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01 January, 2008

We live in the best of times.  A simple check back into 19th Century France, no time at all, really, shows a stark contrast to today:
“Economists and bureaucrats who ventured out into the countryside after the (French) Revolution were horrified to find that the work force disappeared between fall and spring. The fields were deserted from Flanders to Provence. Villages and even small towns were silent, with barely a column of smoke to reveal a human presence. As soon as the weather turned cold, people all over France shut themselves away and practiced the forgotten art of doing nothing at all for months on end.” (The Big Sleep by Graham Robb)
Effectively, these, our fellow human beings, hibernated: “They lowered their metabolic rate to prevent hunger from exhausting supplies.”
And then, as our planet has done myriad times, the Earth warmed up, and the misery and death of cold gave way to the benign warmth we are so fortunate to live in today.
Contemplate this quote: “Space is a cold place, it is the rarity to find warmth at all. It is ‘the battle’ of this Planet to produce warmth for us all that sees Spring produce the ‘weather’ so often associated with that Season. The battle to displace the cold and have us all again basking in the warmth.”  (Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM))
So why do we have a sour part of humanity flagerlating themselve (and us where they can reach) by crying out against mankind as the destroyer of all good (nature), and ultimately the planet itself?  They claim science as their guide, and the sucker-trail as their business plan.
The United Nations, fretting no doubt that they had not written a good doomsday scenario for so long, saw a new killer-ap in Man Made Global Warming, and ramped up the potentials for disaster.  This time they had a salvation fix to leverage their alarm:  If we act now we can prevent the end of the world.
This is the organisation which has a perfect score of always of being wrong.
Perhaps if the potential to make money from this had not proved so alluring to the cynic and the shyster the whole shebang would already be just a joke and a cautionary tale to the wide-eyed.  But these snake oil salesmen had new media and enough bucks to get it out there.  Into the schools and terrify the kids.  Maybe deals with green groups down on their luck.
Of course history will scorn these people… but they have probably always been treated with scorn, so that will not be a punishment.
And the scientists who put their hands on their hearts and hope to die?  Don’t be too harsh on them; they are mostly suffering from information cascades.  It is a mental condition which sweeps away logic and known fact and generates group-think. The individual scientist is suspicious and thinks it is wrong; but golly, all these others… and the hand is raised in agreement.
Listen to scientists and thinkers with some wisdom.  Consider if a melting glacier is exposing the skeletons of mighty trees then perhaps it has melted and re-frozen before.  The literature on our climate past and present is immense; and fascinating.  Check some and chuckle at the hype…
…and if you do not want to have to learn to hibernate, encourage the Earth to keep on keeping us warm.
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Abrupt Climate Change:
New Research Supports Hypothesis That Ocean Currents Redistributed Heat During Rapid Warming And Cooling
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040625090130.htm
ScienceDaily, Jun. 25, 2004 — A paper published this week in the journal Science supports the hypothesis that heat transfer by ocean currents – rather than global heating or cooling – may have been responsible for the global temperature patterns associated with the abrupt climate changes seen in the North Atlantic during the past 80,000 years.
It’s possible, Lynch-Stieglitz notes, that both global warming and changes in ocean heat transport occurred simultaneously, though records of carbon dioxide concentrations do not show concentration increases that would be enough by themselves to account for the climate change.
      May we ask for a modicum of humility from the alarmists?
      Nothing in the article linked to above even begins to suggest that the science is done.
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  It would be easy to fold under the mass of information cascading upon us trumpeting man-made global warming, pounding us as a heavy and constant surf pounds an ocean shore.
      When tempted to give in and walk away from healthy scepticism, leaving it to the scientists and the politicians to do your thinking, consider stories such as this:
What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It?  [New York Times By GARY TAUBES, Published: January 27, 2008]
THE idea that cholesterol plays a key role in heart disease is so tightly woven into modern medical thinking that it is no longer considered open to question. … The truth is, we’ve always had reason to question the idea that cholesterol is an agent of disease.
      Reading it strengthens the resolve to stand firm (and alone if necessary) and question.  It also brings feelings of despair that we can be so easily led… and misled.
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Carbon Heat Trapping: Merely A Bit Player in Global Warming1
Richard J. Petschauer, Senior Member IEEE
http://www.junkscience.com/jan08/Global_Warming_Not_From_CO2_20080124.pdf
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In another manifestation I run a website promoting literacy in children.
      We publish all their stories in text format, and once a month declare a winner and produce that story as a full multimedia animated book.
      I mention this, here, with a purpose, because when the children fly fancy free into strange places and bizarre situations they almost invariably end with the words:
      “And then I woke up.”
      I publish their stories as written, but send a suggestion that as they are writing fiction they do not need to add this rider; that in fact it weakens their stories, and I offer to amend their endings as they see fit.
      Invariably they agree; and their stories are stronger for it.
      In this forum I reverse myself and beg the authors of global warming stories of Armageddon thunder to please, please, do learn to end your stories with:
      “And then I woke up.”
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  Is this really the stuff of which panic is made?
      It has a spread of around a century; less than the flicker of an eye in the lifespan of Earth.
      However, if you are a sub-editor looking for a grabber of a headline, ignore such inconvenient facts and go for the throat.
      The following story has a sense of balance when read and thought of in the context of time —  and perhaps uncertainty —  providing much to ponder as well as the raw material for unprincipled doomsaying.
2007 Was Tenth Warmest For U.S., Fifth Warmest Worldwide
ScienceDaily, (Jan. 26, 2008 — The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. in 2007 is officially the tenth warmest on record, according to data from scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The agency also determined the global surface temperature last year was the fifth warmest on record.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124121218.htm
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      Humility is a pre-requisite for the gaining of wisdom.
      Humility appears to be as lacking as is wisdom in the debate on changing climate and how best to respond to it.
      The carnival barker has supplanted the tribal elder as the pervayer of knowledge (albeit pop-knowledge); the megaphone drowing out the softly spoken words of thoughtful consideration, of measured conclusion.
      It would seem a world weaned on superlatives cannot comprehend the ordinary… or cope with it, either, needing high-decibel screeching to have its attention caught… and a rising continuation to have its attention held.
      Careful sifting through the mass of data and opinion on climate change will glean grains of balance, humility and true knowledge.  It should be the mission of us all to collect these grains and nurture them so that they grow and restore wisdom amongst us.
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And yet again the warning: ‘ware the cry of wolf…
…scientists sceptical of man-made climate change warn of the economic risks of precipitate action over global warming. Hardly less worrying is a potential collapse of confidence in the scientific community, if its leading journals turn out to have preferred spurious certainty over judicious doubt.
Global warming: Nature goes against Science, The First Post, Jan 25, 2008
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?storyID=1427
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He (Bureau of Meteorology severe weather expert Jeff Callaghan) said the weather that had dumped huge amounts of rain over vast areas of Queensland (Australia) in the past week signalled the start of a pattern not seen since 1977, when drought-causing El Nino events began to become the norm.
      “This is the sort of weather we had right through the 1950s and through to the mid-1970s,” he said.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23064535-11949,00.html
      Another example of the doomsayers crying wolf when the drought was long and their memories short?
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Worth putting on record here in this present man-made global warming hysteria.
      It sounds at variance with much which is being shouted at us by those who have the tiger of global over-warming by the tail.  And of those who have found their fortunes in crying wolf.
Mideast cold snap causes deaths, crop damage
Friday January 18, 2008 – 20:05 EDT
There have been a number of deaths and considerable damage to crops in the Middle East as temperatures in the region fall to exceptional lows.
Local reports say that 10 people died in Saudi Arabia after snowfalls.
In Syria, temperatures have dropped to minus 16 degrees Celsius.
There has been widespread damage to crops in Syria, Jordan and Israel.
There has also been snow in the Iraqi capital Baghdad for the first time in living memory.
http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/mideast-cold-snap-causes-deaths-crop-damage/8410
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Worth thinking on:
SO WE THOUGHT. BUT THEN AGAIN . . .
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=15463
“Lastly, heat waves may receive more publicity, but it turns out that cold periods have more significant and longer-lasting effects on human mortality:
      Spells of extreme cold kill over 27,000 Americans each year, or about 700 people each very cold day. 8 to 15 percent of the increase in American life expectancy over the last 30 years comes from people moving to warmer climates. Heat waves tend to kill people who were already weakened and would have died soon anyway, whereas cold periods bring additional people to the verge of death through cardiovascular stress and heart attacks, says Cowen.”
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In an age of reason, the following would come as a shock.  Wisdom would demand serious consideration of the import of what is being said and shown.  Why has reason, and wisdom, deserted us, now?
COMPUTER MODELS FAIL TO PREDICT CLIMATE
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=15455
“This new study adds another nail to the coffin of alarmist global warming theory,” said Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
      “Alarmist global warming theory is totally dependent on computer models predicting accelerating warming in the future,” Burnett noted, “yet the models have predicted such warming in the past, and the predicted warming has failed to materialize.  This hardly seems a reliable indicator of future warming.”
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Damaging to the credibility of man made global warming alarmists are stories such as this:
“Until now it was generally accepted that there were no large glaciers on the poles prior to the development of the Antarctic ice sheet about 33 million years ago,” co-author Richard Norris said. “This study demonstrates that even the super-warm climates of the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum were not warm enough to prevent ice growth.”
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2008/01/11/early_icecap_survived_global_warming/8938/
Ignorance is a truly shocking thing when it is allowed to run rogue… and we have allowed it to.  Wisdom carries no weight in the eyes of the zealot.  It never has; and there are times when the counterweight of wisdom takes a long, long time to restore balance.
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One of the dangers of allowing hysterical concentration on popular panic-of-the-moment movements is the distortions which can then flow through into solving serious problems, disrupting the basic research.
The man-made global warming movement will have much to answer for in the future.  Just one example is in the following extract from today’s news wires, 10 Jan. 2008, demontrating how a “popular” vision of distruction in the coral reefs of the world is both stupid and myopic.
It demonstrates the views scientists have been trumpeting abour coral reefs are cynically self-serving; seeking fame and fortune by clambering onto the passing bandwagon of popularity; ignoring, or ignorant of, the damage brought about by their juvenile egos which will both slow solution and sow distress.
Fortunately, as the story shows, there are still scientists with the capacity and the will to step back and take a detached global overview of a problem.  Then to research it in depth.  I feel a considerable respect and gratitude for such people.  Of late they have seemed a rare breed, endangered by the stampede for popular acclaim which has shrivelled their essential budgets.
THE world’s coral reefs are in alarming decline, but what – or who – is most to blame?
      A groundbreaking study published today singles out human settlement, especially coastal development and agriculture, as the main culprit, even more so than warming sea waters and acidification linked to global warming.
      The study focuses on the Caribbean, where declining reefs are endangering species of wildlife as well as tourism and fishing that are vital for the local economy, says lead author, Camilo Mora, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
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Sometimes it is rather deflating when reality begins to impinge on glorious visions such as the best “the end of the world is nigh” shocker we have had for years.   All the adrenalin begins to drain away and we must go back to our everyday lives where merely shouting, “There goes another one!” no longer attracts the attenion that makes us feel good and important without us having to actually do anything useful or difficult.
Stories like this one noted here help not at all to keep the fire of the crazy-eyed burning:
“WASHINGTON — There’s more to the recent dramatic and alarming thawing of the Arctic region than can be explained by man-made global warming alone, a new study has found.
Nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge, too.”
Report: Nature also boosts global warming By Associated Press Saturday, January 5, 2008
http://abqtrib.com/news/2008/jan/05/report-nature-also-boosts-global-warming/
This story is edging the AGW bandwagon just a little closer to the cliff it must finally fall off so that we, the world, can get back to solving some of the real problems of the world.
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This letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal makes for sobering reading.
 
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=15211
 
This small extract, for example:
 
Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us. As my high-school physics teacher admonished us in those we-shall-conquer-the-world-with-a-slide-rule days, “Begin all of your scientific pronouncements with ‘At our present level of ignorance, we think we know . . .'”
 
I haven’t seen that type of climate humility lately. Rather I see jump-to-conclusions advocates and, unfortunately, some scientists who see in every weather anomaly the specter of a global-warming apocalypse. Explaining each successive phenomenon as a result of human action gives them comfort and an easy answer.  …  My Nobel Moment by JOHN R. CHRISTY
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Continue on Page 2.

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