Sunday, 15 August 2010

direst illth & a stup'd fuh'n ol' Hippie

at a Climate Change Conference.
or: "He cannot distinguish solecism from barbarism, milord."
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript.

I had just finished my first reading of Tim Jackson's Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (thanks to the Toronto Public Library) when my own copy arrived in the mail from Earthscan and I began a more relaxed look at it, and also arrived Peter Victor's Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster, I will look in a minute to see which of them used 'illth' ... ahh, it was neither of them, Tim Jackson employs four Forewords to his book, and the first is by Herman Daly, and it is Daly who uses 'illth' ...

great word! 'illth'

it's in the OED, means what you think it would, one of the citations there bears repeating: “A hundred sovereigns may be no wealth, but the direst illth, to the drowning wretch in whose pockets they serve only as a load to drag him to destruction.” (G.B. Shaw)

sometime in the summer of 1968 I was hitch-hiking down the Burin Peninsula with a girlfriend, the road wasn't paved in those days, we stopped at a diner for a coffee & sandwich, in came three Mounties who plugged the jukebox with I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee three or four times until we left, we picked up a ride right away in the back of a dump truck and moved on down the road ... 'high camp' I guess, is that what you'd call it? here's Merle Haggard and Merle again and the Beach Boys singin' it,

so, I spent the weekend at a Climate Change Conference,

I met Ron Plain face-to-face, and a girl, Gracen Johnson, and I heard Greg Allen & Ralph Torrie speak from up close - those were the best things,

otherwise it was mostly a bust, I'm sorry to say it, but there it is eh? ... right away I had a problem with the name of it, do you see? the problem being that it really didn't have a name, despite the organizers being from the Green Party of k-k-Canada and the early presence & involvement of Elizabeth May, it was explicitly explained to be 'non sectarian' ... hence the need for the indefinite article I guess ...

Q: What did you do this weekend?
A: Oh, I went to a climate change conference.

or something, maybe not having a name reveals too much, maybe it leads to identity crisis, I dunno, whatever ... what I experienced had to do with me (obviously), it has to be said like that (unfortunately), it has to be like that (inevitably) ... "It's all about ME!" do you see? this ME thing must be a virus, and I must've caught it from an incautious kiss, I'm sorry Miss ...

being born on the 13th isn't all it's cracked up to be :-)being born on the 13th isn't all it's cracked up to be (see Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty)

it was relentless, I could not keep up with the sheer pace of it, sitting, squirming, hour after hour in the heat with no time off to kibbitz ... eventually I scribbled DAEMONIC! in my notebook, a man, a doctor, Alan Abelsohn, began to speak about the medical impacts, I felt an uncontrollable urge to blurt out, "does my paranoid schizophrenia figgure in there somewhere?" but I knew that was a bad idea so I staggered up & outside for a smoke ... and then just didn't go back inside again, that was Saturday,

Sunday I managed to get there because I wanted to hear Ralph Torrie, as luck would have it I heard Greg Allen as well, I was mistaken in what I said about Greg Allen in the last post, he is eloquent & knowledgeable & coherent & convincing & positive - quite a combination, I did have a question for Ralph but the microphone was immediately hogged by the usual suspects, the organizers were incapable of properly introducing anyone and they were also incapable of asking "Is this a question or is this a speech?" I tried to get a photograph but he was gone by the time I turned around so I just left,

I wanted to post these links to Ralph Torrie speaking at the Corporate Knights' E3 Roundtable in Toronto in May: 1 2 3; and to one of the men he shared the stage with, Lawrence Solomon: 1 2; and to Greg Allen's The Energetic City presentation: 1 2, the third part of Ralph's speech has got a hitch in it somewhere, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sorry about that (the technical incompetence of these so called Corporate Knights is matched only by the Green Party of k-k-Canada), if you run it through Keepvid it seems to work ok.

Elizabeth May, Ron PlainI have mentioned Ron Plain here before, I did manage to get his picture with Elizabeth May, I included Elizabeth in the picture because Ron told me that she had come there to Aamjiwnaang (God bless her!)

three hours drive west, like he says, and nobody knows where it is or what's going on there,

he taught me how to say Aamjiwnaang, which I have forgot already ... or not,

a relentless series of presentations, my mind blurred under the onslaught - and that's speaking as someone who knows the material somewhat better than superficially I think it is fair to say, well enough to know that some of the presenters had not done their homework,

here's another good thing that came out of it: the first clue (luckily it was up-front - she was the second speaker) was that Gracen Johnson is not full of herself, you could even say she is 'humble,' that might be exaggeration since she is so young, but if you did say 'humble' then you would have to couple it with something else like 'with some steel showing' to get the whole picture, but that wouldn't be quite 'balanced' either because she is in fact slim, quiet, reserved, a girl, a quandary, a hopeful glimpse of a real person struggling (and managing) to establish connections,

in the subsequent Q&A someone somehow picked up on violence out of what she had said, I tried to inject a little Noam Chomsky into it, oil on the water in a manner of speaking, but I don't think they heard me, I know they didn't ...

there were a few other clues, I will go through my notes later and see if any of them are worth recording,

Elizabeth May, Ron Plainwhat I think of as 'the counterforce' was only enunciated clearly by Ron Plain (that I can remember) when he said (something like) "the only value in events like this is in whatever contacts we manage to forge with one another."

there it is again: "We must love one another or die." (just in case, gentle reader, you were wondering 'Clues to what?')

I failed in this respect, I tried (I know it's lame to say that but there it is eh?), I gave them proofs, and came away feeling more like an outsider than ever, alone with my only friend - despair, oh well ... I was not the only one either, there is a young man who often shows up at these sorts of events, one of the 'usual suspects' and I have tried talking to him, saying 'Good Morning' & 'Good Afternoon' and I have tried making sense of the ellipical questions he inevitably asks, but they don't make sense to me and all I do in the end is bear a kind of hand-wringing k-k-Canadian witness that makes me know that the Good Samaritan has not shown up yet on the scene and is probably not coming ...

a man named 'Old Karajá' was killed in the town of Santa Terezinha in the Brasilian state of Mato Grosso, the name reported is Matukari Karajá, it was a fluke that I later discovered Matukari means 'old man' in the language of the Karajá - talk about a generic murder? a generic murder of a generic person - who was quite possibly satisfied or even gratified to be called by any name at all - I can't say,

You only get what you can handle. :-)Ron also said "You only get what you can handle," ... and he got that right too,

be well gentle reader.


Stupid old fart! :-)as usual I forget where I am going and only remember when I am half-way there and begin thinking I am done, turn back and discover that I have forgotten my keys,

my thinking around the planet has been converging, first of all because my mind, such as it is, wants to find convergence, if not Doonesbury's 'divine harmonic' kind then any kind whatever (was it Doonesbury who did that one?),

the directions of Bill McKibben (once you manage to discount his fucking ego) and Clive Hamilton (once you warm his cool to serving temperature) seem to me to be converging to lead me down this garden path to thinking that it is all connected to a sort-of secular Good Samaritan which I sum up using Auden's phrase "We must love one another or die."

and there is another convergence going on here as well, I thought Hamilton's throwing in civil disobedience at the end of his book was a lame sort of sop when I read it ... but through the flickering jaggers and out-of-synch audio and just-plain-not-there (in short excurciatingly excreable & execrable) video came a ghost of Bill McKibben talking about civil disobedience too, hummm ... and Noam Chomsky's caveat that if there is to be violence then there must be a VERY strong case made for it, and stumbling onto the aversion of the North American Mainstream Media (and leftstream media too for that matter) to even mention the aquittals of the EDO Decommissioners and the rest - you can see where this is going right?

every time I see Elizabeth May speak she ends by invoking hope, which is exactly the right thing to do, but like a Pollyanna nit-wit laying on random grace notes she is not able to carry it off, she says, "Oh, you must not fall into despair, you must have hope" and stops, gives no fucking clue about how to get there from here except, "Write to your MP - they really care," it makes me want to yell at her (the way you yell at people on TV Jeopardy or Wheel Of Fortune when they get soooo close), in fact I wrote her a stern letter a while ago including this point but she did not deign to respond (though she did cash the cheque :-)

so how do you get there from here? (as the Scotsman said to the Eskimo) ... well, at the end of her speech she could say, "Now, turn to your neighbour there in the seat beside you, and if you already know the person on your right then turn to the left, and when you get up to leave the hall, walk with this person as far as the street, find out their name and where they come from and what they do or did, find out what languages they speak, exchange emails, follow it up later, within a week, by actually sending an email, don't get into their car or visit until you know them better, but ... ESTABLISH CONTACT! There is no hope if there is only one." Ivan Illich said so (or if he didn't he meant to).

the only one I saw with the wits to do something like this was Andrew Knox talking about Transition Town, good on 'im!

Kellie TranterKellie Tranterthings in Australia are quite different, Clive Hamilton's descriptons of the bully tactics of deniers there do seem exaggerated - but they are not, here's a tempest in an Australian teapot: an article by Kellie Tranter, and a kind-of sort-of rebuttal by three (apparently prominent) Australian deniers complete with footnotes yet! which I have not followed up on but a quick look at the authors of the articles being cited may give you a clue, the comments on the original articles are interesting as well,

I first stopped to read what Kellie had to say because she is a lawyer, and because I am still musing about the differences between legal and moral arguments, and still musing about the EDO Decommissioners & Raytheon 9 & B52-Two and so on, the pictures of her I have posted are a kind-of sort-of social commentary as well, they were self-selected - both were lifted from her website, and they seem very 50s to me, I know I know I know - it is a mortal sin to make any disparaging remarks about Australians being behind the times.

the wheels of American Justice grind more quickly than the k-k-Canadian ones I guess, here's Massey's CEO Don Blankenship in the courts over the Upper Big Branch explosions already - only 4 months (!) - now that I look at him again I notice a certain 50ish cast there too eh?

and the plural of subpoena chosen by Bloomberg is interesting, looks like putting on airs,

"I was told we'd sail the seas for American gold, we'd fire no guns, shed no tears, now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett's Privateers."

“If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law,” said Winston Churchill, some people say the deniers are primarily fuelled by dislike of authority & regulations & bureaucracy, Sarah Palin mavericks and so on, and then Ralph Torrie stands up and says that he too set out to 'challenge authority' - just to show that there may be a disconnect somewhere in this general area,

while I was fossicking down under (as it were) I discovered Fiona Lowry, these images have an ideological bent which I don't necessarily like or agree with, but they have some other quality as well (aside from nudity) which appeals to me, here:
Fiona Lowry, What I assume you shall assume.Fiona Lowry, What I assume you shall assume.Fiona Lowry, Bones.Fiona Lowry, God and Sam Colt make all men equal.Fiona Lowry, It's confusing when they kill the innocent.Fiona Lowry, They have eyes that they might not see.
it was when I read the title It's confusing when they kill the innocent, that I decided to take the time to post the images, if you are interested in the ideology you can find it elsewhere starting with the link above.

Sue CooperSue Cooperoh my, almost forgot to include Susan Cooper, the Nunavut Judge who shut down seismic testing in Lancaster Sound this week, here's a copy of her decision, there is also something called the 'Triton Report' which apparently justifies the testing, it is floating around but I can't find a bona-fide copy anywhere, what I did find was this report on the NIRB FTP site, they probably meant to lock it up and forgot (?), down around page 13 it specifies the sound levels involved - the testing equipment delivers on the order of 200 dB at 500 metres away, what I remember is that 125 dB is about at the 'threshold of pain' at a distance an order of magnitude less, doh! are the ears of sea mammals so different from the ears of human mammals? listening to 10 times the threshold of pain causes just about immediate and permanent deafness in humans eh? and that's in air which is, I think, more elastic than water?

these were the only two pictures of Sue Cooper that I could find, it looks like there may have been some hard miles in there somewhere, can't say, hope not ... she should get the Order of Canada for this injunction, that's my vote.

1. Mais um Karajá assassinado!, Gilberto Vieira dos Santos, 11/08/2010.
2-1. Climate change 'brown wash', Kellie Tranter, 26 July 2010.
2-2. Suing the sceptics, Anthony Cox & David Stockwell & Jo Nova, 11 August 2010.
3. Massey Executives Face Subpoenaes in Probe of Mine Blast, Jeff Plungis, Aug 11 2010.
4. Nunavut judge grants temporary injunction against seismic testing, Randy Boswell, August 8 2010.

Mais um Karajá assassinado!, Gilberto Vieira dos Santos, 11/08/2010.

No dia 5 de agosto foi encontrado morto nos arredores da cidade de Santa Terezinha - Mato Grosso (MT), Matukari Karajá, senhor de aproximadamente 50 anos de idade, morador da Aldeia Macaúba, Ilha do Bananal. Estava desaparecido há alguns dias e seu corpo, já em estado de decomposição, apresentava ferimentos de faca e pauladas.

Ele foi visto com vida pela última vez na festa de encerramento dos Jogos Regionais, que acontecem no mês de julho em Santa Terezinha. Testemunhas dizem que ele estava bastante bêbado na ocasião.

Os Karajá, que são o grupo humano de mais longa permanência no Araguaia, têm sofrido inúmeras violências ao longo do contato com a sociedade não-indígena. São freqüentes as mortes em decorrência dos efeitos do alcoolismo, como quando voltam para suas aldeias de canoa e se afogam no rio Araguaia. As cidades ribeirinhas que se instalaram em locais próximos às suas aldeias favorecem o consumo de bebidas alcoólicas vendidas por comerciantes inescrupulosos.

No mês de julho, quando acontecem festivais de praia em Santa Terezinha, Luciara e São Félix do Araguaia, a população Karajá fica exposta a sérias situações de risco, sobretudo os jovens. Consumo de álcool e outras drogas, prostituição de menores, doenças graves como DST-AIDS, hoje fazem parte do cotidiano das aldeias.

Devido a essa situação, acabam sendo vítimas de um enorme preconceito por parte da população não-indígena, que, em geral, os discrimina diariamente. Entretanto, o fato de Matukari estar possivelmente alcoolizado não dava a ninguém o direito de assassiná-lo. Espera-se que as autoridades locais concluam o inquérito iniciado e que os responsáveis por mais esse ato de violência contra os Karajá não fiquem impunes.

Climate change 'brown wash', Kellie Tranter, 26 July 2010.

Recent reports confirm that 2010 could end up being the warmest year since measurement records began in 1880. That may help explain the unseasonable misery for hayfever sufferers - does it feel like midwinter, with the wattle already out? Then again, the politicians are also out.

Back at the lab the pleas from scientists "to act now" have long faded. No doubt they've already bought land in more temperate climates and planned their retreat to higher ground. Who could blame them? If you knew what they know you'd want to escape the force of the herd, hell-bent on "moving forward" into an overpopulated and under-resourced future where winter will be the season of choice.

If you were to ask any of our current elected representatives what needs to be done politically, economically and socially to limit any increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, what chance is there that you'd hear a rational, financially viable and carefully articulated plan? How confident can you be that these people won't get you killed?

As climate change comes back onto the political agenda with the forthcoming election, so too will come the spawning of those pushing for inaction.

With no sign of immediate large-scale emergency measures - which is what's needed to limit any increase in global temperature to 2C - green groups need to identify where the resistance to change lies, how it inveigles itself into political respectability, and how it can be exposed for what it is and thus more effectively targeted.

Courtesy of the ACCC we all know the consequences of "green wash", but what about the flip side? Shouldn't the ACCC also be telling us about "brown wash"?

Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1987 provides that a corporation shall not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

At a state level fair trading acts mirror the consumer protection parts of the Trade Practices Act. The Fair Trading Act (NSW), for instance, provides that "a person shall not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. It defines "trade or commerce" to include "any business (which includes a business not carried on for profit and a trade or profession) or professional activity".

Now suppose you're a "brown washer" and you put yourself up as an expert on the issue of climate change. You knock up a book on the subject. You're paid to deliver lectures, and you're using the lectures to promote your profession or trade as an author. Hundreds attend and many purchase your book because they are relatively unsophisticated in scientific matters and want to know more. You're in "trade or commerce".

Your book is successful. Your representations, if repeated, are likely to sway the minds of some who interest themselves in the questions posed by you. They may also interest policymakers, think-tanks, various foundations and mainstream media, not just because of alleged "scientific validity" but because they might, for example, be useful in pushing a line that is of short-term economic benefit for some people or alternatively in promoting newsworthy conflict.

Your representations include that carbon dioxide isn't all that important to the Earth's radiation balance, that we can go on burning fossil fuels with gay abandon, and that climate scientists are frauds, manipulating data and pushing a message to deindustrialise the modern world. You'd reminisce about past climate change, calling on this as comfort that somehow the change that's coming will not be relevant, and you'd earn some nice royalties along the way.

You don't mention, nor do you offer any evidence to refute or alternative hypotheses to explain, that carbon dioxide affects global temperature due to the well-known greenhouse effect, or that no known factor apart from greenhouse gases can account for the past century of warming - not solar cycles, nor cosmic rays, not magnetic fields, not urban heat effects.

You fail to mention the consistent global scale temperature trends of the past century: the ocean warming far away from cities, the ice sheet melt and sea level rise, and the melting of mountain ice caps. You ignore the direct satellite measurements that have tracked the gradual progression of the enhanced greenhouse effect: the measurements that show the widening gap between the solar radiation going in and the longwave radiation getting out. You show five years of data to make a point that you know is invalidated by a longer time record.

For someone claiming to have a scientific background, isn't the written publication and oral presentation of those representations misleading or deceptive? How can a person who claims to be an expert in climate science - even though you may not have specialist qualifications in the field - and who claims to have examined the evidence ignore the most important scientific evidence?

Why don't you deal with this evidence? Could it be incompetence or ignorance, that you're not aware of it? Could it be ineptitude or cowardice, that you can't answer it or won't try to? Could it be cowardly self-interest, that facing it would make the premises of your arguments untenable and your output unsaleable? Could it be calculated deception, that acknowledging scientific truth would invalidate your fallacious assertions and hence your entire position, so that self preservation requires that you deny its existence?

Opportunistic exploitation of a pseudo-scientific position is all very well - "never let a chance go by" is the credo that set us on this course - but as our environmental predicament becomes more dire you shouldn't be surprised if financially-backed green groups consider legal action to put a stop to it.

There is a view, widely and quite properly held, that care must be exercised before courts are asked to make orders restraining statements made in the course of public discussion. But that sympathy for honest and open debate won't come to the aid of those whose printed works and publicly espoused "expert" views are deliberately misleading, whose actions are commercially motivated and who deliberately aim to enshroud the masses in falsehoods and exaggerated claims of uncertainty to avoid tackling the issue of climate change.

Suing the sceptics, Anthony Cox & David Stockwell & Jo Nova, 11 August 2010.

Kellie Tranter's "Brown-washing" article was incorrect, inaccurate, based on fallacies of ad hominem, reasoned by mere authority, and was stocked with countless unsubstantiated claims about imaginary malfeasant authors. It's so vacant, and lacking in any reasonable argument that it doesn't just reflect badly on the author, it begs us to ask why our tax dollars are being used to propagate this kind of generic un-researched smear.

Kellie Tranter attacks imaginary people, who she doesn't name, doesn't cite, and doesn't quote. She accuses them of misrepresentations that she doesn't specify. Surely Australian tax payers expect that commentary they pay to promote ought to at least be based on some research, by someone who has some familiarity with the topic?

Kellie Tranter wants to sue sceptics using the Trade Practices Act (TPA) and its state equivalents, but this is legally tenuous. Generally litigation under Part V of the TPA requires two things. Firstly the target must have created the perception of expertise and secondly used that perception to promote a defective product which people rely on to their detriment.

The irony here is that it is the believers in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) who are pushing a product, not the sceptics. And it is the general public who are being forced through their power bills and the cascade throughout the economy of the cost of the CAGW 'solutions' to rely on the product of CAGW to their detriment.

But this confusion is typical of the Tranter article; everything she accuses sceptics of doing; inference and innuendo, scaremongering, lack of transparency, profiteering and obfuscation are labels which apply to the CAGW supporters. Indeed the money for those with pro-CAGW lectures, books, junkets and committees vastly outdoes the rewards of scepticism by 3500: 1. And the promised profits of the carbon-trading schemes eclipse the scientific funding even more so.

The sceptics offer products for voluntary private purchase. Citizens have to pay CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Climate Change. No one is forced to buy a book from a sceptic, and non-fiction books don't have a Charter to provide balanced, impartial information, but government departments do. Who, exactly, fails their contractual duty?

The allegations of "vested interests at work" is not just a vague and lazy ad hominem by Tranter, it's also demonstrably, outrageously wrong. No fossil fuel money is coming to The Climate Sceptics; it is obviously all being spent on that clunker of an idea, carbon capture or clean coal. Given that CAGW is the Zeitgeist it is bizarre to even suggest that sceptics are motivated by money, glory or status. Most of them have the seat out of their pants and operate on the smell of an oily rag. The motivation of most sceptics is that they dislike and oppose the fundamental untruth of CAGW and the great detriment the proposed remedies will have on humanity. They are also concerned about the effect that CAGW will have on the integrity of science as an honest, transparent broker of evidence and information. The University of East Anglia e-mail scandal and the defects of the 3 enquiries exonerating the scientists involved have greatly eroded public trust in science. It is those white-washes that Tranter should be concerned about not an imaginary "brown-wash".

The only plus is that Tranter's claims for civil action are not as egregiously anti-free speech as other proposed legal actions are. James Hansen, Joe Romm, Al Gore and Paul Krugman want sceptics to be charged with criminal offences including but not limited to "treason against the planet". Other CAGW believers like Clive Hamilton want the democratic process to be suspended, while erstwhile Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon runs workshops training people in how to break the law and be civilly disobedient. Robert Manne just wants us all to do what the clever AGW scientists tell us to do.

Bring on the legal cases. The sceptics win.

CAGW has already been put under legal scrutiny. In 2007 Al Gore's pro-AGW film, "An Inconvenient Truth", was brought to court by a parent who objected to the screening of Gore's film in schools. The English High Court found the film had at least nine inaccuracies, that the film was a political work and if shown without warning of its inaccuracies would be political indoctrination. No one appealed the decision.

Closer to home in 2007 the Queensland Land and Resources Tribunal dismissed action brought by the Queensland Conservation Council against Xstrata in relation to the CO2 emissions which would be caused by its Newlands coal mine expansion. The tribunal found evidence supplied by the Australian Conservation Foundation was exaggerated.

Recently, in the NSW Land and Environment Court, an action brought by members of the green group Rising Tide, had its first stage thrown out. The Court ruled that Macquarie Generation had an implied authority rather than just a licence to emit CO2 during the production of electricity; that is electricity could not be produced without emissions. Rising Tide was represented by the taxpayer funded NSW Environment Defender's Office (EDO). Persisting, as groups spending other people's money usually do, the EDO is now seeking a limit on CO2 emissions; in effect, limiting electricity production. If the Greens hold the balance of power after the federal election it will not matter if this head of claim fails as well because Green policies, which include closure of coal power energy, will have the same result.

Some sceptics have suggested climate scientists are frauds who manipulate data, but hasn't Tranter noticed that none of the accused has launched legal proceedings to protect their names? Perhaps the legal maxim, "he who seeks equity must do equity" applies? And if climate scientists have nothing to hide, why do they expend so much effort hiding their work?

Tranter speaks generically on behalf of "victims" who are well paid, and well supported by the government and media, against sceptics who are usually volunteer grassroots workers with nothing to gain financially.

She dutifully repeats evidence that is irrelevant: sea-levels and glaciers would rise and melt regardless of the cause of warming, and indeed they started doing that 100 years before human emissions increased, and the rate hasn't changed. She is so ill-informed she isn't aware most of the satellite measurements she quotes only point to projections of 1.2 degrees or less of warming, and not to the catastrophic sensational headlines. She accuses sceptics of using short data that's invalidated by longer trends. The bad joke is that her side thinks 130 years of records is "long term" and ignores that warm period 1000 years ago that invalidates their own argument. 2,6,7,8

The modellers can't predict or explain the past warm periods when CO2 was low. There is little correlation between CO2 movement and temperature on any time scale except one where temperatures drive CO2. Relative humidity levels in the upper troposphere are not rising, 10,11 temperatures haven't warmed as much as the models predicted, believers can't name any empirical evidence supporting their catastrophic claims, but sceptics can name several independent studies all suggesting CO2 will only make a minor difference. 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12

Her favoured experts have been caught avoiding Freedom of Information requests, talking about deleting records, trying to hide data, and all stand to lose status and money if they say anything other than "there's a catastrophe". Which begs the question: who should sue who?


1 Douglass, D.H., J.R. Christy, B.D. Pearson, and S.F. Singer. 2007. A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. International Journal of Climatology.

2 Huang, S., H. N. Pollack, and P. Y. Shen (1997), Late Quaternary temperature changes seen in world-wide continental heat flow measurements, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24(15), 1947-1950.

3 Idso, S.B. 1998. CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change. Climate Research 10: 69-82

4 Lindzen, R. S., and Y.-S. Choi (2009), On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L16705, doi:10.1029/2009GL039628.

5 Lindzen, R. S., and Y.-S. Choi (2010), On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications (Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research, February 2010)

6 Loehle, C. and J.H. McCulloch. 2008. Correction to: A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-tree ring proxies. Energy and Environment, 19, 93-100.

7 McIntyre, S., and R. McKitrick, 2003. Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) Proxy database and Northern Hemispheric average temperature series. Energy & Environment,14, 751-771 (PDF).

8 McIntyre, S., and R. McKitrick, 2005. Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, doi:10.1029/2004GL021750.

9 McKitrick, Ross R., Stephen McIntyre and Chad Herman (2010) "Panel and Multivariate Methods for Tests of Trend Equivalence in Climate Data Series" in press at Atmospheric Science Letters.

10 Miskolczi, Ferenc; (2010). "The Stable Stationary value of the Earth's global average atmospheric Planck-weighted green-house gas optical thickness. Energy and Environment, volume 21, number 4, August 2010

11 Paltridge, G., Arking, A., Pook, M., 2009. Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 98, Numbers 3-4, pp. 351-35).

12 Spencer, R.W., Braswell, W.D., Christy, J.R., Hnilo, J., 2007. Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007/GL029698;

Massey Executives Face Subpoenaes in Probe of Mine Blast, Jeff Plungis, Aug 11 2010.

Massey Energy Co. executives will be subpoenaed in the U.S. investigation of a deadly West Virginia coal mine explosion that a safety regulator today called “a preventable occurrence.”

The Mine Safety and Health Administration and state regulators have so far interviewed 166 people about the April 5 blast at the Upper Big Branch Mine, Joseph Main, assistant secretary of Labor for mine safety, said on a call with reporters. Main said executives will be summoned and declined to comment on the possibility of a subpoena for Massey Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship.

“To accommodate moving the investigation forward, there is the use of the subpoena process to effectively conclude the interview process,” Main said. “We are going to scour the earth to determine what happened at the Upper Big Branch Mine.”

The explosion in the rural West Virginia mine killed 29 workers, the worst such U.S. coal-industry accident in 40 years. The Labor Department said in a report to President Barack Obama in April that most mine blasts of that magnitude are sparked by accumulations of methane, combustible coal dust and air.

Massey fell $2.11, or 6.4 percent, to $30.99 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, and has declined 43 percent since the explosion.

Investigators at the West Virginia mine are searching for methane detectors, Main said. A large portion of the mine remains unmapped and the investigation isn’t complete, he said.

Methane Detectors

Investigators are examining eight detectors used in the mine before the explosion, Main said. Data from four has been extracted with additional testing to be conducted, he said. Officials think other units from the mine are missing, he said.

Main and Kevin Stricklin, MSHA’s assistant administrator for coal, disputed a Massey statement they said was made to the families of the workers who died that a 150-foot crack along the mine’s long wall of coal may have allowed a buildup of methane to trigger the explosion.

Investigators have seen “floor heaving” and cracks that would be expected in longwall mining, and none were “close to 150 feet,” Stricklin said. Investigators have seen cracks 6 inches deep and 8 inches wide of varying lengths, he said.

“There hasn’t been enough evidence amassed yet to reach any conclusions on the causes,” Main said.

Massey posted pictures on its website today and said the photographs had been shown to relatives of the blast’s victims.

‘Fully Examined’

“These photos show a crack in the mine floor in the longwall section of the UBB mine,” Shane Harvey, Massey’s vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “The crack along with other potential sources in the mine need to be fully examined by company, federal and state investigators.”

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training is conducting its own investigation. The U.S. Labor Department and the state office decided early on subpoena all witnesses after a few employees failed to show up for interviews, Main said.

Massey’s upper-level managers will be interviewed “in the next month or so,” Stricklin said. “We want them all in here. We want to interview all of them.”

Nunavut judge grants temporary injunction against seismic testing, Randy Boswell, August 8 2010.

A Nunavut judge has handed the Canadian government a significant setback in the Arctic after granting an injunction sought by several Inuit communities from Baffin Island that blocks a planned seismic survey in the environmentally sensitive waters of Lancaster Sound.

The controversial proposal to use sound blasts to probe the sea floor off of Baffin’s northeast coast — an area also slated to become a national marine conservation area — had raised concerns about a possible new Arctic oil and gas target and potential harm to marine mammals from this summer’s testing procedures.

Both federal Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis and Environment Minister Jim Prentice — who has described the species-rich sound as the “Serengeti” of the Arctic — have insisted that the seabed scan is neither a prelude to petroleum exploration nor a danger to the narwhals and beluga whales for which the waters are a crucial habitat.

But the planned survey had also sparked an uproar among Inuit representatives over what they considered inadequate community consultation.

And the project had even drawn the German government into the fray — in support of the survey — since its science ministry’s research ship Polarstern was scheduled to perform the work on behalf of Natural Resources Canada.

The federal government issued a statement on Sunday acknowledging the court decision "preventing the commencement of the Baffin Bay area marine seismic survey," but noting that "Natural Resources Canada remains committed to the goal of its geo-mapping program, which is to increase our knowledge of the geology of the north."

The release added that "this scientific information will also be valuable in establishing a proposed marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound" and stated that the court ruling "has no impact on the other surveys currently taking place in the north."

First reported by Postmedia News in April, the uproar over Lancaster Sound recently prompted Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to accuse the Conservative government of “rushing ahead with oil exploration” while touting plans to create a marine wildlife sanctuary “in exactly the same place.”

In the decision issued Sunday, Judge Susan Cooper of the Nunavut Court of Justice ruled that: “I am satisfied that Inuit in the five affected communities will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted.”

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association, which represents several Baffin Island communities opposed to the survey, had argued that the acoustic pulses used in seismic testing could harm wildlife and therefore disrupt traditional hunting practices in waters near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage.

Backed by the Iqaluit-based environmental group Oceans North Canada, the QIA sought an injunction last week to stop the tests and hearings were held Thursday and Friday.

Cooper noted that “there is evidence before the court that the proposed testing areas are both calving areas and migration routes for marine mammals.”

Her ruling added that “there is also evidence that the channel between Colberg Island and Devon Island is narrow, and a disruption of migratory patterns would divert marine mammals from their usual migratory route into Jones Sound.”

The QIA issued a statement following the decision expressing satisfaction with the outcome but concern over the events that forced the issue into court.

“”It is very unfortunate that with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and a territorial government, Inuit still need to fight to have their voices heard,” said QIA president Okalik Eegeesiak.

“QIA firmly believes the best way to research, explore and develop within Nunavut is through partnership with Inuit. I look forward to the day when the advice of Inuit and their representative organizations is sought prior to seeking project approval.”

The German embassy in Ottawa issued a statement last week defending the safety of the planned probe and offering a special seat to an Inuit observer aboard Polarstern to monitor the seismic testing.

Prior to the ruling, a spokesman for the Alfred Wegener Institute — the German research body that oversees the Polarstern’s research program — had told Postmedia News that AWI scientists were “irritated” by the controversy in Canada but would comply with any court decision.

“It’s very simple,” said AWI spokesman Ralf Roechert. “If there will be a court decision not to do seismic surveys in Lancaster Sound, we won’t do it.”

But he added that “it would be a lost chance to gain valuable scientific data.”

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