The Week That Was (Jan 17, 2009) brought to you by SEPP



We wish you a Happy New Year!


Quote of the Week:

"If you allow me four free parameters, I can build a mathematical model that describes an elephant. If you allow me a fifth free parameter, I can make his trunk wiggle" – John von Neumann - mathematical physicist. [It also applies to climate models]



As anticipated (see “Fearless Forecast” in TWTW of Dec 27, 2008), the Obama White House is not rushing into precipitous climate policies.  Obama aides said he still planned to pursue the full agenda that undergirded his presidential campaign later this year or perhaps later in his term.  "Our intent is to follow through on all of our commitments," said his senior adviser, David Axelrod, "but obviously we have to prioritize."

For now, though, said Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, on domestic policy, only one thing matters. "Our No. 1 goal: jobs," Mr. Emanuel said. "Our No. 2 goal: jobs. Our No. 3 goal: jobs."

The strategy has unsettled some constituency groups and advocacy lobbies on the left that have been agitating for quick action on their top goals after eight years of a Republican administration.  Advocates and lawmakers said they understood that Mr. Obama needed to concentrate on the economy at first and have tempered their grievances so far. But many expressed concern that priorities deferred might become priorities abandoned....

On issues like immigration and climate change, Mr. Obama may focus on narrow moves first.  He wants money in the economic package to double alternative fuels in the next three years, but his promise to enact a market-based limit on carbon called cap-and-trade does not appear on a fast track. "I'm not sure this year because I don't know if we'll be ready," the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, told reporters last week.

Source: NY Times, 10 Jan 2009


Despite a well-funded ad campaign by environmentalists attacking the industry, and a huge coal-ash spill in Tennessee that has led to calls for more regulation, the [coal] industry has received positive assurances this week from President-elect Barack Obama's nominees that the new administration is committed to keeping coal a big part of the nation's energy source.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama's choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, described coal to a Senate panel as "a vital resource" for the country. A day earlier, Mr. Obama's nominee to run the Energy Department, physicist Steven Chu, referred to coal as a "great natural resource." Two years ago, he called the expansion of coal-fired power plants his "worst nightmare."

The comments indicated the new administration is trying to steer toward the center in the debate over the costs associated with curbing fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they produce.
Source:  WSJ, 15 Jan 2009

Henry Waxman (D-CA) said he expected coal to "play an important role in our overall sources of energy" in the future.  Is the economic downturn causing more realism?  Are the adults taking over?  Stay tuned 


SEPP Science Editorial #3-09 (1/17/09)


The Future of Nuclear Fuel Supplies

The adequacy of fissionable material may become a serious problem in the decades ahead.  In principle, the world’s supplies of uranium are inexhaustible.  After commercially useful ores become depleted, however, one has to rely on granites and ultimately on sea water, where the recovery costs may become prohibitive. 

      At the same time we will have available huge amounts of spent fuel containing fissionable U-235 and plutonium isotopes that could be recycled into new fuel elements.  In addition, the greatest resource could come from the non-fissionable U-238 in spent fuel, from depleted uranium, and from vast natural resources of thorium ores.  To turn these into useful fissionable material that can be burned in conventional reactors requires not only recycling and reprocessing of spent fuel but also the construction of breeder reactors or the use of fusion processes and other means that create neutrons  -- which can in turn transform non-fissionable materials into fissionable ones. 

      By 2015 there will be enough spent thermal-reactor fuel on hand (globally) to start up 200-300 GWe of breeder reactors, with some 10 GWe's worth more coming in every year.  Clearly, with proper planning NOW we won't be hurting for fissile material for decades.  Once established, breeders can propagate themselves at a rate of 5-10% per year, depending on reactor parameters.

      One useful byproduct of reprocessing and recycling, if done properly, is the elimination of long-lived radio-isotopes which removes one of the chief concerns about the handling of spent nuclear fuel.  One such concept is the Integrated Fast Reactor (IFR), which can burn up these trans-uranic isotopes.

      The technical problems are vast but the political problems may be even greater.  There have been long-standing objections in the US (but not in the UK or France) to reprocessing spent fuel and to the construction of breeders because of fear of nuclear weapons proliferation.  There is also legislation, going back to 1982, mandating the permanent underground disposal of spent fuel without any reprocessing – a once-through use of uranium that is clearly wasteful and also environmentally controversial. 


1.  GW czar Carol Browner’s many strange connections -- WashTimes


2.  Princeton professor fired by Gore ridicules warming fears


3.  Carbon tax: the lesser of two evils –IBD editorial

4.  Hype about global warming and disease -- WSJ

5.  Senate Republicans need to demand re-examination on global warming – Amer. Thinker

6.  Shivering at the Auto Show: Thoughts at large – Henry Payne


Bush's Achievements: From Ten things the president got right.” by Fred Barnes
Excerpt: Bush had ten great achievements (and maybe more) in his eight years in the White House, starting with his decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty so beloved by Al Gore, the environmental lobby, elite opinion, and Europeans.  The treaty was a disaster, with India and China exempted and economic decline the certain result.  Everyone knew it.  But only Bush said so and acted accordingly.  He stood athwart mounting global warming hysteria and yelled, "Stop!"  He slowed the movement toward a policy blunder of worldwide impact, providing time for facts to catch up with the dubious claims of alarmists.  Thanks in part to Bush, the supposed consensus of scientists on global warming has now collapsed.  The skeptics, who point to global cooling over the past decade, are now heard loud and clear.  And a rational approach to thetheory’ of manmade global warming is possible.

We need a ‘second opinion’ on GW science to overcome the UN-IPCC monopoly.  See this thoughtful essay (pp. 6-7) at


Japanese Report Disputes Human Cause for Global Warming:  1/14/2009 | Michael Asher

The Japanese Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) published a new study on the causes of Global Warming.  Entitled, "Global warming: What is the scientific truth?”, the report highlights the differing views of five prominent Japanese scientists.  All but one of the scientists disagreed that global warming is the result of human activity.

     Contributing to the report were Syunichi Akasofu, professor emeritus at the University of Alaska, and former director of the Fairbanks Geophysical Institute and the International Arctic Research Center, Shigenori Maruyama, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kiminori Itoh, professor of Physical Chemistry at Yokohama National University, Seita Emori, head of the National Institute for Environmental Sciences, and Kanya Kusano, director of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).

Report from Spain:  The whole of Europe went through a big chill.  Last week it's been 20 degC below zero in Cantabra, Spain, and traffic collapsed in snowed-in Madrid. Same chaos in Marseille, with 30 cm of snow in the streets. Canada and the northern US have been buried under the white stuff. Continental Europe's ski stations have opened 2 months before the usual time, some on small mountains that hadn't had any natural snow in twenty years. The UK had its earliest winter in decades. Meanwhile the Antarctic keeps adding ice, and the sea level has practically stopped its unhurried 18,000-year-long rise.

     And surprise !  - sea ice in the polar regions is back to its 1979 level.  Will polar bears freeze to death?:


Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative, U.S. Department of State will rejoin the staff of the House of Representatives, serving under Rep James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, senior Republican on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming




Incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells the Senate that global warming "threatens our very existence" and she'll shape a foreign policy to fight it. [Pardon us, but what about Iran and the nukes?] ***********************************************************
"Science must be the backbone of what EPA does…EPA's addressing of scientific decisions should reflect the expert judgment of the agency's career scientists and independent advisers." Testimony at confirmation hearing of EPA Administrator-designate Lisa Jackson.

SEPP Comment:  We’ll wait and see who EPA’s independent advisers might be
More idiocy: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - To avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, world carbon emissions will have to drop to near zero by 2050 and "go negative" after that, the Worldwatch Institute reported on Tuesday.

     This year could be pivotal in the movement against climate change, said co-author Robert Engelman, with "scientists more certain and concerned, the public more engaged than ever before, an incoming U.S. president bringing to the White House for the first time a solid commitment to cap and then shrink this country's massive injections of greenhouse gases ... into the atmosphere."

"However this turns out, we still have some precious time and a clear shot at safely managing human-induced climate change," Engelman said. "What's at stake is not just nature as we've always known it, but quite possibly the survival of our civilization.”       WOW!

Foreign Policy magazine publishes “Think Again: Climate Change” --- the usual tripe by Bill McKibben.  So far no reaction to SEPP’s offer to respond.  Oh well…why bother? Let Bill McK freeze in Vermont



 Stephen Dinan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, January 12, 2009


Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for "global governance" and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change.

By Thursday, Mrs. Browner's name and biography had been removed from Socialist International's Web page, though a photo of her speaking June 30 to the group's congress in Greece was still available.

Socialist International, an umbrella group for many of the world's social democratic political parties such as Britain's Labor Party, says it supports socialism and is harshly critical of U.S. policies.  The group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, the organization's action arm on climate change, says the developed world must reduce consumption and commit to binding and punitive limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Obama, who has said action on climate change would be a priority in his administration, tapped Mrs. Browner last month to fill a new position as White House coordinator of climate and energy policies. The appointment does not need Senate confirmation.

Mr. Obama's transition team said Mrs. Browner's membership in the organization is not a problem and that it brings experience in U.S. policymaking to her new role.  "The Commission for a Sustainable World Society includes world leaders from a variety of political parties, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair, in serving as vice president of the convening organization," Obama transition spokesman Nick Shapiro said.

"Carol Browner was chosen to help the president-elect coordinate energy and climate policy because she understands that our efforts to create jobs, achieve energy security and combat climate change demand integration among different agencies; cooperation between federal, state and local governments; and partnership with the private sector," Mr. Shapiro said in an e-mail.

Mrs. Browner ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President Clinton. Until she was tapped for the Obama administration, she was on the board of directors for the National Audubon Society, the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for American Progress and former Vice President Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection.

Her name has been removed from the Gore organization's Web site list of directors, and the Audubon Society issued a press release about her departure from that organization.



By Raymond Brusca, Staff Writer,, January 12th, 2009


Physics professor William Happer GS ’64 has some tough words for scientists who believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming. “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview.  “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”


Happer served as director of the Office of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush and was subsequently fired by Vice President Al Gore, reportedly for his refusal to support Gore’s views on climate change. He asked last month to be added to a list of global warming dissenters in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report. The list includes more than 650 experts who challenge the belief that human activity is contributing to global warming


Though Happer has promulgated his skepticism in the past, he requested to be named a skeptic in light of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, whose administration has, as Happer notes, “stated that carbon dioxide is a pollutant” and that humans are “poisoning the atmosphere.”


Happer maintains that he doubts there is any strong anthropogenic influence on global temperature. “All the evidence I see is that the current warming of the climate is just like past warmings. In fact, it’s not as much as past warmings yet, and it probably has little to do with carbon dioxide, just like past warmings had little to do with carbon dioxide,” Happer explained.


Happer is chair of the board of directors at the George C. Marshall Institute, a nonprofit conservative think tank known for its attempts to highlight uncertainties about causes of global warming. The institute was founded by former National Academy of Sciences president and prominent physicist Frederick Seitz GS ’34, who publicly expressed his skepticism of the claim that global warming is caused by human activity.


Happer explained his reasoning for challenging the climate change movement, citing his research and scientific knowledge. “I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect, for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow,” he said in the statement. “Based on my experience, I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken.”


Geosciences professor Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ­ whose members, along with Gore, received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize ­ said in an interview that Happer’s claims are “simply not true.” Oppenheimer, director of the Wilson School’s Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, stressed that the preponderance of evidence and majority of expert opinion points to a strong anthropogenic influence on rising global temperatures, noting that he advises Happer to read the IPCC’s report and publish a scientific report detailing his objections to its findings.


The University is home to a number of renowned climate change scientists. Ecology and evolutionary biology professor Stephen Pacala and mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Robert Socolow, who are co-chairs of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) and the Princeton Environmental Institute, developed a set of 15 “stabilization wedges.” These are existing technologies that would, by the year 2054, each prevent 1 billion tons of carbon emissions. They argue that the implementation of seven of these wedges would be needed to reach a target level of carbon in the atmosphere. Neither Pacala nor Socolow could be reached for comment.


Happer said that he is alarmed by the funding that climate change scientists, such as Pacala and Socolow, receive from the private sector. “Their whole career depends on pushing. They have no other reason to exist. I could care less. I don’t get a dime one way or another from the global warming issue,” Happer noted. “I’m not on the payroll of oil companies as they are. They are funded by BP.” The CMI has had a research partnership with BP since 2000 and receives $2 million each year from the company. In October, BP announced that it would extend the partnership ­ which had been scheduled to expire in 2010 ­ by five years.


Happer explained that his beliefs about climate change come from his experience at the Department of Energy, at which Happer said he supervised all non-weapons energy research, including climate change research. Managing a budget of more than $3 billion, Happer said he felt compelled to make sure it was being spent properly. “I would have [researchers] come in, and they would brief me on their topics,” Happer explained. “They would show up. Shiny faces, presentation ready to go. I would ask them questions, and they would be just delighted when you asked. That was true of almost every group that came in.” The exceptions were climate change scientists, he said. “They would give me a briefing. It was a completely different experience. I remember one speaker who asked why I wanted to know, why I asked that question. So I said, you know I always ask questions at these briefings … I often get a much better view of [things] in the interchange with the speaker,” Happer said. “This guy looked at me and said, ‘What answer would you like?’ I knew I was in trouble then. This was a community even in the early 1990s that was being turned political. [The attitude was] ‘Give me all this money, and I’ll get the answer you like.’ ”


Happer said he is dismayed by the politicization of the issue and believes the community of climate change scientists has become a veritable “religious cult,” noting that nobody understands or questions any of the science. He noted in an interview that in the past decade, despite what he called “alarmist” claims, there has not only been no warming, there has in fact been global cooling. He added that climate change scientists are unable to use models to either predict the future or accurately model past events. “There was a baseball sage who said prediction is hard, especially of the future, but the implication was that you could look at the past and at least second-guess the past,” Happer explained. “They can’t even do that.”


A [GW] problem does not in fact exist, he said, and society should not sacrifice for nothing. “[Climate change theory has] been extremely bad for science. It’s going to give science a really bad name in the future,” he said. “I think science is one of the great triumphs of humankind, and I hate to see it dragged through the mud in an episode like this.”




It's a sad commentary when CEOs have to support things that aren't in their interest, solely to survive, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).  That's certainly the case with Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who in a speech last Thursday, said a carbon tax would be a "more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach" than many of the current plans for curbing greenhouse gases, including the cap-and-trade approach favored by President-elect Barack Obama.


"My greatest concern is that policymakers will attempt to mandate or ordain solutions that are doomed to fail," Tillerson said.  Like cap-and-trade.  Or new Environmental Protection Agency rules that essentially seek to regulate everything in our economy that uses carbon-based fuel.  Since 85 percent of our energy comes from carbon-based fuel, that means the entire economy, says IBD.


Unfortunately, many of the proposals now being considered to cut CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions would entail enormous costs with very little benefit, says IBD.  Take last fall's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) by the EPA, which the new president has vowed to implement.   ANPR sounds innocent, but cutting C02 output by 70 percent, as Congress has mandated, won't be easy. The costs will be enormous and could wreck our economy, says IBD:


o   According to Global Insight, ANPR could cost the United States nearly $7 trillion in real output by 2030, or about $650 billion a year.


o   Meanwhile, 800,000 U.S. jobs would be lost annually for several years.


For the record, as the world shivers through a second frigid winter in a row, the United States is already cutting back on its CO2 output, says IBD:


o   According to Energy Department data, from 2000 to 2006, per capita output of C02 in the United States plunged 4.7 percent.


o   Meanwhile, it increased by 3 percent in Europe, yet, Europe's energy taxes are five to 10 times what they are in the United States.


Source: Editorial, "Carbon Tax: The Lesser Of Two Evils," Investor's Business Daily, January 12, 2009.      H/t NCPA




Anyone truly worried about malaria in impoverished countries would do well to focus on improving human living conditions, not the weather, say Paul Reiter, director of the Insects and Infectious Diseases Unit of the Institute Pasteur, Paris, and Roger Bate, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


The globalization of vectors and pathogens is a serious problem, but it is not new, say Reiter and Bate:


o   The Yellow Fever mosquito and virus were imported into North America from Africa during the slave trade.


o   The dengue virus is distributed throughout the tropics and regularly jumps continents inside air passengers.


o   West Nile virus likely arrived in the United States in shipments of wild birds.


The concept of malaria as a "tropical" infection is nonsense, says Reiter and Bate, it is a disease of the poor.  Meanwhile, malaria has been increasing at an alarming rate in parts of Africa and elsewhere in the world:


o   Scientists ascribe this increase to many factors, including population growth, deforestation, rice cultivation in previously uncultivated upland marshes, clustering of populations around these marshes, and large numbers of people who have fled their homes because of civil strife.


o   The evolution of drug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, and the cessation of mosquito-control operations are also factors.


Of course, temperature is a factor in the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, and future incidence may be affected if the world's climate continues to warm.  But throughout history the most critical factors in the spread or eradication of disease has been human behavior and living standards.  Poverty has been and remains the world's greatest killer, say Reiter and Bate.


Source: Paul Reiter and Roger Bate, "More Global Warming Nonsense," Wall Street Journal, 4/10, 2008.



By Harvey M. Sheldon, American Thinker, Jan 13, 2008
On the question of global warming control, the confirmation hearings for President-Elect Obama's choices for environmental leadership posts present a critical juncture for the future of America and the world. While running for election, Barack Obama repeatedly declared our planet to be in peril from global warming, which he presumably has come to believe is significantly caused by human activity. That augurs for extensive regulation, the expense of which can readily run into the trillion-dollar range. Yet many highly competent scientists would say that there is no proof that human-caused CO2 emission is threatening the Earth, and there is no benefit to the environment from limiting CO2 emission.
According to Reuters, President-Elect Barack Obama has asked Congress "to act without delay" to pass legislation that includes doubling alternative energy production in the next three years and building a new electricity "smart grid." He said he also planned to modernize 75 percent of federal buildings and improve energy efficiency in 2 million homes to save consumers billions of dollars on energy bills.
It is important to understand that these pronouncements promoting energy efficiency and alternative energy are not propositions that have anything directly to do with the controversy over regulations of carbon dioxide or about the "global warming" that CO2 allegedly causes. The promoted activities address two separate and, I think, very worthwhile policy imperatives: 1) the nation's energy security, and 2) the need for efficient alternative and conventional energy sources and delivery systems. The global warming question is separate, and, if mishandled, it can lead to costly and ill-conceived interference with the two mentioned imperatives, and waste trillions of dollars.
On global warming, and man's role in it, my friends who were devoted to the election of Senator Obama as President, some very close to him, have assured me in terms like: "Obama's administration will be evidence-driven" and, "Anti-intellectualism in presidential politics is on its way out." Supporters like these are "confident that the new administration will be very thoughtful about using scientific evidence in making policy decisions, including [carbon control]".
While we will all be well-served if these voter expectations on executive process are met in President Obama's administration, there are reasons to be skeptical and very worried that the perception is not going to be the reality. One obvious reason is the President-elect's own pronouncements that the planet is in peril sound like his mind is fully made up. That's the rub..
As a lawyer concentrating in environmental issues for clients, I initially thought the advent of regulation addressing global warming issues would be something of a societal boon in the name of a good cause, despite the added regulatory burden and cost. It would be good for my livelihood too, because when new regulations come along, people need their lawyers, and over the course of a career as a lawyer, you get up on the next wave and ride it to the beach as far as you can. With clean water and clean air at stake, it was a process with a good purpose and result. Many national law and consulting firms are grabbing their surfboards for climate change. They are busily forming practice groups, holding seminars and doing whatever it takes to get this anticipated new wave of business. Investors and the SEC are pressuring industries to disclose their carbon-related "risk". States are already regulating the issue, and the Supreme Court bought into the alarmist science, even though EPA demurred.
My problem with jumping on this eager bandwagon of CO2-control merchants is that the more I look at the subject, it appears that the science supposedly determining the earth is in peril due to human CO2 emissions is increasingly questionable. CO2 gas, which is a very tiny component of the atmosphere, is necessary food for plants and is breathed out by all living creatures. It is asserted to be a danger to the earth's climate, even though it now constitutes a bit less than 4 one-hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere by volume. Even another one hundredth of a percent rise is asserted by some to get us in the serious peril range. For comparison sake, it needs to be said that in the Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period (geologic periods some 300 and 500 million years ago), which were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today, there was an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were apparently nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm.
When the Republican minority on the Senate Environment committee gets to voice a few questions of Obama's nominees (even if not in prime time), I hope they will stress two things: 1) the issue is critical, not just to the environment, but to the future of worthwhile energy efficiency and energy security policies for the United States, and 2) to live up to the President's promise of honesty, transparency and good science, the Administration needs to take a fresh look at whether human activity is really endangering the climate.
Republicans cannot expect the Obama nominees to recant the Inconvenient Truth mantra from the witness stand. Their best hope is to get a promise of good-faith, honest and serious review of the recent science, and a promise to demonstrate that the need is genuine. This is hopefully possible, since, for example, Lisa Jackson, Mr. Obama's EPA pick, is reputed to be capable of a measured approach to volatile issues. She has serious smarts and good science credentials, too.

Anyone serious about the policy issues here needs to start with the acceptance of the idea that some estimable amount of the observed rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 over the last century or two is due to human activity. The real issue is whether and how much that matters to the future of the planet. The environmentalist/alarmist theory (I stress the word theory) is that this human addition can throw our climate out of whack.
The theory is suspect because it depends on assertions about earth's climate history that omit or misstate important facts, and its predictions of doom are based on global climate models that have been shown by highly competent scientists to be incapable of the very predictions they purport to make. What led me ultimately to believe the theory is unsound is the publication of data and evidence that are not consistent with the theory itself being valid. When I went to school, facts contradicting a theory meant you better re-examine your theory. I would hope that the Obama appointees will have the intellectual and moral integrity to examine these questions

In March 2008, a group of scientists led by S. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus the University of Virginia, produced the report of the Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). It compiled a cogent and compelling list of reasons why it is not demonstrable that human induced CO2 rise is threatening the Earth's climate. The conclusion is that natural causes overwhelm any consideration of human causation, and that there is no serious evidence of human causation, either from so-called climate models or the data. There are dozens and dozens of publications and findings, additional to the non-governmental panel’s, that also support the weakness of the theory. Senator James Inhofe and other GOP members of the Environmental Committee have themselves compiled a growing list of some 600 scientists who doubt the role of CO2 from man's activities is significant, and also a compendium of articles.
The minority needs to press the nominees with serious determination. In March 2009 a second non-governmental forum will be held in New York, with world-status scientists like Richard Lindzen of MIT and Willie Soon of Harvard presenting. The UN IPCC will hold its own conference later in March.
Senator Inhofe should challenge Lisa Jackson and the other nominees to attend or send official representatives to the Second Non-Governmental conference, as well as to the UN. He should ask Ms. Jackson to commit to engage with the minority on the committee. In the context of lowered temperatures and actual predictions of renewed short term cooling, surely they can defer for a year. If not, they will be handing the Republicans a winning issue in 2010, because they will have begun to disrupt American industry in the cause of suspect science that is quite likely to prove deficient.
Harvey M. Sheldon is a partner in a Chicago law firm, where he concentrates in environmental law issues. These comments are his and do not represent the position of his firm or of any client.


By Henry Payne (The Detroit News), Jan 13, 2009


The talk is of global warming-fighting cars, but the bone-chilling weather outside is evidence that the Detroit Three isn't the only industry that's suffered of late.  Global Warming Inc. is also reeling after a year in which climate science took big hits.  Even as global carbon dioxide emissions exploded, satellite readings found the globe has been cooling for over a decade. New studies have emerged finding solar cycles a much better predictor of global climate. A panel of six Nobel laureate economists rated global warming dead last in a list of ten global priorities (AIDS research was tops). The world's most-renowned scientific advocate of warming theory was widely denounced after he endorsed industrial vandalizes, arctic ice grew, polar bear populations are at historical highs, and so on.


Michigan itself is shivering from another harsh winter with snow blanketing Southeast Michigan as early as October. Now the 2009 Auto Show has been welcomed by three snowstorms in four days and temperatures forecast to plummet below zero.  Both GM Vice President Bob Lutz and Johan de Nysschen, Audi's U.S. president, called this week for increasing gas taxes to encourage the auto show's bevy of fuel-sipping, pro-planet cars. But polls have consistently found the American public shy to any taxation to combat the alleged climate crisis. This winter's weather isn't likely to convince them otherwise.   




by Christopher C. Horner, Human Events, 01/13/2009


2008 was a bad year for global warming alarmists. Their credibility has been entirely destroyed by none other than Mother Nature. As George W. Bush leaves office, the world is actually cooler than it was when he came in.


Lacking facts, the Gorian Gaggle is trying to tie anyone who disagrees with their propaganda to the most evil of all industries (in their eyes): the tobacco producers. Before, anyone who disputed their prophesying of a future calamity was merely a Holocaust denier. That didn’t work, so now, we’re all labeled tobacco scientists. Why is it that everything these people say sounds as if it’s echoing up from the playground or lifted from a note passed in study hall?


When I have appeared on television jointly with the president of Greenpeace USA, he has more than once struggled to yelp a last-word variant of this tobacco theme. Ironically, however,’s Steven Milloy has documented how it is the Greens themselves who have adopted the tobacco industry's tactics.


These include a strategy of information laundering through ignoring or misrepresenting peer-reviewed scientific findings and cherry-picking facts, and attempting to shift the focus away to something other than research based on observation. Finally, of course, is their trademark effort to stifle legitimate debate and silence those who won’t accept their dogma.

By Roger Pielke, Sr.

Excerpt: Thus, the intensity of the dismissive and negative comments by a number of the [NRC – National Research Council, of the National Academy of Sciences] committee members, and from even several of the federal agency representatives, with respect to any view that differed from the IPCC orthodoxy, made it abundantly clear [to me], that there was no interest in vesting an assessment of climate to anyone but the IPCC.

The IPCC is actually a relatively small group of individuals who are using the IPCC process to control what policymakers and the public learn about climate on multi-decadal time scales. This NRC planning process further demonstrates the intent of the IPCC members to manipulate the science, so that their viewpoints are the only ones that reach the policymakers. If the NSF, NASA and the NRC are going to appoint and accept recommendations by groups with a clear conflict of interest to protect their turf [in this case the IPCC], they will be complicit in denying all of us a balanced presentation of the physical science basis of climate change, including the role that humans have. 

The obvious bias in the 2007 IPCC WG1 report is illustrated in the weblogs. As it stands now, there are no independent climate assessments of the IPCC WG1 report funded and sanctioned by the NSF, NASA or the NRC.  The agency representatives at the NRC planning meeting on December 8 2008, either are inadvertently neglecting the need for independent oversight, or they are deliberately ignoring this lack of an independent assessment because the IPCC findings fit their agenda on the climate issue.

In either case, the policymakers and the public are being misled on the degree of understanding of the climate system, including the human role within in it.
SEPP Comment:  And they are evidently ignoring – or trying to -- the NIPCC report  “Nature – Not Human Activity – Rules the Climate”