wise investment for most people. First some assumptions:

1) Own the car for 10 years
2) Put 150,000 miles on the car
3) 22 mpg average
4) $3.00 in current dollars
5) 3 percent real interest

Over the lifetime of the car you would buy 6,818 gallons. The present value of those purchases in today's dollars over those 10 years are as follows:

Year 1 $496.46
Year 2 $482.01
Year 3 $467.97
Year 4 $454.34
Year 5 $441.11
Year 6 $428.26
Year 7 $415.79
Year 8 $403.68
Year 9 $391.92
Year 10 $380.50

$4,362.04 versus a payment today of $5,100. You are about $738 poorer for buying the hybrid. The day that you buy the hybrid you might as well throw out $738.

There is one caveat regarding resale value for the car and how much being a hybrid would increase its value. I looked up the 1997 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab's trade-in value (the Highlander only started in 2001). If the truck is in good condition, the value would be $2,300 (again assuming a 3 percent real interest rate that is the equivalent of $1,711). Assuming that the hybrid equipment depreciates at the same rate as the rest of the car, that would leave you with $296 from the sale.

A final net loss of $442. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to throw away $442.

UPDATE: An important point has been raised in the comment section. The replacement costs of the batteries in hybrids are very high. That link quotes Car and Driver saying that: ""battery replacement will cost $5,300 for the Toyota and Lexus hybrids, and the Ford Escape replacements run a whopping $7,200." These costs swamp the estimate that I have produced.



2007 Coldest Year Since 1998?

The final numbers will reportedly be out in March, but the initial information makes it look as if 2007 will be the coldest in a decade. So much for the claim that "There is a 60 percent probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year, 1998." [Note: it was found later last year that the warmest year in the US was 1934.] Of course, as noted here earlier, 100 prominent scientists recently released a letter saying that "there has been no net global warming since 1998." See also here for a similar comment by someone else. Of course, for a list of 400 scientists who dispute that any significant temperature changes are due to man please see this.

Meanwhile Sweden is taking the lead in silliness:

A Swedish university has received $590,000 in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.

About 20 cows will participate in the project run by the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, about 40 miles north of Stockholm, officials said Monday.

Cattle release methane, a greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming, when they digest their food. Researchers believe the level of methane released depends on the type of food the eat. . . .

Sonya Jones has a note about the craziness that is gripping state legislatures over this issue.


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Some environmentalists won't even let some animals get killed to save others

There are a lot of boom and bust cycles for animals. They expand until they get to large for their food supply and then crash. In this case, it appears as if the wolves have expanded to much relative to the moose population. Even so, the Alaskan Wildlife Alliance won't put up with killing any of the wolves.

Wolf numbers seem to be rising in the wilderness around Aniak, McGrath and other villages, and the task once carried out by young Native men should be employed again to help moose populations recover, said Greg Roczicka, natural resources director with Orutsaramuit Native Council in Bethel.

The tribal government and a Fish and Game advisory committee along the central Kuskokwim River have submitted separate proposals asking the Board of Game to overturn regulations outlawing the practice.

The Game Board is scheduled to consider the proposals at upcoming meetings later this month and in February.

At least one group plans to speak against the idea.

"We're fervently opposed to it," said John Toppenberg, director with Alaska Wildlife Alliance. "It's been illegal in Alaska for a long time and deservedly so. It's a Stone Age concept of wildlife management and has no place as a management tool for civilized people. It's just barbaric." . . .

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Has "Global Warming" Ended?

David Whitehouse, the BBC Science Correspondent from 1988-1998 and a Ph.D. in astrophysics, notes that global warming seems to have stalled:

The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming – the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what or else we may spend hundreds of billions of pounds needlessly.

What needs to be made explicit is that if man-made emissions were important, we should have been seeing some additional increase in temperature over the last decade.

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More signs showing global warming: Snow in the Middle East

The first snow in a hundred years in Baghdad is a sign of global warming:

Delju said climate change, blamed mainly on human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, would bring bigger swings in the weather alongside a warming trend that will mean more heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising seas.

"The more frequent occurrence of extreme events all over the world -- floods in Australia, heavy snowfall in the Middle East -- can also be signs of warming," he said.

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Might Global Warming Imply that We should LOWER Gasoline Taxes?

To summarize the contrast: The Stern Review calls for a carbon tax of $350 per ton of carbon in 2015. Nordhaus’ model, which has been peer-reviewed many times, calculates the optimal carbon tax in 2015 to be ONE-TENTH of that, or only $35 per ton carbon. I find it useful to put these quantities in terms of something we understand more readily: $350 per ton carbon converts to $1 per gallon of gasoline, while $35 per ton carbon converts to 10 cents per gallon of gasoline. We are talking big differences here.

If you read the discussion that Bob has, you will see that the $1 per gallon tax on gasoline is not very serious. If we are talking about 10 cents per gallon, we already have gasoline taxes that are over 6 times greater than that. Even if we are accepting everything here as correct (and I think that the 10 cent estimate is probably high), there is an argument to be made that gas taxes should be cut.

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Another sign of Global Warming: Snow Flurries Reported Along Daytona Beach Coast

As someone who grew up in Florida, this is pretty amazing. Snow along the ocean coast? This is a third of the way down the coast. The ocean also tends to mitigate temperature changes.

Snow Flurries Reported Along Daytona Beach Coast

POSTED: 7:17 am EST January 3, 2008
UPDATED: 12:28 pm EST January 3, 2008

Elsewhere in the state, temperatures dropped into the 20s in north Florida. The lowest temperature recorded in Florida was 20 in Cross City, about 90 miles southeast of Tallahassee, the National Weather Service said. Snow flurries were reported near the Daytona Beach coastline, the first in Florida since 2006.

For slightly more systematic evidence see this:

University of Oklahoma geophysicist David Deming, a specialist in temperature and heat flow, notes in the Washington Times that "unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007." Johannesburg experienced its first significant snowfall in a quarter-century. Australia had its coldest ever June. New Zealand's vineyards lost much of their 2007 harvest when spring temperatures dropped to record lows.

Closer to home, 44.5 inches of snow fell in New Hampshire last month, breaking the previous record of 43 inches, set in 1876. And the Canadian government is forecasting the coldest winter in 15 years.

Now all of these may be short-lived weather anomalies, mere blips in the path of the global climatic warming that Al Gore and a host of alarmists proclaim the deadliest threat we face. But what if the frigid conditions that have caused so much distress in recent months signal an impending era of global cooling?

Thanks to the DrudgeReport for the Florida link and Gus for the Boston Globe link.

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Even Coral can migrate

Global warming will increase plant life and rain forests. The more plants in areas that were previously frozen wastelands means more animal life can be supported. If significant global warming were actually going to occur (and unfortunately since 1998 the world temperature has stopped rising), it would mean more animal life and more animal diversity. When arguing with people about this they say that is fine in the long run, but in the short run there will be extinctions. The most obvious response to that is that animal habitat can move, and besides we are unfortunately only talking about a degree change over the next hundred years. Coral has often been pointed to as one type of life that can't move and will be harmed by any significant warming. But that too seems to be wrong:

While scientists have warned that global warming could devastate Australia's coral reefs, there's now evidence coral may be able to migrate to cooler waters.

After analysing fossils from a warm period 125,000 years ago, the scientists have concluded that coral may move south once more to escape warming oceans.

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Global Warming Petition

Scientists are being asked to look at a petition regarding global warming and consider signing it. The petition can be found here. The text of the petition is as follows:

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

The website also has a 12 page summary of the scientific research on global warming and a letter by Frederick Seitz, Past President, National Academy of Sciences.

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Compact fluorescent lights likely to cost much more than they save

CFLs contain mercury. If one breaks in your home, Kazman says, EPA guidelines suggest you open windows and leave the room for at least a quarter of an hour before trying to clean up the mess. And for God's sakes don't use a vacuum, which could disperse the poison into the air. Even when they're intact, U.S. News happily tells us, "the bulbs must be handled with caution. Using a drop cloth might be a good new routine to develop when screwing in a light bulb."

I really wonder whether people have thought of these bulbs being used in real world use. How will be dispose of them? Will people actually keep them on for 15 minutes after they have been turned on? Suppose that you just want to temporarily turn on the light when you go into a room. What about the time costs of people having to come back a second time to turn it off? What about the costs of people's time waiting for these lights to warm up? What about the fact that people might have to turn on more lights because these new bulbs don't produce as much light? This has to be one of the dumber regulations in a long time.

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OK, Al Gore, so even though the other 375 are legitimate scientists everyone should be dismissed?

A spokeswoman for Al Gore tells The Washington Times that 25 or 30 of the 400 scientists may have received funding from Exxon Mobil Corporation — an allegation that an Exxon Mobil spokesman dismissed.

This seems like a very weak response. First, simply because 25 or 30 may possibly have gotten some money from the energy industry their views should be dismissed? Could it be that they really believed certain things and that is why they got the money? Will Gore dismiss the views of all the scientists who got money from the government?

Second, even if Gore is right and Exxon is wrong about the funding for the 25 to 30 scientists, what does that have to do with the other 370 to 375? Nothing. He still has to deal with the 370+ and their views.

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The UK Government's Chief Scientific (Political Chosen) Adviser: Warns Women about Sport Cars

Women must stop admiring men who drive sports cars if they want to join the fight against global warming, the Government's chief scientist has urged. . . . .

Of course, a lot of scientists here and here would suggest that women who spurn men simply because they drive nice sports cars are daffy.

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"400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims"

For a list of the 400 scientists and their statements please see this.

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Kyoto curtailing carbon dioxide emissions?

You would think from all the attacks on what a terrible country the US is that we have the largest increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Who has done the best since Kyoto in controlling carbon dioxide emissions? The Kyoto signers or the ones who haven't signed?

Change from 1997 to 2004

Kyoto signers 21.1 percent
Worldwide 18 percent
non-signing countries 10 percent
USA 6.6 percent

US had a slower increase in emissions than 75 percent of the countries that signed the treaty.

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Long List of Scientists Question IPCC Global Warming Report

Here is a group of scientists who are claiming that the IPCC report was written by only a small group of people and not representative of the scientific community. I thought that I would emphasize one particular comment: "there has been no net global warming since 1998."

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

- Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

- The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

- Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

Here is the problem with the global warming debate. Before you want the government to do more to stop carbon dioxide emissions you must answer "yes" to all these questions:

1) Is there global warming?
Answer: "there has been no net global warming since 1998."
2) Is mankind responsible for a significant and noticeable portion of the increase in temperature?
Answer: Mankind is responsible for just a tiny fraction of greenhouse gases and there are other causes beyond that (e.g., the Sun). The letter notes: "significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming."
3) Would an increase in temperature be "bad"?
Answer: No. Higher temperatures will increase the amount of land that we can use to grow food, it will improve people's health, and increase biological diversity.
4) Are all the taxes that we already have too small to internalize whatever externalizes might exist? Note that we already have high gasoline and other taxes and it is possible that even if you answer yes to all the first three questions, we have too high a level of taxes and should actually cut them.

To me this is the bottom line: "It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation."

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A lot is at stake in this next election regarding global warming

My guess is that global warming fanatics realize that a lot is at stake in this next election. I think that the more time that goes by, the more obvious it will be that these various predictions of concern on global warming are wrong. The problem is that if a global warming agreement goes into effect, those pushing for more controls will say that their regulations are responsible. If we can get by the next administration, I would guess that the pressure on all this will begin to subside and those who have been pushing for all these regulations will look really foolish.

Germany’s environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, who led the criticism of the United States earlier in the week, said Friday, “The climate in the climate convention has changed a little bit.”

He added: “It’s true that during the last night and during the negotiations America was more flexible than in the first part of the conference. We very much appreciate this. Not only the Americans but also other parties.”

It was not clear what had brought about the improved mood of cooperation. Amid the escalating bitterness between the European Union and the United States on Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore told delegates in a speech that, “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”

He urged delegates to agree to an open-ended deal that could be enhanced after the Bush administration leaves office and the United States policy changes.

“Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now,” Mr. Gore said to loud applause. “You must anticipate that.”

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For Hanukkia light one fewer candle to save the planet

This is too bizarre. Aren't Orthodox Jews the very people who already don't use electricity one day a week?

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.

"The campaign calls for Jews around the world to save the last candle and save the planet, so we won't need another miracle," said Liad Ortar, the campaign's cofounder, who runs the Arkada environmental consulting firm and the Ynet Web site's environmental forum. "Global warming is a milestone in human evolution that requires us to rethink how we live our lives, and one of the main paradigms of that is religion and how it fits into the current situation."

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"A complete list of things caused by global warming"

Possibly global warming fanatics have gone too far with this one

Someone asks me about Lieberman-Warner's Climate Security Act

Someone asked me what I thought about this bill before congress. "The first, most important thing is that any bill has to include real, mandatory cuts in global warming pollution." Here are some questions to think about:

Is there clear evidence that mankind is contributing to global warming? Hardly.
Even if there were evidence, is warming on net bad? Hardly.
Even if there were evidence of mankind's contribution and that warming is bad, we already have a lot of gasoline and other taxes. Do we know if those taxes are already too high? If so even if the arguments being made are true, we might have to actually cut the tax.

I have made these points before on this blog with some more references, but apparently it was necessary to make this point again.

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Gore friend's cruise ship on tour of impact of global warming strikes iceberg.


Even Environmental Agency Worries about Problems with fluorescent light bulbs


Hubris and Carbon Taxes

Greg Mankiw at Harvard takes great pleasure in the fact that surveys around the world show strong support for higher taxes to reduce carbon emissions inorder to control global warming. In some theoretical sense there is justification for this satisfaction, but the real world is a long way from what might work in theory. The basic problem is one of hubris (see my book Freedomnomics for a more complete discussion).

1) It is hard enough to get the direction of effects correct. There is a debate right now over global warming and what share might be attributable to man. Only a tiny fraction of greenhouse gases (may be a percentage point or so) is due to mankind. Of course, there are other causes such as energy output from the sun that we don't control at all. Even if we agree on manmade global warming being significant, there is still the next question of whether there is a net cost from it. Sea levels might possibly go up by a foot or so over the next hundred years, but human disease will decline and there will be more food. Probably even in the worst case scenario, a small effect on global warming has a small effect on net costs.

2) Even if we get the point estimate of the size of the externality correct, there is the problem of assuming that the government will impose the right tax. Having too high of a tax is just as bad as having too small of a tax. Why do we believe that the government will actually pass legislation that has the right tax?

3) We already have high gasoline taxes. How do we know that the level of taxes are not already too high? Possibly we should be lowering the gas tax, not raising it. Taxes on gasoline are very high as it is.

4) What is the cost of getting this wrong? The cost is that we will be poorer, and there are lots of coststo being poorer, included a lower life expectancy.

Mankiw is an advisor to Romney, which makes me worry about him some. Today is a reminder about the Democrats in the Washington Post today.

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Endangered Species Act Help Cause California Fires

Ralph Hostetter shows how the fuel behind the California wildfires came from environmental regulation to protect critters such as frogs and rats:

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) has had unintended consequences that have proved a nightmare for many Americans who have had their properties seized, faced exorbitant fines, and in some cases given jail time, all in the name of protecting rodents and reptiles, principally.

We need only look to the wildfires raging in California at the present time as an example.

No doubt some of the homes still going up in flames are lost as a result of protection for an endangered species.

ESA regulations prevented homeowners from clearing highly flammable brush from around their homes in San Bernadino and San Diego counties. The very brush that brought the flames that destroyed their homes was the protected habitat of an endangered species, the kangaroo rat. . . . .

UPDATE: I don't think that there was anything "new" here, but I thought that this newspaper editorial put things together very well:

Remember when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shamelessly told reporters the Southern California wildfires were the result of man-made global warming? Not to be outscreeched, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exploited the tragedy by forming a select committee with the stated goal of establishing a link between "changing climate and the frequency and intensity of wildfires." Nothing like reaching a conclusion, then gathering "the facts" to support it.

But the Nobel-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the 1 F increase in the average Southern California temperature since 1900 was accompanied by an increase in precipitation. The U.S. Forest Service and National Climatic Data Center, not exactly global-warming skeptics, say changes in the frequency and intensity of the wildfires defy explanation. Tom Wordell of the National Interagency Fire Center in Idaho said it most succinctly: "That's a fire-prone environment regardless of whether we are in a climate-change scenario."

It turns out the wildfires had an anthropic element: Police say one was touched off by a kid playing with matches and several others were sparked by arsonists. Nice try on that global-warming twaddle, though.

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Business Week On Why Environmental Groups Go After Apple Computers So Much


Endangered Species Act Creates Real Problems in Georgia

Global Warming Misinformation

OpinionJournal.com has an interesting piece up:

Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life--ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.

Case in point: This year's United Nations report on climate change and other documents say that 20% to 30% of plant and animal species will be threatened with extinction in this century due to global warming--a truly terrifying thought. Yet, during the past 2.5 million years, a period that scientists now know experienced climatic changes as rapid and as warm as modern climatological models suggest will happen to us, almost none of the millions of species on Earth went extinct. The exceptions were about 20 species of large mammals (the famous megafauna of the last ice age--saber-tooth tigers, hairy mammoths and the like), which went extinct about 10,000 to 5,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, and many dominant trees and shrubs of northwestern Europe. But elsewhere, including North America, few plant species went extinct, and few mammals. . . .

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Leading Meteorologists Calls Al Gore's share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous"

ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee honoured Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous.

From Drudge Report.

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Let's hope for global warming

Well, demand for oil would go down if we had a mild winter. If one believes these global warming models, it is the lowest temperatures that rise, not the high ones. That means milder winters and longer growing seasons.

The US department of energy said US crude oil stocks fell by 1.7 million barrels, in contrast to analyst expectations for a rise.

This takes crude inventories in the US to their lowest level since January as the weather turns colder and demand for heating oil increases, a report by the US Energy Information Administration showed.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed in September to boost crude supplies by 500,000 barrels a day starting in November.

But there is much debate over whether the increase will be sufficient to cater for demand levels in the winter months.

This has led to huge swings in the oil price this week with US sweet, light crude dropping $2.20 on Monday to $79.02 a barrel, while London Brent fell to $76.58 a barrel, down $2.32.

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Futures Market predicts Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Pretty depressing, Well at least a British court ruled earlier this week that Gore's movie can only be shown to British School Children if they have been told about 11 false statements in it.

Al Gore, the former US vice-president, on Thursday overtook Barack Obama in a closely watched futures betting market on the next Democratic nominee fuelled by speculation that he would pick up the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Although the Nobel committee never informs the winner in advance, online speculators drew energy from the fact that Mr Gore cancelled his attendance at a global warming event in San Francisco on Thursday night, citing an unspecified overseas event on global warming. . . . .

Nine of the Eleven errors that the British Court found with Gore's movie can be seen here:

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Students in the UK must be given a warning about inaccuracies in Gore's Movie


More on Endangered Species act and Salmon

I think that this television interview is pretty good, though I would have mentioned that there is no obvious evidence that wild raised salmon have an great advantage over hatchery fish. The higher rate of survival of hatchery salmon up to the point that they are released in the wild is offset by a higher death rate after that, but in the end the overall survivorship rate is the same.

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Funny unintended consequences: a renewable energy source increases greenhouse gases


Leonardo DiCaprio's Environmental Movie Bombs


More on Salmon


When Trade Protection and Environmentalism Collide


Washington Post Article from 1922 Showing Early Signs of Climate Change

Have we been through this all before?

D.C. resident John Lockwood was conducting research at the Library of Congress and came across an intriguing Page 2 headline in the Nov. 2, 1922 edition of The Washington Post: "Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt."

The 1922 article, obtained by Inside the Beltway, goes on to mention "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared."

"This was one of several such articles I have found at the Library of Congress for the 1920s and 1930s," says Mr. Lockwood. "I had read of the just-released NASA estimates, that four of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. were actually in the 1930s, with 1934 the hottest of all."

As I have blogged before about the new NASA data, I believe that it is 5 out of 10 years with the highest temperatures were before WWII.

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Data error in recorded world temperatures exaggerated global warming

This is yet another case of government funded data not being shared with other researchers. The warmest year in the last 100 is 1934, not 1998.

These graphs were created by NASA's Reto Ruedy and James Hansen (who shot to fame when he accused the administration of trying to censor his views on climate change). Hansen refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate graph data, so McKintyre reverse-engineered it. The result appeared to be a Y2K bug in the handling of the raw data.

McKintyre notified the pair of the bug; Ruedy replied and acknowledged the problem as an "oversight" that would be fixed in the next data refresh.

NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge. . . . .

Thanks very much to John Lazar for pointing this out to me..

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Congressional Energy Bill Farce

The Energy Bill adopted by the Congress has many problems and provisions that will make the US poorer. For example, requiring that we use more expensive, less efficient sources of energy. This discussion in the NY Times caught my attention:

The utilities provision, or the so-called renewable electricity standard amendment, was among the most contested measures in the energy bill. Sponsored by Representative Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, and several others, it will force utilities to make a significant share of their electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, water and other nonfossil fuel sources, although they can meet part of the requirement through conservation measures.

The standard applies only to investor-owned utilities and exempts rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the state of Hawaii from the mandate. . . . .

If cutting back on carbon dioxide is so important, why do these rules only apply to "investor-owned utilities"? Surely municipal utilities should also count? What about Hawaii? Carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere every place. Why does the administration only threaten to veto based upon the lack of oil production in the bill?

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The Pacific Legal Foundation tries to reign in some nutsy interpretations of the Endangered Species Act

"Are salmon really endangered?" (Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon) An interesting part of the article is here:

But how do you define hatchery and naturally spawned fish as different species? There are no biological or genetic differences, the only way you can tell the fish apart is a clipped fin on hatchery fish. Environmental groups claim that some hatchery fish behave differently, but that is hard to take seriously. Why ignore all hatchery fish just because some behave differently?

But think where that logic ultimately leads. By defining different species based on behavior, how many different species of humans do you think that there would be?

The claimed distinction largely stems from hatchery and natural fish survival rates. Hatchery fish have a higher survival rate from egg to smolt, but a lower survival rate from smolt to adult. Yet, that is hardly surprising. Many of the weaker naturally spawned fish have already died off so that there are fewer of them to die off in the next stage. In the past, the government’s policies have lurched from one extreme to another. . . .



First Gore, now Bloomberg

First it was Al Gore using something like 20 times more energy than the average household in just one of his four or five mansions. Then it was Gore's frequent use of private jets. Now Mayor Bloomberg's reputation for being green is being tarnished.

He is public transportation’s loudest cheerleader, boasting that he takes the subway “virtually every day.” He has told residents who complain about overcrowded trains to “get real” and he constantly encourages New Yorkers to follow his environmentally friendly example.

But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s commute is not your average straphanger’s ride.

On mornings that he takes the subway from home, Mr. Bloomberg is picked up at his Upper East Side town house by a pair of king-size Chevrolet Suburbans. The mayor is driven 22 blocks to the subway station at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, where he can board an express train to City Hall. His drivers zip past his neighborhood station, a local subway stop a five-minute walk away. . . . .

Personally, given Bloomberg's value of time, I don't begrudge him doing things to shorten his trip. But I didn't think that was the environmental thing to do.



John Fund: "Airhead's Night Out"

John Fund writes at Political Diary that:

Al Gore certainly can't claim his series of eight concurrent "Live Earth" concerts designed to raise consciousness about global warming were a stunning success last weekend. NBC's three-hour special broadcast scored ratings even below the traditional rerun programming for a summer Saturday.

It may have been just as well. Mr. Gore's call for a seven-point pledge to cut carbon emissions received only lukewarm endorsement from the performers on stage. Other than Melissa Etheridge, most of the overheated rhetoric about a pending global warming catastrophe had to be supplied by a handful of political wannabe participants. Typical was Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance and son of the late New York Senator. He screamed himself hoarse at the New Jersey Live Earth concert, urging viewers: "Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies." As for anyone who opposes Mr. Gore's climate agenda: "This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors." . . . . .

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What do workplaces owe their workers?: Banning Perfume?


People Don't Even Go to a FREE Concert?: Gore's Global Warming concert a flop

Former US vice president Al Gore took a swipe at global warming doubters Saturday as he opened the Washington leg of the worldwide Live Earth concerts that he helped organize. . . .

A few hundred spectators turned out for the concert, which began at 10:30 am (1430 GMT). . . . .

A "few hundred" people showing up for this event in Washington DC is an amazingly bad turnout. I had to read this a couple of times to make sure that I had read it correctly. I assume just using the staff of one or two environmental organizations in Washington could have provided this many people. To make matters worse, this was even the event that Al Gore showed up for. Can't Gore get more than a few hundred people to turn out for one of his talks?

UPDATE: Small UK Television audience

ive Earth has been branded a foul-mouthed flop.

Organisers of the global music concert - punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers - had predicted massive viewing figures. . . . .

The BBC blamed the poor figures on Saturday's good weather and said its Wimbledon tennis coverage had drawn away afternoon viewers.

Critics said however that the public had simply snubbed what they saw as a hypocritical event. . . . .

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"Americans Oppose Signing Kyoto Protocol"

Given all the massive doses of incorrect information on global warming, this poll is pretty amazing. Possibly things are better than we think.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many people in the United States would disagree with their government ratifying an international treaty seeking to reduce global pollution, according to a poll by Zogby Interactive released by UPI. 47.9 per cent of respondents think the U.S. should not sign the Kyoto Protocol.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, which is due to expire in 2012.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Earlier this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been "very likely"—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels. . . .

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Eagles and DDT: I hope that the Pacific Legal Foundation Fixes this

The Pacific Legal Foundation had an important role in finally getting the Bald Eagle off the endangered species list. Unfortunately, their website also perpetuates some myths:

Q. Why has the eagle recovered?
A. Perhaps one of the most important reasons is the banning of DDT in the early 1970s. DDT is believed to have contributed to reproductive failure of eagles by thinning their eggshells.

Here is something to think about the next time you hear this claim:

the Associated Press reached into its file of bald eagle folklore and reported, “DDT poisoned the birds, killing some adults and making the eggs of those that survived thin. The thin eggs dramatically reduced the chances of eaglets surviving to adulthood. DDT was banned in 1972. The next year, the Endangered Species Act passed and the bald eagles began their dramatic recovery.”

While the AP acknowledged the fact that bald eagle populations “were considered a nuisance and routinely shot by hunters, farmers and fishermen” – spurring a 1940 federal law protecting bald eagles – the AP underplayed the significance of hunting and human encroachment and erroneously blamed DDT for the eagles’ near demise.

As early as 1921, the journal Ecology reported that bald eagles were threatened with extinction – 22 years before DDT production even began. According to a report in the National Museum Bulletin, the bald eagle reportedly had vanished from New England by 1937 – 10 years before widespread use of the pesticide.

But by 1960 – 20 years after the Bald Eagle Protection Act and at the peak of DDT use – the Audubon Society reported counting 25 percent more eagles than in its pre-1941 census. U.S. Forest Service studies reported an increase in nesting bald eagle productivity from 51 in 1964 to 107 in 1970, according to the 1970 Annual Report on Bald Eagle Status.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service attributed bald eagle population reductions to a “widespread loss of suitable habitat,” but noted that “illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles,” according to a 1978 report in the Endangered Species Tech Bulletin.

A 1984 National Wildlife Federation publication listed hunting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot as the leading causes of eagle deaths. . . .



Herpes, not global warming, is killing off coral

This is weird, but funny. I suppose that environmentalists will still say that it doesn't matter because mankind is still responsible.

Corals get cold sores too. Only, for corals, a herpes virus infection isn’t just annoying. It can be lethal, . . . .

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Sonya Jones makes the New York Times and MSNBC!

This is a weird case. Basically all the salmon have ancestors who were hatchery fish but somehow the number of hatchery fish among the salmon does not count towards whether the salmon are endangered or not. Go figure.

NY Times:
Sonya D. Jones, a lawyer with the Pacific Legal Foundation, a property-rights group that has for years pressed the government to count hatchery stocks when determining whether a salmon species should be protected, said the group believed that Wednesday’s decision and the 2001 ruling, by Judge Michael R. Hogan, were “in direct contrast” and that it expected to appeal the latest one.

Sonya Jones of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented the builders group, the Washington Farm Bureau and Idaho water users, said the case would be appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Seattle Times:
Sonya Jones, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, a property-rights group that repeatedly has sued to overturn Endangered Species Act listings, said the group was "quite surprised" by the judge's ruling.

Her group was preparing to file an appeal, Jones said.

"If this decision stands, it opens up a floodgate of listing decisions," she said. "One more time, the ESA is used to regulate the use of private property."

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Scaring Kids about Global Warming

A group of fourth-graders in Portland creates a list of priorities to stop global warming

This is a very distrubing, though not a very surprising story, about how public school senselessly terrify children about the world being destroyed. Can't kids be kids without being put in the middle of a political battle?

We want everyone to help curb Global warming. It truly means that the Earth is getting warmer. The ocean is warming at such an alarming rate that the continents are in danger.

Such a warming of the ocean is fuel for more severe hurricanes such as Katrina. Katrina was only a Category 1 storm when it crossed Florida. It became a monster storm by feeding off the extremely warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.

Boy, this is new. This is obviously the first time that there has been relatively warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.

The 10 "hottest" average years on record have occurred within the last 14 years. We continue to see record carbon dixoide levels in the atmosphere year after year. Just notice the strange weather around us this winter and spring and even summer-like days in March.

"On record," gives people the impression that this is the highest temperature ever. What they mean is over the last 140 years, and there are real issues about how temperatures have been measured over that time period. World temperatures have in fact been significantly higher than today's over many periods of time in the past.

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Vaclav Klaus Sets the record straight on global warming

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.

The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence. . . .

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"NASA Chief Questions Whether Global Warming Is a Problem"

the space agency's administrator [Michael D. Griffin] . . . told a national radio audience that he doubted whether global warming was really a problem. . . .

The most troublesome discussion in this news story is that "NASA initiated damage." I guess that political correctness requires that the record be expunged.

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More On Celbrating Rachel Carson's 100th Birthday

Along with a thirty-week run on The New York Times bestseller list, the book was discussed in the Senate, debated by Congressional committees, analyzed by the presidential Science Advisory Committee and widely covered on television. All of which was a deep pity, because Silent Spring was an extremely dishonest and flawed piece of work.

Carson's book was rife with omissions, misrepresentations, and errors. She neglected to mention that the spraying of Huckin's bird sanctuary was accompanied by fuel oil, which would have harmed the birds in and of itself. The fact that DDT had eliminated malaria in the northern hemisphere went unnoted. The threat of cancer (Carson herself had been diagnosed with breast cancer while at work on the book) was overemphasized -- to put it mildly -- on no scientific basis.

But far worse was the tone of hysteria permeating the entire work. DDT was not simply a chemical compound, to be analyzed dispassionately like any other. No - it was representation of absolute evil, a demonic threat to all forms of life, one that had to be ousted from the environment at all costs. Such an overwrought treatment is perhaps understandable from a woman effectively writing under the gun of cancer, but it's scarcely acceptable in a work purporting to be a serious scientific study. . . . .

As Coburn is well aware, you do not pass resolutions in favor of people who were involved in the deaths of millions, however inadvertently. . . . .



US alone in trying to stop the G8 from pushing for greenhouse gas rules

At least on this issue, thank goodness for the Bush administration putting up a fight. When you consider that man accounts for only 3 percent of greenhouse gases and that the Sun plays the most important role in determining the earth's temperature (one could also note the earth's orbit and tilt of its axis). Even if someone believed that the Sun did not account for any of the earth's changes in temperature, cutting greenhouse gases by 50 percent would lower the total level of greenhouse gases by 1.5 percent. Of course, the sun is important, and a more reasonable estimated impact from manmade greenhouse gases is just a small fraction of one percentage. What is not asked by the other members of the G8 is how much poorer the world will be from the policies that they are pushing and how many people more will die because of that loss in wealth. For example, how much medical research would have been obtained from this increased wealth?

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to use Germany's presidency of the G8 to secure a major climate change deal, including:

Agreement to slow the rise in average temperatures this century to 2C

A cut in global emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2050

A rise in energy efficiency in power and transport by 20 percent by 2020. . . . .

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How to properly celebrate Rachel Carson's 100th Birthday

today millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 best selling book Silent Spring. Many have praised Carson for raising concerns—some legitimate—about problems associated with the overuse of chemicals. Yet her extreme rhetoric generated a culture of fear, resulting in policies have deprived many people access to life-saving chemicals. In particular, many nations curbed the use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control because Carson created unfounded fears about the chemical. As the world commemorates the 100th birthday (May 27, 2007) of the late Rachel Carson, it is time to acknowledge the unintended, adverse effects of Carson’s legacy and find ways to correct them.



Rodents that were claimed to be extinct for 11 million years are very much alive

Something to remember the next time someone claims that some animals are on the verge of extinction.

A few months after researchers on one team thought they had discovered a new family of rodent, another group snatched their glory by identifying the critter as a member of a family thought long extinct.

Last year, scientists described the body of a squirrel-like rodent found for sale in a meat market in Laos. They believed it belonged to a previously undescribed family and named it Laonastes aenigmamus. [Locals call the rodent kha-nyou, according to The Associated Press.]

But they failed to fully inspect the fossil record. Upon closer analysis of the creature's teeth, a second group of researchers determined it was a member of the previously known rodent family Diatomyidae.

So a family thought to have died out 11 million years ago is still alive and kicking, the scientists report in the March 10 issue of the journal Science.



Tony Blair's Explanation for The Root Cause of Terrorism?

Ben Zycher writes me:

n NPR's Morning Edition today, the utterly confused Tony Blair offered the following wisdom for the ages: "The world’s inability to execute a global agreement to seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions is fueling Islamic terrorism."

Who knew? Amadinejhad, Bin Laden, Hamas, Hizballah, all of them: They're nothing more than we-are-the-world greenies. And that's the real reason the Iranians want nuclear reactors.

How many virgins do they get when they die if they buy a smaller car? On many issues, Tony Blair is great. Unfortunately, this is not one of them.

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Walter Williams on everything from Global Warming to Gun Control to Taxes

I have only highlighted Walter William's discussion on gun control, but I advise people to read the entire piece.

Now let's turn to gun control laws. What do Virginia Tech's 32 murders, Columbine High School's 13 murders, Jonesboro Westside Middle School's five murders, Germany's Gutenberg High School's 16 murders, the murder of 14 legislators in Zug, Switzerland, and the murder of eight city council members in a Paris suburb all have in common? Answer: All the murders were committed in "gun-free zones." So a reasonable question is: Does legislation creating gun-free zones prevent murder and mayhem?

In 1970, Israel adopted a policy to arm teachers and parents serving as school aids with semi-automatic weapons. Attacks by gunmen at Israeli schools have ceased. At Appalachian Law School in Virginia, a gunman who had already murdered three people was stopped from further carnage by two armed students. Gun possession stopping crime is not atypical, though it goes unreported by the media. According to various research estimates, from 764,000 to as many as 2.5 million crimes are prevented by armed, law-abiding people either warning a criminal that they're armed, brandishing their weapon or shooting a criminal. In the interest of truth in packaging, I think we should rename "gun-free zones" to "defenseless zones." . . . .

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The Strange link between Abortion Supporters and Environmentalists


The dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs

This is an amazing story. With politicians and environmentalists talking about forcing people to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs, I will sure stock up on the old kind if we are ever forced to switch. The one group that would really benefit from a requirement that people have to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs is environmental clean up crews.

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor -- unless you break the bulb. Then you -- like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine -- could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.
Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) -- a move already either adopted or being considered in California, Canada, European Union and Australia.
According to an April 12 article in the Ellsworth American, Mrs. Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter's bedroom -- it dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.
Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Mrs. Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her the CFL contained mercury and she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn, directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The DEP sent a specialist to Mrs. Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of 6 times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter.
The DEP specialist recommended Mrs. Bridges call an environmental clean-up firm which, reportedly, gave her a "low-ball" estimate of $2,000 to clean up the room. The room was then sealed-off with plastic and Mrs. Bridges began "gathering finances" to pay for the $2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn't cover the clean-up costs because mercury is a pollutant. . . .

See also an updated report here and this also here.

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Some of the wackiness behind environmental some regulations

Personally, I found this case pretty amusing. As I understand it, the question is whether you count only the wild salmon and ignore hatchery born salmon. Even if hatchery born salmon live to have offsprind at a lower rate than wild ones, why not still give them a weighting equal to the relative rate that they propogate? Anyway, fighting the good fight out there in Oregon, Sonya Jones does a better job than me of explaining everything at the link here.

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Global Warming Claims


Laurie David and Sheryl Crow Nailed in CNBC Global Warming Interview by Joe Kernen

Great video from CNBC interview with “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David and Sheryl Crow on Global Warming (scroll down here for a link to the video). The host, Joe Kernen, just nails them. The website link also has a discussion about how upset David and Crow were after the interview. This is a great interview and well worth watching.

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So you really believe in Gore's hype about Global Warming?: Well here is a chance to put your money where your mouth is

The encouraging thing is how long the odds are on this

NORFOLK, VA., — Think global warming will raise the oceans enough to submerge Cape Hatteras, N.C.? Want to bet on it?

An online gambling service has started taking bets on global warming, including whether it can submerge some of the East Coast's top vacation spots. The odds that Virginia's Cape Henry will be under water by 2015 — 200-to-1 at BetUs.com. Its odds for Cape Hatteras flooding by the same date — 300-to-1. . . .

I will have to start searching more for these betting opportunities. Here is another story on this site:

BetUS.com spokesman Reed Richards said the company will personally back numerous bets, or "propositions," posted on the Web site related to global warming.

"It's part of a campaign we've been doing for the past two and a half years called 'pop culture gaming,'" Richards said. "You can wager on things in the headlines."

One bet gives members 1-to-5 odds that scientists will prove global warming exists beyond any scientific doubt by the end of this year.

Another gives 100-to-1 odds that polar bears will be extinct by 2010.

(A complete list of all the global-warming related bets is listed at the end of this article.)

Richards said "thousands" of people have already placed money on the company's global-warming bets, with $10 being the average wager. . . .

the bets are "designed to part fools from their money." . . .

Someone actually thinks that there is a one percent chance of polar bears going extinct in the next three years? Anyway, it seems like the extreme environmentalists are the ones who will be parted from their money.

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Richard S. Lindzen on Global Warming

Lindzen doesn't pull many punches in this piece in Newsweek.

Judging from the media in recent months, the debate over global warming is now over. There has been a net warming of the earth over the last century and a half, and our greenhouse gas emissions are contributing at some level. Both of these statements are almost certainly true. What of it? Recently many people have said that the earth is facing a crisis requiring urgent action. This statement has nothing to do with science. There is no compelling evidence that the warming trend we've seen will amount to anything close to catastrophe. What most commentators—and many scientists—seem to miss is that the only thing we can say with certainly about climate is that it changes. The earth is always warming or cooling by as much as a few tenths of a degree a year; periods of constant average temperatures are rare. Looking back on the earth's climate history, it's apparent that there's no such thing as an optimal temperature—a climate at which everything is just right. The current alarm rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect world, temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week. . .

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Some of the many problems with Ethanol


This is really hard to believe: "Gore mulling third party run in '08"

My initial reaction is that this is impossible, but it would split the Democrats and possibly lead to massive Republican wins on many levels. On the other hand, including essentially two Democrats in the race could tilt the debates and the campaign even much further to the left. In any case, it is clear that the Democrats would never forgive Gore.

Sources close to Gore said Ralph Nader has sought to recruit the former vice president to run as the candidate for the Green Party. They said Gore has not rejected the offer and was consulting with family and friends to determine the feasibility of such a candidacy.

At this point, Gore stands behind Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama in any race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But the polls report that many Democrats who support Clinton could switch their support to Gore.

Still, Gore, largely estranged from former President Bill Clinton since 2000, is said to have concluded that he stands no chance of beating Hillary for the Democratic presidential nomination. But sources close to Gore said the former vice president believes that he could present himself as a genuine liberal in any general election that would include Clinton. . . .

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San Francisco Bans Plastic Bags at Grocery Stores: Does anyone remember why we have plastic bags to begin with?

Another Unintended Consequence of "Clean" Cars such as the Prius


Nice summary of evidence of cosmic ray flux on cloud formation

Well it is a good thing that these animal right's groups oppose hunting


Environmentalists attack Indian Tribe for Building a Skywalk over a small Portion of Grand Canyon

Fox News has a nice discussion of the controversy here. This just seems bizarre to me. The structure looks beautiful, and it is extremely small. It extends out only 70 feet over the edge. You can't even begin to see the skywalk from the canyon floor. The canyon is 300 miles long. This isn't in the national park portion of the canyon that is owned by the Federal government. In any case, the design and color of the skywalk blends in well with its surroundings. By the way, the Indian tribe has a 50 percent unemployment rate and it is extremely poor. It is a case of rich environmentalists versus poor people how are responsibly trying to make a few dollars off the land that they live on.



What is the man-made share of greenhouse emission gases?

Man-made greenhouse gases account for about 3.2 percent of the total (see Table 1). Even if man-made greenhouse gases were cut by 50 percent (sending us back to pre-industrial revolution levels), that would be just 1.6 percent. On top of that, the sun's energy output is more important than greenhouse gases. If greenhouse gases make up 25 percent of the causes, man's share of the effect falls to 0.8 percent and a 50 percent cut in that reduces the impact to just 0.4 percent. Of course, there is also the issue of temperature changes driving changes in carbon dioxide and not the other way around, but the main point is already clear.

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More on "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

Reaction to "The Great Global Warming Swindle" from a weather forecaster:

"Last week I mentioned the British documentary on global warming, "The Great Global Warming Swindle." If you go to Google and type in that title and then click video in the tabs, it will offer a link to the one-hour, 15-minute film.

Unlike Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," where he mainly lectures with a PowerPoint presentation and shows graphs and data, this film is based almost entirely on interviews of well-recognized experts. Climatologists, oceanographers, meteorologists and other scientists present their views on just what is going on with the planet. The film also explains how the political aspect of global warming began in 1984. It also gives a hint to the incompleteness of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming. . . .

I am currently working on a short thesis of sorts with my thoughts on global warming and will post that soon on my blog at www.weathersystems.com. I have said for years that global climate change goes in cycles due to natural causes. I still believe that from every scientific fact that I have come across.

In the new documentary the scientists give good explanations about the CO" issue and imply that the sun is the main culprit in our climate change cycles. They also show that man causes a very minute amount of CO" gases compared to oceans, volcanoes, forests, plants and animals. Referring to Gore's film, they state that he was correct with the deposits of CO" in ice core samples, but what he didn't say is that the high amounts of CO" occurred decades after a warming period, not before. And the melting Greenland glaciers used as an example in his film in have stopped flowing into the sea and are actually building up ice once again in 2006.

Where was the media before Gore got his Academy Award:

The New York Times [NYT] fires a shot today at Al Gore and his Academy Award-winning global warming film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” saying it involves “hype” and shoddy science.

“Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film . . . So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness,” the Times reports. “But part of his scientific audience is uneasy . . . these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous.”

The Times quotes geologist Don J. Easterbrook, addressing the Geological Society of America: “I don’t want to pick on Al Gore. But there are a lot of inaccuracies . . . we have to temper that with real data.”

James E. Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a Gore adviser, told the Times, “Al does an exceptionally good job of seeing the forest for the trees,” but his work has “imperfections.” He singled out Gore’s dire prediction of more, deadlier hurricanes as exaggerated.

The Times cites a recent U.N. report’s prediction of a maximum 23-inch ocean rise this century, while Gore claims the ocean will rise 20 feet over an unspecified time, flooding entire cities. . . . .

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Film on Global Warming "Swindle"

BBC film on "The Great Global Warming Swindle." This is an excellent film, though I will say that I found the discussion about who paid what to whom to buy their support not very useful. I would have definitely cut it out.

Something amusing can be seen here:
MINNEAPOLIS - A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite.

The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment. . . . .

More evidence that the sun is the cause of temperature changes:
Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds . . . .

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Global Warming Fears May Result in Imposing Autobahn Speed Limits


Cars save lives compared to horses: Technology saves lives

Cars improved the air ... that's no bull

Published on: 02/27/07
The motto of all environmentalists should be "Thank goodness for the internal combustion engine."

The abuse heaped on the internal combustion engine by environmentalists was never justified. But a recent story on cow flatulence in the British newspaper, The Independent, makes the environmental benefits from gasoline-powered engines even more obvious. Based on a recent study by the Food and Agricultural Organization, The Independent reports that "livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together."

Long before global warming became an environmental concern, however, the move from the power provided by animals to that provided by gasoline had greatly improved the environment. The emissions that came out of the tailpipes of horses were much more lethal pollutants that those now coming out of the tailpipes of cars. Horse emissions did more than make our town and cities stink; they spread fly-borne diseases and polluted water supplies that killed people at a far greater rate than the pollution from cars and trucks ever have.

Photochemical smog is clearly a health risk, but not nearly the health risk of cholera, diphtheria and tetanus that have been largely eliminated with the help of gasoline powered transportation.

Before the internal combustion engine it wasn't just cows, sheep and pigs emitting pollution down on the farm. Tractors and other types of gas-powered farm machinery eliminated the horses, mules and oxen that had provided most of the power necessary to grow and harvest our food and fiber. This not only reduced the problem that still exists from animal waste that environmentalists, with justification, still complain about. The internal combustion engine also eliminated the need to produce food to fuel millions upon millions of agricultural beasts of burden. It has been estimated that in 1900 it took about 93 million acres of land to grow the food for the farm animals that were replaced by current farm machinery. Most of that land has now gone back to woodlands, greatly increasing the number of trees that are reducing the problem of global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide.

The above consideration should have been enough to warrant an environmental shrine to the internal combustion engine. And now we find that by eliminating all those farm-yard animals, the internal combustion engine also eliminated vast amounts of methane-producing flatulence, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide produce by burning gasoline. . . . .

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Gore Admonishing the Media to Report only One side of Global Warming Issue

This reminds me of Gore's book, Earth in the Balance, where he also argued that the media should only report bad environmental news and not good news because doing so would prevent us from making the necessary changes. Well, that book was published in the early 1990s. Of course, my guess is that things are biased in the other direction.

Also, there is a big jump between saying that there is global warming and that we should do something about it or that we should do any of the things that Gore is advocating.

I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore said. "There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly — and I say 'rejected,' perhaps it's the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen … balance as bias.

"I don't think that any of the editors or reporters responsible for one of these stories saying, 'It may be real, it may not be real,' is unethical. But I think they made the wrong choice, and I think the consequences are severe.

"I think if it is important to look at the pressures that made it more likely than not that mainstream journalists in the United States would convey a wholly inaccurate conclusion about the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced." . . . .

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Global Warming Hysteria Making it so Children are Losing Sleep

This is great. I hope that Al Gore with his movie and the others exaggerating the risks feel good about themselves. Some years ago, when my oldest kids were around 7 and 5, I noticed that some of the neighborhood children who we had over were not flushing the toilets. When I asked them what was going on (the smell had alerted me to the problem), I was told that they were worried that we were running out of water. It was something that they had been told in school. The notion that we were running out of water in Pennsylvania was just bizarre. I wondered what teachers could possibly scare children that way.

All the reports about the dire consequences of global warming are having one unintended effect — they're scaring the wits out of some children. According to a recent study of 1,100 British youngsters between ages 7 and 11, half of them are so anxious about the effects of global warming, they frequently lose sleep over it.

The survey, conducted for a supermarket chain in Great Britain found that a quarter of the children blamed politicians for climate change, while a seventh blamed their own parents for not doing enough to save the environment. The most feared consequences of global warming among the children included the possibility of entire countries being submerged by flooding, and of course, the welfare of animals.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain seemed pleased that youngsters are so worried about global warming that it keeps them awake, as he lamented that, "many adults may look the other way." . . . .

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Very little of world temperature changes have anything to do with man


When are Global Warming Advocates Going After Your Beef Consumption?

It is obviously only a matter of time until they start to restrict the number of cows in the US. I really wish that these articles would discuss 1) what percent of global warming is due to greenhouse gases (there are other factors such as the sun), 2) what percent of the change in greenhouse gases are manmade, and 3) why exactly this warming is "bad" (after all the UN's recent claim that over the next 100 years ocean levels are only supposed to rise a small 7 to 21 inches) versus all the benefits (more usable land that is currently frozen, higher temperatures improve people's health, increase the growing season, and increase the number of plants and animals).

As Congress begins to tackle the causes and cures of global warming, the action focuses on gas-guzzling vehicles and coal-fired power plants, not on lowly bovines.

Yet livestock are a major emitter of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. And as meat becomes a growing mainstay of human diet around the world, changing what we eat may prove as hard as changing what we drive. . . .

I had mentioned a similar discussion here.

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Al Gore doesn't practice what he preaches


Problably the last place where it be legal to smoke in your office

Smoking has become the hot topic on Capitol Hill.
Who is, who isn't, and where the lawmakers puff -- closeted or not -- are among the whispers in the hallways and on the presidential campaign trail.
There have been at least 35 news reports about Sen. Barack Obama's long battle with a cigarette habit, and how the Illinois Democrat has been chewing Nicorette to kick that habit as he runs for president.
And in the latest installment, staffers for Rep. Keith Ellison tattled to Capitol Police that Rep. Tom Tancredo was smoking a cigar inside his congressional office. . . .
An officer investigating the report informed Mr. Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, that smoking is allowed in the private offices, the Hill newspaper first reported yesterday.

It is somewhat amusing that Tancredo and Ellison have offices right next to each other.

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Hybrid Cars Pose New Danger: Proof Global Warming Does Kill

A useful interview on global warming


Warning, extraterrestrials causing global warming!


Valentine Flowers are bad for the Planet?

Many of these flowers are grown in third world countries and the claim it is horrible that the flowers are shipped in the cargo holds of planes that travel to developed countries. By this notion, are we going to ban all foreign trade? This isn't serious. What do these environmentalists what these poor third world countries to do? Wealthier countries care more about the environment than do poorer ones. Just naturally cars and other things are more efficient in wealthier countries over time without any government intervention, so if we do something that makes these third world countries poorer, their environment will deteriorate.

The Valentine's Day bouquet — the gift that every woman in Britain will be waiting for next week — has become the latest bête noire among environmental campaigners.

Latest Government figures show that the flowers that make up the average bunch have flown 33,800 miles to reach Britain.

In the past three years, the amount of flowers imported from the Netherlands has fallen by 47 per cent to 94,000 tons, while those from Africa have risen 39 per cent to 17,000 tons.

Environmentalists warned that "flower miles" could have serious implications on climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes. . . .

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Does this Environmental Regulation Endanger Safety?

Changing speed limits along a stretch road raises the probability of accidents. The effect might be small, but people slowing down has some risk. In the past there was some academic research showing that accident rates depend on differential speeds, and these changes in speeds would contribute to that problem. Anyway, it would be interesting to measure how big of an impact this might have.

The speed limit for truckers will drop from 70-to-55 miles per hour. The new speed limit for everyone else will be 65 miles per hour.

The reductions will affect more than 22 miles on I-81 and 12-and-a-half miles on I-26, from the Tennessee-Virginia border to the Sullivan-Washington county line.

Local officials requested the change to help bring the county into line with the Environmental Protection Agency's air quality health standard for ozone. . . .

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When Global Warming Meets Academic Freedom

Yet, another reason that government should stay out of science debates. It can't keep politics out of the discussion.

Taylor has held the title of "state climatologist" since 1991 when the legislature created a state climate office at OSU The university created the job title, not the state.

His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon's policies.

So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint.

In an exclusive interview with KGW-TV, Governor Ted Kulongoski confirmed he wants to take that title from Taylor. The governor said Taylor's contradictions interfere with the state's stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists. . . .

I guess that I do object to the claim that Taylor's views are outside the mainstream of climatologists. Among them I think that he is pretty mainstream.

Thanks to Tom C. for sending this to me.

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Some Critical Commentary on Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"

Some critical commentary on Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" can be seen here and here. All of these are by Marlo Lewis.

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former climatology professor states Global Warming is "the greatest deception in the history of science"


Tierney mentioning benefits from global warming

John Tierney makes a point that I have often thought about. Why is it that environmentalists oppose global warming (OK, for the sake of argument let's assume that man has some significant impact)? There would clearly be more animal life. There would be more plants that would be able to grown and that would provide food for more animals. As the density of animal life increases, won't there also be more new species on net than there would otherwise be? I have also wondered whether there would actually be more usable land area. True, there would be some flooding, but think of all the areas in Siberia and Canada that would be opened up for people to use. Of course, in the past, others have also pointed to the benefits for mankind, better health, etc.. The cost-benefit studies that I have seen appear to do a pretty poor job on taking these different factors into account.

But as fondly as I recall the Great White North, I also remember how empty it was, particularly the vast Canadian tundra we flew over on the way to the scenic glaciers on Ellesmere Island. It’s called the Barrens: 500,000 square miles of flat treeless wasteland. It’s terra incognita to practically everyone except for for mineral prospectors, like the diamond prospectors described by Kevin Krajick in his 2001 book, “Barren Lands.” As he writes, “The Barrens have never really been lived upon, only traveled through; the wolverine, an eater of the dead, is almost its only year-round resident.”

Lots more life could survive in the Arctic if, as the I.P.C.C. projects, it warms up and gets more rain. There could be trees much farther north, a richer variety of flora and fauna. There might be fewer polar bears, but the bears have survived warm periods in the past, like the era some 9000 years ago when trees grew in northern Siberia. . . . .

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The "Bogus" Science of Secondhand Smoke

This person must be really hated among medical people, but my guess that he is sufficiently only that he is willing to go against the political correctness on the smoking issue. Look at his background: "former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention, and he received the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 1976 for his efforts to define less hazardous cigarettes."

In any case, from an economist's point of view, the entire debate over secondhand smoke is largely besides the point when it comes to these regulations. The question an economist would ask is whether whatever harm from the secondhand smoke in born by the smoker, and the answer is that there is not a problem as long as someone owns the air. In a restaurant or other building someone clearly owns the air and bears the cost of allowing the air to have more smoke in it than their customers desire. Some people may like to smoke with their meals and they will pay to do it and others might want perfectly clean air. Even if you only had one restaurant in town, the restaurant owner has a strong incentive to give the customers who value the type of air the most what they want.

Smoking cigarettes is a clear health risk, as most everyone knows. But lately, people have begun to worry about the health risks of secondhand smoke. Some policymakers and activists are even claiming that the government should crack down on secondhand smoke exposure, given what "the science" indicates about such exposure.

Last July, introducing his office's latest report on secondhand smoke, then-U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona asserted that "there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure," that "breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can damage cells and set the cancer process in motion," and that children exposed to secondhand smoke will "eventually . . . develop cardiovascular disease and cancers over time."

Such claims are certainly alarming. But do the studies Carmona references support his claims, and are their findings as sound as he suggests?

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