Thursday, July 30, 2009

Global warming is the new religion of First World urban elites

Geologist Ian Plimer takes a contrary view, arguing that man-made climate change is a con trick perpetuated by environmentalists

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun  July 29, 2009

Ian Plimer has outraged the ayatollahs of purist environmentalism, the Torquemadas of the doctrine of global warming, and he seems to relish the damnation they heap on him.

Plimer is a geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University, and he may well be Australia's best-known and most notorious academic.

Plimer, you see, is an unremitting critic of "anthropogenic global warming" -- man-made climate change to you and me -- and the current environmental orthodoxy that if we change our polluting ways, global warming can be reversed.

It is, of course, not new to have a highly qualified scientist saying that global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon with many precedents in history. Many have made the argument, too, that it is rubbish to contend human behaviour is causing the current climate change. And it has often been well argued that it is totally ridiculous to suppose that changes in human behaviour -- cleaning up our act through expensive slight-of-hand taxation tricks -- can reverse the trend.

But most of these scientific and academic voices have fallen silent in the face of environmental Jacobinism. Purging humankind of its supposed sins of environmental degradation has become a religion with a fanatical and often intolerant priesthood, especially among the First World urban elites.

But Plimer shows no sign of giving way to this orthodoxy and has just published the latest of his six books and 60 academic papers on the subject of global warming. This book, Heaven and Earth -- Global Warming: The Missing Science, draws together much of his previous work. It springs especially from A Short History of Plant Earth, which was based on a decade of radio broadcasts in Australia.

That book, published in 2001, was a best-seller and won several prizes. But Plimer found it hard to find anyone willing to publish this latest book, so intimidating has the environmental lobby become.

But he did eventually find a small publishing house willing to take the gamble and the book has already sold about 30,000 copies in Australia. It seems also to be doing well in Britain and the United States in the first days of publication.

Plimer presents the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is little more than a con trick on the public perpetrated by fundamentalist environmentalists and callously adopted by politicians and government officials who love nothing more than an issue that causes public anxiety.

While environmentalists for the most part draw their conclusions based on climate information gathered in the last few hundred years, geologists, Plimer says, have a time frame stretching back many thousands of millions of years.

The dynamic and changing character of the Earth's climate has always been known by geologists. These changes are cyclical and random, he says. They are not caused or significantly affected by human behaviour.

Polar ice, for example, has been present on the Earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time, Plimer writes. Plus, animal extinctions are an entirely normal part of the Earth's evolution.

(Plimer, by the way, is also a vehement anti-creationist and has been hauled into court for disrupting meetings by religious leaders and evangelists who claim the Bible is literal truth.)

Plimer gets especially upset about carbon dioxide, its role in Earth's daily life and the supposed effects on climate of human manufacture of the gas. He says atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at the lowest levels it has been for 500 million years, and that atmospheric carbon dioxide is only 0.001 per cent of the total amount of the chemical held in the oceans, surface rocks, soils and various life forms. Indeed, Plimer says carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a plant food. Plants eat carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. Human activity, he says, contributes only the tiniest fraction to even the atmospheric presence of carbon dioxide.

There is no problem with global warming, Plimer says repeatedly. He points out that for humans periods of global warming have been times of abundance when civilization made leaps forward. Ice ages, in contrast, have been times when human development slowed or even declined.

So global warming, says Plimer, is something humans should welcome and embrace as a harbinger of good times to come.

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Military to Deploy on U.S. Soil to "Assist" with Pandemic Outbreak

July 30, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) Until now, what I'm about to tell you would have been easily dismissed as a conspiracy theory. It's the kind of story that you might expect from some extreme fringe blogger... the kind of story that never appears in the mainstream media. Only today, it did. And it's not a conspiracy theory, either.
CNN is reporting this evening that the U.S. military is gearing up to get involved in the H1N1 swine flu outbreak widely expected to strike the U.S. this fall. As CNN reports, "The U.S. military wants to establish regional teams of military personnel to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials." (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/07/2...)
When it comes to the U.S. military, the word "assist," of course, could mean almost anything. Typically, the U.S. military offers assistance at the end of a rifle. This "assistance" could mean assisting with quarantines, assisting with rounding up infected people or assisting with arresting and imprisoning people who resist vaccine shots.
Just to make it even more interesting, this operation will include "personnel from all branches of the military" and it will involve cooperation with FEMA -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is the group of geniuses who handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They're the ones who confiscated firearms from law-abiding citizens defending their own homes, then thrust people into toxic temporary housing that caused neurological symptoms and breathing problems.
Internationally, FEMA is known as the Federal Emergency Laughing Stock Administration. But now, with H1N1 swine flu, FEMA will be backed by the power of highly-trained, heavily-armed military personnel.

Imagine one possible future in America...

There's a knock on your door. A peek through the window reveals two young soldiers in urban camo fatigues gripping M16 rifles slung across their chests. In front of them, an official-looking doctor person sports an N95 mask and carries a clipboard thick with ruffled papers.
Knock knock. "Is anyone home?"
One of the soldiers catches a glimpse of you peering through a sliver of curtain covering the living room window. "I've got movement." He tightens his grip on his rifle and elbows the soldier next to him. "Someone's home. Knock again."
Knock KNOCK. "We're here from the pandemic response team," insists the doc. "We're here to help. Open up or we'll be forced to come in."
Reluctantly, you inch towards the door and grip the doorknob with damp, sweaty hands. Your pulse pounds hard as you crack open the door.
But the doctor isn't in front of your door anymore. It's one of the soldiers -- the larger one -- and he wedges his foot between your door and its frame, prying it open and forcing his intimidating self into your doorway. "We're with FEMA. Please step away from the door."
"Our records show you haven't received the swine flu vaccine yet," squeaks the doctor from behind the bulk of the domineering soldier now squarely positioned in front of you. "We're here to administer your vaccine."
"I don't want a vaccine," you protest. "They're not safe."
The soldier chuckles, blurts out, "They're as safe as the U.S. government says they are."
The doctor peers out from behind his military companion and makes eye contact. "Sir, as you well know, vaccines have been required for all U.S. residents since President Obama's emergency pandemic declaration last month. Please extend your arm and we'll be on our way."
He produces a syringe and stabs it into a half-filled vaccine cylinder. As he pulls the plunger and liquid races into the syringe, you realize you have mere moments to make a decision. Will you willingly accept the vaccine and avoid being beaten, arrested or shot by the two armed enforcers at your door, or will you resist and pay the consequences?
"Please extend your arm now," the doctor says. The military grunt clenches his jaw, eyeing your hesitation with obvious scorn. He fingers the safety on his rifle and clears his throat...
... what will your choice be?

 

We're only here to help

That scenario might seem like fiction now, but it could unfold in America in the next few months. What seems outlandish today could become a police state reality before Christmas.
But this is no joke. These people are serious. Even the words tell too much: The order to approve all this is about to be signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and it's called an "execution order."
So what, exactly, would military personnel be doing in your neighborhood in the event of a swine flu outbreak? The CNN story says they could assist with the "...testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients." There's nothing in the story about rounding people up, maintaining quarantine road blocks or cremating the infected bodies of the dead. These realities of a pandemic outbreak are better left unsaid if you're the U.S. military (or the mainstream media).
That's why the full story of what the U.S. military is planning for will never be told to the masses. It's too disturbing. But make no mistake: The military is planning for a worst-case scenario (that's what the military does), and a worst-case pandemic outbreak scenario would involve gunpoint-enforced isolation, military-enforced quarantine zones and most likely the forced vaccination of nearly everyone. Those who resist the vaccinations would be arrested (or detained) and injected at gunpoint, then set free back into the population.
Hollywood has already imagined some of what might happen in such a scenario. Rent the movie The Siege (Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington) to catch an imaginative glimpse of how the U.S. military might handle things in an "emergency situation." It's not a documentary, of course, but much of what it presents seems strangely on track with what's shaping up if a pandemic outbreak occurs.


The very fact that the military is now leaking this story to CNN says something all by itself: The U.S. military is preparing to be stationed on U.S. soil, and whatever freedoms you mistakenly think are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution will be long gone by the time the soldiers arrive at your door.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Threats against Iran feed off modern myths

Monday, July 27, 2009  By CESAR CHELALA

NEW YORK — Several myths regarding Iran stand in the way of the United States and other nations reaching a peaceful relationship with that country. Much of the concern that Iran may attack Israel, if Iran successfully develops nuclear weapons, rests on the statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that "Israel must be wiped off the map."

However, Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor of modern Middle East and South Asian history, says no such idiom exists in the Persian language: "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' . . . Instead, he said he 'hoped the regime, a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse.' "

This is consistent with statements by Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki. Speaking at a news conference, he denied that Tehran wanted to see Israel "wiped off the map." "Nobody can remove a country from the map. How is it possible to remove a country from the map? (Ahmadinejad) was talking about the regime," Mottaki said.

It has been stated repeatedly that an aggressive Iranian government represents a danger for the region and for the United States. Facts, however, do not substantiate such an interpretation. More frequently than not, Iran has been on the receiving end of aggressive acts, particularly by the U.S. Iranians cannot forget that it was foreign intervention, particularly by the British and the U.S., that destroyed democracy in Iran, the effects of which linger today.

In 1953, the CIA was instrumental in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran's prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the Strait of Hormuz toward the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Two hundred ninety passengers were killed, including 66 children, ranking it seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities. According to the U.S. government, the Vincennes crew misidentified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter.

The U.S. staunchly supported the shah of Iran's regime, despite its brutal repression of the Iranian people. According to Stephen Kinzer, author of "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror," fears by the Iranians of more U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of their country led to their taking American diplomats as hostages.

Both the U.S. and Israel have repeatedly threatened military action against Tehran, in flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter whose Article 2 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations."

Iran's alleged intention to develop nuclear weapons has also been given as a justification for an attack on Iran's nuclear sites. However, Yukiya Amano, the incoming head of the International Atomic Energy Agency declared to Reuters that he hadn't seen any hard evidence that Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear arms. Developing a civilian nuclear program is Iran's inalienable right and, if some predictions are true, it may also become a need in the near future.

There are indications that Iran's oil resources are fast depleting and Iran may become a net importer of oil a decade from now, according to the Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

As U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated, diplomacy should be pursued in dealing with the Iranian government. Such an approach should include security assurances to the Iranian government that it will not be attacked and that the U.S. will not undermine that country's leadership.

A linguistic equivalent to the Gulf of Tonkin incident should not be the excuse for attacking Iran and unleashing chaos in the region, if not in the whole world.

(Cesar Chelala, a foreign correspondent for the Middle East Times International (Australia), writes extensively on human rights issues.)

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Don't Worry, Be Happy, America! (Tens Reasons Why)

Saturday, July 25, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) Following the publication of my story about "the new Mr. America: Bankrupt, Diseased and Running Out of Options," we received a number of complaints from some readers who thought the story was too dark. It's just "too negative" to talk about the actual financial numbers in the U.S. budget, it seems. Who really cares about all that accounting, anyway? (Congress obviously doesn't...) What Americans really want is more happy talk!
Keep it positive. Stay upbeat. Talk about the good news!


I think that's a great idea, actually. So this weekend, I'm publishing ten pieces of good news about America's future, based on the very same financial numbers contained in my "dark" story (actually, a factual report of America's financial demise) published yesterday (http://www.naturalnews.com/026693_d...).
So for those who want to be happy, here's a list of the top ten things that are really positive about America's future!

The top ten good news things about America's future

Good News Item #1) When the stuff hits the fan, Americans will awaken from their slumber and remember their roots! Americans eventually do the right thing, after all, but only after trying every other alternative first. The spirit of ingenuity and self-reliance hasn't been snuffed out of American culture; it's just been buried under a torrent of bureaucratic stupidity. When Big Government goes broke and Americans are forced to rely on themselves, their neighbors and their communities for support, they will rediscover the same spirit of resourcefulness that once made America great (and can make it great again, under new management).
Good News Item #2) Your health is in your hands. You have near-total control over your own health. You don't have to wait for some government to mandate a new system of forced health care coverage at rip off prices. You can create your own health care plan right now by changing your diet, boosting your exercise and upgrading your lifestyle.
Good News Item #3) Gold, land and food will always be worth something. Wondering where to put a few dollars to protect them from the coming changes? Gold, land and food will always be worth something. These things have value that persists regardless of systems of currency or debt. (Hint: If you don't own gold, land or food, you might want to reposition your assets in the near future...)
Good News Item #4) When the U.S. government goes bankrupt, so will the FDA! And that means an end to the tyranny and oppression against the natural health industry. Remember this: U.S. government employees are but one paycheck away from disloyalty. There's a whole universe of knowledge about natural remedies just bursting to emerge once the heavy hand of oppression is lifted.
Good News Item #5) When the U.S. currency suffers hyperinflation and becomes worthless, it will remind people of what's really important in life: Health, family, a roof over your head and a piece of land with a garden on it. All the jobless Americans will have more time with their families! (This is not said in satire. I'm serious about this. Less time working and more time with family improves quality of life.) Besides... since when did working more hours ever make anyone happier?
Good News Item #6) The financial demise of the U.S. government will bring down Big Pharma, too, resulting in a new age of natural health remedies becoming more readily available across North America. Why is this the case? Because Big Pharma relies primarily on government revenues to stay in business, and once Big Government goes broke, Big Pharma will have no easy way to extract revenues directly from the people. They only get away with it now because they can lobby Washington to steal taxpayers' dollars and transfer them to drug companies.
Good News Item #7) America's military imperialism will soon end. Why? Because America can't afford it. Paying to send soldiers, tanks and bombs to other countries costs a fortune, after all. When the U.S. military stops paying soldiers, we will have an outbreak of sudden peace.
Good News Item #8) The age of complacency in America is coming to an end, too. Those who are complacent will not do well in the coming economic, cultural and political turmoil. They will be forced to adapt and learn new skills. People who are adaptable, self-reliant and determined will find plenty of success in the Next Society that follows the fall of America.
Good News Item #9) Mother Nature will prevail. Whatever humanity throws at Mother Nature -- through pollution, species extinction, climate change or deforestation -- nature will eventually recover and regain its health (with or without humans).
Good News Item #10) You have more options than you think! You are not stuck in any particular job or health status. You can change your circumstances by making new, better decisions. You have the resources within you to set a new course for the rest of your life.
BONUS Good News Item #11) As long as you can read this, there is still hope for freedom! As long as you can still reach "freedom" websites (even ones you don't agree with) like NaturalNews, Rense.com, Alex Jones or other similar sites, there's still a glimmer of hope for true freedom. The internet, of course, remains the last bastion of free thinking in modern society. Help keep it free, and you'll help protect the tools of communication that can let freedom ring throughout the world. (This is one reason to oppose so-called "hate crime" laws, by the way. The purpose of hate crime laws is to outlaw any non-conforming speech by categorizing it as "hate.")
So you see, there's actually a whole lot of good news in America. It's not as dark as you might think. Unless, of course, you believe national debts don't matter, or that your government will save you, or that socialized health care will solve your personal health problems. People who believe those things will find those beliefs rudely shattered. For them, the future may be quite dark, indeed.


But for those who have a grip on reality, the future looks very bright! The future, after all, is what we make of it, and those with the brightest minds and the deepest determination hold most of the power in shaping our collective future.


And the best way to have a bright future is to accept the reality of what's coming and then prepare for a more challenging future ahead. By preparing for big changes, you turn a potentially negative situation into a positive opportunity. So, you see, even bad news can be good news... especially if you deal with it instead of ignoring it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

'Everyone is your enemy,' Israeli soldiers in Gaza told

By Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers Dion Nissenbaum, Mcclatchy Newspapers Tue Jul 14, 2009

JERUSALEM — Israeli combat soldiers have acknowledged that they forced Palestinian civilians to serve as human shields, needlessly killed unarmed Gazans and improperly used white phosphorus shells to burn down buildings as part of Israel's three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter.

In filmed testimony and written statements released Wednesday, more than two dozen soldiers told an Israeli army veterans' group that military commanders led the fighters into what one described as a "moral Twilight Zone" where almost every Palestinian was seen as a threat.

Soldiers described incidents in which Israeli forces killed an unarmed Palestinian carrying a white cloth, an elderly woman carrying a sack, a Gazan riding a motorcycle, and an elderly man with a flashlight, said Breaking the Silence, a group formed by army reservists in 2004.

Any Palestinian spotted near Israeli troops was considered suspect. A man talking on a cell phone on the roof of his building was viewed as a legitimate target because he could've been telling militants where to find Israeli forces, the group quoted soldiers as saying.

"In urban warfare, everyone is your enemy," said one soldier. "No innocents."

The 110-pages of testimony — along with 16 video clips — of interviews with 26 unnamed Israeli soldiers offers the most comprehensive look inside a military campaign that's become the subject of an unfolding United Nations war crimes investigation.

The Israel Defense Forces dismissed the report.

(Surprise, Surprise!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Climate change: The sun and the oceans do not lie

By Christopher Booker  11 Jul 2009

The moves now being made by the world's political establishment to lock us into December's Copenhagen treaty to halt global warming are as alarming as anything that has happened in our lifetimes. Last week in Italy, the various branches of our emerging world government, G8 and G20, agreed in principle that the world must by 2050 cut its CO2 emissions in half. Britain and the US are already committed to cutting their use of fossil fuels by more than 80 per cent. Short of an unimaginable technological revolution, this could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economic activity: no electricity, no transport, no industry. All this is being egged on by a gigantic publicity machine, by the UN, by serried ranks of government-funded scientists, by cheerleaders such as Al Gore, last week comparing the fight against global warming to that against Hitler's Nazis, and by politicians who have no idea what they are setting in train.

What makes this even odder is that the runaway warming predicted by their computer models simply isn't happening. Last week one of the four official sources of temperature measurement, compiled from satellite data by the University of Huntsville, Alabama, showed that temperatures have now fallen to their average level since satellite data began 30 years ago.

The moves now being made by the world's political establishment to lock us into December's Copenhagen treaty to halt global warming are as alarming as anything that has happened in our lifetimes. Last week in Italy, the various branches of our emerging world government, G8 and G20, agreed in principle that the world must by 2050 cut its CO2 emissions in half. Britain and the US are already committed to cutting their use of fossil fuels by more than 80 per cent. Short of an unimaginable technological revolution, this could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economic activity: no electricity, no transport, no industry. All this is being egged on by a gigantic publicity machine, by the UN, by serried ranks of government-funded scientists, by cheerleaders such as Al Gore, last week comparing the fight against global warming to that against Hitler's Nazis, and by politicians who have no idea what they are setting in train.

What makes this even odder is that the runaway warming predicted by their computer models simply isn't happening. Last week one of the four official sources of temperature measurement, compiled from satellite data by the University of Huntsville, Alabama, showed that temperatures have now fallen to their average level since satellite data began 30 years ago…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

David Icke Newsletter Preview - 11th July 2009

Tony Blair: If  This Man Is Involved ...  It's A Scam


His record on civil rights in Britain is simply horrific and he will take his Orwellian blueprint to Brussels on Rothschild-headed paper. If people think the European Union is already a fascist dictatorship masquerading as a 'democracy', which it is, wait till this guy starts.

There is something else that follows Blair wherever he goes - war. He has never seen a war he didn't want to join, so long as other people do the fighting and not him. Blair says whatever suits him and his masters at the time that he says it. It was Blair who said in 1997: “Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war.”

A few years later, one commentator said of this 'man of peace':

“Since Tony Blair took office a decade ago, he has committed British forces to action more often, and in more conflicts, than any Prime Minister since 1945 ... Not only has this crusade embroiled them in what one officer called the most intense fighting since the Korean War, more than half a century ago, it is stretching their depleted resources to the limit.”

Blair went to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq and should he become EU President he will take Europe to war for his masters, the Rothschilds. They want a Third World War involving Europe, North America, Russia and China to bring in their world government dictatorship.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Israeli Piracy in International Waters

Israeli Navy seizes humanitarian aid ship in International Waters

IMCista | 08.07.2009

Activists from Free Gaza.org and the International Solidarity Movement, determined to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, gathered in Cyprus and set sail for Gaza on the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ on June 29th. The following morning, over 20 miles off the coast of Gaza, the boat was surrounded by Israeli Naval vessels who threatened to fire on the boat unless it turned around. The boat continued towards Gaza, and was then boarded by Israeli soldiers, who took control of the boat, and took all 20 passengers and the captain hostage, along with aid including building materials, medical supplies and childrens art supplies. By attacking the vessel in International Waters, and by preventing it from sailing into Gaza, Israel once again showed that it has scant regard for International Law, and confirmed that it is the de facto occupier of Gaza.

The majority of the prisoners were taken first to Ashdod, and then to Ramle Prison, accused of trying to enter Israel illegally. In fact the boat at no point entered Israeli Territorial waters, and nor did it intend to do so. Whilst in prison, the passengers were able to give a number of interviews, but the mainstream reporting of the incident has been patchy. Several of them have commented on the plight of the asylum seekers trapped in Israel’s immigration detention centres, some with no way apparent way out. The majority of the passengers have now been deported, and the charge that they attempted to enter Israel illegally has been dropped. The boat remains in the hands of the Israelis. The Free Gaza movement is already fundraising in order to be able to undertake another journey as soon as possible.

Two activists who entered Gaza on a previous successful Free Gaza voyage, have been stranded at the Rafah Crossing since June 10th, despite having permission to exit from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the other side of the border, 100 US activists with $1m of medical supplies are trying to get in.

 

At the end of 2008, the world watched as the might of the Israeli Military Complex was unleashed on the people of Gaza. 1 300 lives were lost, many thousands were injured and housing and infrastructure was destroyed. News coverage led to massive street protests as people expressed their outrage at the brutality of the invasion.

Six months later, Gaza remains in a desperate state, it’s borders closed much of the time, and very few goods getting through to allow reconstruction to begin. Whilst the people of Gaza remain trapped in despair, the mainstream media has moved its focus away, and Gazans once again are suffering out of sight of the rest of the world.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hysteria is the real threat, not global warming

By Andrew Alexander  8th July 2009

With Tony Blair launching his own plan to save the world (groans), and the G8 leaders also unveiling their thoughts about global warming, this is a big week for environmental fanaticism.

Whatever he or they offer, it will not be enough to quell the warmists' semi-religious fervour.

They are like medieval preachers, proclaiming to baying crowds that the end of the word is nigh.

Well, is it? There are two separate climate issues - the extent of global warming and the role that humanity plays in it.

Some facts help. The famous 1996 report by the International Panel on Climate Change predicted serious global warming and blamed mankind.

But, since then, the world has disobligingly stopped warming. And two years of global cooling erased nearly 30 years of recorded temperature rises.

What was the worrying rise in temperature - so exciting for those whose computer models used the past to predict a grim future?

Given the margin of error associated with the old-style thermometers which were, until only recently, used to record temperatures, it should be stated thus: over the past 100 years, temperature has risen by 0.7C - plus or minus 1.3 degrees!

The only importance the serious scientists can attach to such a figure is that less serious people think it meaningful.

My own science teacher would have kept me in after school for saying this was a valuable figure.

But, as you will have noticed, it worked. The catastrophists piled in - some of whom had previously flourished warnings about global cooling. For some, any figure will do, especially when it gives them a media profile (and grants for research).

Those who worry about facts should look at the findings of NASA (see the website), whose up-to-date and sophisticated global surveys throw such doubt on the warmists' claims.

They should also read Heaven And Earth by Ian Plimer, Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at The University of Melbourne and Professor of Mining Geology at The University of Adelaide.

It is the best book on science and scientists I have ever read. Piece by piece, he takes apart the work of the fanatics. Far from denying global warming, he stresses its regularity and occasional abruptness and how humans have had to adapt.

A millennium ago, Greenland was warm, with a rich agriculture - not much man-made carbon gas then. Over half of the past six million years, the climate was warmer than it is now.

He explains that the supposed consensus view of the IPCC is nonsense. The much-touted 2,500 scientists supposed to have backed its conclusion included many non-scientists or were even the same contributors counted twice.

The finding that human activity influenced global climate involved the deletion of an original passage saying they had no evidence that greenhouse gases played a role and that the best answer was 'we do not know'.

There is always a temptation to assume that anyone labelled a scientist thinks scientifically. Learned philosophers have discussed how experiments are regularly conducted to prove a desired conclusion rather than to ascertain truth.

Prof Plimer provides the sharp-end view of this. The use of computer models excites his particular disdain.

He cites 17 areas of science, ranging from tectonics to meteorology, which need to be utilised in analysing climate change. No computer I have ever heard of can do this meaningfully.

In every area, conclusions, such as they are, are subject to wide margins of error (and often fierce debate).

Simple multiplication demonstrates that even modest margins of error must collectively become magnified into enormous final ones.

As he says: 'If computer models torture the data enough, the data will confess to anything.'

Yet all this leaves a big problem. If the data is really so inconclusive, not to say contradictory, why is the fanatics' message so successful?

This is a profoundly important phenomenon requiring the study of social, political, historical and even religious trends. Catastrophists have, of course, always been with us. There is something in humanity's psyche which delights in impending disaster.

Politicians are attracted because the cause must involve a great increase in the power of government.

The supposed danger has also provided fuel for those who are determined, come what may, to demonstrate that capitalism and industrialisation are the roots of our woe.

The religious instinct is satisfied by the opportunity for pious preaching and noisy protest. Yet the cause is so flawed.

Are we being conned? Yes, why not? Think of all the grand causes in our lifetime which have been bogus, starting with Iraq and Afghanistan and working backwards. Or consider the dishonesty in public affairs, as in MPs' expenses. Fraud is the common coinage of public affairs.

Think, too, that it is little over 200 years since Europe stopped the execution of witches, and less than that since Spain finally abolished the Inquisition. We are, of course, too enlightened now to be in danger of being carried away by superstition or hysteria - so we say.

Heaven And Earth: Global Warming, The Missing Science, by Ian Plimer (Quartet, £25)

 

Thursday, July 02, 2009

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! - Rolling Stone expose: Goldman Sachs behind every market crash since 1920s

Goldman Sachs has played a crucial role in creating every market bubble since the 1920s -- and has profited from not only the bubbles, but from the crash that followed as well, says a new expose in Rolling Stone magazine.

An article in the July 9-23 issue of the magazine, written by Matt Taibbi, lists five asset bubbles that the 140-year-old investment bank helped create -- and one that Taibbi asserts the firm is currently working to make happen.

The five bubbles the article says Goldman was central to creating are the Wall Street stock bubble in the 1920s, which led to the Great Depression; the tech-stock bubble of the late 1990s, which ended in the 2001 recession; the housing bubble of the past decade, which resulted in the current economic crisis; the oil price run-up last summer, when oil shot up to $140 a barrel, likely helping tilt the entire world into recession; and what Taibbi describes as "rigging the bailout," when Goldman Sachs' well-placed alumni inside the U.S. government engineered last fall's bank bailout in such a way that the company profited massively.

Taibbi writes that Goldman Sachs has traditionally been a late arrival to market bubbles, getting in once others have started the trend, but, once in, the company quickly ramps up the bubble, predicts its bursting, and then hedges its bets so as to make money from the bubble crash.

The article, which is not yet officially available online, adds one more bubble to the list: the "global warming bubble," or specifically, the proposed cap-and-trade legislation that would allow companies to trade pollution credits on an open market.

Taibbi's argument suggests the Wall Street bank may well want to turn climate change policy into yet another Wall Street casino game.

Because emissions caps will continually be reduced, Taibbi argues, pollution credits will constantly be growing in value, and Goldman Sachs wants in on the ground floor.

Taibbi writes: "The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm-shifting legislation, (2) make sure that they're the profit-making slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is -- a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues."

On his blog, Taibbi has begun a discussion of the public reaction to his article. Some commenters have suggested that Taibbi's understanding of high finance is limited, accusing him of misreading Goldman Sachs' actions.

-- Daniel Tencer