Wednesday, November 22, 2006

CEI blogs away

Like the Myron Ebell Climate, Myron Ebell and the rest of the CEI fruitloops run a blog. It's aptly illustrated with an empty shopping trolley representing the state of their conscience.

Myron doesn't contribute to it much, but his glee at the lack of action on the problem by the newly elected Democrats in the US Congress is quite stomach turning.
There will be two (two!) subcommittees with jurisdiction over global warming, one chaired by Senator Boxer herself and the other by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. She said that the committee won’t mark-up global warming legislation any time soon, but instead will conduct a "very long process of extensive hearings."
In a previous post, Myron smeared James Hansen saying that he acts like a Stalinist, based on a statement he made about climate change deniers: "Some of this noise won't stop until some of these scientists are dead". This is true, some people have a mental block. Myron will do his utmost to ensure that such defective thinkers are given the coverage they don't deserve.

I can't find the exact background to Myron's other allegation:
It is also worth noting how far out of the mainstream are Dr. Hansen’s own opinions. He recently speculated that sea levels could rise twenty feet per century for the next four centuries. The Third Assessment Report of the U. N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, representing the consensus of scientists with expertise in the field, estimates that continued global warming could cause sea levels to rise up to twenty inches in the next century.
He doesn't give a link, presumably to make it not completely trivial to verify that he is as usual lying, but it sounds like he has perpetrated a misreading of this:
Hansen reminds us that coming out of the last ice age the sea rose 5 metres per century for four centuries at one stage.
Recall that whenever Myron refers to IPCC statements, it's from the 2001 document, which is now seen as a considerable underestimate of the severity of the problem.

Marlo Lewis junior Fellow

For some light relief, try watching these three videos from the CEI featuring the usual two jokes about the benefits of plant growth and economic growth:
[C]arbon dioxide is plant food. It’s a form of fertilizer. Literally hundreds of scientific observations show that plants raised in carbon dioxide-enriched environments grow faster, larger, and produce more fruit. They’re also more resistant to air pollution—the real stuff.
Most of the people watching [An Inconvenient Truth] would not even exist without the fantastic increases in global productivity and wealth made possible by fossil fuels.
I don't know how much longer we have to put up with this horseshit. He could be referring to someone calling himself a scientist walking in and out of a greenhouse literally hundreds of times in a day, but the official scientific conclusions from the US government say:
The impacts of climate change on crops and vegetation depend oncomplex interactions among increased CO2, rising temperatures, and water and nutrient availability. Elevated levels of CO2 can essentially fertilize plants and crops. However, plant growth is also affected by other factors in addition to CO2— factors that will be influenced by climate change. Modest temperature increases, for example, can enhance growth, but if temperatures increase too much, growth actually declines. Rising temperatures also increase the process by which plants release CO2. Higher temperatures can increase the rate of evaporation, drying out soils. Insufficient water decreases plant growth. Plants also cannot respond to more CO2 unless sufficient nutrients are available. Furthermore, the growth-enhancing effects of CO2 may diminish over time. Real-world crop yields would also be subject to the hazards of droughts and floods under a changing climate.
And that's just the climate. The claim doesn't even ride for the level of one plant, because the CO2 stimulates non-mycorrhizal plants which take up the nutrients.

Lewis then adds a funny morsel thrown to the Blame The Blame America First crowd:
We lead the world in technological advancement, medical innovation, and agricultural research and output. In other words, U.S. military-industrial complex industries help feed people, heal people, and kill fulfill people. This requires energy. Our use of energy enables people all over the world to live better lives.
Of course, let's not forget the best bit:
What this implies is that even if CO2 emissions are responsible for all the warming of the past 30 years—a big if—we may reasonably expect about 1.7 degrees Celsius of warming over the next hundred years.
Should we be alarmed about that? No. People experience far more dramatic climate change when they retire and move from Albany to Miami, or Chicago to Phoenix.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November fall-out

We'll see how many days takes for the new US Congress to become crooked. However, Myron doesn't believe they will ever become crooked enough to hire him for his services. He is desperately trying to keep his employers in the Republican party from toying with alternative greener policies that tend to be popular among human beings who rely on the environment for life-giving substances such as water, air, food, and a familiar climate.

After Representative Pombo managed to lose in the strikingly gerrymandered California's 11th Congressional District, and with it his program to promote the irreversible extinction of any species that got in the way of making an extra buck, Myron shed some tears and then started putting his spin -- or shall we say, swivel -- on the election.

His considered opinion, is that:
"Although the environmental and energy agenda will now be set by Democrats in the House, the ideological makeup of the House and the Senate on these issues has not changed as much as the magnitude of Republican losses would suggest.

"Green Republicans were replaced by green Democrats, while conservative Republicans were mostly replaced by moderate Democrats. This means, most notably, that the prospects for enacting global warming legislation in the next Congress have not been significantly increased."
Quite. It sounds like he didn't want the Republicans to win anyway. He went on to add:
"Although many green Republicans, such as Senator Chafee stressed their environmental records, it didn't seem to do them much good. It is also worth noting that groups such as the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club didn't spend any money to support their Republican allies in Congress."
Indeed. Republicans ought to know that with their incredible record, they don't get support from environmentalists when they desperately change their rhetoric to fit with the public mood. They can lie about their environmental credentials, and play down how their political masters want them to make it cheaper to pollute the water, taint the air, strip mine the forests, and do all sorts of things that are deeply unpopular with the overwhelming majority of people who are not rich enough to own said exploitable resources in the first place and would selfishly like them to be left alone.

Not to worry. Ebell has everything covered because he was also sounding the alarm bells:
these newly elected lawmakers may have little ability to affect their party's direction in Congress. "It's really hard to say whether these more moderate Democrats, as freshman, will be able to have any impact on what the Democratic agenda is."

As Nancy Pelosi and others on the extreme left of the Democratic Party take over on Capitol Hill, Ebell suspects the more conservative Democrats recently elected may find their influence is limited. Their impact could be reduced, he says, because the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are solidly behind the radical environmentalist agenda.
Ah-ha-ha-ha! Nancy Pelosi, extreme? Clearly, anyone who is not a Republican nutjob is an extremist. Almost the whole world is squished up right at the end of Ebell's skewed political spectrum.

If you like nuclear fall-out, check out Myron's friend Iain Murray who wrote a wonderful screed yesterday:
Misguided environmental regulations, green obstructionism and the NIMBY (Not-in-my-backyard) syndrome have combined to delay the construction of desperately needed new power plants and transmission lines.

They also object to nuclear power stations because of their supposed danger, even though modern nuclear plants have an impeccable safety record. And they oppose coal-fired plants because of their alleged contribution to global warming.

Let us be clear about what that would mean. The electric power supply will be interrupted when it cannot meet demand. Lights will go out. Offices will cease to function. People will freeze or swelter. Elderly people will die. If sustained, this situation will severely damage the economy. Jobs will be lost. Health will suffer. The poor will get poorer. Flows of money from America to the developing world will shrink.
Remember, it's the stupid economy, stupid. The whole deal collapses if we don't use more electricity next year than we somehow managed to get by on last year.

Someone's put up a big list of nuclear power plants. I don't suppose he knows anything about this. Presumably, by "modern", he means so newly built it's not had time to go rusty enough to leak. What kind of idiots does he take us for?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Die CEI Die

The front page of the CEI proudly lists all the sorry incidents where CEI has been in the news. The New York Times, it says, cites CEI's ad campaign in an article from September 4, two months ago. It is a fitting memorial for this bubble of puss.

Also in the old-news are boasts that Myron Ebell helped out with reports in The San Francisco Chronicle, CNSNews, and The New York Times on September 1, and with articles so bad they are now broken links to The Investor's Business Daily and the aptly named Waste News.

This brand is no longer thriving. Since its one and only purpose is to get lies printed in the national press, it lives or dies according to the oxygen. Science, on the other hand, being the polar opposite of everything the CEI represents, carries on whether or not the journalists are paying any attention. Bear in mind, however, that it's reasonable for journalists -- being human -- to pay at least some attention to results which express the notion that there is an imminent threat to human kind. Properly responsible people like Myron believe that you should write only what you're paid to write. Beyond this inviolate contract, no other interests exist.

Putting that aside, I can't see any value in any corporation paying Myron Ebell to write articles in Human Ignorance Online, telling people to support the Republican Rep. Richard Pombo in what should (if the electoral system worked) be the extermination of the Republican party this Tuesday. He writes articles here with the bio:
"Mr. Ebell has worked on property rights, federal lands, the Endangered Species Act, and energy issues before the House Resources Committee since 1989."
presumably so he can omit it from his extensive list of credentials and lie about the CEI being non-partisan.

As is always the case, when Myron Ebell praises someone, it tells you everything you need to know about their character. In Pombo's case, he feels that because you are rich, and you have in your possession a government recognized piece of paper called a title deed, you can pretty much wreck the ecosystems that overlap the imaginary boundaries determined on that piece of paper as you see fit. One of the few pieces of legislation standing in the way of this behavoir is the Endangered Species Act, which attempts to prevent permanent and fundamentally irreversible changes to the ecosystem in terms of biodiversity by people who are already filthy rich, and just want a bit more cash to flash at their friends. Like Myron, his arguments are so weak he needs to lie to support them (see the article). He is also funded by oil, mining and casino interests, who approve of what he represents.

Myron thinks it's unsporting of his political opponents to attack him on this record, and he begs conservative activists to do everything they can to help re-elect Pombo. They want to win. Winning means that our species, Homo Sapiens, will be the last one to go extinct on planet Earth. We're well on our way towards this glorious result.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Lord of Blaby

Dear Lord Lawson of Blaby,

I saw you on Newsnight last night, denying the existence of rapid human induced climate change, saying that "the whole science is extremely uncertain". We have been through this before, where for decades the connection between tobacco smoking and lung cancer was denied by a vocal and well-organized lobby whose job was to mislead the public about the data -- a not too difficult task.

The truth eventually got out, although many people had to die prematurely before it did. We haven't got time to play games with climate change.

As a very experienced politician, I thought you would have seen it all before; the dirty tricks, the secretly funded PR efforts by industrialists, fake scientific reports based on cherry-picked data.

You mentioned the letter of 6 April by "60 scientists" to the Prime Minister of Canada asking him to cancel the Kyoto process, which you were pleased he had effectively done. The letter you chose to refer to was answered two weeks later by a letter on 19 April from "90 scientists", all of whom were Canadian, all of whom were actively working in the field of climate science, and who gave detailed accompanying documentation backing their claims up.

The "60 scientist" letter -- the one you chose to report -- is signed by people throughout the world, including retirees, economists, geologists, statisticians, climate scientists who have been caught making errors in their papers and can't get them published, people who work at institutions funded by Exxon, and at least one person who was tricked into signing it (he made up for it by signing the other one which was backed up by science).

It's not that non-climate scientists don't have a right to a point of view; it's that only the climate scientists are collecting the data, so everyone else can only be referring to their work. Otherwise, they're just making stuff up.

I beg you, if you bring this letter up as evidence on television, you owe it to us to go back and consider the story behind it carefully. You can start with this article.

You seem to have a fall-back position, where you said that "sometimes, the majority of scientists can be wrong." Indeed, this does happen occasionally, usually when they are not testing their theories against results, as happened in medical science for hundreds of years before the development of the clinical trial. It's also routine in the field of economics, where no one seems to give a damn when the theories turn out to fail to work as advertised.

There is no reason to believe that circumstances currently persist that would enable this body of science to be flawed to the degree necessary. There is too much data being collected through ice cores to confirm the calculations of the direct relationship between CO2 in the atmosphere and global climate. That's what everything relies on.

Let's put it this way: after they succeeded in landing a man on the moon, you'd be a fool to assert that the scientists might have got the mass of the earth or the equations of gravitation somehow wrong in their models of orbital trajectories. That's about how sound and well-tested the climate models are becoming.

But there's nothing for you to see with your own eyes. So, you can be quite content to allege that the science is "extremely uncertain". It is not. Please go look at it. Talk to actual scientists about it, not only to economists who find the whole story too inconvenient for their tastes.


The Myron Ebell Climate.

For your viewing pleasure, please see Earth to America by the Blue Man Group. As you can see, there are no emergency exits from planet Earth