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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Connecting Dots on Iran

Terrorism is a miltary tactic to accomplish political goals. It is not an end in itself but a means to an end. For over 30 years, Iran has been at the forefront of a war against the West. Iran seeks a global Islamic theocracy and therefore seeks the destruction of the West and Israel. Given its military inferiority, terrorism is the only tactic available to Iran. Over this time, Iran has directly attacked America when it seized our Embassy in Tehran during the hostage crisis, supported the enemy in present day Iraq, and directly or indirectly sanctioned or supported virtually every act of Islamic terrorism.

If Iran succeeds in developing a nuclear weapon, its ideology will not change but its tactics certainly will.

In a past post (http://dougreich.blogspot.com/2007/02/csi-iran.html) I listed several key points:

1) Iran openly and publicly states that it wants to destroy the US and Israel
2) Iran funds, supports, and trains terrorists who kill Americans and attack our allies
3) Iran is directly interfering in a US military conflict and has killed US soldiers
4) Iran publicly states that it is pursuing nuclear power
5) Iran has and is obtaining technologically advanced weaponry from Russia among others which it has made available to its proxy army (Hezbollah and others) to fight the Israelis
6) Iran's own president indulges in apocalyptic religious fantasies about himself being anointed by God to lead an era of "Islamic justice" at the "end of history"

Meanwhile, the US is spending billions of dollars and losing soldiers every day to remain militarily engaged in a country (next door to Iran) that barely has a government, little infrastructure, no organized army with which to threaten the US or its allies, all purportedly to police Iraqi's who are in the midst of a religious and ethnic civil war.

Now we can add to the list, that Iranians have illegally kidnapped 15 British sailors and are threatening to put them through a show trial. In that post, I also claimed that if Iran were to drop a nuclear bomb on the US, I'm not sure that we would respond. I can just hear Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barabara Boxer, the French, Russians, and Chinese et al. echoing the response of the fictional president on "24": "if they drop one more nuclear bomb, then we are..."

Below is a link to an article from March 18th, 2007 (before the Iranians kidnapped British sailors) in which Iran threatens to retaliate in Europe for alledged abductions and defections by high ranking Iranian miltary officers:

Subhi Sadek, the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker, a writer believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warned that Iran would strike back. “We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said. “Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”

A few days later on March 23, Iran illegally seized 15 British sailors. So, if our soldiers being fed to "fighting cocks" is not enough for you - here is some more.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps launched a campaign against the U.S.-led coalition in response to the defection and detention of senior regime officials, according to a newspaper report.

Last week, it was disclosed that Asghari, a former deputy defense minister who once headed Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, was cooperating with Western intelligence and had brought top-secret documents and maps with him when he defected. The documents are believed to detail Iran's ties to terrorist and radical groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and military organizations in Iraq. Arab media reports said Asghari can also provide insight into Iran's nuclear-arms program.

The defector, who goes by the cover name Hamid Reza Zakeri, told Reuters in a telephone interview that al Qaeda had forewarned Tehran of the [9/11] attacks because it wanted Iran's help in sheltering its leaders afterwards.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070313/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictisrael_070313131220 Hundreds of members of the radical Palestinian Hamas movement receive military training in
Iran every year, the head of Israel's internal security service was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The next link reminds me of the scene from "Team America" where Hans Blix ("Hans Bwix") is confronting Kim Jong Il by threatening to write another letter on behalf of the UN.
Former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has said that the US, Europe and the UN Security Council are "humiliating" Iran by demanding that it suspend uranium enrichment before negotiations and then dictating its rewards.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A Russian reporter who died after falling out of a window was investigating sales of weapons by Russia to Syria and Iran, his newspaper Kommersant said Tuesday.

Iran will be able to develop enough weapons-grade material for a nuclear bomb and there is little that can be done to prevent it, an internal European Union document has concluded.

Note that the Europeans have concluded that nothing can be done to prevent Iran's production of a nuclear bomb. Of course, if all you do is engage in endless diplomacy with no threat of action and write nasty-grams from the UN that is probably true.

An Iranian government-sponsored body set up to probe the veracity of the Holocaust has challenged Europe to hand over documents about the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II.

Iran's leadership denies that the Holocaust occured which is not surprising given the daily vitriol spewed at Jews through the Islamic media as well as the endemic bigotry institutionalized in their educational system. Where has the left gone? Imagine the outrage (justly so) if any Western leader were to make such vicious and farcical arguments. This is especially hypocritical given that the Islamists riot on one day over caricatures of Muhammad (or sue for legal sanctions against its critics
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=worldNews&storyid=2007-02-07T174323Z_01_L07890928_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-ISLAM-CARTOONS.xml&src=rss&rpc=22) then publish the most heinous and racist attacks against Jews and Americans the next.

An Iranian official on Sunday lashed out at the Hollywood movie "300" for insulting the Persian civilization, local Fars News Agency reported

Uh, I think that the Spartans did fight the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae and ultimately the Greeks did go on to defeat the Persians. I think it is interesting that Iran considers historical facts to be "insulting". I always consider facts to be true. This is a demonstration of pure collectivism in that the Iranian's see themselves as members of a historical collective (the Persian Empire) and that to "insult" (or factually portray) any part of the collective is to invite a scornful or violent response. Collectivism naturally results from religion as faith demands the relinquishing of the individual, independent mind to the dictates of faith usually as interpreted by the philosopher king, priest, imam, etc. depending on the religion. Once an individual abandons his mind, he will seek membership in a group to seek an identity, guidance, protection and pseudo self-esteem. If you don't accept this argument, see all of human history.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Warming Leads to Cooling and The First GW Reader Challenge


I need help.

I have read the linked article 5 times and I'm still not sure what to conclude. I would like any reader to write in and comment as to what this article means and what it portends for the future. I'm not being facetious. If someone really understands this and its implications, then I would honestly like to know.

They don't come right out and say it (except once) but I think it is saying that global warming could lead to cooling. According to my read, I get five or so concrete conclusions:

1) "Changes would be felt ... around the globe"

2) "..researchers fear increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet risks disrupting the conveyor. If it stops, temperatures in northern Europe would plunge.

3) "his findings add to concerns about a 'strangling' of the Southern Ocean by greenhouse gases and global warming"

4) "Acidification of the ocean is affecting the ability of plankton -- microscopic marine plants, animals and bacteria -- to absorb carbon dioxide, reducing the ocean's ability to sink greenhouse gases to the bottom of the sea."

5) "Rintoul said that global warming was also changing wind patterns in the Antarctic region..." and "this was contributing to drought in Australia..."

So, I think the primary things to worry about are "change", decreasing temperatures, ocean "strangling", acidification leading to more gases, and drought in Australia

Anyone else?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cult or Religion?


I believe that what distinguishes a cult from a religion is the number of members. Historically, all religions start as "cults", that is a small group of adherents devote themselves to a heretofore set of wacky ideas that have no basis in reality and revolve around the worship of a deity or at worst the guy who rented the hall. For example, in Ancient Rome the various Jewish sects that sprung up to challenge the established order and worship this guy named Jesus were thought of as cults. Of course, originally they were one of hundreds or maybe thousands of such cults mostly pagan that worshiped one thing or the other. When they got enough Romans to believe (especially Constantine) they attained the status of "religion."

Historically, obtaining "religion" status does not change the validity or underlying logic of the ideas but it does mean that enough people believe in it to wreak havoc on the emperor.

If David Koresh had worn a big white hat and sat on a throne with a sceptor and said he was the voice of God then perhaps Janet Reno would have blown up his compound even sooner than she did (by the way, religions have churches, cults have compounds). However, if the Pope does the same thing he gets nominated for a Nobel Prize. Oh wait, God really does speak to the Pope. Sorry.

Recently, Scientology has made a run at religious status asserting that they now have enough members to achieve such official status. Environmentalists, who worship the deity Earth or "Gaia", are now on a similar path although Janet Reno apparently is not paying attention.

In the past, I have claimed the Environmental movement has all the hallmarks of a religious movement, but now it is official. For the non-believers, I submit the above link related to a march by a group called "Religious Witness for the Earth, a 6-year-old national interfaith environmental organization. Supporters include clergy from the Catholic, Unitarian, Jewish, Episcopalian and Muslim faiths" who "started walking across the state Friday to bring attention to global warming."

Recall that Michael Chrichton once said:
"Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe."

Hmmm... think Chrichton is crazy?

“God has given us this Eden, and our behavior is making a mess of it,” said the Rev. Jim Antal, president of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, the state’s largest Protestant denomination.

“The interfaith aspect of what we’re doing heightens awareness among everyone,” said Rabbi Justin David of Congregation B’Nai Israel in Northampton. “Climate change is a moral issue and it’s a collective issue. It transcends the differences of faith and politics and generations. This is something everyone needs to pay attention to.”

It is only a small irony that their walk to heighten awareness of global warming took place in a raging snow and ice storm as the "faithful walkers kept their spirits strong by singing 'Keep on walking forward, never turning back,' a hymn they had chanted in prayer services before the march to Boston", and the "group warmed up on bowls of lentil and minestrone soup after walking eight miles in deep snow from Northampton to Amherst."

You see, throughout the millenia, reality and truth have little to do with religion.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Documentary Link

Link to view "The Great Global Warming Swindle" documentary (thanks to Ben Gordon for suggesting this link) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792811497638&q=Great+Global+Warming+Swindle&hl=en

Climate Dissenter Receives Death Threats

"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor.

"I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal."

"Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who also appeared on the documentary - recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Imagine a Highway

In Henry Hazlitt's classic book Economics in One Lesson he describes the "broken window" fallacy. The idea is that a brick has been thrown through a shopkeepers window and he must fix the window by paying a glassmaker. Crowds gather and conclude that since the glassmaker will now have extra business he will have extra money to spend at other merchants and those merchants will have more to spend "providing money and employment in ever-widening circles." The crowd concludes that the brick thrower far from being a menace is actually a public benefactor. So then logically wouldn't that mean breaking windows is good for the economy? In fact, don't most teachers tell us that World War II ended the Great Depression under this exact premise? Breaking windows, dropping bombs, its all good, right?

Of course, the fallacy is that to the extent the glassmaker has made more money the shopkeeper now has less and therefore has less to spend on going to the movies, buying gas for his car, etc. So to the extent that the glassmaker is better off, the shopkeeper and other businesses are worse off and there is no net gain from any of this (in fact there is actually a net loss as the money had to be consumed on glass rather than say invested in capital or something more productive). Hazlitt uses this simple idea to explain common economics fallacies across the board from public works projects to taxes to minimum wage laws and beyond.

The deeper psychological or philosophical point is that people naturally focus on the observed direct consequences of an action and do not focus clearly on what does not happen as a result of an action. In his example, its easy to see the broken glass and the money being spent at the glassmaker. One can only "imagine" what would have been if the glass was not broken, and it turns out that humans are very poor at imagining what does not happen.

This effect has profound origins in human psychology. Harvard psychologist and author Dr. Daniel Gilbert in his book Stumbling on Happiness devotes a chapter "The Hounds of Silence" to this effect stating "when the rest of humankind imagines the future, it rarely notices what imagination has missed - and the missing pieces are much more important than we realize." He goes on to describe various psychological experiments that bear out this thesis and shows how dramatically it can affect human decision making and thus human happiness.

I point this out because the effect is so endemic it makes it difficult to discuss solutions to certain problems without causing an almost hysterical reaction.

For example, I often argue with people that roads and highways should be completely privatized. That is, the roads and highways should be privately owned and the users (drivers) should pay the owners to use them (novel concept, eh?). The state has no business "owning" roads and does a horrendous job maintaining this infrastructure and capacity which leads to daily misery for millions of people. Most people accept this as a simple fact of life that can not be changed and can not "imagine" it being any other way.

For example, when you are in a traffic jam what is really happening? Demand is outstripping supply and you are physically experiencing the economic concept of a shortage. This is identical in principle to the scenario discussed in my "price gouging" posts where the government artifically forces the price of gasoline to be lower than the market is willing to pay thus creating long waiting lines and/or empty pumps. Also in that post, I pointed out that when demand increases relative to supply the price should naturally increase thus leveling current demand to current supply. This is economic science 101, right? If McDonalds started giving away Happy Meals for 1 cent, I imagine there would be a line around the block and they would run out of supplies pretty quickly, right? When you drive on a highway during rush hour for free it is the equivalent of waiting in a long line. If you have been to the post office you may be familiar with government lines - is this a coincidence?

Add to this that the government has no profit incentive to increase the capacity of the highway it means they are constantly under supplied and only react to political pressure to increase it (and now thanks to the ecology movement it is harder than ever to build more roads). Their solution is to encourage "car pooling" and the like which is the equivalent of discouraging people from using their product. Could you imagine a private business encouraging its customers not to use its product? This would be like K-mart advertising to please only buy 1 shirt and tube of toothpaste at a time so that they don't run out!

So, if roads were private the owners would have an incentive to provide capacity, safety, and invent a pricing mechanism that would enable traffic to flow freely. However, most people can not even imagine this because they are so immersed conceptually in the way they see that it has always been done. They think only of the current government solution of 3 lanes on one side, 3 lanes on the other, toll booths, etc. and just can't imagine it any other way.

If you were making the road and you had limited space what would you do? How about creating different levels vertically for express traffic below and local traffic above? Imagine a road through town that went under an intersection with an ramp to local streets so that you didn't have to stop at a light. Imagine the safety considerations since safer roads would give an operator a competitive advantage. Imagine the new and creative ways that could be invented for people to pay for usage such as magnetic bar codes and scanners. Prices could increase during "rush hour" to discourage people from travelling at the same time. These are just a few ideas and I have little incentive to figure it out. I don't have all the answers to what could be done - that is the point.

Why is it that when we go to most private businesses you rarely have to wait for very long and if you do you have recourse by shopping somewhere else? How is it that when you go to the grocery store they seem to always have just enough cereal, milk, eggs, bread, etc.? Now with RFID technology, self-checkout scanners, etc. retail stores are becoming more efficient at checkout to maintain competitiveness with other stores and the internet. Yet, here we sit in our cars in the year 2007 going 10 mph on a jam packed highway, burning expensive gasoline, with dangerous construction everywhere while one guy in a bobcat moves dirt as 10 others sit around in orange hats talking to each other. Every day there are more deadly accidents. This is literally a life and death matter that could easily be solved.

The same argument can be applied to public schooling which I argue should be completely privatized for the exact same reasons. I will discuss this in a future post. But for now, imagine what you can't see and couple it with the principle that private ownership and the free market are moral and practical.

GMU Update

Professor's invitation at GMU pulled amid Muslim complaints


Friday, March 9, 2007

Bluetongue, PETA, and the GWDLEFT theory

Apparently, global warming poses a threat to European livestock since somehow it is pushing African diseases northward.

"Global warming is pushing northwards diseases more commonly found in developing countries, posing a risk to the financial and physical health of rich nations, the head of a livestock herders' charity said. Steve Sloan, chief executive of GALVmed, said on Friday insect-borne diseases were increasingly moving north, such as the viral infection bluetongue that has hit cattle and sheep in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany."

In a previous post, I linked to an article in which PETA claimed that livestock "emissions" were the biggest cause of global warming and encouraged the West to end its "meat addiction." So, this news should come as great relief to PETA. In fact, this could be an interesting scientific phenonmena and let me the first to theorize a global warming-disease-livestock emission feedback theory or GWDLEFT as I would like it called.

Lots of livestock emissions cause global warming. The global warming in turn pushes diseases northward and begins killing the livestock. Less livestock mean less emissions and therefore less global warming and then perhaps less disease but uh, oh, that may lead to more livestock. So this may be an oscillating phenomena like the big bang-big crunch theory of the universe. Its amazing how nature works. The only caveat I will throw in is the unknown variables of the amount of chemical plasticizers in sex toys, Valentine bouquets, and the number of Polar Bears floating in the city rivers as they become immersed in the forecasted floods (which may eat livestock).

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Congress is Not Reading My Blog

Who Is Gouging Whom?by David Holcberg (March 7, 2007)
Last Wednesday 79 members of the House of Representatives introduced a bill instituting criminal and civil penalties on any corporation or individual found guilty of gasoline "price gouging." But the real gouger driving up gasoline prices is not the private sector, it is our government.

Above is a link to an excellent op-ed related to price "gouging" which I have discussed in previous posts both from an economic and moral perspective. Apparently, my ideas are not being transmitted to the highest levels of power which is disappointing.

Also, Professor George Reisman has graced us with another blog post:
Global Warming Is Not a Threat But the Environmentalist Response to It Is

He demonstrates that even if it were true that global warming were occuring we would be better off continuing to burn fossil fuels and adapt to the warming (which could actually be beneficial) and considers how adapation should logically proceed.

If one values the benefits provided by industrial civilization above the avoidance of the losses alleged to result from global warming, it follows that nothing should be done to stop global warming that destroys or undermines industrial civilization. That is, it follows that global warming should simply be accepted as a byproduct of economic progress and that life should go on as normal in the face of it.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from this:
In addition, the process of adaptation here in the United States would be helped by making all areas determined to be likely victims of coastal flooding in the years ahead ineligible for any form of governmental aid, insurance, or disaster relief that is not already in force. Existing government guarantees should be phased out after a reasonable grace period. Such measures would spur relocation to safer areas in advance of any future flooding.

Classic Reisman...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Attention Global Citizen: Faux 'Fried Chicken' is Now Mandatory and Your Sex Toys Must Not Contain Phthalates

According to today's Drudge Report:
"This morning, PETA sent a letter to former vice president Al Gore explaining to him that the best way to fight global warming is to go vegetarian and offering to cook him faux 'fried chicken' as an introduction to meat-free meals.

The effect that our meat addiction is having on the climate is truly staggering. In fact, in its recent report “Livestock’s Long Shadow—Environmental Issues and Options,” the United Nations determined that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. "
Wait, weren't we just told that we have to stop driving SUV's and sending flowers on airplanes? They never mentioned the animals!

Furthermore, I thought that PETA liked animals so if we eat less then won't farmers breed less leading to a reduction in the number of animals? What about the rights of unborn animals? And what are the farmers going to do in the short run if people stop eating meat - slaughter them? I wonder if PETA knows how quickly we should slaughter them to stop them from emitting? Hopefully, PETA members will volunteer to help slaughter them all.

If we eat more vegetables won't that increase the need for farmland, tractors and pesticides? Oh wait, everyone will have their own garden and grow their own food like the 'old days'. That'll be fun and convenient. Even though we will live hand to mouth every day I'm sure we'll all have plenty of time to research medicine, attend art galleries, surf the web, and explore space.

Now, apparently there must be a perfect number of animals such that the "emissions" from these animals don't cause global warming. I wonder if PETA can tell us how many? Hey, maybe that's what happened to the dinosaurs - they must have had tremendous emissions and maybe they warmed the planet up enough to... wait, weren't they killed by an ice age or a meteorite or something? Oh well.

Oh and by the way, referring to a different type of "meat addiction" (laugh track):
Greenpeace has released a list of strategies for "getting it on for the good of the planet," suggesting "you can be a bomb in bed without nuking the planet." TreeHugger, an online magazine edited by Ontario's Michael Graham Richard, has just published a guide on "how to green your sex life." The famed adult store Good Vibrations announced last week they would no longer sell sex toys containing phthalates, controversial chemical plasticizers believed by some to be hazardous to humans and the environment alike.
And not to be outdone:
"Brothel owners in Bulgaria are blaming global warming for staff shortages." 
So, if you have read my past posts including this one you should be able now to understand the following and have scientific support for your action plan:

To Summarize:

1) Stop "meat addiction" to lessen global warming
2) Stop sending Valentine bouquets to reduce "flower miles"
3) Only buy sex toys that do not contain chemical plasticizers

As a Result:

1) Starving people will not turn terrorist and try and attack the West or at least come here (unless they're starving because they won't eat faux 'fried chicken')
2) Suicides will lessen
3) Bulgarian brothels will have more prostitutes
4) Polar Bears will not be floating in the river
5) Al Gore will be bored

And I said that Environmentalists are not concerned with human beings....

Monday, March 5, 2007

Con Artistry

It's not often that one can directly experience a con artist. I do not mean just observing and understanding consciously that someone is lying to you. I mean this in the same sense as what one experiences when contemplating art, i.e., in the sense that art reduces a wide abstraction (efficacy, benevolence, evil, etc.) to a simpler percept that can be experienced directly. The power of art is precisely this ability of the mind to contain a wide abstraction in a simple form. So, when contemplating the concept of con artist keep the below in mind.

Linked on the Drudge Report is a clip of Hillary Clinton faking a southern accent while speaking in Kentucky. Within the context of all we know about her life of deceit and duplicity, I believe that her fakery should be appreciated on a much higher level.

Ladies and Gentleman - the Senator from New York:


Below are links to a trailer and summary for an upcoming documentary called the "The Great Global Warming Swindle". I also link an article about the documentary. I couldn't resist copying the entire summary of the documentary as it echoes similar arguments I have been making for some time. What's interesting is that not only do they make the scientific argument but it also appears they touch on the political forces behind global warming and even make the case that restricting CO2 emissions would wreak havoc on developing third world countries.

This should be a major wake up call to those who have been led to believe that there is unanimity in the scientific community and hopefully force a major rethink of the premises and politics of this debate (doubt it).



Channel 4 Thursday 8 March at 9pm

In a polemical and thought-provoking documentary, film-maker Martin Durkin argues that the theory of man-made global warming has become such a powerful political force that other explanations for climate change are not being properly aired.

The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that a 'greenhouse effect' of carbon dioxide released by human activity is the cause of rising global temperatures.

Instead the documentary highlights recent research that the effect of the sun's radiation on the atmosphere may be a better explanation for the regular swings of climate from ice ages to warm interglacial periods and back again.

The film argues that the earth's climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. It argues that the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions not only may have little impact on climate change, it may also have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.

The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, including nine professors – experts in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biogeography and paleoclimatology – from such reputable institutions as MIT, NASA, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.

The film hears from scientists who dispute the link between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.

'The ice core record goes to the very heart of the problem we have,' says Tim Ball, Climatologist and Prof Emeritus of Geography at the University of Winnipeg in the documentary. 'They said if CO2 increases in the atmosphere, as a greenhouse gas, then the temperature will go up'.

In fact, the experts in the film argue that increased CO2 levels are actually a result of temperature rises, not their cause, and that this alternate view is rarely heard. 'So the fundamental assumption, the most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change due to humans, is shown to be wrong.'

'I've often heard it said that there is a consensus of thousands of scientists on the global warming issue, that humans are causing a catastrophic change to the climate system,' says John Christy, Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, NSSTC University of Alabama. 'Well I am one scientist, and there are many, that simply think that is not true.'

The film examines an alternative theory that explains global temperatures, based on research by Professor Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish Space Center. The professor and his team found that as solar activity increases, and the sun flares, cloud formation on earth is significantly diminished and temperature rises.

Ian Clark, Professor of Isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology at the Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa explains: 'Solar activity over the last hundred years, over the last several hundred years, correlates very nicely, on a decadal basis, with temperature.'

Finally, the film argues that restricting CO2 emissions could actually be damaging for people in the developing world. James Shikwati, Kenyan director of the Inter Region Economic Network, says: 'The rich countries can afford to engage in some luxurious experimentation with other forms of energy, but for us we are still at the stage of survival.

'I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry, how a solar panel is going to power a railway network, it might work, maybe, to power a small transistor radio.
'The thing that emerges from the whole environmental debate is the point that there is somebody keen to kill the African dream, and the African dream is to develop. We are being told don't touch your resources, don't touch your oil, don't touch your coal; that is suicide.'

Friday, March 2, 2007

Maybe its the Sun? Impossible...

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

Don't Blame Sun for Global Warming, Study Says

This is amazing.

Above are links to two articles in National Geographic. One is about a "controversial" scientist (Ellen Goodman would call him a "Global Warming Denier") who cites evidence from Mars that would seem to show that Mars is heating up at the same time Earth is heating and that therefore the cause of heating is most likely solar irradiance and not man-made causes.

The other article quotes scientists who found that common sun spot activity is not enough to account for climate changes. However, in that same article (which is linked in the "controversial" article as reason for skepticism) it is noted that:

"There are numerous studies that find a correlation [between solar variation and Earth climate]," said Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Lindau, Germany.

"These authors have looked at the simplest mechanism, and they find that this mechanism does not produce the same level of change that has been observed," he continued.

"This could be suggesting that there are other mechanisms acting for the way that the sun influences climate."
Solar ultraviolet (UV) rays are one possibility, though that theory creates its own challenges.

"UV is only a small fraction of total solar output, so you'd need a strong amplification mechanism in the Earth's atmosphere," study co-author Spruit said.

Magnetized plasma flares known as solar wind could also impact Earth's climate. Solar wind influences galactic rays and may in turn affect atmospheric phenomena on Earth, such as cloud cover.

Such complex interactions are poorly understood but could be crucial to unlocking Earth's climatic puzzle.

"I think the main question," the Max Planck Institute's Solanki said, "is, How does the sun [in general] act on climate? What are the processes that are going on in the Earth's atmosphere?"

(bolds are mine)

Ok, so let me get this straight. One would think that the SUN might have something to do with climate on Earth, right? And, scientists have found a high correlation between "solar variation and Earth climate", right? And, there is great debate between scientists who don't understand the cause of this correlation and admit that "such complex interactions are poorly understood but could be crucial to unlocking Earth's climatic puzzle", right? Yet, didn't they just release a study telling us that it almost beyond reasonable doubt that humans are causing global warming?

I submit that if climate scientists are still at the point of saying things like "I think the main question is, how does the sun [in general] act on climate? What are the processes that are going on in the Earth's atmosphere?" then perhaps we should have some skepticism as to the validity of their computer models which extrapolate their current understanding and attempt to predict the weather over the next 100 years!!!!!

I will put my prediction of what will happen to humans if we wreck the global economy against predictions based on these climate models anyday.