TORONTO, ON, May 26, / Troy Media/ – Recent news reports were briefly dominated by the doomsday predictions of Harold Camping, an American pastor claiming he had discerned from biblical clues that the world would end at 6 p.m. on Saturday May 21.Camping had previously warned that the rapture would occur in 1994. Despite his zero-for-two record, Camping isn’t giving up. He’s already moved on to a new prediction, claiming the world will actually end in October.Attention-seeking religious leaders don’t have a monopoly on false doomsday predictions. There is at least one prominent secular political movement that also has a long track record of apocalyptic visions that have failed to materialize. That movement is radical environmentalism. With apocalyptic predictions in mind, it’s worthwhile to review radical environmentalism’s track record of incorrect catastrophic predictions.Kill your pets!
As David Frum describes in his indispensible book, How We Got Here, doomsday prediction became a staple of far-left environmentalist rhetoric during the 1970s. One prominent strain of apocalyptic prophesy during that decade was the prediction of disastrous impacts from overpopulation. The most famous spokesman for this theory was Paul Ehrlich. In his bestseller The Population Bomb, he warned that global catastrophe was imminent and that the world would soon endure a famine in which hundreds of millions would starve. Ehrlich offered a few helpful suggestions on how slightly to reduce the damage, for example, recommending pets be killed to conserve resources.Of course, 40 years later, the economic and societal collapse predicted by Ehrlich hasn’t happened. Instead, population has continued to increase while average living standards have gone up almost everywhere in the world.The overpopulation scare was not the only false catastrophe narrative promoted by environmentalists during the 1970s. Long before we became concerned with global warming, the great source of anxiety was global cooling. There was fear that the burning of fossil fuels was raising the concentration of polluting particles in the atmosphere, which would reduce solar heat reaching the earth, leading to a new ice age. One major study published in 1974 warned there would “almost certainly” be major crop failures as a result of global cooling by 1980. Stories about the threat of global cooling were featured on the front page of The New York Times and the cover of Time magazine.Global cooling fears subsided when the world stopped cooling, and started to warm up. This brings us to the apocalyptic warnings surrounding global warming we hear so frequently today. Doomsday rhetoric about this crisis-of-the-moment has been every bit as lurid as that which predicted catastrophic global cooling and mass starvation.For example, Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery writes in his popular book, The Weather Makers, that unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed dramatically, a warming climate will destabilize human civilization and create “a protracted Dark Ages far more mordant than any that has gone before.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that the world faces a stark choice between “strong action on climate change” and “oblivion.” Like other apocalyptic environmentalists before them, Flannery and Ki-moon claim that unless we do as they say, utter catastrophe looms. The rhetoric has stayed the same, but the precise nature of the supposed environmental disaster has changed.Naturally, the fact that the radical environmentalists’ earlier doomsday predictions haven’t materialized does not mean we should dismiss concern over global warming or ignore environmental risks. We should continue to assess and respond to those risks rationally. However, we should also treat apocalyptic prophesies from the deep green movement with healthy scepticism.A history of wrong predictionsThere is an element of the environmentalist movement that has been gripped for 40 years with the conviction that the activities of advanced, industrialized economies will lead to an apocalyptic environmental collapse one way or another. This faction has worked backwards from this assumption, always seeking causes that will trigger the cataclysm they believe is an inevitable consequence of the high levels of economic production and consumption of a capitalist economy. Although we should take environmental risks seriously, we should also recognize the environmentalist movement’s track record of overhyping those risks, and consider that record as they continue to insist that civilization will collapse if we refuse to enact their policy agenda.Given his track record, it’s no wonder fewer people are taking Camping’s newest rapture timetable seriously. Radical environmentalists have also built a record of wrongly predicting massive cataclysms, and we should be hesitant before enacting policies that entail enormous economic costs in reaction to their latest set of doomsday predictions.Ben Eisen is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and a co-author of “The Environmental State of Canada: 30 Years of Progress” (www.fcpp.org).
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 10:21 PM
More embarrassment for Greenpeace: Another Peer-reviewed research confirms the Medieval Warm Period in Greenland
Greenpeace trumpeted the alarm that glaciers in Greenland were melting at a rapid pace because of global warming. They made a central piece of their climate change campaign.In 2009, being pressurized by BBC reporter Stephen Sackur on the “Hardtalk” program, Gerd Leipold, the ex-chief of Greenpeace, said the claim was probably wrong.“I don’t think it will be melting by 2030. … That may have been a mistake,” he said.Sackur said the claim was inaccurate on two fronts, pointing out that the Arctic ice is a mass of 1.6 million square kilometers with a thickness of 3 km in the middle, and that it had survived much warmer periods in history than the present.
Now a peer reviewed study of Greenland's climate history suggests frequent violent shifts, confirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) periods. During MWP, the climate was so warm that Vikings took up farming and dairying while the advent of the LIA saw Viking colonalization of Greenland come to an end. The climate history of Greenland accordingly suggests that warming and cooling occurs without any correlation to the use of fossil fuels or our lifestyles.
Researchers from Brown University made a reconstruction of 5,600 years of climate history from lakes near the Norse settlement in western Greenland. Their findings appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Did Global Cooling Drive The Vikings From Greenland?
William D'Andrea, right, and Yongsong Huang took cores from two lakes in Greenland to reconstruct 5,600 years of climate history near the Norse Western Settlement. Credit: William D'Andrea&Brown University
Contrary to what you might think by the name, Greenland is rather frigid and Iceland is often quite nice. Nice for Vikings, anyway. But for a time Greenland became so miserable even Scandinavians had enough.Scientists have examined 5,600 years of climate history from two lakes in Kangerlussuaq, near the Norse "Western Settlement." Unlike ice cores taken from the Greenland ice sheet hundreds of miles inland, the new lake core measurements reflect air temperatures where Vikings lived in the 14th and 15 centuries, as well as those experienced by the Saqqaq and the Dorset, Stone Age cultures that preceded them. What climate scientists have been able to ascertain is that an extended cold snap, called the Little Ice Age, gripped Greenland beginning in the 1400s, and that has been cited as a major cause of the Norse's disappearance. New research shows the climate turned colder in an earlier span of several decades, setting in motion the end of the Greenland Norse.The Vikings arrived in Greenland in the 980s, establishing a string of small communities along Greenland's west coast. Another grouping of communities, called the "Eastern Settlement" also was located on the west coast but farther south on the island. The arrival coincided with a time of comparatively mild weather, similar to that in Greenland today, but beginning around 1100, the climate began an 80-year period in which temperatures dropped 4 degrees Celsius/7 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists concluded from the lake readings.While that may not be considered precipitous, especially in the summer, the change could have ushered in a number of hazards, including shorter crop-growing seasons, less available food for livestock and more sea ice that may have blocked trade.Archaeological and written records show the Western Settlement persisted until sometime around the mid-1300s. The Eastern Settlement is believed to have vanished in the first two decades of the 1400s.The researchers also examined how climate affected the Saqqaq and Dorset peoples. The Saqqaq arrived in Greenland around 2500 B.C. While there were warm and cold swings in temperature for centuries after their arrival, the climate took a turn for the bitter beginning roughly 850 B.C., the scientists found.
"There is a major climate shift at this time," says William D'Andrea, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. "It seems that it's not as much the speed of the cooling as the amplitude of the cooling. It gets much colder."The Saqqaq exit coincides with the arrival of the Dorset people, who were more accustomed to hunting from the sea ice that would have accumulated with the colder climate at the time. Yet by around 50 B.C., the Dorset culture was waning in western Greenland, despite its affinity for cold weather.
"It is possible that it got so cold they left, but there has to be more to it than that," D'Andrea said.
"The record shows how quickly temperature changed in the region and by how much," said co-author Yongsong Huang, professor of geological sciences at Brown, principal investigator of the PNAS study.
"It is interesting to consider how rapid climate change may have impacted past societies, particularly in light of the rapid changes taking place today."Climate may not have been the biggest factor in the demise of the Norse Western Settlement. The Vikings' sedentary lifestyle, reliance on agriculture and livestock for food, dependence on trade with Scandinavia and combative relations with the neighboring Inuit are also believed to be contributing factors.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 12:55 PM
Much of the German media have been screeching and hyperventilating today about CO2 emissions reaching a record high, see FOCUS or TAZ here or Die Zeit here or Der Spiegel here, to name a few.
All the dregs are at it, making dire 100-year predictions based on silly climate models that have been proven to be wrong time and again. Warmists are gasping in panic screaming “time is running out and they we’ve got to act now!” Where’s the Valium? Take a look at the global temps:
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that CO2 emissions rose 1.6 billion tons in 2010, the highest since record keeping began. Total CO2 emissions last year were 30.6 billion tons globally, up 5% from the previous record set in 2008.
Face it – the record emissions are good news and are an indicator of global economic growth and vitality. That’s what normally happens when the economy grows – more energy gets consumed to do more work. Let’s hope the trend continues. Don’t worry; CO2 will not cause the temperature to go up that much. The science behind global warming and tipping points is JUNK.
Indeed the temperatures are not cooperating, and they are not about to for a couple more decades. Time to go back and redo the science.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 2:02 AM
Monday, May 30, 2011
A Greenpeace placard asks "What about Kyoto?" Its funny. We would have thought they knew of its demise.
It’s now official - Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year. US President Barack Obama, at last Thursday night's G8 dinner, also confirmed Washington would not join an updated Kyoto.Meanwhile, the European Union is unlikely to propose a deepening of the bloc’s greenhouse-gas reduction target before the next global climate summit, due to start in November, Polish Environment MinisterAndrzej Kraszewski was quoted by the media as saying. The Greenpeace reaction then turned to anger and frustration by accusing world leaders of "gambling with our future".
The Minerals Council of Australia, that included the coal industry celebrated. They said sarcastically that Australia and the European Union were now the only major developed nations or groups of nations committed to an extension of the protocol after its expiry at the end of next year. "Confirmation of the likely demise of the Kyoto Protocol means that Australia will be introducing a new $11 billion carbon tax on the economy in the absence of a binding global agreement to reduce emissions," the Minerals Council said. That carbon tax proposal is on its way to toast in Australia that would be huge PR disaster for the country's Prime Minister Ms Gilard, who staked her political fortune with this bill.
As Ministers of the Brazil, South Africa, India, China (Basic) grouping met to firm their position before further global climate change negotiating sessions, they reiterated that a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol was central to a comprehensive outcome at the 17th conference of the parties (COP17) in Durban in November. Put simply, no Kyoto Protocol, no Global Climate Treaty! In short - COP 17 is doomed to failure even before it even began.
These developments all came at a time when chief economist of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol warned that the latest figures on greenhouse gas emissions are "the worst news" with statistics showing another record leap in carbon output – 30.6 gigatonnes of CO2 over 2010 – to make the highest annual total in history! If Faith Birol thought such alarmism will force a re-think among policy makers he was grossly mistaken. Climate alarmism lost its sting after Climategate exposed how that bullying, data manipulation and discrediting of dissenters scandalised East Anglia's climate research unit (CRU) - the agency that put together the historical temperature data on which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based its warming scenarios. Dr Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in one email of the Climategate fame observed:"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t."
The most damning revelation was why the manipulation was necessary: because the earth is refusing to warm at the rates the models required and at scales to fuel climate alarmism! Despite record emissions, year 2011 is likely to go down as one of the coldest year in recent times as seen in the latest UAH global temperature graph. The theory linking man-made CO2 with dangerous global warming is dead. It has been falsified. The world knows. It can no longer be hidden under the carpet. The demise of Kyoto Protocol is only one such manifestation.
NGOs like Oxfam; ActionAid; ChristianAid; Save the Children; Greenpeace; WWF etc who rode the gravy train of climate change, managed to move from backstage to centre stage in world politics by exerting power and influence in policy making by piggybacking on this scam. It’s time for them for hard introspection as their credibility is in tatters. NGOs have proven their effectiveness in holding large institutions and governments accountable and exposing them to public scrutiny. It is time they walk their talk by making public the pulls and pressures whereby they functioned as an important cog in the wheel of perhaps the biggest scam in history. They can begin with the acceptance of what’s a scam - a deceptive act intended to hoodwink people through deliberate misinformation, including factual omissions!
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 11:14 PM
Sunday, May 1, 2011
All weather changes are not climate change
PUNE: Though climate change is happening, every change in the weather should not be correlated to climate change, said Ranjan Kelkar, former director general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD)."The weather has not changed much but we, on the other hand, are changing. This changing lifestyle is making us more aware about the changes in the weather," Kelkar said.He was delivering a lecture on 'climate change' as part of the lecture series organised by Muktangan Exploratory Science Centre in Kothrud. Ramesh Joshi, director of the centre, was also present.
According to Kelkar, changing weather was a topic that was often talked about.
"There are two types of changes. One is the change that we experience and the other is the one that we hear about. Different research organisations have different views about global warming and a completely error-free assessment about the increased temperature is not available. Hence, people should not be scared about these changes," Kelkar said.Kelkar also stated that these changes will not have an adverse impact on the monsoon.
Highlighting the solutions to deal with the problem of rising temperature, he stated that controlling CO2 was the need of the hour, but we should not comprise on our development."So the fear of rainfall decreasing drastically and thereby reducing availability of water due to global warming is wrong," he said.
"We should know how to keep the balance between development and CO2 emission. Another option is to increase the use the solar power and wind power," he said.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 2:29 PM