The Week That Was
March 25, 2006

March 30: Keynote Lecture at IASTED Conference in Chiangmai, Thailand, on "Climate Change and Our Energy Future"
April 4: Poster Paper at European Geophysical Union Meeting, Vienna, on
"Climate Data Disagree with Climate Models"

We are all set with "Norwegian Dream" -- sailing from Dover (London) on Sunday, Aug 27 and returning on Friday, Sept 8. I am planning OPTIONAL onshore programs with local colleagues for Warnemunde (Aug 29), Tallinn (Aug 31), St Petersburg (either Sept 1 or 2), Helsinki (Sept 3), Stockholm (Sept 4) and CPH (Sept 6). Possibly also in London on Sept 8.
Our travel agent is Matthew Aquino, Senior Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web Inc,1-800-377-9383 x298 or 1-240-487-0155 x 2988100 Corporate Dr. Landover, MD 20785, USAe-mail: or <>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pls contact Matt immediately by e-mail or by phone (yr choice). He will respond to you individually by e-mail of phone (you decide which)Deposit is $500 --which locks in yr quoted price of about $2000 per person. Final payment is due by June 2. PLS DON'T DELAY

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Hope to see you aboard

New on the Web: Meant for April 1, a very professional meteorological fantasy making fun of certain climate alarmists.

Climate Alarmism is becoming an organized campaign. The activist group Environmental Defense has concluded an agreement with the Ad Council to run a TV campaign, building up to a major effort on legislation.

Ice Alarmism: The current issue of Science (March 24) is filled with alarming stories about ice melting and sea-level rise. There is much hype there; we have inserted our comments within the text (Item #1)

First some general remarks: On the geological time scale, the fossil-fuel age is just a blip, maybe 200-300 years (half-width). The CO2 blip may be a little broader. Even if the climate sensitivity were as much as 2-3 degC (and the evidence suggests much less), the impact on major ice sheets would be minor. After all, during the most recent deglaciation 20,000 - 10,000 years ago, Greenland temperatures rose by about 30 degC [Dahl-Jensen et al. Science, 9 Oct. 1998] and the ice sheets are still here.
Of course, ephemeral, thin sea ice and ice shelves may be affected -- but with no or minor effect on sea level

As it turns out (Item #2), the scientist touted by CBS News' "60 Minutes" as arguably the "world's leading researcher on global warming" and spotlighted as a victim of the Bush administration's censorship on the issue, publicly endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president and received a $250,000 grant from the charitable foundation headed by Kerry's wife. For full transcript of the 60-Minutes segment w/ Hansen: "Rewriting the Science" (March 19, 2006), see
Comments on CNS story (Item #2) about Jim Hansen, "the scientist the White House is trying to gag." Galileo he ain't

··He claims 2005 as the warmest year. Published NOAA data show 2002 warmer and 1998 as much warmer. Interestingly, while repeating his claim, he also denies it

··ABC News' web page reported a Hansen interview that sea level would rise 80 feet by 2050. That's 20 inches per year!!! I expressed disbelief. ABC corrected the page and phoned me, changing the date to 200-300 years hence. That's still about 60 times the present rate!!

··Last year he discovered the "smoking gun" for anthropogenic global warming -- and even published a paper in Science (with 14 co-authors!) claiming observed ocean heat storage as evidence. Complete bunk; this paper should not have passed review! However, Science would not publish a critique of this paper. ·

· Finally, not so long ago, in Nov. 2004, Hansen et al claimed that methane was the real villain -- not CO2

Arctic sea ice decline may be due to wind shifts not warming -U of Wash (Item #3)

Warming scam in Vermont: News from Ethan Allen Institute (Item #4)

Science friction: Cry of 'political science' a two-edged sword: Colorado Springs Gazette (Item #5)

Finally, PNAS joins Science and Nature: Shoddy science from Proc National Academy of Sciences: Mosquitoes increased in Kenya - and so did temperatures (Item #6). And they used a mathematical model-Hooray!
Might it have something to do with the removal of DDT? Just maybe? (Item #7)


1. Scientist Alleging Bush Censorship Helped Gore, Kerry
By Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
March 23, 2006

( - The scientist touted by CBS News' "60 Minutes" as arguably the "world's leading researcher on global warming" and spotlighted as a victim of the Bush administration's censorship on the issue, publicly endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president and received a $250,000 grant from the charitable foundation headed by Kerry's wife.

Scientist James Hansen has also admitted that he contributed to two recent Democratic presidential campaigns. Furthermore, he acted as a consultant in February to former Vice President Al Gore's slide-show presentations on "global warming," which Gore presented around the country.

But Scott Pelley, the "60 Minutes" reporter who profiled Hansen and detailed his accusations of censorship on the March 19, edition of the newsmagazine, made no mention of Hansen's links to Kerry and Gore, and none to the fact that Kerry's wife -- Teresa Heinz Kerry -- had been one of Hansen's benefactors.

Pelley's "Rewriting the Science" segment focused on Hansen's allegations that the Bush administration was preventing his views from becoming publicized because it did not like his conclusions. Hansen's complaints were first publicized in January.

"In my more than three decades in the government, I've never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public," Hansen told Pelley.

But Hansen had made similar claims of another Republican White House allegedly censoring his views. In 1989, Hansen claimed that President Bush's father - then-President George H. W. Bush - was censoring his climate research. Kerry and about a dozen other senators eventually co-signed a letter written by Gore, who was also a senator at the time, demanding an explanation for the alleged censorship.

Hansen has previously acknowledged that he supported the "emphasis on extreme scenarios" regarding climate-change models in order to drive the public's attention to the issue, but Pelley's "60 Minutes" report made no mention of that admission.

"Not only are [Hansen's] apocalyptic predictions not coming true, but more and more countries are beginning to realize that they will destroy their economies just under Kyoto, to prevent about 0.1 degrees of warming," Paul Driessen, the author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death, told Cybercast News Service.

"Hansen's rants might still garner headlines in the Washington Post and New York Times, and raves from CBS - especially if you believe every beetle infestation, forest fire, cold snap, hot flash, dry spell, flood, frog death and malaria outbreak is due to global warming - but they're complete hogwash," Driessen said.

In endorsing Kerry's presidential bid late in the 2004 campaign, Hansen conceded that it could harm his reputation. "Dr. Hansen, 63, acknowledged that he imperiled his credibility and perhaps his job by criticizing Mr. Bush's policies in the final days of a tight presidential campaign." according to the Oct. 26, 2004, edition of the New York Times.

In a speech delivered on that same day, Hansen praised the Massachusetts senator, declaring that "John Kerry has a far better grasp than President Bush on the important issues that we face."

Three years earlier, Hansen had accepted the $250,000 Heinz Award granted by the foundation run by Kerry's wife Teresa. But the same day Hansen publicly endorsed Sen. John Kerry's presidential candidacy in 2004, the New York Times quoted Hansen as saying that the grant from the Heinz Foundation had had "no impact on my evaluation of the climate problem or on my political leanings."

But George C. Deutsch, who served as a spokesman for NASA until resigning in February, said he quickly learned that "Dr. Hansen and his supporters have a very partisan agenda and ties reaching to the top of the Democratic Party." Deutsch resigned his post earlier this year following a controversy surrounding a false resume claim that he graduated from Texas A&M University.

Deutsch also denied that the Bush administration was clamping down on scientific views that did not support its preferred conclusions.

"There is no pressure or mandate from the Bush administration or elsewhere, to alter or water down scientific data at NASA, period," Deutsch said, according to a Feb. 11, article in the Washington Post. Instead, he said, there existed a "culture war" at the federal agency.

"Anyone perceived to be a Republican, a Bush supporter or a Christian is singled out and labeled a threat to their views. I encourage anyone interested in this story to consider the other side, to consider Dr. Hansen' s true motivations and to consider the dangerous implications of only hearing out one side of the global warming debate," Deutsch added.

Hansen fired back at Deutsch's assertions in an online statement published in February, calling Deutsch's claims "nonsense." "I can be accurately described as moderately conservative," Hansen wrote, while acknowledging that he had endorsed Kerry for president in 2004 "because he recognized global warming problem."

Hansen stated that he had great respect for former Vice President Al Gore, noting that he met with Gore in January 2006 and ended up consulting for Gore on his climate-change slide show presentations.

"I have great respect for Vice President Gore and his dedication to communicating the importance of global warming. He has a better understanding of the science of global warming than any politician I have met, and I urge citizens to pay attention to his presentation, which I understand will come out in the form of a movie," Hansen wrote.

Hansen wrote that his only two political contributions were to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and to either the 2000 Al Gore presidential run or the Kerry 2004 campaign. "I don't remember which," Hansen stated.

Hansen, described by Pelley in the "60 Minutes" report as an "independent," also reportedly refused to go along with the Clinton administration on the issue of "global warming." The Clinton administration "wanted to hear that warming was worse than it was," Pelley reported.

In the March 2004 issue of Scientific American, Hansen appeared to be justifying the past use of climate models to scare the public into believing the "global warming" problem was urgent. "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue," Hansen wrote in 2004. "Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate-forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions."

Patrick J. Michaels, the author of several books on climate change, including the recently published "Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming," declared that Hansen has "advocated the use of exaggeration and propaganda as political tools in the debate over global warming."

Michaels, who leveled his charges in a Feb. 21 commentary entitled "Hansen's Hot Hype," wrote that "Hansen thought the public should be subjected to nightmare scenarios regardless of the scientific likelihood of catastrophe, simply in order to gain people's attention."

Michaels, who believes claims of catastrophic, human-caused "global warming" are scientifically unfounded, is a climatologist at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Michaels has previously credited Hansen with taking a more moderate stance toward climate change. "The irony is that, in recent years, Hansen's positions on global warming have come increasingly in line with those of the administration he claims is censoring him," Michaels said.

Several attempts to contact Hansen for comment were not returned. Telephone calls to Bill Owens and Catherine Herrick, the two CBS News employees who produced Pelley's "60 Minutes" segment, were referred to the network media affairs office.

"60 Minutes" spokesman Kevin Tedesco defended the segment, telling Cybercast News Service that "it was a fair and accurate report."

A call to reporter Scott Pelley was not returned by press time.

2. Melting ice threatens sea-level rise, shrunken polar glaciers, temps at 130,000-year highs
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID (Associated Press)
March 23, 2006

WASHINGTON - Already the Earth is shaking beneath melting ice as rising temperatures threaten to shrink polar glaciers and raise sea levels around the world. By the end of this century, Arctic readings could rise to levels not seen in 130,000 years, when the oceans were several feet higher than now, according to new research appearing in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Even now, giant glaciers lubricated by melting water have begun causing earthquakes in Greenland as they lurch toward the ocean, other scientists report in the same journal.

At the current warming rate, Earth's temperature by 2100 will probably be at least 4 degrees warmer than now, the Arctic at least as warm as it was 130,000 years ago, reports a research group led by Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Arizona. [SEPP Comment: Not so. Assuming that all of current warming is anthropogenic, the increase will be less than 1.3 degC]

-Computer models indicate that warming could raise the average temperature in parts of Greenland above freezing for multiple months and could have a substantial impact on melting of the polar ice sheets, says a second paper by researchers led by Bette Otto-Bliesner of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Melting could raise sea level one to three feet over the next 100 to 150 years, she said. [We project 8-10 inches; Hansen gives 40-50 feet!]

-A team led by Goeran Ekstroem of Harvard University reported an increase in "glacial earthquakes," which occur when giant rivers of ice - some as big as New York's Manhattan Island - move suddenly as meltwater eases their path. The sudden movement causes the ground to tremble.

Otto-Bliesner and Overpeck wrote separate papers and also worked together, studying ancient climate and whether modern computer climate models correctly reflect those earlier times. That allowed them to use the models to look at possible future conditions. The researchers studied ancient coral reefs, ice cores and other natural climate records.

"Although the focus of our work is polar, the implications are global," Otto-Bliesner said. "These ice sheets have melted before and sea levels rose. The warmth needed isn't that much above present conditions."

According to the studies, increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the next century could raise Arctic temperatures as much as 5 to 8 degrees (2.6 to 4.4 degrees C).

The warming could raise global sea levels by up to three feet (6.6 meters) this century through a combination of thermal expansion of the water and melting of polar ice, Overpeck and Otto-Bliesner said.

Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, who was not part of the research teams, said, "One point stands out above all others, and that is that a modest global warming may put Earth in the danger zone for a major sea-level rise due to deglaciation of one or both ice sheets."

Ekstroem and colleagues reported that glacial earthquakes in Greenland occur most often in July and August and have more than doubled in frequency since 2002. "People often think of glaciers as inert and slow-moving, but in fact they can also move rather quickly," Ekstroem said. "Some of Greenland's glaciers, as large as Manhattan and as tall as the Empire State Building, can move 10 meters in less than a minute, a jolt that is sufficient to generate moderate seismic waves." Manhattan is 22.7 square miles (58.79 sq. kilometers), and New York's Empire State Building is 1,472 feet (448 meters) tall.

Melting water from the surface gradually seeps down, accumulating at the base of a glacier where it can serve as a lubricant to allow the ice to move suddenly downhill, the researchers said.

"Our results suggest that these major outlet glaciers can respond to changes in climate conditions much more quickly than we had thought," said team member Meredith Nettles of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

From Science (March 24, 2006):

The world is warming, and higher temperatures can cause melting of polar ice sheets. How fast will the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica disappear, and how fast and far will sea level rise in the coming century? These issues are addressed in a news story by Kerr (see the cover), the Editorial by Hanson and Kennedy, Perspectives by Bindschadler and Joughin, and four Reports.

Otto-Bliesner et al. (p. 1751) integrate climate model simulations, an ice sheet model, and paleoclimate data to show that the northern latitudes, and particularly the Arctic, were significantly warmer during the Last Interglaciation, when sea level was several meters higher than at present. They also estimate that the Greenland Ice Sheet contributed between 2.2 and 3.4 meters of sea level rise in the penultimate deglaciation.

Overpeck et al. (p. 1747) compare the model's predictions of warming during the next 130 years to this reconstruction, and conclude that surface temperatures will be as high by the end of this century as they were 130,000 years ago. These conditions would melt enough of the Greenland Ice Sheet to raise sea level by several meters.

Determining how quickly Antarctic ice may be disappearing has been difficult to assess. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites were designed to make the needed measurements, and Velicogna and Wahr (p. 1754, published online 23 February) show that the mass of the ice sheet has been decreasing by 152 {+/-} 80 cubic kilometers per year from 2002 to 2005, mostly from losses of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Contrary to some projections, ice loss around the margins is proceeding faster than the center of the ice sheet is growing.

Glacial earthquakes are triggered by the large and sudden sliding of glaciers and can be observed by global seismic networks. Ekstrom et al. (p. 1756; see the Perspective by Joughin) recorded glacial earthquakes on Greenland and found that these events were more common in summer and that their annual number has doubled since 2002. Both of these findings are consistent with the observed accelerating motion of outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet and correlate with its more widespread melting in recent years.

3. Winds of change: Global warning not main threat to ice decrease, scientist says
(Corvallis, OR) Gazette-Times, March 21, 2006

Although greenhouse gases have many scientists and others worried about the Earth's future, global warming isn't the main culprit in the Arctic Ocean's ice retreat. The decrease of ice is more because of changes in wind patterns affecting ocean circulation than greenhouse warming, according to Jamie Morison, principal oceanographer with the University of Washington's Polar Science Center Applied Physics Laboratory.

Morison has spent nearly 30 years studying changes in the Arctic. He took his first expedition there in 1993 on the Pargo submarine. Since 2000, he's led annual trips to the North Pole. On Monday afternoon, Morison presented his findings - contrasted primarily with data gathered by Russian scientists from the 1950s through the late-'80s - to faculty and students in Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Monday evening, Morison gave a talk, entitled "Tracking Changes in the Marine Arctic," at the LaSells Stewart Center. Morison's presentation, part of the Byrne Lecture Series, is sponsored by Oregon Sea Grant and OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

Throughout the 1990s, the Arctic Ocean's temperature and salt levels increased, he noted. This indicates a shift in circulation, with a driving front coming from the Atlantic Ocean's warmer, saltier water, Morison said. This led to old ice melting and drifting off. In the last 30 years, ice thickness has decreased by 42 percent, Morison said. Although global warming may contribute to this trend, Morison thinks an increase in Arctic oscillations, tied to a stronger Polar Vortex, is the main factor. Data from 2002, 2003 and 2005 showed record-low ice levels, although temperatures and salt levels in the Arctic Ocean are returning to their pre-1990 levels. Morison said it may just take several years to rebuild the ice lost during the last decade, even as the ocean recovers.

To help with long-term climatology studies, researchers are turning to automated drifting stations, which allow more cost-effective, year-round data collection. Other methods include deep-ocean mooring and airplane hydrographic surveys.
Mary Ann Albright covers higher education for the Corvallis Gazette-Times. She can be reached at 758-9518 or
Copyright © 2006 Corvallis Gazette-Times

4. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Scam
John McClaughry, Ethan Allen Institute:

One of the most intricate and ingenious scams ever conceived by Vermont state government is marching forward in Montpelier, well under the radar. Like all such scams, certain favorite interests will make good money off of it. If you are unlucky enough not to be such a favored interest, you will pay. This particular scam is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

In perhaps his last gift to Vermont, Gov. Howard Dean in August 2002 signed an executive order pledging Vermont to cooperate with other states in the region in a scheme to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an astonishing 75% by 2050 (if practicable using reasonable efforts). Gov. Douglas replaced that order a year later, but retained all of its enviro theology and emission targets.

The focus of RGGI is carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. This is not power-plant pollution, caused by sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions; those are already under fairly strict EPA regulation. Carbon dioxide is the result of carbon fuel combustion. It becomes a vital feedstock for crops and forests essential to the Northeast's economy.

For the past decade an astonishing coalition of enviro groups has passionately advocated government taxation of carbon dioxide emissions. Why? Because they want more government control of our energy-based economy. Because they want government to confiscate more of peoples' incomes, to be showered as subsidies on their favorite industry, renewable energy. But since these candid arguments won't sell politically, the enviros have wrapped their advocacy around the supposed perils to humanity of global warming.

Here's how the argument comes together. Global warming is a mortal threat to the future of the human race! People, not dear old Mother Nature, cause global warming by burning carbon, thus emitting the evil greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

So the government must force us to cut back our carbon dioxide emissions. Since that nitwit Bush won't impose carbon controls from Washington, a bunch of states in a region like the Northeast must get together and do it. They'll require their coal, oil and gas-fired power plants to buy emission tickets. That will make those fuels more expensive, the electric ratepayers will pay higher prices, and big money will turn up in government coffers.

The RGGI scheme distributes the emission tickets among the state governments that thought it up. This is like printing monopoly money, and requiring energy generators to buy it with real money. Where will they get the real money? By increasing the price they charge for electricity. And who pays that price? Energy-intensive industries like IBM, OMYA, and the Vermont ski industry, plus Joe's Machine Shop, Farmer Brown, and Aunt Maude.

The energy tax and price effect was candidly conceded two years ago by a leading advocate, Marc Breslaw of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network. We want to start off with a modest program, he said, so we don't raise the price of electricity too much and freak everyone out, and have them say this is a bad idea.

Since Vermont has only one very small part-time gas-fired power plant (in Berlin), the state government will pocket all of the proceeds from selling its emissions tickets to power plants located elsewhere in the Northeast. The prices paid by Vermont consumers for carbon-fired electricity will rise slightly, and the money from auctioning off the emissions tickets will come pouring in from non-Vermonters. Free money!

So what will the state of Vermont do with this new money? The legislature addressed that question in a House-passed bill (H. 860) that is awaiting certain Senate approval. It directs the Public Service Board to use the RGGI windfall funds to make energy efficiency and other low-carbon power system investments. That will almost certainly work out to finding even more ways to subsidize wind farms and methane generation from manure and landfills.

If one is not too picky about using junk science theories of global warming to extract more tax dollars, one can defend Vermont's participation in this scam by pointing to the free revenue flow into state coffers. That said, the only question then is how to best to spend the money.

Here's an idea. The Public Service Board is already extracting $18 million a year from electricity ratepayers to finance Efficiency Vermont. So in 2009 when the free RGGI emissions tax money starts rolling in, the PSB could use it to offset or eliminate the tax on everyone's power bill.

Will the PSB do that? Certainly not, unless forced to by the legislature. And the legislature won't do that, because the majority is eager to generate a new pot of money to shower more corporate welfare on their friends in the renewable energy business, notably industrial wind farms. No wonder that VPIRG, the most vocal backer of heavily subsidized wind farms, is an equally vocal backer of the RGGI scheme.

As Sir Walter Scott once observed, Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute (

5. Science friction: Cry of 'political science' a two-edged sword
Opinion, Colorado Springs Gazette, March 22, 2006

One senator's inquiry into the inner workings of Boulder's National Center for Atmospheric Research, and its parent organization, the University Center for Atmospheric Research, is being construed by some as an act of political intimidation. The senator, James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, is a global warming skeptic. NCAR and UCAR, which receive federal support through the National Science Foundation, are viewed as leading proponents of global warming theory. That's led some to allege that Inhofe is trying to pressure NCAR and UCAR into tailoring their research to take a more skeptical view, and of polluting the purity of science with politics.

But we're not sure Inhofe's request is out of line. NCAR's contract with the NSF hasn't been put up for competitive bid in years - which strikes us as a legitimate subject of inquiry. What else Inhofe might be looking for is unknown. But if he's searching for evidence that the organizations are engaged in "advocacy science," rather than conducting unbiased research, that's a legitimate inquiry as well, since federal funds are involved.

Taxpayers have an interest in knowing they are supporting sound, even-handed, agenda-free science, on climate change or any other issue. And if Inhofe or any member of Congress has reason to doubt this, inquiries are in order.

Some are shocked, shocked by the suggestion that science can be corrupted or co-opted -- that researchers at NCAR and UCAR are doing anything other than objective research. How dare anyone question the integrity of "science," they huff. But that's a willfully naive view, given the way science, policy, advocacy and big money intermingle in this society.

Scientists are as susceptible to being seduced by political agendas, personal biases and self-interest as any other human beings, in our view. And given the power they wield on so many policy disputes, from global warming to the Endangered Species Act, it's legitimate to ask if they have agendas.

It's obvious that scientists have increasingly been crossing the line into advocacy. We find it laughable, for instance, when the Union of Concerned Scientists -- which for years has been pushing a radical, left-wing political agenda -- accuses the Bush administration of "politicizing" science.

Just this week, for instance, 269 "scientists" sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing the proposed delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly. But who are these 269 scientists and what makes them authorities on the subject? Most in the media, typically, never bothered to ask. But many of those who signed the letter - and were lumped under the rubric "scientist" - have a dubious claim to the title and no standing as grizzly-bear specialists.

Among those counted as scientists were Ph.D. candidates, graduate students, law school professors, geology professors, geography professors, chemistry professors, museum directors, botany professors, forestry professors and the "curator of grasses" at one museum. And most who signed it were "conservation biologists," a relatively new subspecies of old-fashioned biologists that is on the vanguard of advocacy science.

Some have described conservation biology as a "crisis science," and a spin off of a Pantheistic philosophy called "deep ecology." The Society for Conservation Biology defines it as "a mission-oriented science that focuses on how to protect and restore biodiversity, or the diversity of life on Earth. . . Like medical research, conservation biology deals with issues where quick action is critical and the consequences of failure are great." Society members support use of the "precautionary principle," which backs regulatory responses to perceived problems even before the science is rock solid.

It's likely, therefore, that their missionary zeal could cloud their scientific objectivity. Moreover, these signatures were collected by Earthjustice, an extreme environmental group that isn't a disinterested party. But why is no one evoking the specter of "politicized" science in this case?

Given how often politics, money and science mix in the United States, it behooves Americans, and their elected representatives, to not only question the validity of the science used to make policy, but the integrity and objectivity of those doing the research. "Mission-oriented" science isn't to be trusted.

6. Climate link to African malaria
By Richard Black, Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

Rising temperatures may partly explain increasing cases of malaria in regions of Africa, new research suggests. Temperatures in East African highlands have risen by half a degree Celsius in the last 50 years, scientists found. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they say this small rise may have doubled the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Malaria has recently emerged in parts of the highlands, with climate change one possible explanation among many. The new research relies on a fresh analysis of temperature data for four highland locations in western Kenya, southwestern Uganda, southern Rwanda and northern Burundi. "Previous researchers had analyzed the same sites and not found evidence for warming," said Mercedes Pascual from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, US. "So we revisited it with a longer data set and longer analysis up to 2002," she told the BBC News website. "We found there has been a rise of about half a degree Celsius over 50 years, but we see it mainly from the end of the 1970s to the present."
In recent years malaria has emerged or re-emerged in several parts of the East African highlands, where temperatures are many degrees cooler than in low-lying areas. Factors considered as possible explanations include increasing movement of people, rising resistance to anti-malarial drugs, and decreasing quality of health care. Climate change has also been proposed as something that could affect the Anopheles mosquitoes which transmit the malaria parasite, either through higher temperatures or increased rainfall.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global body which collates scientific information on the extent of climatic shifts and their impacts, said in its 2001 report: "Future climate change may increase transmission in some highland regions, such as in East Africa." The new research integrates temperature changes into a computer program which models the mosquito population. For a half-degree rise, the model predicts that mosquito numbers would rise by between 30% and 100%. "The impact comes from the effect of temperature on their time to development," said Dr Pascual, "and then more weakly on the lifetime of the adults - but it's mainly the accelerated rate of development."
In lowland areas where mosquitoes are abundant and malaria endemic, such an increase would probably have a marginal effect on rates of infection. But in highland areas, where the insects are much scarcer, it is likely to be a key factor affecting transmission rates. "Our results do not mean that temperature is the only or the main factor driving the increase in malaria," concluded Dr Pascual, "but it is one of many factors that should be considered."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/20 23:16:14 GMT

7. DDT ban kills; has no scientific justification
By S. Fred Singer (To Wash Times in 2002)

"Highland malaria has returned to the tea estates of western Kenya after an absence of nearly 30 years…" So begins a study in Emerging Infectious Diseases(2002), a journal published by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Many researchers have speculated that the return of this dreaded disease to the East African Highlands is yet another indicator that man is dangerously warming the planet. But the new study, by the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit in Kenya, states: "The results of our work do not support these conclusions."

More likely, the cause of the resurgence is the lack of DDT. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the ban of the pesticide by the US Environmental Protection Agency. With the West Nile virus now rampant throughout the United States and malaria striking youngsters in the Washington, DC suburbs last summer, we should remind ourselves that DDT is the most potent weapon against the mosquitoes that spread these diseases. The ban was a political decision by a former EPA administrator, acting against the best scientific advice of his own organization.

Worse even, instigated by the UN Environmental Program (but opposed by public health experts), plans are afoot to ban DDT in the rest of the world where malaria annually takes well over two million lives; a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds. In a remarkable departure from its usual uncritical acceptance of extreme environmental positions, the New York Times in an editorial on Dec. 23, 2002 endorsed the plea of public-health specialists not to eliminate this most effective weapon against malaria.

The history of the EPA's sorry decision starts with Rachel Carson and her 1962-book "Silent Spring." Her bestseller, distorting scientific data, galvanized the environmental movement and led to the extravagant claims of ecological damage by the newly founded Environmental Defense Fund, long before the EDF discovered that Global Warming was a better way to scare the public. Their claims of thinning eggshells of breeding birds were effectively countered by the noted biologist Prof. J. Gordon Edwards of San Jose State University. It is ironic therefore that the unchecked spread of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus is not only killing dozens of people now but wiping out whole populations of birds that are uniquely susceptible to the virus.

To recall: The 1972 decision of the EPA hearing examiner Judge Edward Sweeney -- that DDT should not be banned - was based on 9000 pages of scientific testimony: "DDT is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to man … uses of DDT do not have a deleterious effect on fish, birds, wildlife or estuarine organisms." As summarized by the prestigious American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), later research has further confirmed these findings. Nevertheless, EPA chief William Ruckelshaus banned the pesticide in 1972. He later admitted that it was a political decision.

With DDT banned, US authorities attempt to control mosquitoes by less effective insecticides that are toxic, degrade rapidly, and require repeated applications. Poor countries in Africa and elsewhere cannot afford these more costly chemicals and procedures, so millions die and many more become ill, sapping their strength and contributing to the continuing poverty of their nations. Yet even small quantities of DDT, applied to the walls of houses and to mosquito netting, can control the malaria problem. The scourge of malaria can be virtually eliminated for just a tiny fraction of the $15 billion that the US plans to spend in Africa on controlling AIDS.

The United States was in that position before the advent of pesticide chemicals. As James M. Taylor relates in the October 2002 issue of Environment & Climate News, published by the Heartland Institute: "In 1793, an outbreak of Yellow Fever killed 10 percent of the population of Philadelphia … 20,000 people in New Orleans in 1853, and [again] during an 1878 epidemic. During the Civil War, 10.000 Union soldiers died of malaria."

During World War II, a Brooklyn-born chemical engineer, the son of Lebanese immigrants, learned how to mass-produce DDT; Joe Jacobs turned a Swiss moth-killing chemical into a potent weapon against all kinds of disease-spreading insects, including lice and fleas, and saved the lives of millions of GIs and European refugees. A National Academy report of 1970 states: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT … [I]n a little more that two decades [after WW-II], DDT has prevented 50 million deaths due to malaria that otherwise would have been inevitable." The inventor of DDT received the Nobel Prize in 1948; Jacobs went on to found a major engineering company and became a leading philanthropist, a "compassionate conservative."

But the battle against insect-borne diseases continues. There is a significant clue: Both West Nile and the recent outbreak of malaria started near a major international airport. The infected mosquitoes may have been aboard or perhaps a domestic mosquito bit an infected traveler. With the growth in international air travel it is only a matter of time before other nasty diseases are carried to our shores: Yellow fever; Dengue; Japanese viral encephalitis; (African) Rift Valley fever - all deadly and with no vaccine; (Australian) Ross River fever - no vaccine. As long as epidemics continue in the poorer nations, we are not safe; witness the rapid global spread of flu-like lethal SARS.

Steven Milloy, author of Junk Science Judo, has put it well and succinctly: "Judicious use of DDT won't harm people or the environment. It will, however, kill mosquitoes - which is better than mosquitoes killing us."
S. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, is President of the Arlington (VA)-based Science &Environmental Policy Project, and a visiting Wesson Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, CA



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