The Week That Was
June 24, 2006

The Week That Was (June 24, 2006) brought to you by SEPP

New on the Web: Terence Corcoran's essay on how consensus overwhelms and even replaces science is sure to become a classic. It is the perfect antidote to the failed scholarship of Naomi Oreskes [] and the spoutings of Al Gore about consensus. But science wins out in the end - and sometimes very quickly. Witness the demise of the Hockeystick consensus in the face of scientific criticism - as diplomatically presented in the just released National Academy report (see Item #1).

Al Gore has made the climate issue his trademark. If he wants to run for president in 2008, he should pray for a hot summer and severe drought (Item #2).

The CCSP report claims "clear evidence" for human-caused warming, but the report itself contradicts this claim (Item #3). How strange.

News from the Arctic: The reported Arctic warming may be caused by smog (Item #4). [SEPP comment: The major contribution may come from China - and it's not the CO2 that's causing the warming]. Sea levels there are not rising and researchers want more funding.

The Arctic was tropical 55 my ago (Item #5). [SEPP comment:But was it a conventional greenhouse effect? We don't think so and suggest that a methane eruption caused a huge increase in stratospheric water vapor -- that in turn produced a veil of cirrus clouds causing major GH warming.]

Paul Driessen reviews the sorry role of Congress in creating an energy crunch - and how to fix it (Item #6)

Univ of Oklahoma geologist David Deming presents an upbeat view of world oil supply -- greatly at variance with that of the "peak-oilers" (Item #7).

Marc Antony's speech (freely adapted from Shakespeare) explains Julius Caesar's thesis about climate cycles (that models cannot account for). Too bad they did him in (Item #8).

And finally, we were afraid it would come to this: Warming turn bears into cannibals

If climate continues to warm, will humans be next?


1. The National Academy report on past climates has provoked comments from all sides. We print here the acerbic comments received from a "climate skeptic." Here is his summary of the 4-page "Report in Brief":

· The NAS has turned down the Hockeystick and the IPCC -- diplomatically. The 20th century is no longer claimed as the warmest in 1000 years. [It's about time] [And not that it really matters - it never proved anything anyway]
· 0.6 C rise in last 100 years [What a surprise. I had not heard this before]
· MWP and LIA have been restored. [I was worried that the thousands of papers reporting these events were not true.]
· [surface] temperatures in last few decades are greater than during the last 400 years. [This is a new finding?]
· "less confidence for the period 900 to 1600 AD" [Does this mean that the uncertainties are larger when you do not have thermometers?]
· "very little confidence before 900AD". [It is even harder when all you have is just a few trees growing among the rocks]
There is a later paragraph that begins with "Surface temperatures reconstructions for periods prior to the industrial era are only one of multiple lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that climate warming is occurring in response to human activities, and they are not the primary evidence." [huh?. What is the other evidence? This is not even one!]

Just imagine what we could achieve if we doubled the federal climate research budget of 2B$/year.

2. An Inconvenient Fact: Gore in 2008

Editorial in Washington Times, June 19, 2006

In releasing his movie "An Inconvenient Truth," former Vice President and almost-President Al Gore has tied his political fortunes firmly to a warmer climate. And since the greenhouse effect does not seem to be all it's cracked up to be, he should be praying for an active sun and more sunspots between now and November 2008. Of course, he is not the only one rooting for a hotter climate. Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, the Sierra Club, and dozens if not hundreds of enviro-groups around the world - all grubbing for money -- would be most distressed if the climate should start to cool, as it did for 35 years following a warming peak in 1940. Wait a moment: Hasn't there been a cooling trend since the peak temperatures of 1998? Too soon to tell if it will continue.

In the meantime, Gore has pre-empted the topic against rivals in his own party and for certain Republicans like John McCain. He is winning the support of all those who share in the government's five-billion-dollar-a-year climate-research bonanza. He is gaining the backing of blue-state governors, mayors, civic organizations who loudly proclaim their "war against warming" but would be the first to balk at inevitable higher prices for gasoline and electricity. As the architect of the Kyoto Treaty in December 1997 (even after the Senate turned down the idea unanimously in July 1997), Gore must be aware that it would raise energy costs sky-high -- without getting any noticeable climate results. No surprise then that Clinton-Gore never submitted Kyoto for Senate ratification.

But after the impressions of his film wear off, after people forget about the crashing ice from glaciers and the cute, computerized polar bear vainly looking for an ice floe in the Arctic ocean, some may ask: How do we know whether the current warming is really caused by human activity? The warming in the early apart of the 20th century was natural, and so was the even warmer climate around 1000AD when Vikings were establishing agricultural settlements in Greenland and the north of England produced a quite drinkable wine. There are those pesky scientists who keep doubting the validity of the mathematical climate models and point instead to the atmospheric data, which show little warming that can be traced to humans. Gore calls these skeptics "deniers" -- but his movie denies the very existence of any deniers. Kind of confusing, isn't it?

Well, Mr. Gore had better hope for a super-warm summer in 2008, maybe even a big drought - just like the one in 1988 that started him on the road to abolishing climate change.

3. Earth's Climate is Always Warming or Cooling
Letter to Editor, WSJ
Published June 20, 2006

Roger C. Altman (WSJ op-ed, June 16), a Treasury official in the Clinton administration, says he is no climatologist, but then calls for energy policies that assume catastrophic global warming from carbon dioxide emitted in fossil-fuel burning. He doesn't reveal his sources of information, perhaps just various "experts" quoted in the press - or perhaps even Al Gore. But Gore, in his movie and elsewhere, never asks the key question: How much of current warming is due to natural causes? And how much is really human-caused? Anthropogenic warming is simply taken for granted as part of a claimed but non-existent "complete" scientific consensus.

The current warming trend is not unusual: Climate is always either warming or cooling; and ice is either melting or accumulating. But thermometers can't talk and tell you the cause of climate change. This requires a comparison of the patterns of the observed warming with the best available models that incorporate both anthropogenic (greenhouse gases and aerosols) as well as natural climate forcings.

Fortunately, the US-Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), funded at $2 billion annually, has done just that in its first report, published last month
It is based on the best current information on temperature trends. So how well do observations confirm the results of greenhouse models? The answer: Not at all.

The disparity between theory that predicts a climate disaster and actual data from the atmosphere is demonstrated most strikingly in the report's Fig. 5.4G (p.111), which plots the difference between surface and troposphere trends for a collection of models (shown as a histogram) and for balloon and satellite data.

Allowing for uncertainties in the data and for imperfect models, there is only one valid conclusion from the failure of greenhouse theory to explain the observations: The human contribution to global warming appears be quite small and natural climate factors are dominant.

This conclusion should have a crucial influence on shaping our energy future. We hope that Mr. Altman - and the Bush team in Treasury -- will pay attention to the science before advocating drastic energy policies that would kill economic growth.

Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service.

4. Influence of Ozone (Smog) in the Lower Arctic Atmosphere
Drew Shindell, Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY
Dan Lubin, Research Physicist and Senior Lecturer, Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA

The Arctic has been warming rapidly during recent decades. In a new study, we investigated the contribution of ozone pollution to this warming. Ozone in the troposphere (lower atmosphere) is both a greenhouse gas and a primary ingredient in smog that is damaging to agriculture and natural ecosystems and to human health. It is formed chemically in the atmosphere from nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. These pollutants come from many sources, including natural emissions from wetlands, forests, soils and lightning. They are also emitted from human activities such as fossil fuel burning, cement manufacturing, fertilizer application and biomass burning. Emissions from human activities have increased dramatically since the industrial revolution.

Using estimates of the historical emissions as a function of time, we calculated the resulting evolution of worldwide tropospheric ozone from 1890 to the present. We then used the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model to examine the effects of the increased ozone pollution during the 20th century.

As expected, ozone levels in the lower atmosphere increased most sharply over industrialized areas. This results in ozone causing a greater warming in those regions. During summer (June-August), tropospheric ozone led to warming of more than 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) over polluted Northern Hemisphere continental regions. During fall, winter, and spring, when ozone's lifetime is comparatively long, it can be transported efficiently from Northern mid-latitudes to the Arctic where it can also have a substantial effect on climate. The simulations indicate that tropospheric ozone increases could have contributed about 0.3 °C (~0.6 °F) annual average and about 0.4- 0.5 °C (~0.9 °F) during winter and spring to the rapid warming seen in the Arctic during the 20th century. This is roughly one-third of the observed warming in the Arctic, though the uncertainty in the current trends is large. Thus in addition to mitigating global climate warming and improving human and ecosystem health, ozone pollution controls may help to substantially reduce the rapid rate of Arctic warming and may help to slow the dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice.

Role of tropospheric ozone increases in 20th-century climate change
Drew Shindell, Greg Faluvegi, Andrew Lacis, James Hansen, Reto Ruedy,and Elliot Aguilar
published 28 April 2006 in GRL.

Human activities have increased tropospheric ozone, contributing to 20th-century warming. Using the spatial and temporal distribution of precursor emissions, we simulated tropospheric ozone from 1890 to 1990 using the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) chemistry model. Archived three-dimensional ozone fields were then used in transient GISS climate model simulations. This enables more realistic evaluation of the impact of tropospheric ozone increases than prior simulations using an interpolation between pre-industrial and present-day ozone.

We find that tropospheric ozone contributed to the greater 20th-century warming in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropics compared with the tropics and in the tropics compared with the Southern Hemisphere extra-tropics. Additionally, ozone increased more rapidly during the latter half of the century than the former, causing more rapid warming during that time. This is especially apparent in the tropics and is consistent with observations, which do not show similar behavior in the extra-tropics. Other climate forcings do not substantially accelerate warming rates in the tropics relative to other regions.

This suggests that accelerated tropospheric ozone increases related to industrialization in the developing world have contributed to the accelerated tropical warming. During boreal summer, tropospheric ozone causes enhanced warming (>0.5_C) over polluted northern continental regions. Finally, the Arctic climate response to tropospheric ozone increases is large during fall, winter, and spring when ozone's lifetime is comparatively long and pollution transported from midlatitudes is abundant. The model indicates that tropospheric ozone could have contributed about 0.3C annual average and about 0.4C-0.5C during winter and spring to the 20th-century Arctic warming. Pollution controls could thus substantially reduce the rapid rate of Arctic warming.,

Influence of Air Pollution on Clouds and Arctic Warming

The Arctic is presently exhibiting the largest and most diverse responses to anthropogenic climate warming; these include some of the largest surface temperature increases, rapid retreat of sea ice, and recently documented melting of glacial ice. We now recognize three ways by which human industrial activity warms the climate of the Arctic.

First, there is the direct radiative forcing by "greenhouse" gases and related feedbacks with the reflectivity of ice and snow. Second, global climate warming is altering an atmospheric circulation pattern called the Arctic Oscillation, in such a way the warmer air from lower latitudes is more frequently transported throughout much of the Arctic. Third, Arctic air pollution from northern industrial regions is altering the microphysics of clouds, such that they trap more heat near the Arctic Earth surface.

Air pollution from northern industrial sources becomes trapped in the isolated Arctic air mass during winter and spring, resulting in large pan-Arctic concentrations of aerosol concentrations in the lower atmosphere known as the "Arctic Haze." The high Arctic is also one of Earth's cloudiest regions, with low-level stratiform clouds present approximately 70% of the time. Advances in cloud physics from the 1970s show that industrial aerosols can make the average liquid water droplet size smaller in clouds, which then makes the clouds reflect more solar energy to space but also trap more terrestrial thermal energy near the surface. In the high Arctic, the latter is more important because of the low levels of sunlight and greater importance of terrestrial infrared radiation in regulating the climate.

Thus, while tropospheric pollution aerosol at tropical and mid-latitudes is causing a "global dimming" and partly offsetting greenhouse gas warming, industrial aerosol is adding to the warming in the Arctic. Direct observation of these predicted subtle climate changes is quite challenging; often the climate science community has only data from meteorological instruments not specifically designed to monitor multiyear and multi-decadal trends. However, the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program has since 1998 maintained an advanced suite of instruments at Barrow, Alaska, that have enabled scientists to observe the effects of industrial aerosols on clouds and the Arctic greenhouse effect. The aerosol-driven reduction in cloud droplet size brings about an additional surface warming equal in magnitude to the direct warming by industrial carbon-dioxide increases. This additional Arctic warming contribution will persist until Eurasian industrial sources cut back their emissions.

Arctic Sea Level Falls While Global Waters Rise

The Arctic sea level has been declining by a little over 2 millimeters a year, a movement that sets the area against the global trend of rising waters. A Dutch-UK team made the discovery after having analyzed radar altimetry data gathered by Europe's ERS-2 satellite.

It is well known that the oceans of the world do not share a uniform height, but the scientists are still somewhat puzzled by their results. To find the Arctic out of step, even temporarily, underscores the great need for more research in the area, according to the team.

BBC News (U.K.), June 15

Scientists call for a big funds switch to Arctic
Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times, June 11 [at the Antarctic Treaty meeting in Edinburgh]

Reasons given are rapid decline of wildlife species such as polar bears and whales to the rapid melting of the ice cover. Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey seems keen to replicate in the Arctic his empire at the South Pole. The poles "are now the fastest warming regions on Earth with temperature rises of up to 3C in some areas over the past 30 years" he is quoted. Some alarmists say the ice cover has shrunk by 40 percent.

Contrasting evidence summarized in [June 11] includes

"data shows sea level falling in some parts of the Pacific." -- Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, associate professor, University of Auckland, N.Z.
"no alarming sea level rise going on, in the Maldives, Tuvalu, Venice, the Persian Gulf using satellite altimetry applied properly." Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, emeritus professor of paleogeophysics and geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden.

"seven of 13 populations of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (more than half the world's estimated total) are either stable or increasing..... Of the three that appear to be declining, only one has been shown to be affected by climate change." -- Dr. Mitchell Taylor, manager, wildlife research section, Department of Environment, Igloolik, Nunavut.

"Mr. Gore suggests that the Greenland melt area increased considerably between 1992 and 2005. But 1992 was exceptionally cold in Greenland and the melt area of ice sheet was exceptionally low. If, instead of 1992, Gore had chosen the year 1991, one in which the melt area was 1% higher than in 2005, he would have to conclude that the ice sheet melt area is shrinking and that perhaps a new Ice Age is just around the corner." Dr. Petr Chylek, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax.

"Both the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are thickening. The temperature at the South Pole has declined by more than one degree C since 1950. And the area of sea ice around the continent has increased over the last 20 years." Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

"From data published by the Canadian Ice Service, there has been no precipitous drop-off in the amount or thickness of the ice cap since 1970 when reliable overall coverage became available for the Canadian Arctic." Dr./Cdr. M.R. Morgan, FRMS, formerly advisor to the World Meteorological Organization/climatology research scientist at University of Exeter, U.K.

The British Antarctic Survey will have to do better than this is they want bigger funding. Maybe they should take some lessons in alarmism from Greenpeace?

5. Arctic's tropical past uncovered
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News

Fifty-five million years ago the North Pole was an ice-free zone with tropical temperatures, according to research. A sediment core excavated from 400m (1,300ft) below the seabed of the Arctic Ocean has enabled scientists to delve far back into the region's past. An international team has been able to pin-point the changes that occurred as the Arctic transformed from this hot environment to its present cold status. The findings are revealed in a trio of papers published in the journal Nature.

Until now, our understanding of the Arctic's environmental history has been limited because of the difficulties in retrieving material from the harsh, ice-covered region. But in 2004, the Arctic Coring Expedition (Acex) used ice-breaking ships and a floating drilling rig to remove 400m-long cylinders of sediment from the bottom of the ocean floor. The cores were taken from the 1,500km-long (930 miles) Lomonosov Ridge, which stretches between Siberia and Greenland.

The core holds layer upon layer of compressed fossils and minerals, which when studied can tell the story of millions of years of Arctic history. The bottom end of the cylinder helped scientists to uncover what had happened to the Arctic during a dramatic global event known as the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which occurred about 55 million years ago. "This time period is associated with a very enhanced greenhouse effect," explained Appy Sluijs, a palaeoecologist from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and the lead author on one of the papers. "Basically, it looks like the Earth released a gigantic fart of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - and globally the Earth warmed by about 5C (9F). "This event is already widely studied over the whole planet - but the one big exception was the Arctic Ocean."

The core revealed that before 55 million years ago, the surface waters of the Arctic Ocean were ice-free and as warm as 18C (64F). But the sudden increase in greenhouse gases boosted them to a balmy 24C (75F) and the waters suddenly filled with a tropical algae, Apectodinium. When current climate models were applied to this period of the Earth's history, said Dr Sluijs, they predicted North Pole temperatures to be about 15C (27F) lower than the core shows.

The second of the three papers, led by paleaoecologist Henk Brinkhuis, also from Utrecht University, reports that the Arctic Ocean underwent another transformation about 50 million years ago.

The water changed from salty to fresh, and the ocean became covered with a thick layer of freshwater fern, called Azolla. "We assume from climate models from the early Eocene Period that there was lots of fresh water coming into the basin via precipitation and giant Canadian and Siberian river run-offs," said Professor Brinkhuis. "And, at a certain point, this gave rise to this whopping great growth of Azolla." He believes the prolific growth of this fern may be linked to the later drops in temperature in the area. "When you have so much of this plant in this giant sea, you have a mechanism to pump out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is sort of an anti-greenhouse effect," he said. "We argue that this sits right on the break from the really warm hot house period into the time when the ice house begins."

Further up the core, the first evidence of ice formation emerges.

"Five hundred thousand years above where the Azolla was found, we found the first drop stones," explained Professor Brinkhuis, who is also a co-author on the third paper, which details Arctic ice-formation. "These are little stones that come from icebergs, ice-sheets or sea ice. So it must have been cold enough to have ice. "Before we did this, it was thought that the ice field in the Northern Hemisphere only began about three million years ago; but now we have pushed that back to 45 million years ago." Although the data tells us how the world changed from one with greenhouse conditions to one with ice house conditions millions of years ago, it may also help scientists to predict what will result from the present changes in climate.

Appy Sluijs points out that the data reveals that some of the climate models used to detail the Arctic's history got things wrong; and, as they are the same models that predict our future climate, they may need adjusting. Kate Moran, lead author of one the papers and professor of oceanography and ocean engineering at University of Rhode Island, agrees: "We anticipate that our data will be used by climate modellers to give us better information about how climate change occurs and possibly where global climate might be leading. "Today's warming of the Arctic can, in all likelihood, be attributed to mankind's impact on the planet; but, as our data suggest, natural processes operating in the past have also resulted in a significant warming and cooling of the Arctic."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/31 17:21:38 GMT

6. Mediocrity reigns supreme: Congressional hot air substitutes for energy policy
Paul Driessen

In 1774, Irish statesman Edmund Burke told voters, Your representative owes you not his industry only but his good judgment. And he betrays instead of serves you if he sacrifices his judgment to your opinion. Two hundred years later, US Senator Roman Hruska argued, There are a lot of mediocre people. They're entitled to a little representation, aren't they?

Fortunately, Congress rejected Hruska's appeal for mediocrity on the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, ongoing debates on energy policy suggest that mediocre people are over-represented in today's Senate and House of Representatives, and good judgment has been supplanted by opinion and demagoguery.

US crude oil output has declined 43% since 1985, as demand increased by 31% and imports have skyrocketed to 58% of the oil we use (compared to 28% just prior to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo). Meanwhile, China and India's booming economies have intensified global demand for oil.

As if that weren't enough to send prices into the stratosphere, political unrest and muscle-flexing in Iran, Iraq, Chad, Nigeria, Bolivia, Venezuela and Russia have generated jitters and further price hikes. Additional upward pressure on gasoline prices results from air-pollution laws that mandate 16 expensive specialized gasoline blends for individual markets, highly subsidized and hard-to-transport ethanol for broader markets, and a 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol. Not surprisingly, crude oil is now over $70 a barrel, and gasoline hit a national average of $2.90 per gallon in April.

Congressional actions have likewise helped make clean-burning natural gas the fuel of choice for numerous applications. US utilities use 41% more of it than just a decade ago, and 87% of all generating plants coming online in next 5 years will burn gas -- including plants that provide essential backup electricity for unreliable wind turbines that Congress and state legislatures promote, subsidize or even mandate. Natural gas is also used to make fertilizer to grow corn and other crops, and burned to convert various crops into ethanol and bio-diesel. So demand is up, while production has stagnated, and natural gas prices have soared from $2 in the 1990s to nearly $9 per thousand cubic feet today.

Winter heating bills soared 25% during the relatively warm winter of 2005-06, and fertilizer prices rose nearly 50% in a year's time. Facing sharply higher costs for heating, lighting and transportation, businesses and public schools are desperately trying to control other costs, without laying off more workers. The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that more than 3.1 million high-wage manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000; many have moved overseas, where natural gas is plentiful and costs less.

But why are US supplies so tight and prices so high? It's not because we are running out of oil and natural gas. In fact, using US Minerals Management Service projections, the Consumer Alliance for Energy Security calculates that our offshore Outer Continental Shelf contains enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 60 years, and enough oil to power 50 million cars for 60 years. MMS also says Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could hold another 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That's 30 years of imports from Saudi Arabia. Turned into gasoline, it would power California's vehicle fleet for 50 years. At $70 a barrel, ANWR oil could replace $1.1 trillion worth of foreign crude, create 500,000 American jobs, and generate hundreds of billions in royalties and taxes.

But President Clinton vetoed 1995 legislation that opened ANWR to drilling, arguing that the oil and gas would not be available for a decade -- which is right now, just in time to meet the current supply and price crunch. What do we hear from Congress? No drilling, because the energy won't be available for a decade.

Even after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which impacted a fourth of our production and refining capacity, and in the midst of the current price shocks, Congress cited flimsy environmental arguments and voted to keep US oil and gas locked up: off our Pacific, Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico coasts, and in Alaska (including ANWR), the Rockies and Great Lakes.

Even California senators and congressmen, representing by far the biggest energy-consuming state in the US, steadfastly oppose petroleum development in any of these areas. And even Florida, our third-biggest energy consumer, refuses to allow one rig off its coast, to help slake its ravenous demand for oil and gas to power the cars, boats, trucks, planes, houses, hotels, casinos, businesses and air conditioners that make the Sunshine States' good life possible.

Canada is drilling in the Great Lakes. China and Cuba are planning to drill 45 miles off the Florida coast. In 60 years of drilling off our shores, there has only been one accident where significant oil reached shore (1969 off Santa Barbara). We clearly need the oil and gas. And yet Congress won't budge.

However, in a raucous showing of bipartisan, bicameral blather, neo-Hruskas did find time to denounce purported corporate greed, price fixing and obscene profits and vote to outlaw price gouging. (On a gallon of gasoline, oil companies earn about 10 cents profit, most of which they spend on new exploration and development work, while the federal government gets 59 cents in taxes, and states add another 5 to 15 cents in taxes.) Congress wasn't sure how to define price gouging, but members apparently felt they'd know it when they see it.

In a few weeks, the same legislators will consider global-warming legislation that could push energy prices up another 20% for no perceptible environmental benefits. As Will Rogers famously observed, Every time Congress makes a joke, it's a law. And every time it makes a law, it's a joke. If we could simply harness congressional hot air, America's energy problems would be history.

Until then, however, Burke's wisdom will be but a dim memory. Hruska's paean to mediocrity will reign supreme. America will be held hostage to foreign oiligarchs and domestic environmental extremists. And consumers will have to dig deeper into their pocketbooks or try to live more like the average family in China or India.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power Black death (

7. The Oil Price Bubble

The surge in oil prices over the last two years is not a sign the world is beginning to run out of oil. On the contrary, it is a positive indicator of increased economic activity. High prices will encourage development of more of the world's enormous petroleum reserves, says David Deming, a geologist and adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the amount of conventional oil that would ultimately be withdrawn from the Earth's crust was 3 trillion barrels. One-third of this has already been produced. Another third consists of petroleum reserves that have been identified and can be extracted using current technology. The last trillion barrels remains to be discovered.

One way to determine if the world is beginning to run out of oil is to look at the ratio of petroleum reserves to annual production, says Deming:

o In the 1960s, the average ratio of annual production to world petroleum reserves was 1 to 35 [that is, one-thirty-fifth of currently estimated reserves were extracted each year].

o During the energy crises of the 1970s, the ratio decreased to 1:32. In the 1980s, it increased to 1:37.

o During the 1990s, the ratio of annual production to reserves rose to 1:45. In 2005, the ratio of annual production to oil reserves was 1:49, nearly a record high.

Not only do we have a trillion barrels of conventional oil in reserve, says Deming, there are huge unconventional oil resources awaiting development. The International Energy Administration recently estimated that, at a current price of $60 a barrel, it will be economic to recover at least another 2 trillion barrels of petroleum from tar sands and oil shales.

Source: David Deming, "The oil price bubble," Washington Times, June 14, 2006. Courtesy NCPA

8. And Now For Something Completely Different:
The Secret Writings Of William Shakespeare!

Many scientists believe parallel universes exist to ours. One such one may have existed around the time of Rome, a time when the climate was warmer than today, and Romans were concerned about Caesar's stubbornness in dealing with the issue of Global Warming.

Here is an exclusive... Marc Antony's speech in Act 3 Scene 2 of Julius Caesar.
[In this world, Caesar was a climatologist and was apparently at odds with the climate models. The text deletes the responses of the crowd and deals with Antony's words only.]

Friends, Romans, Citizens of the World, lend me your laptops.// For I come to bury the notion of cyclical warming, not to praise it// The evil of global warming lives well after it goes,// The good of adaption to cycles is never brought up.// So let it be with the ideas of Caesar. The noble Climate Models// hath told you that Rome is causing warming// If it is so, tis a grievous fault// And grievously are those believing different paying for it.// Here, without the models and their creators// for the Climate models are honorable entities// so are all who follow them, all honorable men-// Come I to speak at the funeral of Caesar// He was my friend, a great synoptician and climatologist// But the models say he was stubborn,// and the models are honorable and always right// The system Caesar had brought much to Rome// Whose people prospered like no other// Was this in Caesar causing the warming?// When there was no air conditioning, we created them// It saved lives, did this cause too much warming?// But the models say Caesar caused global warming// and the models are all honorable and always right.// You all did see the evidence of warmer times// It has happened once, twice , thrice,// and Thrice it turned colder again, is this Roman induced global warming?// Yet the models say we cause the warming// and the models are honorable and always right.// And sure, their creators are honorable and always right// I speak not to disprove what the models say// But here I am to speak what I do know// We all loved our way of life once, not without cause// What causes you then not to mourn for its passage// O balance of ideas, thought art fled to brutish beasts.// And men have lost their reason. Bear with me// My ideas are in the coffin there with Caesar// and I must pause till they come back to me....//.... .......Yesterday the words of the past experience might// have stood against the world, now there they lie// And no one does them reverence.// Oh readers, If I were disposed to stir// Your hearts and minds to reading the facts// I should do the models, and modelers wrong// But you know, they are honorable and always right// I will not do them wrong, I rather choose// To wrong the past, to wrong myself and you// Than I would wrong the almighty honorable climate models// But here is a parchment with the seal of Caesar// I found it in his closet, tis his doctorate in climate change.// Which I do not mean to read// And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds// and dip their napkins in the oil of his SUV// Yes, beg a hair of him for memories,// which can be beautiful and yet// what's to painful to remember, we simply must forget//

(Apparently Barbara Streisand assisted Shakespeare in writing this in this parallel Rome. How else did that last line appear?)

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it// It is not meant you know how Caesar studied this// You are not wood, nor stones, but men// and being men, reading the thesis of Caesar// It will inflame you, which could lead to more human induced global warming// Tis good that you not know what his studies said// For if you should, then what will come of it!.....//.... Will you be patient, will you stay awhile?// I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it// I fear I wrong the honorable climate models// Whose results stab Caesar's climate change thesis.........// You will compel then, to read his thesis// Then make a ring about the classroom// and let me show you what is in the thesis// Shall I open this, and then will you give me leave?.//. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now// You all do remember Caesar's work on climate// The first time he ever discovered cycles// Twas on a hot summer's evening, in his tent// southwest wind bringing the air mass in from Africa// across the Mediterranean as the upper ridge// got displaced north.// Look, in this place one model ripped out that passage// See what another did in trying to change his data// Through this page, one of his students turned on him at a conference// and as he twisted the data to fit the model// the thesis of Caesar was being torn to shreds// And defending his ideas with evidence of past cycles// If the models unkindly disputed or no// For the models were something he welcomed// Judge how open minded he was about new information// And that was the most unkind cut of all// for when the models he supported stabbed him// Ingratitude, more strong than the traitors' arm// Quite vanquished him, then burst his mighty thesis// and no matter how he brought up the facts// Even at the base of Pompey's Statue// Which all the while knew he was right, his thesis was ripped// And oh, what a rip that was, my countrymen// There I and you and all the things we relied on fell down// Whilst new age "latest science" flourished over the hard work of decades// On now you see, and I perceive, you fell// The dint of pity. these are gracious drops// Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold// The ideas of years and years in Caesar's thesis// Here it is, marred as you see, with model mayhem//

(Knowing the facts, the citizenry erupts, but Antony speaks anew) ........

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up//. To a flood of mutiny// The climate models are honorable, and always right.// What incorrect data they have, alas I know not.// That they say these things: they are always right, and honorable// And will no doubt, with time, verify// I come not friends, to steal your heart away// I am no modeler, and not high tech''// But you know me all, a plain, blunt synoptician// That loves the weather, and that they know full well// That gave me a chance, to speak of cyclical warming of Caesar// For I have neither the math, nor the models, nor worth,// action, nor utterance, nor the power of Hollywood// (how did he know back then? (Amazing, eh?) To make movies on global warming. I only speak right on.// I tell you that which you do know// Show you the ideas Caesar had, poor poor dumb mouth// That I was a modeler, and had a model// that showed the cycles to be as they are , facts// The stones of Rome would rise up and mutiny...// Yet hear me countrymen, let me speak..// Well friends, you go to do you know not what// Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves// Alas you know not, so I must tell you.// You have forgot the thesis I told you of.// here is the thesis on climate change// That it's been warm before, it will be warm again and it will cool// from time to time. Moreover it will warm even further// before it cools again, as that as what has happened.// Cycles in the ocean, solar cycles, volcanic activity// are a just a few of many, many items that can determine// our climate. We are in a warm cycle now. Why// do we have palm trees all over the place? How have our// armies conquered to shores once covered in ice?// Just how do men in togas get over the Alps? // Have you ever seen a Roman fight in an arctic parka?// We don't have to. Cause it is// warm, as it was before. But years from now, should// Rome not wake up and use a bit of common sense,// the empire will fall and the snows will return, all the way// to Rome. THAT IS THE THESIS OF CAESAR// Here was a climatologist...When comes such another? WOW! AND CIAO FOR NOW



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