American Elephants


The Solution to Anthropogenic Global Warming: by The Elephant's Child
July 27, 2010, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Environment, Humor, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Pat Sajak, who I have never quoted before, has the solution to Global Warming.  If Kevin Costner and his brother can come up with a method to separate oil and water in drilling rig disasters — and they apparently can— perhaps we should listen to Mr. Sajak.  He says:

Manmade global warming, like so many other social and economic issues, has become hopelessly politicized. Each side has dug in its heels and has accused the other of acting irresponsibly and dishonestly. For the believers, the other side has become the equivalent of Holocaust deniers; and for the doubters, the other side has become a cult intent on manipulating mankind to remake the world in some sort of natural Utopian image. (…)

Let’s assume that a third of the world’s population really believes mankind has the power to adjust the Earth’s thermostat through lifestyle decisions. The percentage may be higher or lower, but, for the sake of this exercise, let’s put it at one-third. Now it seems to me these people have a special obligation to change their lives dramatically because they truly believe catastrophe lies ahead if they don’t. The other two-thirds are merely ignorant, so they can hardly be blamed for their actions.

Now, if those True Believers would give up their cars and big homes and truly change the way they live, I can’t imagine that there wouldn’t be some measurable impact on the Earth in just a few short years. I’m not talking about recycling Evian bottles, but truly simplifying their lives. Even if you were, say, a former Vice President, you would give up extra homes and jets and limos. I see communes with organic farms and lives freed from polluting technology.

He does state the problem pretty clearly.  So we only have to wait and see how it all turns out.  Or wait to see how long it takes for the True Believers to give up?



Politics and Science, An Increasingly Uncomfortable Mix. by The Elephant's Child
March 10, 2010, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

The great Professor Ian Plimer, scourge of climate alarmists, was scheduled to give a lecture in May, at “the Prince Philip Annual Lecture” at the Royal Society of Artists (RSA). The Duke of Edinburgh was to be in the audience.

Now Professor Plimer has suddenly been disinvited by the RSA:

“The debate around climate change has recently become highly politically charged both globally and especially in your home country. Equally, as I am sure you are aware, members of the Royal Family need to be scrupulous in avoiding any appearance of advocating or supporting a particular political stance. The RSA’s charitable status also requires us to maintain absolute political independence in our programme of events and research events.”

The good James Dellingpole takes the RSA to task:

Actually, no I don’t think that Prof Plimer DOES “recognise that the now highly controversial debate surrounding this issue would make it inevitable that he was seen to be taking a particular position.” Au contraire, he’d consider closer to being a case of bringing a sense of balance and proportion to a hitherto very one-sided debate. After all, if the Prince of Wales is permitted to take such an extremist  “100 months left to save the world” approach to AGW, why on earth shouldn’t his Dad be allowed to adopt a more sensible, sceptical position.

As Plimer puts it: “Strange that those who preach environmentalism at The Palace are feted as concerned scientists with no political agenda whereas those that try to speak rationality are regarded as political.”

Professor Ian Plimer is one of my heroes.  His splendid book, Heaven and Earth: global warming, the missing science, is available here.  Or a fascinating earlier interview with Dr.Plimer is available here.

I suppose it is a little difficult when you have a family member being one of the most extreme alarmists, to attend a lecture that gently establishes that Prince Charles’ “100 months” is a little overwrought.  Disinviting someone is tacky, though.



The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Very First Music Video. by The Elephant's Child
February 19, 2010, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,


Right in tune with the demolition of the activist global warming fraud, CEI’s very own Marlo Lewis comments in musical form. And this is his day job.



More Challenges to the Federal Government and the EPA. by The Elephant's Child

The House of Cards begins to fall.  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, with the support of new Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, has filed a petition with the EPA to reconsider its finding based on the acknowledgment of ClimateGate’s former CRU Director Phil Jones, to be very unsettled science indeed.

He has at the same time filed a petition with the Federal Appeals court requesting a review of the EPA finding.

The Richmond Times Dispatch clucked that “A commission appointed by previous Governor Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, found that global warming could spread disease in Virginia, threaten coastal areas and imperil native animals such as crabs.”

The panel, which included scientists, business people, lawmakers and environmentalists, unanimously adopted its final report in 2008.

The Director of the Virginia State Sierra Club, Glen Besa was horrified:

The attorney general is wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolous litigation…In effect, he’s questioning climate change.

Well, yes.  In the last five months it has become increasingly clear that climate change is a fraud. The Earth is cooling, not warming, and there has been no significant warming for the last 15 years.

The IPCC has been exposed as a political organization, in error about every aspect of climate science.  Carbon Dioxide, which is one of the basic building blocks of life, (no CO2 no life) is not a pollutant, and attempts to regulate it as such, are strictly political and have no basis in science.



If the Evidence Doesn’t Support Your Policies, Just Make Up a Bureacracy that Will. by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps the Obama administration is vaguely aware of ClimateGate after all. This week they unveiled its National Climate Service (NCS).  Yes, another useless government bureaucracy. The Federal Government is hard at work creating government jobs, by spending more taxpayer money overpaying more  bureaucrats.  Here is their bureau-speak announcement:

Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards.  They increasingly are asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for information about climate change in order to make the best choices for their families, communities and businesses.

The best meteorologists can forecast the weather a few days ahead, but the National Climate Service is going to help us plan for changes in future decades in global temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), incoming sunlight, sea level, and Arctic ice.  That’s just what you needed to know, is it not?  The NCS says:

People are searching for relevant and timely information about these changes to inform decisionmaking about virtually all aspects of their lives.

Well, no they’re not.  Junk Science’s Steven Milloy responds:

The real purpose of the NCS, of course, has nothing to do with education.  It has everything to do with the politicization of the natural process of climate change for the unnatural ends of egomaniacal profiteers like Al Gore, and international socialists who want to use greenhouse gas regulation as a means of imposing their political agendas.

Cap-and-Trade is dead in the Senate,  Climategate, glaciergate, rainforest gate, the failed Copenhagen conference, and the exposure of IPCC Chief Rajendra Pachauri’s financial conflicts of interest and calls for his resignation have derailed the alarmist climate gravy train.  This Ministry of Propaganda is intended to reawaken Al Gore’s climate panic agenda so they can get the things they want done, done.

Reminder: To all you nice folks in the eastern part of the country. That white stuff in your yards and blocking your streets is not Climate, it’s not global warming, it’s simply weather. Climate is a statistic, and at present, it’s not a very reliable one.



Man-caused Catastrophic Global Warming Theory is Dead. Over. So Now the Defense Department Is Going Green? Go Figure! by The Elephant's Child

The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review gives an unusual amount of attention to the issue of climate change. Brett Schaefer and Baker Spring note, at National Review, that:

Previous QDR reports did not identify climate change, global warming, or other environmental issues as major concerns for U.S. security. The 2010 QDR, by contrast, dedicates three of its 105 pages (plus executive summary) to the issue, highlighting it (along with energy) in a section dedicated to its impact on the “future security environment.”

All in all, the report mentions “climate change” 19 times. China is mentioned only eleven times, Iran five times, Russia four times, and North Korea three times. It seems that the Obama administration views climate change as a major national-security concern. The QDR sees the potential consequences of global warming — retreating glaciers, extreme weather, rising sea levels and temperatures, food security and water scarcity, disease — as potential contributors to instability and conflict. (emphasis mine)

It appears that the Obama administration which has appeared to be somewhat uninterested in national security, regards climate change as a major security threat.  Probably no one in the administration is familiar with ClimateGate, or the subsequent collapse of the authority of the UN’s IPCC and relies instead on their friend, noted climate scientist Al Gore.

This summary comes from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

• Mid-August, 2009, after repeated requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, one of the three international agencies that calculate global temperatures, announced that it had discarded the raw data used to calculate global surface temperatures.  Makes independent review and verification impossible.

• October, 2009 annual meeting Geological Society of America: Dr. Don Easterbrook presented graphs demonstrating how tree-ring data from Russia showing cooling after 1961 were artfully disguised in IPCC Assessment Report 4 contained deceptions making the entire document scientifically questionable.

• November: emails and code from the CRU leaked to the public, which reveals efforts to suppress independent studies that are contrary to IPCC conclusions of human-caused warming.  IPCC scientific review process has systematic bias in favor of anthropogenic warming.

• Mid-December: Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) reported that the Hadley Center for Climate Change of the Met Office had probably tampered with Russian climate data, and the Russian station data do not support human caused global warming.  Met Office collaborates with CRU in reporting global temperatures. Reported global surface temperature trends are unreliable and have a strong warming bias of unknown magnitude.

• January: Joe D’Aleo and E. Michael Smith reported that the National Climatic Data Center (NOAA-NCDC) and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) dropped many meteorological stations from their data bases— those in colder climates. Thus their reported temperature trends are unreliable and likely have a strong warming bias of unknown magnitude.

• All global surface temperatures and trends announced by the three major reporting international organizations probably have a warming bias of an unknown magnitude rendering their work scientifically unreliable.

• January: IPCC AR4 claimed that here was a probability of the disappearance of Himalayan Glaciers by 2035 or sooner. A possibility that could be devastating to India and S.E. Asia.  Investigated, it turned out to have no basis in scientific fact.

January: Claims in the 2007 IPCC report that climate change could endanger up to 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest came from activist who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and had no basis in scientific fact.  The disappearance of rainforest was due to logging.

February: No scientific basis for the claim that global warming could cut-rain-fed African crop production by 50% by 2020.

Beyond the QDR’s view that consequences of global warming could be potential contributors to instability and conflict, the approach leads to recommendations that limit the flexibility of the military.

If carbon dioxide is not a cause of global warming, and it isn’t, then just how far should we go to try to eliminate it?  And perhaps we should try to resolve more of the scientific questions before we start changing our national security strategies. And possibly we should find out if there is any warming at all, and who we can trust with those questions.

This is a very troubling basis on which to shift America’s defense strategy.  As Schaefer and Spring suggest: “In its oversight role, Congress should challenge the administration’s inclusion of climate change as a defense priority.”



Obama Cites “Overwhelming Scientific Evidence” and Gets the Biggest Laugh of the Entire Speech. by The Elephant's Child
January 30, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

One of the more interesting moments in the State of the Union speech was when Obama said ” I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change,” and the audience burst into laughter.  It appeared that the president was a little nonplussed, uncertain as to why there was laughter.

One real clunker in the president’s speech was his pledge to cap discretionary spending, and he promised to “incentivize” America’s commercial energy sector.   His passion for “clean energy” and “green jobs” has not faded.

The president seems unaware of ClimateGate, IPCC-Gate, GlacierGate, AmazonGate or the increasing evidence of fudged figures in all sectors of the climate monitoring effort.  I apologize for using the trite “Gate” suffix, but it is a quick way to indicate scandal.

The efforts of governmental bodies about climate were directed toward discovering the extent to which human influences were the cause of global warming, what dangers the warming might indicate for the future, and what governments could or should do about it.

It seemed an urgent problem and money— big money— flowed.  But it flowed to those who could demonstrate the problems, not to those whose work indicated that warming seemed to be a natural phenomenon.  It was easy for scientists, hungry for grants, to favor evidence that indicated warming, and de-emphasize that which didn’t.  Or to leave the stations that showed no warming out of the lot.  Just little fudges here and there.

It is going to take time for it all to shake out, but indications are that alarmist fears of problems derived from increases in climate warming are misplaced.  The consequences of not understanding a cooling planet or even a planet comfortable in the same kind of warming and cooling that has been going on for centuries are immense.

Businesses envisioning vast profits from governmental funding of wind farms and solar arrays are inclined to extol the advantages of their products.  What energy a wind turbine is rated to produce under optimum conditions, for example, is quite different from what it actually does produce when the wind blows only intermittently or occasionally.  When the wind does not blow at the right speed, the grid requires full-time back-up from a conventional energy source.

Wind farms and solar arrays, though ugly, are glamorous.  Saving the planet elevates one to a higher plane than that occupied by those not so engaged.  Think of the cachet of that which is organic, sustainable, or natural. Think of the vast new governmental departments, the industries, the money, the prestige, the power.  Hard to give up those dreams simply because there is some question whether there is really any global warming at all.

At a time of double-digit unemployment, an economy in recession, out-of-control government spending, and rising deficits, it seems unwise to invest money in schemes that have proved to be a failure in Europe, killing two jobs for every one created.

The president is a true believer.  He has barely disguised contempt for those who do not share his certainty that he is pursuing the noble course.  There will be “green” jobs, even if the government has to pay for every one with taxpayer money.  And they will be added to the “created or saved” ledger that is a fixture of fantasy-land.  The planet will be saved.  And Obama will be its savior.

Limitless billions in federal loan guarantees will create wind, solar, clean coal and nuclear projects — the lobbyists insist that the loan guarantees are off budget, and all will be repaid, so they are as good as being free.  Easy.  The CBO estimates, for example, that roughly half of the nuclear projects would default.  How to pay for it all?

The president has urged the Senate to approve the House-passed cap-and-trade legislation.  It would create a Clean Energy Development Administration to administer the loans and use carbon-emission taxes to cover any defaults.  Another federal disaster.



The Glaciers Aren’t Disappearing, The Warmest Year was 1934, And The Polar Bears Are Not Threatened. The IPCC Is! by The Elephant's Child

The great glaciers of the Himalayan Mountains feed the rivers of South Asia, which in turn feed the people who depend upon them.  The UN’s IPCC announced in their 2007 report that the glaciers were likely to disappear by 2035.  “The receding and thinning of Himalayan glaciers” it wrote in its supposedly definitive report “can be attributed primarily to the [sic] global warming due to increase in anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gasses.” That’s enough to get a lot of people more than a little worried.

Just last November, U.N. climate chief Rajendra Pachauri attacked India’s environment minister for casting doubt on the notion that global warming was causing the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Tracing things back, it appears that this very widely publicized prediction came from a report in 2005 from the World Wildlife Fund.  The WWF, in turn, based it on a comment made by Indian glacier expert Syed Hasnain in 1999.  Mr. Hasnain now says he was “misquoted.”

The IPCC was warned in 2006 by leading glaciologist Georg Kaser that the 2035 forecast was baseless.  “Mr. Kaser told the Agence France-Presse “This number is not just a little bit wrong, but far out of any order of magnitude.  It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing.”

This last Wednesday, the IPCC finally got around, a few years late, to acknowledging that the claim was “poorly substantiated,” Mr. Pachauri, according to the Wall Street Journal , also suggested it amounted to little more than a scientific typo.

The U.N.’s IPCC has been assumed by the media and governmental offices around the world to deliver the final word about anything related to global warming, in spite of the fact that their own website says:

The IPCC’s mission is to reflect the science, not create it.  Its duty, it says, is:

assessing the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human induced climate change.  It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data.

The scientist behind the bogus claim, Dr. Murari Lal, admitted last night that the claim about Himalayan glaciers melting did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.  It was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders. “It related to several counties in this region and their water sources.  We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise points out the World Wildlife Fund is an activist organization that has an agenda.  Many documents cited by the IPCC have been authored or co-authored by the WWF, without scientific research behind them

When so many billions of dollars are being committed around the world in the name of halting an anthropogenic global warming that seems to be neither anthropogenic nor alarming, it would be encouraging if some of the participants could just say “We made a mistake, we were wrong.”



There Really Was a Little Ice Age, and It Was Very, Very Cold. by The Elephant's Child
January 2, 2010, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Have you ever heard of The Great Frost? In France they called it Le Grande Hiver. On the 6th of January in 1709 people across Europe awoke to find that the temperature had plummeted.  The temperature stayed down for three long weeks, there was a brief thaw, and then the temperature went down again, and stayed there.

From Scandinavia  to Italy, everything turned to ice.  Lakes and rivers froze, the sea froze.  The soil froze to a depth of a meter or more.  Livestock died in their barns from the cold.  Chickens’ combs froze and fell off.  Trees exploded. Travelers froze to death on the roads.

The painting above, by Gabriele Bella (1733-99) is of a portion of a lagoon in Venice, frozen over, with Venetians unsure of how to cope with this remarkable event.

Three months of deadly cold  meant a year of famine and food riots.  In Switzerland hungry wolves came right into the villages.  The Baltic froze so completely that people could walk across the ice as late as April.  In the Mediterranean, sailors died from the cold aboard English men-of-war.

In France,  bread froze so hard it took an axe to cut it.  According to a canon from Beaune in Burgundy, “travelers died in the countryside, livestock in the stables, wild animals in the woods.  Nearly all the birds died, wine froze in barrels and public fires were lit to warm the poor.”

In the spring the cold was replaced by worsening food shortages.  Authorities forced the rich to provide soup kitchens.  By the summer, there were reports of starving people in the fields “eating grass like sheep.”  More than a million died from cold or starvation.

Then there was “eighteen-hundred and froze-to-death.” That was the “year without summer” in America, or 1816.  Severe summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in Northern Europe, Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States.  It is attributed to low solar activity combined with the a series of volcanic eruptions from 1812 to 1814, capped by a huge eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. There was widespread famine in China.

In America farmers, wiped out in New England, struck out for the richer soils of the Midwest.  The “Year Without a Summer” accounted for much of the settlement of the Upper Midwest — which was then the Northwest Territory — but the effects of the cold were far more widespread than that.

If you remember Dr. Michael Mann’s “hockey-stick” graph that has caused so much trouble, you will remember that it was given that name because the record of temperatures moved along in a pretty steady state like the handle of a hockey stick before suddenly shooting up in drastic warming in the 20th century.  I say “trouble” because the UN’s IPCC based much of its assessment of the climate on that particular graph.  And that is part of what proved to be so fraudulent in the climate scandal called “ClimateGate.”

The hockey-stick graph had already been completely discredited when mathematician Stephen McIntyre demonstrated that the math didn’t work; but until the exposure of the ClimateGate emails and code fraud no one was admitting that it was hooey.  The culprits at Hadley CRU were trying to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age from history, and profiting professionally and monetarily at the expense of science, their peers, the world’s governments and the world’s taxpayers.  Governments have a lot invested in the income that might be incoming from cap-and-trade schemes and fees and taxes.  They will not give up easily.

Science students who spend all their time in the lab, may be unaware of Viking settlements in Greenland — beginning  around 972 AD — or be unfamiliar with the Norse Eddas or Chaucer or the writings of  someone like William Derham, the Rector of Upminster— a short ride north-east of London — who had been checking his thermometer and barometer three times a day since 1687.  Others in Europe  recorded their observations.  Ships captains documented the weather in their logs on a daily basis, and those logs are proving to be an amazing resource for scientists who are looking for more detail of the history of climate.

Al Gore might take note that cold is far, far worse than hot weather.



The Meaning of ClimateGate, Exposed. by The Elephant's Child
December 4, 2009, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Environment, Junk Science, Politics | Tags: , , ,


Here’s an excellent summary on the meaning of ClimateGate from the CBC’s Rex Murphy.

(h/t: Planet Gore)



“The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by The Elephant's Child
December 4, 2009, 1:42 am
Filed under: Africa, Environment, Global Warming | Tags: , ,

Netherlands newspapers and news sites  broke the story today about the findings of a research team led by Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damste — a leading molecular paleontologist at Utrecht University — about the icecap on Mount Kilimanjaro, which has become a symbol of anthropogenic global warming.

Their research shows that the icecap of Kilimanjaro was never the result of cold air, but rather of large amounts of precipitation which fell about 11.000 years ago, at the beginning of the Holocene period.  The melting and freezing of moisture on top of the mountain appears to be part of “a natural process of dry and wet periods.”  The current melting is not the result of manmade environmental damage.

In the dry period between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, Kilimanjaro was ice-free.  At the end of this period, a dramatic climate change from dry to very wet took place — driven by changes in solar radiation — which resulted in the creation of an icecap.

The website of Elsevier magazine, the most widely circulated Dutch political weekly carried the headline “Dutchman discredits Al Gore’s climate evidence.”



ClimateGate, Lies, Being “Green” And My Personal Rebellion! by The Elephant's Child

Most people get angry when they discover that they have been lied to, or made fools of, or simply deliberately misled.  The lie alone is bad enough, but problems arise when you act upon false information.

We are just beginning to see the repercussions of ClimateGate.  Careers have been damaged,  publication dishonestly refused and skeptical scientists have received death threats.  Environmental journalists have made careers of transcribing what those who share their ideology say, slandering those who do not, and ignoring the scandal.

All the individual damage pales before the attempts of officeholders across the world who have used junk science as a pretext for increasing their personal power and control and expanding their control and their take from international energy markets.  They have a lot invested in their power grabs, and they’re not going to give it up peacefully.

If climate change is a natural phenomenon — which I believe that it is — and carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer for plants which will help us feed the world — which I believe that it is — then just think of all the things that we don’t need to be doing.

We can stop the silly war on coal and create all sorts of jobs.  We can drill for our own natural resources and increase refinery capacity — creating even more high-paying jobs, and worry a lot less about price hikes in the petroleum markets. We can build nuclear plants.   We can stop making cars lighter and less safe in order to meet some mpg standard designed to cut our use of carbon-based fuels, and stop pushing the electric cars that nobody wants.

We can stop subsidizing wind farms and solar arrays that are completely inefficient and save enormous sums of money.  We can stop hoarding incandescent lightbulbs for fear of the onset of those nasty twisty bulbs. We can stop worrying about the polar bears who are just fine.

And just possibly, we can stop being assaulted with the demand that we be “green.” I am so fed up with businesses informing me about how environmentally sensitive they are, how pure,  how conscious of  Mother Gaia — aaaack!  The more they attempt to patronize with their environmental wonderfulness, the more I take my business elsewhere.  No, I will not use cloth bags in the grocery store. No, I will not buy “organic” food, organic cosmetics or organic cotton.  I will not pay extra on my power bill to buy “green” power from some hideous wind farm that cannot produce any energy at all without massive subsidies.  And we can get rid of  Barbara Boxer and Henry Waxman, for they are of no use at all.

There.  I got that off my chest!!




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