Junk science. Fascists, Holocaust Deniers, Heads-In-The-Sanders (HITS) , Liberal Kooks, Neo Con Kooks, Faggots, Rednecks, Right wing Maniacs, Religious Nuts, Anti Christs, Axes-to-Grind Snobs, Know-it-All New-Agers (KIANAs), Superior-Nose Socialists, Junk Scientists, Fashion Marxists, Politicized Scientists, Conspirator One-Siders, Self-Interest Activists, World-Is-Flat Sensationalists (WIFs) and Delusional Straight-Jackets. Flat Earthers, Control Freaks, Population Cullers, Global Warming Charlatans.REesitance Fighter

A recent journalist panel at an American Bar Association meeting declared Global Warming to be the hottest story of our time. It will get even bigger as the obvious effects become more visible. “We live in a country [the US] where more people care about the death of Anna Nicole Smith than the death of a planet; journalists must help explain the evolving story in terms that readers can understand, by showing them how the impacts will affect their lives”, the panel solemnly declared.

No kidding. Never in the history of mankind has so much junk about one single issue been printed, newscast, talk showed, spammed, copied, blogged, spoken, podcast, voice mailed, downloaded, uploaded, emailed, serialized, YouTubed, water cooled, chat roomed, Ann Coulter faggotized, eHarmonized, pdf’d, pirated, multi mediated, Flickr’d, socially networked, Bluetoothed, SMS’d, Before and Afterinvented by Al Gore or shared in any other of the thousands of ways humans miscommunicate these days. Everyone is getting into the act, often disregarding decency, morals, ethics, truth, facts, responsibility or brains.

Self-appointed Cultural Kingpins, Do-Gooders, Commie Saboteurs, Vile Propagandistic Personality Attackers (VPPAs), Force Feeding Dogmatists, Grant Seeking Automatons, Doomsayers, Brainwashing Repeaters, Fear Mongers, Spayed Intellectually Cheerleaders (SICs), Whiners and Whimperers, Lunatic Lefties and Wing Nuts, Bush-Haters (aka, sore losers), Tree-hugging Maniacs, Loony Liberal Leftists, Liberal Environmentalist Whackos, Parallel Universe Frolickers (PUFs), Crusading Alarmists, Hysteria Scientists, Liars and Propagandists (LAPs).

Pretty much, folks are in one of three camps. The biggest bloc contains those who don’t give a damn – hand me a beer and turn on the TV. Then we have the Deniers or Skeptics as they like to be called, thriving off the shrieks from the Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs supported by a few thousand roaring storm troops. Finally you have the Noble Armies of those who have seen the Truth and KnLooking through the Wooden Fenceow What Is Best – the Believers. I’d guess perhaps we have a 75%, 5% and 20% split, or publicity wise, a 0%, 65%, 35% split? What do you think?

If you check the list of insults spread around our marvelous communication systems, it is sometimes hard to figure out which insult belongs to what camp. Some are easy: anything Anti-Christ, Leftist or Liberal stands for the Believers. Religious, Presidential and Patriotic stuff belongs to the Skeptics. But then there is this grey area of Attackers, Flat Earthers, Charlatans, Whackos, Frolickers and so on where it is hard to tell which camp is referred to.

This Global Warming post deals with opinions. It may not be the most productive subject but consider the current chaos of misinformation and plain stupidity. Let’s understand why so much effort is wasted. Part of this post repeats content from my other posts. I wanted to collect most “opinions” in one place.

TOC

The Vocals of Skeptics

Here is an interesting little set of statistics. In line with the previous section, let’s assume that people truly believing Global Warming is a serious issue that needs action represent 20% of the total. Maybe 5% are true Skeptics and the remaining 75% may or may not take Global Warming seriously but do not Family Gathering and Self Portraitreally care one way or another. This is extrapolating available poll data a bit but it seems to be a reasonable assumption.

Here is the first odd thing. Tracking the various views expressed in newspapers, magazines and blogs, it turns out that about 50% of the published views are coming from Skeptics expressing their very obvious and repeated biases. About 45% of the entries report the news straight-on while 5% of the writings come from the Believers.

That means that the publicity levels of Skeptics out weight their fair share by a factor of ten while Believers are underrepresented by a factor of four. Add the fact that many of the Skeptics arguments are almost identical article to article, in substance and even wording. How come the Skeptics are so dominant in publicity and so coordinated in their views? You tell me.

Then we have the second odd item. In recent polls, about 35% of Republicans believe Global Warming is a serious issue. Yet, based on statements and voting records, only 1% of Republican lawmakers share that opinion. 99% do not. So why do Republican lawmakers not reflect the grass root views of their constituents? You tell me.

Skeptics receive a lot of publicity. Republican lawmakers support Skeptic views far beyond what you’d expect from a level playing field. Why? Maybe there is a conspiracy; many vocal but secretive right wing Nazi and Catholic Priest With Victimorganizations routinely debunk Global Warming. They pressure followers to do the same. George W. Bush does his part by deceiving both Congress and the American people. The James Dobsons and Ralph Reeds of the world merrily follow their Texan leader, providing similar (coordinated?) misinformation.

Strangely, I do not see quite the same publicity skewness in the opinions on the Iraq War, where Bush faces increasing pressure from many that were supporters in the past. The same goes for other policy topics such as the tactics of the “war on terror”, minimum wages and deficit spending. Perhaps border security reflects an imbalance similar to Global Warming.

The polarization is getting worse, not better. The Believers, originally polite about it, start to fight back. The credibility of the Skeptics is increasingly challenged directly instead of conducting a meek debate of the merits of views. The Denier views have been thoroughly debunked so many times it is hardly necessary to do it again. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Senator James InTheHole, R. Okla., have zero credibility but the fight is not over.

Al Gore and Wrath of the Right

It is unavoidable given that this post discusses opinions and biases: We must deal with the phenomena of Al Gore. Al Gore, his The Inconvenient Truth and the attitude of the right make a powerful mix that is a symbol of the Al Gore Ranting Global Warmingcredibility of Global Warming. Conservatives and no doubt many others do not care for Al Gore as a person, perhaps because he won the 2000 election. There is insufficient consolidation to neo cons and other right minded individuals that he lost the Presidency.

Then Mr. Gore went on to a new career of exploring Global Warming, a subject close to him for 25 years, long before it became a world wide issue. Mr. Gore became a symbol for climate change and since he is deplorable, then Global Warming is deplorable and a liberal hoax. He created an Oscars winning documentary, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Price and travels the world with his PowerPoint presentation under his arm. He is receiving world wide attention. According to the Skeptics, all of this clearly proves Global Warming is a hoax.

Those with fewer biases might take issue with that idea. First, Al Gore does not present his own Global Warming research. He presents the work of others, in fact thousands of others. Second, Global Warming is about greenhouse gases and temperatures and a long series of issues caused by these two elements being out of control. That has nothing to do with Al Gore or, for that matter, any old PowerPoint pitch. Third, the real issue is not who is clueless about what, it is what we as the human race do about a looming disaster. Every one with a brain knows what needs to be done. All Al Gore does is acting as a spoke person for the Superman Al Goresolutions worked out by others.

Perhaps it is unfortunate that Al Gore became a symbol in the eyes of many for an issue that is not his at all. It’s possible Global Warming might be much more approachable to 1) Americans, 2) Conservatives and 3) the World in general if Al Gore was not as involved as he is. All the attention given to Al Gore hatred in all kinds of media certainly is a waste of time and effort. It takes away from dealing with solutions. It makes it harder to understand the real issues.

Al Gore is no doubt as amazed as others that he has been so wildly successful in the publicity game. Some even expect him to be the 2008 Presidential candidate wild card as a result. Be that as it may.

Perhaps he wonders as I do if he is part of the problem or part of the solution. The point, though, is Al Gore is not the main issue. Actually, he is not an issue at all in the real world. He did not cause Global Warming and he will not solve the problem of Global Warming. By now, it is irrelevant who caused the problem. The big question is who will solve the problem and if it will happen in time.

It is hard not to wonder about the sanity of the right wingers adding their hot opinions to the “debate”. Here is a sampler of what they say about Mr. Earnest Cardboard Gore: “Chubby nutcase Al Gore.” (Ann Coulter), “Al Gore – total fag.” (Ann Coulter), “It looks as if Al Gore has gone off his Al Gore Laughinglithium again.” (Charles Krauthammer, FOX), “I think he’s lost his mind. … I think he’s gone daft because he’s a sad little man now.” (Dennis Miller, CNBC), “He’s a mental patient. … He should go back to the dayroom he came out of.” (Mark R. Levin on FOX).

More on Mr. Gore’s mental state: “Albert Gore Jr., desperately needs help. I think he needs medication, and I think that if he is already on medication, his doctors need to adjust it or change it entirely.” (John Podhoretz, New York Post), “Gore, in our view, has cracked under a crushing burden of guilt.” (James Taranto, Wall Street Journal) and “….It says a lot about Gore. It says he’s perverse,” (Rush Limbaugh).

The above was before the Global Warming controversy. On Global Warming: “Al Gore gave a speech on global warming ….the philosophy of a madman” (Ann Coulter), “Gore-Bal Warming alarmism is getting so over-the-top that it practically qualifies as a mental disorder” (Right Wing News), “Inhofe also compared An Inconvenient Truth to Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf” (James Inhofe), “Al Gore was full of crap,” (James Inhofe), “A heartbreak loser turned Oscar boasting Nobel hopeful globe-trotting multimillionaire pop culture eminence” (New York Times) and “The man could make playing a kazoo look like meditation,” (Time)”.

Finally, here is more from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (my comments in italics):

  • “Gore’s proposals would create a breathtaking expansion of government power over the lives of everyday Americans citizens and put the U.S. economy in a deep freeze.” Strangely, the Europeans are not in a deep freeze – in fact they seem to prosper. I suppose they are just that much smarter than Americans are.
  • “The former Vice President has had to rely on alarmist predictions which mislead his audiences and distort the relevant science.” The shoe is on the wrong foot here. Consult the House hearings on George W. Bush misleading the country and distorting the truth of Global Warming.
  • “Mr. Gore envisions a federal takeover of nearly every aspect of the economy and restrictions on people’s individual choices.” Consult the records of controlling sulphur emissions in the 1970s and the reductions in ozone-destroying agents in the 1980-90s – I don’t recall any restrictions on my freedom. But emissions went down beautifully.
  • “Socialism failed because it claimed control over the economy in the name of the people, but the people realized they could run the economy better on their own.” I assume the “failure of socialism” refers to the downfall of the USSR? The Soviets never claimed control in the name of the people. They claimed control in the name of the state. The Soviet people never realized they could do a better job on the economy. They still don’t. “The people” has not run the economy of any country in a thousand years. That includes the US for the past hundreds of years.

I do wish these “think tanks” weren’t so clueless about their subjects. The Institute above really used the wrong list of platitudes. It may be time to simply get mad about this politicized, moronic “Al the Maniac” and all the other equally silly head-in-the-sand junk:

TOC

Scene from a Classic

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy. I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I want you to get mad! You’ve gotta say, Howard Beale of Network showing his rage“I’m a human being, goddamn it! My life has value.” I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,”

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”

Try it on; it may save your life or even your sanity. Perhaps a Skeptic will listen.

TOC

Tables of Contents and Other Stuff

The complete Global Warming essay is split up in several individual posts. The following introduction simplifies navigation through the mass of material. If you have been following the series, you may Men digging in the Sand(or not) want to skip right to the main content to avoid repetition, although this introduction is constantly updated. If so, hit the “Bypass” below.

If you are new to the series, you may want to 1) start at the beginning of the series using this link: “Culprits, Scoundrels and Villains” or 2) check out the table of content and other explanations of what this is all about – just read on. The TOC button brings you to the essay’s Table of Contents.

TOC
ByPass

About the Essay and Its Nine Main Parts

The essay is split into nine main posts due to its size. Click here for more details on each post.

  • The first main post examines the basic reasons why we ended up in this dreadful mess.
  • The second main post covers the political and UN scene.
  • The third main post deals with rising temperatures.
  • The “Sauerkraut” post dives into Europe and its mysteries.
  • The fourth main post bares dark secrets about the forecasting business.
  • The “Ann Coulter” post made some fun out of America’s favorite fascist.
  • The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” previews the April 2007 UN IPCC Report
  • The “Quick News” #1 issue of 3-14-2007 updates you on British, EU and other news.
  • The fifth main post explains the issues caused by rising populations.
  • The sixth main post probes the polarized attitudes to Global Warming.
  • The “Quick News” #2 adds to the discussion why Global Warming is so hard to accept.
  • The present seventh main post discloses opinions on Global Warming
  • The eight main post looks at the very real effects of Global Warming already present.
  • The ninth main post explores possible outcomes: cure or disaster?

Additionally to the nine main posts, a few other posts cover special subjects, comments and news. The “Sauerkraut” post looks at Europe and its peculiar history of early tribes, wars and more wars, deceit, Fuehrers, Generalissimos, Emperors, Kings and Queens, imperialism, strange food, democracy and greed, Windswept Abstractionfinally ending up as the world’s largest market. The post looks at how all of that, more or less, relates to issue of and attitudes to Global Warming. The post also evaluates, in detail, the recent EU proposal to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020.

I couldn’t resist doing a piece on Ann Coulter. She makes a splendid living out of out-chock-jocking Howard Stern, Bill O’Reilly, Geraldo, Moammar al-Ghadafi, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pat Robinson, Hugo Chavez, Baghdad Bob, Joseph Goebbels and Dick Cheney all at once. You gotta admire her ignorant persistence and ambition. Doing anything for a buck, she certainly managed to become America’s favorite fascist. Why not?

The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” is precisely that. There is nothing fun about this preview of the next UN IPCC report “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. These reports are getting more and more alarming which by itself is truly scary. All prior reports have underestimated the impact of climate change.

The “Quick News” features may become a regular service to keep us all up to date on recent news and to call the BS floating around. Currently, two posts are available.

TOC
ByPass

Table of Contents

An elaborate link and TOC (Table of Content) system helps you get around the mass of material in this essay of nine main posts. Use it to find what is of your most immediate interest. Just above, there is a TOC button that brings you to the navigation system. Enjoy.

TOC

ByPass

Odes, Ballads, Songs and Arias

This essay contains real life mini stories. They describe usually small, even insignificant, effects of Global Warming. The aim is to make you consider reality, survival, pain and your own future. I cite simple stories about how some of us (humans, animals, plants, oceans and everything else) are already in, or cause, deep trouble. Here are links to the various little puzzle pieces:

TOC
ByPass

Images in this essay

The images in this post differ from those in all the others, except Post 6: “Terror, Wars, Fears and Paralysis”, which follows the same format as this post. All images are paintings rather thanEnd of the Road - an Oven photographs, with the exception of a few photos of sculptures, the Howard Beale photo and the Al Gore images. The motif is pain, sorrow and compassion. The theme invokes awareness of the devastating future we may be facing. There may well be a lot of human suffering in our or our kids’ life time due to this ugly thing called Global Warming.

All of this art work is associated with another era of great suffering. The Holocaust. The paintings are by individuals close to that genocide. Some artists were in and survived the camps. Others are children of former camp inmates. Yet others have a different link to the camps. I believe the suffering endured in the camps may, in some sense, be repeated in the future of Global Warming. We won’t see a Dr. Mengele or Himmler, nor gas chambers or death trains. But the suffering from Global Warming may well exceed that of the Holocaust many times over.

I did not choose the images from a strictly artistic point of view. Not all paintings are masterpieces. Some are downright ugly. I choose them because of their emotional content and their impact, at least on me. I believe Earth will suffer major tragedies as it has in the past. Global Warming is one likely cause of such suffering, but probably not the only one factor. Of course, Global Warming is already harvesting its first victims. It would be fantasy to think there is not a lot more to come.

Using the Holocaust for this post is not politically motivated. Almost none of the artwork directly addresses the camps themselves or isolates the Jewish experience. The choice of the motif People in Cemeteryhas nothing to do with the cheap shots recently fired about so called Holocaust Deniers, a phrase I find repulsive in the context of Global Warming.

This blog, its design, text content (except quotes from others) and my own images and graphs are copyright © Leading Design, Inc 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved. I make absolutely no claims on images or quotes originating in other sources.

TOC

To All You Skeptics

With George Bush of the US, Hu Jintao of China, Manmohan Singh of India and John Howard of Australia leading the way, the skeptics have their day in the spot light of the Internet and in newspapers on the right side of the fence. While most of it is just silly polemic and neocon rhetoric, here are their key People in the Forestarguments with my Italic comments:

Thousands of independent scientists and thinkers doubt Global Warming exists. That is probably true. There are also thousands of scientists and thinkers that deny the Holocaust and others debunk Evolution. Millions of people still believe there are WMD in Iraq. Every one has a right to an opinion. Credibility taking appropriate policy action is a different matter.

Climate change (warming and cooling) has been happening for millions of years. Absolutely true, but in the last few millions of years, no extreme warming ever occurred as seen in the last fifty years or so. The rise in temperatures is certain to continue, breaking new records. The cooling cycles of the past are Female Freedom Fighterssomewhat comparable in magnitude and resulted in ice ages. Ice ages drastically changed the fundamentals of life. There are other examples of extreme climate changes in pre-historic times – all had devastating impacts.

There is no catastrophic warming taking place. Wrong. The catastrophic effects of warming are occurring right now and are well documented. Most of us humans are not yet impacted because we live in areas far away from the immediate impact clearly seen in oceans, tundra, Alpine and Polar areas. Check the facts, please. These events are not secret.

Humans are not big players in global carbon cycle. Wrong. There is too much evidence that 1) man made emissions of carbon rose dramatically to levels never seen, starting in 1750, 2) atmospheric concentrations of carbon gases rose in a similar manner as easily explained by pure physics laws and 3) temperatures followed according in a clear cause-effect manner. The world isn’t flat, either.

Scientists claimed we were heading towards an ice age just 30 years ago. That is somewhat true but remarkably effective pollution legislation broke that trend, perhaps too well. It would be nice if the same legislation, the Clean Air Act in the US, would be enacted on carbon emissions as it legally should. That would ease the dangers significantly. Mr. Bush disagrees.

Climate change must be seen as the norm not the exception. Absolutely true, eventually Portrait of a Woman Earth will cool down and probably enter another ice age, perhaps in a thousand years or so. The very real question is if mankind and most other species of today will be around to face that particular issue.

We don’t have the tools to model climate accurately. I agree. Climate models are not a magic bullet and are in many cases grossly overrated. They handle masses of data well. They can display the impact of certain assumptions as scenarios. They cannot forecast the future accurately. There is a big distinction between “forecasts” and “scenarios”. But climate models per se have nothing to do with Global Warming. They are just tools.

No doubt this discussion will continue and not end till there is only one human left. There is nothing wrong with that except to some of us the rhetoric is getting a bit old. The challenge is to not let these differences delay urgently needed actions till it is too late. Not only is the problem made by man, the solution must be man made too. Even if by chance the problem is not made by man, we still have an obligation to rectify a deadly trend. Blaming the sun and then going to sleep is not a rational response.

Propaganda or not?

The opinions of many Skeptics follow a pattern. It’s the same arguments, often the same words and never a shred of evidence and in many cases repeated in several media and channels. I keep wondering about this carpet bombing pattern. The arguments and conclusions seem designed to be misleading, based on fallacies and knowingly invalid, all hallmarks of propaganda. Are these guys simply plagiarizing each other? Do they use a blue print from some one? So let’s look at the definition of propaganda and then you decide. Of course, if this is propaganda, then who is behind it? Here is the definition of propaganda per Wikipedia:

Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior ofJew being Shaved people. Often, instead of impartially providing information, propaganda can be deliberately misleading, using logical fallacies, which, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

Propaganda techniques include: patriotic flag-waving, glittering generalities, intentional vagueness, oversimplification of complex issues, rationalization, introducing unrelated red herring issues, using appealing, simple slogans, stereotyping, testimonials from authority figures or celebrities, unstated assumptions, and encouraging readers or viewers to “jump on the bandwagon” of a particular point of view.

Patriotic flag waving, misleading oversimplification, logical fallacies, vague stereotyping, partial information, unstated assumptions, red herrings are often referred to as items in a Bush policy. Skeptics tend to use the same mold. What about it? Please check out the below.

TOC

Two Odes and Ballads for the Skeptics

The first of these ballads is a reprint from an earlier post. It is reprinted so this post contains a fairly complete set of opinions from the Ignorant and Those That Seen The Light.

TOC

I Ain’t Seein’ Nuttin’ Strut

Here is yet another mini drama: This item reaches out to the Skeptics although they do not seem interested in returning the favor. Here goes the Strut:Abstract Color and a Hand

The Northern Hemisphere is in deep winter at the moment. The February 2007 IPCC Global Warming Report is out, predicting dire consequences of the hot weather. Some people have a tough time seeing warmer climate as their butts freeze off. Others think cool weather means there is no Global Warming. A few still have fun denouncing science. Let’s listen to the views of the doubters in the “I Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Strut”. Quotes are from all over the media:

  • “Hey, Al Gore: this global warming is killing me. It’s practically 10 degrees, and dropping.”; “Gee…must be global warming! My water pipes frozen for the first time in 22 years where I live in California, gee…must be global warming!”
  • “Man made global warming is junk science propounded by anti capitalists/ socialists and Marxists with the sole purpose of attacking big businesses — that’s ALL it is. There is no substantive proof to support their claim, there never has been and there isn’t any now. It is plain old fear mongering.”
  • “Where has Global Warming been hiding this week? Certainly he is not at the bottom of my woodpile because I have burned so much fuel I can almost see down to bare ground. I worried that Global Warming was stuck somewhere in a Buffalo, N.Y., blizzard, but saw no sign of him on the news clips from that snowbound part of the country.”
  • “Global Warming is a delusion that requires nothing less than rehab. The media have almost completely lost contact with reality. They don’t even know that they are embarrassing themselves by passing off New Age drivel as science.”
  • “These [pro Global Warming] political guys have axes to grind in the weather thing and what some say will be needed to avoid climate catastrophe. Among them are official folks who seek mainly to choke down the productivity of the United States. Folks like the Chinese, the Indians, and other relatively poorer countries have huge stakes in getting bigger pieces of the world economic pie.”
  • “That [Global Warming] is garbage. Brave, knowledgeable voices are raised in dissent, but the scientific snobs and know-it-alls in the media ignore them. With their superior noses raised in the air, they deny what common sense tells us all every day — that the world is flat. But get this: A bunch of kooks in white jackets recently released another report [IPCC 2007] that said our flat Earth is the subject of “global warming,” which, of course, is nonsense”
  • [Global Warming] is not a coordinated conspiracy but a fashion, in which self-interest and ideology combine and green activists, politicians and journalists help each other to get more funding, more sensational stories and more enemies to blame.
  • “Czech president Vaclav Klaus criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis. ‘These are politicized scientists who arrive there with one-sided opinion and assignment,’ he told interviewers. ‘Each serious person and scientist says that global warming is a myth’.”
  • “To many, the dire implication of last summer’s blistering high temperatures seemed irrefutable, at least until the record setting lows of this winter. The inarguably “conclusive” proof offered by those who claim the planet is getting steadily warmer has borne little or no repeatable evidence of a scientifically established pattern.”

The “Ain’t Seein’ Nuttin’ Strut” explains the errors of the Axes-to-Grind Snobs, Liberal Kooks, Know-it-All New-Agers, Superior-Nose Socialists, Junk Scientists, Fashion Marxists, Politicized Scientists, Conspirator One-Man in a BoxSiders, Self-Interest Activists, World-Is-Flat Sensationalists and Delusional Straight-Jackets. Let’s keep going with a few other characteristics of Global Warming scientists and believers: Flat Earthers, Control Freaks, and Population Cullers.

On it goes: Global Warming Charlatans, Fascists, Self-appointed Cultural Kingpins, Do-Gooders, Vile Propagandistic Personality Attackers, Force Feeding Dogmatists, Grant Seeking Automatons, Doomsayers, Brainwashing Repeaters, Fear mongers, Intellectually Spayed Cheerleaders, Whiners and Whimperers, Lunatic Lefties and Wing Nuts, Bush-Haters (aka, sore losers), Tree-hugging Maniacs, Loony Liberal Leftists, Liberal Environmentalist Whackos, Parallel Universe Frolickers, Crusading Alarmists, Hysteria Scientists, Liars and Propagandists. Quite a mouthful isn’t it.

One has to admire the innovative control of the English language by these quite expressive Skeptics. It would be nice if they spent a bit of time on actual analysis proving their opinions rather than reinventing the English language. Shoes against the Fence

The cooling climate concerns of the 1960s and 1970s provide favorite arguments for the Skeptics. The looming Ice Age did not happen, proving Global Warming is a hoax. Reality check: The massive sulphur dioxide emissions, causing cooling and acid rain were sufficiently reduced through huge industry investments in scrubbers and other equipment. The 1970 Clean Air Acts mandated, in the US, such investment. Within a few years, a 70% reduction in sulphur dioxide pollution broke the cooling trend. Incidentally, the President signing the bill was the Tree-Hugging Maniac and Loony Leftist Mr. Richard Nixon.

According to the law, the EPA should enforce similar measures to curb GHGs. The Clean Air Acts are simple, logical, existing frameworks for solving the whole damn Global Warming problem. It is not a legal issue whether the Acts can be applied to GHG emissions. They can be pursued right now. EPA is not enforcing the Acts on orders from Mr. President George W. Bush of the Texas Oil Industry and/or Mr. VP Dick Cheney of Halliburton, about to be headquartered in Dubai. Heck, it is just another useless law, easily broken and bypassed. Go for it.

The White House Duo just undermine the ability of Earth to support life as we sentimentally know it. No big deal.

TOC

Odes and Ballads – Foxtrot of The Alarmists

I like to insert little life stories about Global Warming as we all work through this massive set of Yellow Forestfacts, evidence, graphs, photographs, controversy and opinions. That might make this mess more palatable. I choose recent little articles that may not individually mean all that much to most people. The little pieces should add up to a reality based picture in your mind.

Since this is going to be a long story about how bad this Global Warming thing is, why not highlight a few less well known facts as seen by Alarmists. Maybe the Alarmists aren’t the ones you expected. Here is the Foxtrot, gathered from various sources:

  • “It is amazing that so many people believe global warming is real and is caused by humans. This myth has been largely promoted by the major media that gives much attention to those who support it and very little to those who debunk it. For example, in December, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma chaired a “Climate Change and the Media” meeting. He said that global warming is a hoax. The meeting received almost no major media attention.”
  • “An increase in CO2 would increase oxygen production by plants which each one of us breathes. Therefore, there is no global warming due to CO2 gas. If there is global warming it is because the sun is putting out more radiant energy and has been observed to vary in intensity over time.”
  • “With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrate on the American people?”
  • “A multibillion-dollar worldwide industry: created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists; supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding; and propped up by complicit politicians and the media”
  • “The need to come up with an enemy after the end of the Cold War, and the desire among scientists, government leaders and environmentalists to find a political cause that would enable them to “organize, propagandize, force conformity and exercise political influence. Big world government could best lead (and control) us to a better world!”
  • “The global warming hoax is not about the Earth’s climate. It is about an attack on the economies of those nations that produce much of the world’s wealth”; “The industrialized nations of the world are the target of the environmentalists, as is the entire population of the world. By every means possible, they have sought to undermine economic growth and to enhance the reduction of human life on this planet.
  • The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.” “Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that ‘liberals’ will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly.”
  • “The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically-minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.”
  • “It looks like this whole mess is another plan designed by international bankers to steal more wealth for them.” “No society in its right mind is going to willfully do to itself what the environmentalist industry, at its core, desperately seeks: massive diminution of individual liberties.”
  • “Rather, it is a political movement led by those who seek to control the world economies, dictate development and redistribute the world’s wealth. They use the philosophical base of Karl Marx, the tactics of Adolph Hitler and the rhetoric of the Sierra Club. The American people have been assaulted from all directions by rabid environmentalists.”
  • This is the reason behind the global warming “threat”: The world’s elite cabal has enslaved the world in perpetual debt. It’s through debt enslavement and imaginary global threats (such as opinions on global warming) that they wield their power. We’ve put together a debt termination process that works in legally eliminating debt. We urge you to join our efforts in peacefully fighting back against this type of tyranny. Our process will free you financially while reducing the amount of money available to the corrupt cabal.

That’s the Foxtrot of the Alarmists. These quotes are not from some backwards place in a dusty far away country. They are current views of allegedly grown up people in the U.S. of A. Amazingly, Potrait in a Picturesome of these Alarmists hold positions of power in the most powerful country on earth. Senator Inhofe, for instance.

So here is the truth about this climate hoax: We better defend ourselves against the joint conspiracy of Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and the Sierra Club; prevent the destruction of America’s enterprises, private property and individual liberties; stop the new Communism and root out the international bankers stealing or paychecks unashamedly and then demolish this terrifying cabal which is charging our credit cards when we don’t look out. Something along those lines. It should go OK as long as the bad guys don’t lay their dirty hands on any kryptonite.

Next, you’ll see Hitler redistribute our wealth by tearing down nuclear power plants while Karl Marx is busy controlling the world economies and feeding polar bears, all in the name of Global Warming. Expect the unexpected.

Sure it is easy to dismiss junk like this. But take a time trip back to the 1930s when Nazism, Soviet style Communism and Fascism bloomed. Many of the arguments of the Foxtrot were in high fashion at the time as theorized by Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Few countries avoided totalitarian influences, including the US and Britain. Check out the political leanings of Joe Kennedy (father of John, Ted and Robert Kennedy) or Charles Lindbergh? King Edward VIII of the UK, later the Duke of Windsor, of England was “pro Germany”. The Pope was a Nazi. Never dismiss the dangers of extremism. It sure can happen again. Rove is working on it.

TOC

Opinions Of the Ignorant (Mostly)

Here is another very mixed bag of opinions, endorsements, jokes, critiques and insults from a great many sources and beliefs. Some opinions are valid, some credible, others reasonable but most are none of that. The main reason to put this in the essay is to illustrate how vastly divided the universe has become. I’ll start with yet another ode and ballad in the mini stories series.

TOC

Odes and Ballads – The Cacophony of a President

It had to happen. It just isn’t possible not to do it. So here are selected Bush quotes, telling the saga of leadership, clarity and insights. Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States:

  • “First, we would not accept a [Kyoto Protocol] treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country.”; “The Kyoto Protocol was fatally flawed in fundamental ways.”
  • “The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants.” “Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”
  • “Natural gas needs to move in our hemisphere. It needs to move easily across our borders to find markets, to be able to ease the pressures of reduced supply all around the country.”
  • “We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.”; “Don’t buy gas if you don’t need it.”; “We don’t need to be breaching no dams that are producing electricity.”; “Technology is going to change the way we live for the good for the environment. That’s why I proposed a … hydrogen-generated automobile”.
  • “Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness.”; “One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected.”; “I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.”
  • “This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It’s what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve.”; “John Thune has got a common-sense vision for good forest policy. I look forward to working with him in the United Nations Senate to preserve these national heritages.”
  • “It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas.”; “I’ve been talking to Vicente Fox, the new president of Mexico… I know him… to have gas and oil sent to U.S….. so we’ll not depend on foreign oil.”; “The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country”.
  • “We want to reduce greenhouse gases. Ours is a large economy. We used to generate more wealth than we are today. And as a result, we do contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”; “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”
  • “I know that the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”; “We need to thin our forests in America.”;Not everybody agrees with thinning, there will objections. But we want those objections to be heard; of course every citizen needs to hear a voice.”

That’s the “Cacophony of a President”, clarifying the White House energy, environmental, climate change and Global Warming policies. With such insights from the Big Decider, who needs questions?

TOC

The Swindle of the “Great Global Warming Swindle”

This British TV show aired on March 8th, 2007 on BBC Channel 4 aiming at killing off Global Warming alarmism Abstract Colorsonce and for all. It turned out to be a fraud which did not stop the Skeptics’ love of this junket. Here is what happened:

Two days later, on March 10th 2007, journalists and others proved beyond any doubt that the show knowingly presented false data. That included using data sources decenniums out of date, then falsifying “updates” to make it look like the data was up-to-date. Of course, these fantasy (to use a kind word) “updates” were tailored to support the show’s claims. Actual and correct data was easily available but would not support the show’s conclusions, thus ignored by the producers in favor of their own famously fraudulent version. The producers have admitted falsifying data.

If you read nothing else, please check this link to the original exposure of this ridiculous show: it’s the original Independent article. If you want to watch the show, here is a link.

By March 10th 2007, Sir John Houghton, the former head of the Met Office who chairs the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said: “Last Thursday’s programme purported to debunk the science of Global Warming describing it as ‘lies’ and an invention of hundreds of scientists around the world, who have conspired to mislead Nore Abscract Colorsgovernments, and the general public. The material presented was a mixture of truth, half truth and falsehood put together with the sole purpose of discrediting the science of global warming as presented by the main world community of climate scientists and by the IPCC.” Sir John continues to thoroughly expose the show’s false claims.

After March 10th, a vast number of right wing Skeptics have triumphantly hailed this thoroughly debunked and fraudulent show as the Gospel of Climate Gods proving Global Warming is a Swindle. They completely ignore the evidence the show is largely a scam. As I write, this is March 29th – the Skeptics are still pouring out statements claiming Global Warming is a swindle based on this fraud of a TV show. Earlier I mentioned propaganda – this surely is plain old propaganda.

Here are just a few of many examples of inaccuracies and misinformation. Other lists show hundreds of inaccuracies. It is inconceivable that the Skeptics aren’t aware of these issues as they write their commentaries – do they really need to grab at straws such as this sinking disaster?Dark Abstraction

  • The show claims that volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans do. There is no correlation between total emissions and volcanic eruptions. Typically, volcanoes emit less than 1/250th of man made emissions. Volcanoes can impact climates on a temporary basis mostly because of the masses of dust and particles thrown into the atmosphere at major eruptions. But their emissions of greenhouse gases pale compared to those of humans.
  • The show claims that natural causes such as sun irradiance cause more temperature effects than humans do. Research shows manmade emissions outpace such natural emissions by a factor of 10.
  • The show claims that a cooling trend between 1940 and 1970 proves global warming is a hoax. The cooling trend mentioned is well researched and linked to sulphur emissions. There is no link to Global Warming.

Carl Wunch, a scientist participating in the show, threatened to sue the producers for knowingly misrepresenting his arguments. Here is a link to parts of his statement. The producers admit they used fabricated data and various other means to “simplify” the story, such as doctoring interviews.

Here is a partial list of those knowingly publishing what amounts to complete scam if not fraud: BBC Channel 4, Life Style Extra, A Digg blog, Fox News, Washington Times, New York Post,Another Absract Color The Conservative Voice, GOPUSA, Human Events, WorldNetDaily, Contra Costa Times, TownSquare Forum, Global Research, the Jerusalem Post, Inverstors.com, American Chronicle, ADB, NewsBusters, VCrisis, Edmonton Sun, iAfrica, Cool Hunting, Daelnet, American Thinker (playing both ends), Stop the ACLU and CBNNews.

Here are some of those calling the bluff: the Independent, the Guardian Unlimited, the Times, the Times (again), Globalization and the Environment, Crooked Timber, Outlook India, Atlantic Free Press, American Thinker (playing both ends) and Square Abscract ColorAsk Ethan (Spiked).

I got tired of tracking down more of this nonsense. I’m sure the lists could be expanded ten fold but it really is a waste of time pursuing this idiotic show any more. It’s a waste of time shaming the fools swallowing the story.

This fairly random sample of pros and cons yielded 26 Skeptics versus 10 Believers. I’ve long believed that the Skeptics, while being a minority by far, are over represented in publicity by a rate of 10 or so (see, for instance, Top Of This Post). The unscientific sample above confirms Skeptics are in fact getting far more exposure than warranted by their numbers. Go figure. Is it Karl Rove slipping into covert action, diabolically pulling strings in his windowless office on the second floor of the West Wing?

The Madness of the Religious Right

Here is one section to which you better pay attention. The beliefs and acts of the Religious Right are very scary and may be one of the biggest impendence to solving Global Warming issues. Please note the Religious Right is not just an annoyance of American reactionaries or religious nuts, they are powerful throughout the world in both Western and Islam areas:

  • This is it: “When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place“. Revelation 6:12-14
  • Many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.
  • The Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth was to have been shown at a school science class in Federal Way, Wash., a Seattle suburb, until one of the children’ s fathers angrily attacked the idea and got its showing temporarily scrubbed for the entire district. Frosty E. Hardiman, father of seven and an evangelical Christian, objected to the film because it blamed the United States for global warming. He believes the change in climates to be one of the signs of Jesus’ imminent return.
  • They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming Apocalypse. Do not expect support for environmental issues, however basic and obvious, from this gang.
  • Other hot buttons include gay rights, marriage and life style, gay marriage, stem cell research and abortion. They like meddling in every one’s sex life. They will unquestionably support George W. Bush as long as he marches in sync. If he doesn’t, then his last support group is gone and he literally is out in the cold.
  • Zell Miller of Georgia, who earlier this year quoted from the Book of Amos on the Senate floor: “The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread or of thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord!”)
  • [Supportive] politicians include some of the most powerful figures in the U.S. government, as well as key environmental decision makers: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Republican Conference Chair Rick Santorum (R-Penn.), Senate Republican Policy Chair Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and quite possibly President Bush.
  • Forty-five senators and 186 representatives in 2003 earned 80- to 100-percent approval ratings from the nation’s three most influential Christian right advocacy groups — the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council. This is 40% of lawmakers.
  • And those politicians are just the powerful tip of the iceberg. A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the Book of Revelation are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks.
  • Last year, Inhofe invited a stacked-deck of fossil fuel-funded climate-change skeptics to testify at a Senate hearing that climaxed with him calling global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” James Inhofe might be an environmentalist’s worst nightmare. The Oklahoma senator makes major policy decisions based on heavy corporate and theological influences, flawed science, and probably an apocalyptic world view — and he chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Inhofe’s staff defends his backward scientific positions, no matter how at odds they are with mainstream scientists. “How do you define ‘mainstream’?” asked a miffed staffer. “[Is it] scientists who accept the so-called consensus about global warming? Galileo was not [a] mainstream [person].”

Many of the politicians, 100% Republicans as you notice except for retired Zell Miller, are gone, Exhausted Man by the Firesome disgraced by scandals, others fired or voted out and some less powerful as the Democrats took over both houses. The Religious Right allegedly is in decline. Ted Haggard (sex scandal), Jerry Falwell (hate), Ralph Reed (corruption), Ted Haggard (sex scandal) and Pat Robertson (lunacy, hatred, bigotry, you name it) all have gone South, literally. Those of us with a memory might recall Jim Bakker with wife Tammy Faye (fraud) and Jimmy Swaggart (sex scandal). But never underestimate these people. A majority of Americans support or have supported at least some views of the Religious Right.

The Religious Right believes in and welcomes Armageddon. Here is a large and immensely powerful block totally against any kind of action on Global Warming on, of all things, religious grounds. Now you know why George W. Bush ducks the issue: not only would it hurt his corporate sponsors, it’s against his Man in the Firelate found religion.

If the Armageddon people (whether from the Religious Right or from overly enthusiastic Climate Researchers) are right, it doesn’t matter what I say or what any one does or not. Armageddon it is. In the case of the Religious Right, extinction is apparently a blessing of us all. I don’t think I agree. I don’t fancy eternal heavenly bliss in the company of Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter and James Inhofe. Nor would I like eternal hell with the Clintons and Al Gore next to me.

The other extremes, the Ignorant-Skeptic-Deniers, have their heads too far down in the sand to really worry about. Besides, if they by chance are right, it still doesn’t matter what I say – there was no problem in the first place and no action was needed.

You may have heard about the Evangelicals jumping on the Global Warming band wagon which certainly is a good thing. Evangelicals are not the same thing as the conservative Religious Right and both fight for control of the religious masses.

The Religious Right is a formidable opponent to action on Global Warming. There is no obvious way to neutralize these people except outnumber them. They will continue to venomously resist investing in emission control, caps or green energy. How do you fight for human survival against a block of 100 million born again “Christians” that want nothing but death so “they” can triumphantly march into “their” heaven?

TOC

Leno, Letterman, Conan, Colbert and the Joke Machine

Being an Equal Opinion Blog (EOB), I give up space to even the most useless of opinions. This segment is living proof thereof. None of the views expressed below mean anything at all. But who can tell in this time of mystery push and pull forces acting on our meek minds? Here is the Late Show Host And Comedian take on Global Warming:

  • “According to a new U.N. report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. This is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet” “According to a survey in this week’s Time magazine, 85% of Americans think global warming is happening. The other 15% work for the White House.” — Jay Leno
  • “President Bush has a plan. He says that if we need to, we can lower the temperature dramatically just by switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius” — Jimmy Kimmel
  • “Governor Schwarzenegger spoke about the dangers of global warming. Schwarzenegger’s exact words were: fire, hot, bad.” “Yesterday, a group of scientists warned that because of global warming, sea levels will rise so much that parts of New Jersey will be under water. The bad news: parts of New Jersey won’t be under water.” — Conan O’Brien
  • “NASA just released their new report on global warming or, as President Bush, calls it — Spring.” “President Bush is taking more liberal positions. For example global warming: he used to be against it. Now it’s the Republican plan for heating homes this winter.” “They say if the warming trend continues, by 2015 Hillary Clinton might actually thaw out.” — Jay Leno
  • David Letterman’s Top Ten Signs There’s Global Warming, featuring Tom Hanks:
    • 10 -I just bought ocean front property in Topeka, Kansas.
    • 9 – Glaciers are receding faster than Letterman’s hairline.
    • 8 – ‘Cool Ranch’ Burritos Are Really ‘Lukewarm Ranch’ Burritos.
    • 7 – No Matter What You Teach Them, Parrots Only Say: ‘I’m Sweating My Nuts Off’.
    • 6 – Ed Sullivan Theater Is Now A Balmy 48 Degrees.
    • 5 – Paris Hilton Saying ‘That’s Hot’ Even About Stuff That Is So Not.
    • 4 – No Shirt, No Shoes? You Still Get Service.
    • 3 – ONE Degree Over The Last 100 Years – That’s What This Is All About??
    • 2 – Ted Williams’ Head Just Woke Up Asking For Iced Tea.
    • 1 – I’m So Disoriented, I Agreed To Do A Lame Top Ten List.
  • “Al Gore has a hit movie called ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ I have an inconvenient truth for him: you’re still not the president.” “Global warming: It is time we did something, namely resign ourselves to doing nothing [on screen: Follow Congress’ Lead].” “For instance, when sea levels rise, we’ll just build levees [on screen: Worked for New Orleans]” — Stephen Colbert
  • “The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that oil companies are not gouging customers. They say, technically, they’re screwing customers.” “One very dramatic scene in the Al Gore global warming movie is when a glacier melts and they find more Al Gore ballots from the election.” “Experts say this global warming is serious, and they are predicting now that by the year 2050, we will be out of party ice.” — David Letterman
  • “A lot of people think global warming is causing these terrible hurricanes. See I think to stop global warming we should move in the other direction. We should move towards a second ice age. Follow me, if the glaciers are coming towards us at like an inch a year, then the government would have time to respond.” — Jay Leno
  • David Letterman’s Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions For Global Warming:
    • 10. NASA mission to turn down the sun’s thermostat.
    • 9. Federal subsidies to boost production of Cool Ranch Doritos.
    • 8. Fast track Rumsfeld’s “Colonize Neptune” proposal.
    • 7. Convene Blue-Ribbon Committee to explore ways of ignoring the problem.
    • 6. Let Hillary worry about it when she takes over.
    • 5. I dunno—tax cuts for the rich?
    • 4. Give the boys at Halliburton 90-billion dollar contract to patch hole in ozone.
    • 3. Switch to Celsius so scorching 98 becomes frosty 37.
    • 2. Keep plenty of Bud on ice.
    • 1. Invade Antarctica.
  • “President Bush told reporters he won’t see Al Gore’s documentary about the threat of global warming. On the other hand, Dick Cheney said he’s seen the global warming film five times, and it still cracks him up.” “Governor Schwarzenegger spoke about the dangers of global warming. Schwarzenegger’s exact words were: fire, hot, bad.” — Conan O’Brien
  • ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ is described as a detailed scientific view of global warming. President Bush said he just saw a film about global warming, ‘Ice Age 2; The Meltdown.’ He said, ‘It’s so much better than that boring Al Gore movie.'” “Al Gore said over the weekend that global warming is more serious than terrorism. Unless the terrorist is on your plane, then that extra half a degree doesn’t bother you so much.” — Jay Leno

Heck, don’t blame me. I didn’t say any of it. Now let’s move on to Ann Coulter, heroine fascist.

TOC

Anthem of Ann Coulter

Ann, your brave, hold-no-barrels offensive dedicated to the true American fascist values cannot but move every red blooded American Christian almost to tears. To help spread the message, I decided to dedicate one of my ballads to you personally. It’s important to grasp the full picture of the fascist Desair in a Statuemovement of America. After all, this is the policy of the future, as envisioned by so many.

Here is The Anthem of Ann Coulter, also dedicated to that American hero, Joe McCarthy, a man of great vision and unswerving dedication, sadly lacking monuments. I know most of it has nothing to do with Global Warming. Actually, none of it really has anything to do with anything. But let’s do it anyway:

Anne Coulter On Anne Coulter herself

“I’m here, I’m not queer, and I’m not going away; Let’s say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I’m not married; Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair; now, they all have long blonde hair; I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn’t; I’m so pleased with my gender – we are not too bright; You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard.”

“Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy—you know, all the virtues in the church of liberalism; I’m a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it.”

Anne Coulter On Clinton et al

“[Clinton] masturbates in the sinks; Clinton is in love with the erect penis.; Bill Clinton “was a very good rapist”; It’s enough [to be impeached] for the president to be a pervert; If you don’t hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don’t love your country; We’re now at Fingers like Ann Coulterthe point that it’s beyond whether or not this guy is a horny hick. I really think it’s a question of his mental stability. He really could be a lunatic. I think it is a rational question for Americans to ask whether their president is insane.”

“[Clinton] had crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree; is a celebrated felon, a known felon, a pervert, liar and a felon, a criminal, a flimflam artist, a prominent criminal.”

“I don’t know if [former U.S. President Bill Clinton is] gay. But [former U.S. Vice President] Al Gore – is a total fag. I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edward, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word “faggot”, so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards; C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”

Anne Coulter On JFK and the rest

“JFK was — in theory — as ferocious an anti-communist as the great Joe McCarthy. But Kennedy was a Democrat and thus an utter incompetent when it came to execution. Johnson is not your strongest case. He had all of JFK’s incompetence without the good heart.”

“This is as we have come to expect from a [Kennedy] family of heroin addicts, statutory rapists, convicted and un convicted female-killers, cheaters, bootleggers and dissolute drunks known as “Camelot.” Why would anyone want suWoman Statue on the Groundch people as their “good friends”?”

Anne Coulter On Dick Cheney

“Cheney is my ideal man. Because he’s solid and he’s funny. He’s very handsome. He was a football player. People don’t think about him as the glamour type because he’s a serious person, he wears glasses and he’s lost his hair. But he’s a very handsome man. And you cannot imagine him losing his temper, which I find extremely sexy. Men who get upset and lose their tempers and claim to be sensitive males: talk about girly boys. No, there’s a reason hurricanes are named after women and homosexual men, it’s one of our little methods of social control. We’re supposed to fly off the handle.”

Anne Coulter On Joe McCarthy

“I know he [McCarthy] got a bad rap because there are no monuments to Joe McCarthy. Liberals had to destroy McCarthy because he exposed the entire liberal establishment as having sheltered Statue with Uprised ArmsSoviet spies; If the internet, talk radio and Fox News had been around in McCarthy’s day, my book wouldn’t be the first time most people would be hearing the truth about McCarthyism.”

“The portrayal of Senator Joe McCarthy as a wild-eyed demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal hobgoblinism. Liberals weren’t cowering in fear during the McCarthy era. They were systematically undermining the nation’s ability to defend itself while waging a bellicose campaign of lies to blacken McCarthy’s name. Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie. Liberals denounced McCarthy because they were afraid of getting caught, so they fought back like animals to hide their own collaboration with a regime as evil as the Nazis.”

“McCarthyism’ means pointing out positions taken by liberals that are unpopular with the American people. As former President Bush said, ‘Liberals do not like me talking about liberals.’ The reason they sob about the dark night of fascism under McCarthy is to prevent Americans from ever noticing that liberals consistently attack their own country.”

Anne Coulter On Earth

“The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s Parent and Child in Despairyours; God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.”

“God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Take big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view.”

Anne Coulter On Global Warming

“Even right-wingers who know that “global warming” is a crock do not seem to grasp what the tree-huggers are demanding. Liberals want mass starvation and human devastation. There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending “global warming”.”

“When are liberals going to break the news to their friends in Darfur that they all have to starve to death to save the planet? But global warming is the most insane, psychotic idea liberals have ever Chainsconcocted to kill off “useless eaters.” If we have to live in a pure “natural” environment like the Indians, then our entire transcontinental nation can only support about 1 million human beings. Sorry, fellahs — 299 million of you are going to have to go.

“Liberals are already comfortably ensconced in their beachfront estates, which they expect to be unaffected by their negative growth prescriptions for the rest of us. Liberals haven’t the foggiest idea how the industrial world works. They act as if America could reduce its vast energy consumption by using fluorescent bulbs and driving hybrid cars rather than SUVs.”

“In fact, most scientists whose field is climatology and not, say, the mating habits of the zebra, do not believe we are in the midst of global warming. No matter what the weather does, it is invariably described as further evidence proving the authenticity of “global warming.” Climatologist Jane Fonda explained on her husband’s cable station a few years ago that the “invisible threat” of global warming includes the threat of an increased incidence of blizzards.”

Anne Coulter On War on Terror

“Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims; We should invade their countries, Dark Shapeskill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war.”

“I’m getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties, I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning. I just think it would be fun to nuke them.”

“When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker [Taliban American] is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traGraves in the Nightitors.”

“Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.”

“The only subject fewer authentic Americans cared about than the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo was World Cup Soccer. America is an epic global battle with ruthless savages who seek our destruction, and liberals are feeling sorry for the terrorists.”

“As millions of lunatic Muslims plot to murder Americans, some Americans — we call them “Soccer Moms” — will cast a vote to save Michael J. Fox this year. In the process, they will put all Americans at risk by voting for a frivolous, dying party.”

Anne Coulter On Liberals

“Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents and they hate all ves at Nightreligions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now; Liberals have absolutely no contact with the society they decry from their Park Avenue redoubts.”

“Liberals refuse to condemn what societies have condemned for thousands of years – e.g., promiscuity, divorce, illegitimacy, homosexuality; Liberals always get a lot of credit for suffering, while never actually being made to suffer; Liberals are always wrapping their comically irrelevant charges in a haze of lies; Liberals love America like O. J. loved Nicole.”

“Since liberals can’t just say that they hate democracy because democracy requires persuasion and compromise rather than brute political force, they accuse any potential “strict constructionists” of being closet slavery supporters. Ludicrous ad hominem attacks on conservative nominees are then used as a basis for the respectable press to refer to the nominee Man against mottled Backgroundas “divisive.” You are “divisive” if you have been the victim of McCarthy slanders from the left.”

“Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.”

“Usually it’s impossible to have the satisfaction of winning an argument with liberals because they are genetically programmed to pout and chant slogans rather than to engage in logical argument.”

Anne Coulter On Democrats

“In the history of the nation, there has never been a political party as ridiculous as today’s Democrats. It’s as if all the brain-damaged people in America got together and formed a voting bloc; Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children; Taxes are like abortion, and not just because both are grotesque procedures supported by Democrats.”

“After repeatedly accusing John Ashcroft of essentially belonging to the Klan and harboring a secret Lights in a Squaredesire to take away women’s right to vote and to murder them personally in back-alley abortions, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee made it clear that there would be no more Mr. Nice Guy when President Bush sends up his first Supreme Court nominee.”

“This from a candidate [John Edwards] (I almost said a “man”) whose campaign falsely accused the president of stealing an election, barring a million black voters from the polls, and sending a thousand American soldiers to their deaths just for oil.”

Anne Coulter On Fascism

“My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that’s because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism; The presumption of innocence only means you don’t go right to jail.”

Anne Coulter On Swing Voters

“The swing voters—I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don’t have set philosophical principles. You’re either a liberal or you’re a conservative if you have End of the Trackan IQ above a toaster.”

Anne Coulter On Ethics

“Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.”

Anne Coulter On New York Times

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building. Of course I On a Crossregret it. I should have added ‘after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters’; The only standard journalists respect is: Will this story promote the left-wing agenda”

“The Times was rushing to assure its readers that ‘prominent Islamic scholars and theologians in the West say unequivocally that nothing in Islam countenances the Sept. 11 actions.’ Keep excluding the New York Times from all exclusive press briefings.”

“I think, on the basis of the recent Supreme Court ruling that we can’t execute the retarded, American journalists commit mass murder without facing the ultimate penalty. I think they are retarded. I’m trying to communicate to the American people and I have to work through a retarded person!”

“The New York Times editorial page is like an Ouija board that has only three answers, no matter what the question. The answers are: higher taxes, more restrictions on political speech and stricter gun control.”

Anne Coulter On Women

“I think [women] should be armed but should not vote. Women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it It’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”Woman with a Deadly Packet

“It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 – except Goldwater in ‘64 – the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted.”

“These [9/11 widows] broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis… These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them… I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

Anne Coulter On Welfare

“Then there are the 22 million Americans on food stamps. And of course there are the 39 million greedy geezers collecting Social Security. The greatest generation rewarded itself with a pretty big meal; The “backbone of the Democratic Party” is a “typical fat, implacable welfare recipient; To a disabled Vietnam vet: “People like you caused us to lose that war”.”

Anne Coulter On Schooling

“[A] cruise missile is more important than Head Start; I have to say I’m all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with is the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it A Gathering of Womenmight not be such a cool thing in the ‘hood to be flogged publicly. Few failures have been more spectacular.”

“Illiterate students knifing one another between acts of sodomy in the stairwell is just one of the many eggs that had to be broken to make the left’s omelet of transferring power from states to the federal government; If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. Don’t pray. Learn to use guns.”

Anne Coulter On Foreigners

“I’d build a wall. In fact, I’d hire illegal immigrants to build the wall. And throw out the illegal that are here. […] It’s cheap labor; When we were fighting communism, OK, they had mass murderers and gulags, but they were white men and they were sane. Now we’re up against absolutely insane Martyr Woman and Childsavages;”

“They’re never very high in anyone’s caste system, are they? Poor little Pakis; Perhaps we could put aside our national, ongoing, post-9/11 Muslim butt-kissing contest and get on with the business at hand: Bombing Syria back to the stone age and then permanently disarming Iran.”

Anne Coulter On Canada

“Canada has become trouble recently; It’s always the worst Americans who go there; We could have taken them over so easy. But I only want the western part, with the ski areas, the cowboys, and the right wingers. They’re the only good parts of Canada; Because they speak French; [Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.”

Now that the Canadians finally know the score, it is time to end the Anthem to Ann Coulter, famous author, conservative, philosopher and commentator. And a fascist.

TOC

Endorsement of the Stern Report

I discussed the British Stern Report in my post Politics, Scandals, Mass Committees. Here are a few evaluations of the Stern Report by prominent scientists and leaders. These glowing statements differ a bit from my views. I sure know how to pick people to disagree with:

Two Figures in Blue“If the world is waiting for a calm, reasonable, carefully argued approach to climate change, Nick Stern and his team have produced one. They outline a feasible adjustment policy at tolerable cost beginning now. Sooner is much better.” Robert M. Solow Nobel Prize economist 1987

“The Stern report shows us, with utmost clarity, while allowing fully for all the uncertainties, what Global Warming is going to mean; and what can and should be done to reduce it. It provides numbers for the economic impact, and for the necessary economic policies. It deserves the widest circulation. I wish it the greatest possible impact. Governments have a clear and immediate duty to accept the challenge it represents.” James Mirrlees Nobel Prize economist 1996

“The stark prospects of climate change and its mounting economic and human costs are clearly brought out in this searching investigation. What is particularly striking is the identification of ways and means of sharply minimizing these penalties through acting right now, rather than waiting for our lives to be overrun by rapidly advancing adversities. The world would be foolish to neglect this strong but strictly time-bound practical message.” Amartya Sen Nobel Prize economist 1998

“The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change provides the most thorough and rigorous analysis to date of the costs and risks of Various People in a Groupclimate change, and the costs and risks of reducing emissions. It makes clear that the question is not whether we can afford to act, but whether we can afford not to act. To be sure, there are uncertainties, but what it makes clear is that the downside uncertainties—aggravated by the complex dynamics of long delays, complex interactions, and strong nonlinearly—make a compelling case for action. And it provides a comprehensive agenda—one which is economically and politically feasible—behind which the entire world can unite in addressing this most important threat to our future well being.” Joseph Stiglitz Nobel Prize economist 2001

“The [World] Bank is committed to addressing the dangers of climate change and has made substantial progress in developing an Investment Framework for Clean Energy And Development. I very much welcome the Stern Review which provides a much needed critical economic analysis of the issues associated with climate change, and complements the recent IEA technology assessment and the World Bank’s Clean Energy Investment Framework paper. The Bank is today working closely with its clients and partners to turn our analysis into practice, and will seek to substantially increase its own investment flows and those of the private sector. A crucial next step is to involve the private sector in the EIF. I am therefore pleased to support a partnership between the World Bank and the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development to stimulate private sector investment through the Energy Investment Framework. Chancellor Gordon Brown and I will co-host a coBlue Mountainnference early next year to launch the partnership.” Paul Wolfowitz President of the World Bank

“The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change is a vital step forward in securing an effective global policy on climate change. Led by one of the world’s top economists, the Stern Review shows convincingly that the benefits of early global action to mitigate climate change will be far lower than the costs. The report establishes realistic guidelines for action (based on long-term stabilization ceilings for GHGs), core elements of an effective global policy (carbon pricing, technology policy, and removing barriers to change), and a framework for international cooperation that must include all regions of the world, both developed and developing. The Stern Review will play an important role in helping the world to agree on a sensible post-Kyoto policy.” Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Graves on a Mountain TopAnnan

“The Economics of Climate Change sends a very important and timely message: that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs. That conclusion is one that the International Energy Agency fully endorses – notably in its World Energy Outlook 2006 to be published next week. Congratulations to Sir Nick Stern and his team for producing a landmark review which I have no doubt will strengthen the political will to change of governments around the world.” Claude Mandil Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

“Climate change can impose enormous costs on mankind and particularly on the innocent poor people. The uncertainty that is used as an excuse not to act works both ways. If the impact is larger than expected it could be catastrophic. Sir Nick Sterns report is valuable as it shows the need to act now and that the costs of action are modest. One hopes it will spur to action those who are responsible for creating this threat.” Kirit Parikh Member, Planning Commission, Government of India

“The scientific evidence of Global Warming is overwhelming but some commentators and lobby groups have continued to oppose offsetting actions on economic and competitiveness grounds. This comprehensive and authoritative report demolishes their arguments, explaining clearly the complex economics of climate change. It makes plain that we can cut emissions radically at a cost to the economy far less than the economic and human welfare costs which Blue Abstractclimate change could impose.” Adair Turner Former Director of UK Confederation of British Industry and Economic Advisor to Sustainable Development Commission

“When the history of the world’s response to climate change is written, the Stern Review will be recognized as a turning point. Sir Nicholas and his team have provided important intellectual leadership as humanity engages with its greatest challenge. While the details will be debated, the main thrust of the report is clear and compelling — the expected benefits of tackling climate change far outweigh the expected costs.” Cameron Hepburn Oxford University

“I support the Stern Review’s conclusion that there is a strong economic case for taking early, effective action to reduce GHG emissions. This clearly has important implications for transport policy, which my own study is taking into account – sustainable economic growth cannot be achieved in any sector without tackling the effects of our actions on the environment”. Sir Rod Group by the FenceEddington Adviser to the UK Government on the long term links between transport and economic growth, and former Chief Executive of British Airways

Surely this is an impressive collection of very distinguished, famous and extremely smart people with more credentials than just about any collection of mortals. I have to admit my Masters degree pales considerably. In the presence of Gods….. run like hell?

I don’t think so. Read the comments. Beyond generic and very enthusiastic praise, where is the meat? Do you see any significant additions of intelligence or knowledge to the value of the Report? I sure don’t. I’d expect this distinguished audience to provide a contribution rather than back slapping. In fact, the comments have everything in common with the author to author nonsense reviews you find in supermarket paperbacks.

TOC

Critique of the Stern Report

There are growing amounts of negative views. Here is one by Christopher Monckton as published by the UK’s Telegraph news paper. His main point, apart from all the polemic stuff, is that we are 1) running out of conventional energy and 2) existing energy plants are getting old (except in China). His solution: build lots of nuclear power plants starting now. Here is the polemic:

  • “Undervalued the sun’s effects on historical and contemporary climate, slashed the natural greenhouse effect, overstated the past century’s temperature increase, repealed a fundamental law of physics and tripled the man-made greenhouse effect.”
  • “The atrocious economic, political and environmental cost of the high-tax, zero-freedom, bureaucratic centralism implicit in Stern’s report; I’ll compare the global-warming scare with previous sci-fi alarums; and I’ll show how the environmentalists’ “precautionary principle” (get the state to interfere now, just in case) is killing people.”
  • “Why haven’t air or sea temperatures turned out as the UN’s models predicted? Because the science is bad, the “consensus” is wrong.”

Here is more from the same author. Although he provides no explanation to some of the points below, he does address others in great detail. His material is worth reading: the source document is 40 pages of considered analysis. Here he trashes Global Warming theories big time by claiming:

  1. That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed. False.
  2. That temperature rose above millennial variability and is exceptional. Very unlikely.
  3. That a change in solar irradiance is an insignificant forcing mechanism. False.
  4. That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured. Unlikely.
  5. That greenhouse-gas is the main forcing agent of temperature. Not proven.
  6. That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good. Very unlikely.
  7. That continuing greenhouse-gas emission will be very harmful to life. Unlikely.
  8. That a carbon-emission limit would make a definite difference. Very unlikely.
  9. That the environmental remediation will be cost-effective. Very unlikely.
  10. That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course. False.

The views above received, as you might expect, quite a critical response. Here is the response to the responses. I agree with the response below, but not with the opinions above:Smoke Stack from the Oven

  • The sheer vitriol is the most striking thing. Reputable scientists, who raise questions about climate change, backing their doubts with data, are howled down as heretics. The UN-Stern-Kyoto thesis is considered to be above criticism.
  • Simply to point out that there are few hard facts to go on, and that we are all necessarily engaging in a degree of guesswork, is to open yourself to the charge of being in the pay of the oil corporations. This allegation, when you think about it, is daft. No one would condemn his grandchildren to extinction simply to suck up to Exxon-Mobil.

Read on – here is another negative view based on comments by Bjorn Lomborg, perhaps the most influential opponent to the theories of Global Warming. He is a Danish Business School Professor and the controversial author of the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist”. Many scientists are skeptical of Lomberg’s scientific integrity:

  • Unfortunately, this claim [the cost of inaction far exceeds what is need to fix the problem] falls apart when one actually reads the 700-page tome. Despite using many good references, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is selective and its conclusion flawed. Its fear-mongering arguments have been sensationalized, which is ultimately only likely to make the world worse off.
  • The review correctly points out that climate change is a real problem, and that it is caused by human greenhouse-gas emissions. Little else is right, however, and the report seems hastily put-together, with many sloppy errors. As an example, the cost of hurricanes in the U.S. is said to be both 0.13% of U.S. GDP and 10 times that figure.
  • With clever marketing and sensationalist headlines, the Stern review is about to edge its way into our collective consciousness. The suggestion that flooding will overwhelm us has already been picked up by commentators, yet going back to the background reports properly shows declining costs from flooding and fewer people at risk. The media is now quoting Mr. Stern’s suggestion that climate change will wreak financial devastation that will wipe 20% off GDP; explicitly evoking memories of past financial catastrophes such as the Great Depression or World War II; yet the review clearly tells us that costs will be 0% now and just 3% in 2100.
  • …. Asked 24 U.N. ambassadors – from nations including China, India and the U.S.–to prioritize the best solutions for the world’s greatest challenges, in a project known as Copenhagen Consensus. They looked at what spending money to combat climate change and other major problems could achieve. They found that the world should prioritize the need for better health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education, long before we turn our attention to the costly mitigation of global warning.

A curious view on the US reaction to the report:

  • Kristen Hellmer, spokeswoman at the Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the White House as saying: “The president has long recognized that climate change is a serious issue, and he has committed the US to advancing and investing in new technologies to help address this problem. The US government has produced an abundance of economic analysis on the issue of climate change. The Stern report is another contribution to that effort.” And that was it. The mighty FT could apparently find no other quote from anyone more senior.
  • We could find no reference to the Stern report on the CNN Money, or CBS market watch, or Business Week sites. The Voice of America publication published the news of the report all right, but its headline read: “Environmental Skeptic Questions British Climate Report”

These reviews are not coming from crack pots – except perhaps the last “US reactions”. The authors of the top two opinions do present valid critique. The first critique cites flawed analysis because of Man on a Primitive Operating Benchfalse historical temperature data. The second opinion makes an economic argument that the Stern report uses flawed assumptions in its cost/benefit analysis. There is no real way to tell who is right. Neither argument really has anything to do with Global Warming and its dangers. It’s just a matter of nit-picking.

The US reaction to the Stern Report is interesting because there hardly was an immediate reaction. The White House as well as Congress ignored the whole thing. News agencies buried the report, at least initially. Most publicity was dominantly negative. The White House claims to have an abundance of its own reports, none of which they act on and none of which seem available to any one. Classified, are they? Or perhaps they do not actually exist. Allegedly, George W. Bush spent $8 billion on climate research. Where on Earth did he put it? In Blowup of Various PeopleCheney’s office?

On Nov. 30 2006, I made a simple search on Goggle’s news page for “Stern Report”. Of the top 100 responses, NOT ONE was from a major US news organization. Not one. Nor was there anything from the US scientific world. Nothing – then for the fun of it, I changed the search to “Howard Stern”. Guess what, the results turned upside down – no shortage of US views at all. Then I searched the White House site for the Stern Report (not Howard) – nothing. Then I checked EPA’s site – nothing. Searching the Senate site did return two references: both simple reprints of news articles, including the critical Lomborg opinion above. TWO returns in essentially all of the US.

Ignoring international opinion, the US GHG eA Gathering of Peoplemissions are increasing at a record setting pace. The US industry largely disregards the “voluntary” measures invented by George W. Bush. Democrats have been too focused on winning an election by having no opinions on anything. What will change the world’s by far largest polluter? It is clear the Stern Report will have zero impact.

In the UK, both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown strongly endorse the report. Well, first, it is a British government report. Second, Tony Blair very much would like to see his tarnished record end on an upswing. Third, Gordon Brown has a political future to consider. Whatever the reasons, it is nice to see someone attempting leadership.

TOC

Public opinions in the US

The public US response to the Stern report is almost non existent. The report was recently published in the US but is also available as a download. I doubt In the Forestmany have plowed through it or the full online version. The hardcover version’s sales rank on Amazon is 102,381, not exactly a best seller. There are zero reviews. In Britain, Amazon’s local store lists the Report with a rank of 5,604, better but still not a best seller.

By contrast, Al Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth” ranks at 312, a whole lot better. The Gore DVD ranks at an astonishing 16 in DVDs. There are hundreds of reviews of the Gore book and DVD. Below is a sample of these reviews.

I’ve deliberately chosen the negative views although the positive reviews outnumber the negative ones by at least 10 to 1. I believe the negative views count for more since they are what US politicians want to hear:

  • It’s beyond crying “wolf” – he has been yelling “wolf” at the top of his crazed lungs for years. This book gives almost no quarter to the legions of scientists who disagree with him. It is a sad requiem on a politician whose day has come and gone. And he is the only one that doesn’t know it.
  • Oh please… what scientific background does this guy have???? What a joke! The stuff in this book is more sophomoric than a prom. This is a political treatise with no scientific value at all. What is my degree in? Well, I have 3: BS chemistry, MS environmental science and a JD (Law).
  • For the lunatic Lefties and Wing nuts, this is a “Bible”. From someone who lost an election, whined and whimpered until told to “shut up” by the USSC, we get this garbage dumped on the fools who would believe it. The $$$ spent on this book could go far elsewhere, like stopping the hot air deluge from the Bush-Haters (aka, sore losers)
  • 96.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions are from natural sources; mankind is responsible for only 3.5%, with 0.6% coming from fuel to move vehicles, and about 1% from fuel to heat buildings. Unless someone has a plan to “curb” these natural sources, it is very clear that we, as a world-population, have very, very little to do with the changes our plant may or may not be undergoing.
  • There are billions of dollars in grant money being thrown around to study Global Warming, which is why scientists need to keep the lie alive. The basis of their argument is flawed and actually quite arrogant. This planet has been in existence for hundreds of millions of years.
  • We will look back a few years from now and see that ‘Global Warming’ is nothing but a hoax. Then we will spend a lot of time trying to figure out why so many people got taken by it. We will also spend a lot of time trying to figure out why some people (hint, hint) who are totally unequipped to deal with scientific data are the most virulent advocates of ‘Global Warming’ and of the economically-destructive steps needed to revert an imaginary catastrophe.
  • This self-serving political tract is nothing but an obvious attempt to revive All Gore’s career. Gore first callously uses the auto accident that nearly killed his son to make us believe that he’s not as shallow as he looks. Then, he misuses information from the liberal media to falsely conclude that Global Warming is an established truth, when in fact it is a theory with as many holes in it as sourdough bread.
  • Al Gore, your an tree-hugging maniac that beats this drum for two reasons: money and to stir the crazy pot for support. Maybe your next book should be the biography of the uni-bomber. After all, you and he have a lot of common thoughts. Of course, he lived in a shack and practiced his anti-industry beliefs. You on the other hand fly all over the world, travel in limos and SUVs and then whine about people like me who own a 2 cycle mower, blower and weed eater.
  • I have read the book and it is all a butch of hogwash yes it is true that the world is getting warmer but the earth goes through cycles like say the ice age. Some scientists believe that we will have an ice age soon because back in the 1300’s when they had a mini ice age their weather had been warmer than average before the ice age. The ethanol will not change our reliance on foreign oil if we used all the corn grown in the US we would only get 13% of the fuel that we use in our cars. Maybe Al gore should get a brain, a personality, and stop trying to be a scientist.
  • This piece of fiction is so full of distortions and outright lies that it boggles the mind. The Aral Sea, Mount Kilimanjaro examples used by Gore are pure fiction. If he believes his examples and truly does not know the scientific and easily obtained truth, then he is just ignorant, if he knows the truth about these examples, then he is just a bald faced liar.
  • Has the temperature of the earth kicked up a bit? Yes, about 1/2 degree F since 1900. Is it going to drop again (as part of the foundational knowledge about earth science any high schooled should know. Yes. The current temperature increase peaked 1998-99. The temp will now drop for a few dozen years, and then increase again. Is it magic? No. Is it because we have too many internal combustion engines? No. Is it because we cut too many trees? No. Is it the hot air coming from Al Gore and his radical socialist handlers? No. The root cause of the increasing and decreasing temperature of the earth’s waters, mean temperatures etc is….THE SUN! We have data. We have correlations. We have darned good scientists who spend their lives working in this area. We don’t have yet have a complete understanding of why the sun warms and cools, but we will someday. And you can bet it won’t be because the Republicans are in power. Another scientist who KNOWS Gore’s conclusions are a crock.
  • The ‘facts’ that Gore are dated, discredited and in some cases, downright fraudulent. Do your own research and you will see that this is the case. An overwhelming number of scientists that DO NOT have a federal grant or research dollars at risk do not agree with the conclusion of this film (I just can’t force myself to call it a documentary…) Don’t waste your time with this propaganda and attempt to get you to agree to even MORE taxes!!
  • There are countless scientists who give no credence whatsoever to the notion of a man-made climate change. The whole notion of “global warming” was based upon an incorrect computer model that could in no way take all parameters and data into account. In this movie we are lectured to by a boring idiot whose only recourse to changing the political world is through environmental scare tactics.
  • Humanity may indeed be causing Global Warming and such a warming may indeed have consequences for human convenience, but to imply the planet is threatened with destruction is fear mongering. The planet has seen far more severe climate changes than what we might experience and such changes have neither destroyed the planet nor the life upon it.
  • Humanity has a tremendous capacity to adapt and any climate changes will happen slowly enough that we can adapt to them. So we have to move beach houses or plant crops in new areas, does any thinking person really believe that we can’t handle such changes and that humanity will drown because we are too stupid to avoid seas that rise by a few centimeters per year? Give me a break. The real agenda behind Gore’s tirade is to create fear. Liberals love to create fear; it is one of their power bases.
  • Just listen to NPR, one fear story after another. Oh woe is us! The planet is dying! It’s all our fault! It’s all Bush’s fault! All this hand wringing is simple political maneuvering. The liberals want to create fear and then use that fear to obtain votes. You can read the other reviews to see how successful they have been in brainwashing their supporters.
  • Al Gore and company need to get their facts straight before setting image to celluloid, but that’s never stopped them before. “An Inconvenient Truth” is junk science promoted by the loony liberal left and is just another scare tactic that they will embrace as their cause du jour.
  • The predictions of Global Warming are based on computer models done by some scientists who have made a great living out of scaring the bejesus out of the rest of us. Those are the same type of models who told us in the 70’s to prepare for global cooling and the return of the Ice Age. Just as figures don’t lie and liars can figure, a computer model can be made to produce any desired outcome that the programmer wants. And the Gore crowd wants doom, gloom and disaster. Coming right up!!
  • Al Gore is at it again with his liberal environmentalist whacko issues of the so-called Global Warming. We cannot say it’s the truth, and it should only be based on theory. Global Warming is only used by liberals as a scare tactic. Al Gore spent too much time growing up as a city slicker in Washington when his segregationist daddy, Al Sr., was in the Senate. Gore only relies on data released by these so-called environmentalists.
  • How inconvenient that news this week reports that Global Warming on a scale we can’t even imagine happened millions of years ago. Evidence of tropical temps in polar sea beds says that that this isn’t the first time we have had global climate change. Al Gore is convincing and passionate. To bad he only used half the facts he needs for a complete presentation. In the 1970’s there was a big uproar about global COOLING, what happened to the science behind that? Just because we get a well made argument, and a terrific film made, does not make it true.
  • Having seen this movie at a preview, I can say that Gore is every bit the equal of Michael Moore. This is to say, he’s a liar and a propagandist. Another reviewer summed up the truth nicely – there is in fact a Global Warming trend, and it may cause problems. But there is NO evidence that this trend is due to human causes or influences, and in fact, all evidence points to the contrary. Unless you’re making up your facts, that is. Inconvenient indeed.
  • This movie stands next to Triumph of the Will as one of the greatest propaganda films of all time. It’s amazing how Al Gore spins together made-up “facts” and half-truths to make a case that wouldn’t even convince a Green Peace member. Al Gore can not get around the indisputable fact that there is zero evidence of human-caused Global Warming. Sorry Al, we aren’t falling for your doom and gloom lies and innuendo.

In line with other parts of this post, many confuse the issue of Global Warming with their dislike of Gore personally and sinister liberals in general. It is, again, abundantly clear how politicized this issue is. Conservatives discount the risks of Global Warming. Democrats endorse the necessity to combat the ill effects. And Bush will veto anything referring to Global Warming.

TOC

Next and Previous

Here is a summary of the nine main posts in the essay. Navigation links are located just below the summary.

GlobalWarming:1 discusses why Global Warming happened, who and what causes it, ending up with a list of villains. It did not go into the consequences of Global Warming. There was no Another Dark Abstractiondiscussion of impacts on the oceans, the Arctic, Greenland, El Nino, ecosystems, the weather, tundra and ice packs. The Kyoto Protocol or the Stern reports or other Global Warming topics were not covered. That is yet to come.

GlobalWarming:2 covers two main subjects. The UN provides a real mixed bag of positive and negative influences on the fight against Global Warming. The positive is that they try, have some credibility and many resources. The negative is that they fail. The current versions of the Kyoto Protocol and its associated reports do not reduce emissions. The CER system causes more harm than good. Solutions exist but are not acted on. Industrial strategies and national policies do little to reduce Global Warming – in fact, the opposite is often true in spite of rhetorical lip service.

Global Warming:3 examines the basic root cause of our problem: rising temperatures. Is the increase real and does it matter? Is it natural or caused by man? Are the temperatures unusual compared to history? Do GHGs actually cause the increase? What can past temperature variations tell us about what we face today? Can you even trust the basic data and analysis of temperatures? The post answers those and other questions in exuberant detail.

GlobalWarming:4 notes that Global Warming is not the first disaster forecast ever done, published and hyped. There were many in the past and as a rule they failed. The disaster in question simply did not happen because extending some historical trend into the future does not work – trends More Dark Abstractionchange. So the question is – why is this particular doom and gloom outlook right? What is different this time? As you will see, plenty is different.

GlobalWarming:5 reviews the role and issues of population growth. This is a vital issue for future emissions as shown in GlobalWarming:1. Historically over the past 250 years, the explosive growth in populations explains two thirds of the increase in GHG emissions. The rise in personal carbon use must be reversed as must other issues related to unbalanced growth in populations.

GlobalWarming:6 probes why Global Warming turned into a polarizing mess. History plays a role. Emotions such as fear impacts judgments. Lack of perspective is limiting true understanding. Lack of knowledge and clouded judgments don’t help. Many agendas are hidden from view. Rarely in human history have so many ignored so simple requirements for no good reason.

The current GlobalWarming:7 summarizes some important and a few not so important opinions on Global Warming. Global Warming is a battle ground, galvanizing the left against the right, neo conservatists against liberals, the sane against those not quite sane, the Religious Right against evangelists, politicians against constituents, reactionaries against activists, bloggers againstBrown Road and A Man Walking bloggers, late show hosts against ratings, journalists against circulations, spokespersons against skeptics and, not least, scientists against scientists. This post contains a small sample of the rare truth, accusations, biases, opinions and propaganda thrown left and right, up and down.

GlobalWarming:8 is perhaps the meat of this series. It gets into the details of what is happening right now in the some 25 different real life areas. The true impacts of Global Warming range from ocean bottoms to mountain tops, from oil fields to highways, from tundra to tropics and from farm fields to smoke stacks. These items are not forecasts, assumptions or opinions but verifiable hard facts. The picture is indicative of your, and my, future. The earthly signs get worse by the day.

GlobalWarming:9 paints three scenarios (not forecasts) of what might happen in Trail in the Gorestthe future. There are pessimistic, optimistic and middle of the road pictures. The three scenarios use simple, common sense assumptions, very different from the elaborate, multi million $ systems enjoyed by the UN, the Stern Report, EPA and others. The big systems rely on myriads of assumptions as input, many of which aren’t really known and/or subject to lots of complexity. I favor the KISS approach.

I’m by no means competing with the “big” studies or the smart people putting them together. I used to be a forecasting guru working for the UN, the World Bank, FAO, OECD, the EU and many Fortune 500 companies. I guess I have a right to an opinion. No one is required to consider my views.

I am completely nonaffiliated. No political party enjoys (or wants) my support. I havGirls on a Benche no axe to grind. I receive no monetary compensations, grants or sponsorships. There are no PayPal buttons on these pages. I have no obligations to fulfill. Office politics do not thrive around here. I promote no agendas except my own – the survival of us all. Occasionally, I put up some of the photos from my portfolios and my photo business.

GlobalWarming:8-9 will follow together with other commentaries and follow ups. Hang in there. The links below help you navigate this monster essay. It’s all quite important to your health.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TOC

 

 

A Temporary Link Target

Marching off in Seattle

 


Sorry, the next releases are not quite ready yet. They will be online shortly. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get automatic notification or check back soon. Please try a different topic or return (use the back button) to the previous subject.


TOC

Advertisements

Hillary Clinton. Barack Osama. John Edwards. Bill Richardson. Nancy Pelosi. Harry Reid. Democratic Masters of Silence. Three issues: Global Warming. The War in Iraq. The War on Terror. Silence. Utter Silence. Why aren’t these people speaking up? Why do they fade into the walls any time these three issues surface? They have the power, the means, the mandate and the obligation to act. Small decoys do not produce. Non binding compromises do not count. Token subpoenas are cute but then what? Hearings are nice if they go beyond grandstanding.

On the opposing end and without a mandate: George W. Bush, the Decider with his out of touch speech and army of crook lawyers. Dick Cheney with his gun. Karl Rove plotting in his closet. Joe Lieberman the traitor. John McCain the God-Knows-What. Rudy Giuliani – the Loose Cannon. Mitt Romney – the CEO with a Marketing Idea. A wealthy gang of Religious Righties and Neo Cons, enjoying less tax. Oil companies aching to drill the ultimate hole in the ground, tundra, sea board or wherever they fancy a trace of carbon emissions may hide. Talk show fascists. Fanatical bloggers and writers in magazines no one ever heard of. Ann Coulter. NRA. None of these people shut up. They yell. They demand. Silence is unknown. Take no prisoners. Just roll over them Democrats, mandate or not

The Problem

My recent post: Global Warming 6: Terror, Wars, Fears and Paralysis wondered why Global Warming is so hard a subject to deal with. I wondered why this particular issue, as deadly as it might be, is delegated to the back of the U.S. closet by every one in charge. I compared Global Warming to the sulphur dioxide crisis of the 1960s and the more recent ozone hole problem. Both of these latter issues were resolved with little fuss. Likewise, Global Warming can be successfully dealt with if the inertia of silence and mysterious resistance is dealt with. But the silence and inertia appears unlimited.

I wondered why Global Warming, which so clearly may be lethal, does not evoke past crisis spirits such as during WWII, Vietnam or 9/11. Then people closed rank and won. WWII was won. The US won by finally getting out of Vietnam. 9/11 was initially won. With dissidents in real low numbers, the World condemned the 9/11 attacks till Bush screwed up by 1) entering a vague, undefined War on Terror that made no sense to anyone sober enough, 2) invading and destroying two Islam countries, thus accelerating terrorism and 3) engaging in endless illegal maneuvers, lies and intimidations while suppressing truth, laws, treaties and ethical standards for self serving purposes.

Misguided as the Republicans, Religious Right and Neo Cons may be, the least their policies are clear, if devastating. But the Democrats say one thing and do another or, actually, do very little. If in fact they do something it makes little difference. Spineless? Fear ridden? You judge. Ask your favorite Presidential candidate some questions. Attend a town meeting with your Congressman. Speak up. Put a sign in your front yard or window. Take to the streets. It’s your country.

The People

In the post mentioned, I argued that there were essentially two reasons why the people of the US are not responding to these crises. The first reason is a total disillusion with, and apathy towards, its government and George W. Bush in particular. You enjoy his slaughter of language, lack of coherent thought and appreciate he is dumber than you are. It may be amusing as long as your kid isn’t an Iraqi statistic. Maybe you overlook the fact he may kill more than any President or national leader in history. Really.

The second reason for the inertia in us, the people, is plain fear due to all the uncertainties, mixed messages and storm signs. Add the confusion from an endless, mixed bag of information or disinformation floating around without pause. Never in the history of mankind has so much junk been forced on so many by so few, be it Global Warming, the various Wars, Swift Boats, faked Apple 1984 ads, VA hospitals, US Attorneys, undercover CIA agent disclosures, gun happy Vice Presidents or a totally in-over-his-head President.

Then we have the endlessly fascinating charades of Paris Hilton fully clothed or not, Anna Nicole Smith dead or alive, Britney Spears sober or not, Howard Stern, FOX, 360 Cooper, Newt Gingrich the Ladies’ Man, Rush Limbaugh the Viagra Guy and Ann Coulter the Marlboro Man grabbing the attention of the channels for a few minutes at the time. Are Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake and Jenny Jones still around? I hope not. It’s confusing enough as it is without worrying about twin-headed lesbian Ku Klux Klaners from Outer Space.

Every piece of fact or misinformation is printed, newscast, talk showed, blogged, spoken, podcast, voice mailed, YouTubed, downloaded, uploaded, emailed, serialized, falsified, water cooled, RSSed, bookmarked, chat roomed, iPodded, Ann Coulter faggotized, Photoshopped, eHarmonized, pdf’d, pirated, news released, multi mediated, socially networked, filibustered, Bluetoothed, SMS’d, invented by Al Gore or shared in any other of the thousands of ways humans miscommunicate these days. Amazingly, it’s only a few decades ago that the main channel was newspapers and newspapers only with some Evening News thrown in.

People are completely overloaded with too much nonsense served too fast to be able to focus on any particular issue. The whole bloody world is at our door step, forcing its way in over our battered bodies. The people can’t deal with the overload and the politicians don’t dare, every one maintaining their deafening silence. And the tragedies just keep coming and coming.

The Powers

Early 2007, the Democrats took over both US Houses after a strong showing in the 2006 elections. The people clearly spoke – stop US involvement in Iraq. The new Democratic majority is not truly responding. Yes, there are some ineffectual attempts. Non binding this or that, adding addendums here and there, a few toothless hearings and, gasp, subpoenaing so and so. Supposedly the concern is “not to be weak” and to “support out troops”. How is putting the troops in deadly danger for no good reason “supporting them”? Get real. In what way does spending 100s of billions on a hopeless cause benefit the troops, the American people or the world? Do get real.

It is not just Congress ducking the issues and effectively letting Bush destroy the world. I started out by mentioning four 2008 Democratic challengers for the US Presidency. Hillary Clinton – trying desperately to hide her earlier support for Iraq and Bush. Barack Osama – “I wasn’t around so don’t blame me”. John Edwards – “I’m the Domestic Guy and my wife is sick”. Bill Richardson – still around? Al Gore – patiently waiting for the call with an Oscar and plenty of $$$ in his back pocket.

None of these Democratic candidates offer a clear strategy for dealing with Global Warming, the War on Terror or the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They do not begin to deal with the nuclear threats of North Korea or Iran. They ignore Putin’s strategy of using energy to blackmail Europe. None of them offer believable answers to health care, social security or budget deficits. They apparently have no more clues about what to do than the intellectually challenged George W. Bush or the devious pair of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

The Spirit

Where is the spirit of the Revolutionary War, the Alamo, D-Day, Iwo Jima or Rose the Riveter? Where are the forces of the Civil Rights and Anti War movements of the 1960s and early 1970s? There isn’t even a decent Woodstock any more. The police and fire fighters responding to the WTC catastrophe did not change the world. Nor did the few heroes of Katrina drum up a national effort to rebuild New Orleans, leaving it to a hapless government.

Today March 22 2007, Howard Fineman of Newsweek published “The Timid Politics of War” with the byline “A generation ago, Vietnam blew up politics as we knew it. Why isn’t that happening now?” He asks the same questions I do, more or less. Read the article, the link is above. A major point is negative power of the silence, rather than the babble of the rhetoric. The silence on these issues is stupefying and earth shattering.

So what am I saying? We really are facing serious issues that will define our future. It is inconceivable that politicians be allowed to default on the outcome by being, of all things, silent. Likewise, it is without excuse that we the people stay quiet and let these politicians get away with it. In the past, there were overwhelming demonstrations of the power of ordinary people in the face of crisis. We need that power now.

Remember the Londoners during the Nazi Blitz. Think about the Hamburgians during the Allied fire bombings. Did you ever experience the Hungarian or Czech barehanded uprisings against the Soviet tanks? What about the struggles of the campuses in the late 1960s, early 1970s? Consider the Tiananmen Square protests in face of massive troops and tanks. Did you see Boris Yeltsin single handedly preventing the return of Soviet hardliners? Do you remember the Civil Rights workers in Mississippi just 40 years ago or the courage of Rosa Parks 50 years ago? Or may you recall the fire fighters heading UP the stairs of the WTC?

The Obstructions

Many of us suffer from tensions, ignorance, pressures, greed and envy, lies and deceptions, inertia and overloading and, simply, Modern Life. Too many need unparalleled amounts of antidepressants, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, Yoga, recovery centers, rehab, therapy, marathon runs, hypnosis, relaxation exercises, self help books, face lifts, tattoos, anti harassment rules, exercise machines, weight programs – pills – food and diets, subconscious tape messages, reality shows, Tums, herbal treatments, nail enhancement, health spas, bleached teeth, botox treatments, Viagra, breast enhancement, Internet porn, perfect abs, alcohol, drugs and a lot more from the billions of dollar “Coping Industry”.

Most of these items were completely unknown just 50 years ago, now they are crucial to our well being. Our brains truly must be cooked. Can the pills be beaten so we get on with surviving? Clearly, society has changed in a way that is detrimental to facing important issues – such as the three I mentioned. Such as survival. Such as a will to confront Wrongs.

The Consequences

The inertia will have consequences. I’ll just point to one issue: Global Warming. Derided by some, ignored by almost every American politician from George W, Bush to Osama Barack, here is what the upcoming UN report has to say (Follow this link for more – “The Bleakest Outlook Yet“):

Geography, Areas and Life Styles

  • The effects of Global Warming are happening far faster than believed earlier. Climate changes are now impacting physical and biological systems on every continent. Global Warming will affect everyone’s lives, in particular the lives of the poorest. Life styles across the world will change, mostly for the worse.
  • Africa and Asia will be hit the hardest followed by small island communities. On a relative basis, North America, Europe and Australia face the least impacts. Yet, hurricanes and wildfires already cause major disruptions to North American social, cultural and biological ecosystems. Australia is experiencing a drought partly blamed on Global Warming.

Agriculture, Starvation and Forestry

  • The agriculture sector will face major upheavals as their ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing farm land cannot follow. The forest sector faces the same issue.
  • The forestry sector will see temporary improvements due to a longer growing season. It will face major upheavals later as its ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing forests cannot follow.
  • There will be temporary relief in some agricultural areas, such as soybeans and rice production in Latin America, due to longer growing seasons. Later, 200-600 million people will suffer starvation as agricultural ecosystems are destroyed.

Health and Fresh Water

  • Health issues will result in higher death rates. Malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and dengue fever will grow dramatically. Human allergies are mushrooming due to increased pollens. Smog in the US will cause severe health hazards.
  • Hundreds of millions of Africans, tens of millions of Latin Americans and more than a billion of Asians will lack sufficient fresh water.

Ecosystems and Extinctions

  • We are truly standing at the edge of mass extinction. Species’ habits and habitants are changing rapidly. Half of Europe’s spaces are vulnerable to extinction.
  • Polar bears will only be found in zoos, their northern habitat melted into oblivion. Other polar animals will follow into extinction. Half of Europe’s species are threatened. Pests such as fire ants will thrive.

Oceans, Flooding, Coasts, Arctic and Ice

  • Oceans and coastal ecosystems face the most damages. Wetlands will be lost. 100 million people may be flooded out of their lands because of rising sea levels. Coastal flooding might eliminate millions of homes.
  • Coral reefs are killed by bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef could become functionally extinct in less than 20 years.
  • Transportation, e.g. the Northwest Passage, will “improve” in Arctic regions. This alone may lead to major ecological problems as newly accessible areas are exploited.
  • Alpine glaciers in Europe and elsewhere will disappear. Greenland ice sheets decline. The North Pole is no longer under a solid ice pack in the summer.

European and Other Events

In a striking difference to the White House version of the US, EU and Europe are acting on Global Warming by creating mandatory, binding ceilings on emissions. In the US, California ignores the White House and plan similar measures as do other states.

This is an update of Quick News #1

The UK is getting real about Global Warming by outlining binding legislation to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050. The Bill also sets targets of 26-32% cuts by 2020. Parts of the opposition favor 80% cuts, or even 90%. Government assistance will enable insulation of 8 million homes over the next ten years. UK is on track to meet all Kyoto Protocol goals. Government officials stressed the UK’s leadership in the War on Global Warming with a clear eye towards the lack of leadership or action from the US.

Simultaneously, The UK enters direct cooperation with California, bypassing the inertia of George W. Bush. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californian maverick, called Tony Blair an action hero for inspiring the introduction of a law committing California to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Mr. Schwarzenegger said: “It is very clear the Prime Minister has been a great inspiration to many, many countries all over the world… I think he is a pioneer, because he has had the guts to sign the Kyoto treaty and to show to the world that you can protect the environment and protect the economy at the same time.” California introduced its first Global Warming legislation in 206 – this is the second step.

Have the Blair or California Governments gone insane? Won’t this madness bankrupt the whole world (or the US as Mr. Bush claims without proof)? Of course not, the UK hopes to make big money on its leadership. They have key parts of the technology to make reductions of this magnitude possible. So do others, including the EU, US and California in particular. If you view these emission reduction plans as some form of misbegotten charity, you are very much on the wrong track. Incidentally, California is not the only state bypassing Bush to enter overseas cooperation and to pursue independent Global Warming and energy policies.

And as I covered in the post “Sauerkraut, Bourgogne, Bangers“, the EU is continuing its path towards 20% emission reductions by 2020. An EU summit in early March 2007 approved the original proposal. More leaks of the upcoming April IPCC report about the consequences of Global Warming led to my post “The Bleakest Outlook Yet”. Optimistic those UN folks are not. Some of you might enjoy my take on Ann Coulter ” To Ann Coulter” after she used the Faggot word referring to John Edwards, who, by the way, is looking to define himself as a Global Warming advocate. Also recently published, the main post “Just Too Many Of You” deals with a variety of issues, most related to how Global Warming relates to populations or, more precisely, you and me.

If the world follows the initiatives of the EU, the UK and California, then the issue of Global Warming will be resolved in our – mankind’s – favor. If, on the other hand, the US, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil continues to screw the world, then we face extinction.

The Great Swindle of The Great Global Warming Swindle

The Skeptics’ favorite TV show “The Great Global Warming Swindle” lost all credibility after journalists and others proved beyond any doubt that the show knowingly presented false data. That included using data sources decenniums out of date, then falsifying “updates” to make it look like the data was recent. Of course, these fantasy (to use a kind word) “updates” were tailored to support the show’s claims. Actual and correct data was easily available but would not support the show’s conclusions, thus ignored by the producers in favor of their own famously fraudulent version.

Sir John Houghton, the former head of the Met Office who chairs the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said: “Last Thursday’s programme purported to debunk the science of Global Warming describing it as ‘lies’ and an invention of hundreds of scientists around the world, who have conspired to mislead governments, and the general public. The material presented was a mixture of truth, half truth and falsehood put together with the sole purpose of discrediting the science of global warming as presented by the main world community of climate scientists and by the IPCC.” Sir John continues to thoroughly expose the show’s false claims.

Just a few of many examples:

  • The show claims that volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans do. There is no correlation between total emissions and volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes
    can impact climates on a temporary basis mostly because of the masses of dust and particles thrown into the atmosphere. But their emissions of greenhouse
    gases pale compared to those of humans.
  • The show claims that natural causes such as sun irradiance cause more temperature effects than humans do. Research shows manmade emissions outpace such natural emissions by a factor of 10.
  • The show claims that a cooling trend between 1940 and 1970 proves global warming is a hoax. The cooling trend mentioned is well researched and linked to sulphur emissions. There is no link to Global Warming.

Carl Wunch, a scientist participating in the show, has threatened to sue the producers for misrepresenting his arguments. Here is a link to parts of his statement. The producers admit they used fabricated data and various other means to “simplify” the story.

In spite of the discredits and falsified data, the show is the darling of Skeptics everywhere. Newspapers, magazines and the Internet are filled with the TV show’s distortions. The Skeptics outnumber the publicity of the Believers by a factor of 10.

Cereal and Shellfish Grief

A major study shows that cereal crops are already hurt by Global Warming to the tune of millions of tons and up to $5 billion losses. The study indicates a temperature increase of 1 degree Fahrenheit reduces yields by 3-5%. According to the study, this reduction has already happened. The losses will accumulate as temperatures keep going up.

However, this is not a complete picture. If temperatures increase beyond about 35 degrees Celsius, then cereal production is no longer possible. Yields hit zero. Several major crops in hot climate countries such as India are near, at or even above such limits. The likelihood of major food shortages is almost certain.

Further, the agricultural effect of Global Warming is that growing areas move North (or South below the Equator). Unfortunately, farms are stationary and will not be easy to move. Nor is it likely the new growing areas are anywhere close to the productivity of the old lands. In India, for instance, it is unlikely the Himalayas will provide much farm acreage.

French and Dutch researchers recently reported shellfish such as mussels and oysters are at risk as the acidity of oceans increases. This is not really news; the effect of acidification of the oceans as they absorb more and more carbon is well known. Shellfish simply cannot produce sufficient calcium based shells, given the higher acidity. The study estimates shellfish have lost 25% of their shell making capability.

The ecosystems of the oceans really are composed of a huge number of local ecosystems, both geographically – north, south and so on, then surface systems versus deep water systems. There are currents and streams with their own systems. Coastal systems differ from open ocean systems, not least because of coastal pollution. Add temperature, rising levels, glacial runoff, coral bleaching, fish farming, salinity, cyclicality and plain randomness and you have the most varied and sensitive environment possible. Dumping a bunch of chemicals such as carbon into such a system is a real bad idea, especially since ocean currents alone carry more energy than the combined nuclear arsenals of the world by several orders of magnitude.

Anything catch your attention? Here is more:

Stay tuned!

Thanks, Karl


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Global Warming is real; it threatens life as we know it; urgent corrective actions are needed; such actions are not implemented except in isolated and insufficient cases. Solutions are held back politically although the basic issue largely consists of reading politically neutral thermometers. Majorities acknowledge climate change exists but dismiss personal jeopardy. A vocal minority faction of Skeptics discredits obvious, well documented and undisputable scientific facts. Why is Global Warming so hard to accept and to act on?

Millions believe in UFOs and the Majestic Documents. Others are sure Elvis Presley is alive; the Loch Ness monster is real and so is Bigfoot; O. J. Simpson is innocent; Michael Jackson’s nose is real; MeHands in the Campl Gibson excuses are heart felt; Ann Coulter really is a woman; eHarmony is a sure way to happiness; insurgents are on the run; the Iraq war is just about won; CIA blew up the WTC; Apollo never landed on the Moon; the Holocaust never happened and SUVs do not pollute. If you, or (rather) others, accept such stretches of mind boggling reality, why not believe Global Warming which actually is real? After all, Global Warming beats any National Enquirer story by a mile or more.

Do Skeptics really have sufficient clout to hold politicians back? If so, why is that? For that matter, why do we have a bunch of these dominant Skeptics? Is it a matter of religion? Why would a religious person want to risk fellow citizens? Is it the right versus the left? If so, why are rightists suicidal and committing the lefties to the same grisly end? Is it cost? Well, yes, butDeath on a Cart no sane person will risk mankind for a few bucks. Is it stupidity? No, I don’t think so. Similar issues were quickly dealt with in the past without the fuss of Global Warming. Why not now? The answer isn’t real clear.

The disbelief may be fueled by mixing “never heard of it and I don’t care” syndromes, too much weird techno babble, plain old denial of bad news, head in the sand dodging, media hysterics, incoherent politicians and Internet rumor mongering.

TOC

The Fear Factor

However, the most essential and utterly basic component in this strange, allegorical recipe is simply fear. We’d have the same denials if NASA announced a comet will hit in three days, wiping out most life. Some roar “No Way”; others scream “About Time” and a few stock up on emergency supplies and seek shelter. Pat Robertson blames gays, Chinese abortionists and Hugo In the CemetaryChavez. Jerry Falwell ups the ante with “pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the ACLU and the PAW people”. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are both on vacation. James Dobson recommends spanking your kids one last time. Tony Blair defers the matter to Bush. Vladimir Putin lights a candle on Stalin’s grave. Jacques Chirac blames les Américains terribles. The end indeed is near – hold it – the savior is here – Pat Robertson changed the course of the comet! Bless him.

To the fear recipe, add your personality ingredients, such as free range, marbled, genetically manipulated, farmed, artificially colored, organic, pasteurized, homogenized, mad cowed or bird flued – whatever your corresponding personality and beliefs are. Stir in the inertia of the politicians. Marinate the special interest groups. Chop and add the Realpolitik of major countries. Sautee the corporate slyness. Sprinkle with the abnormal incompetence of the US White House. Roast in oven and you’ll have a horrible, indigestible, fearful mess on your hands called Global Warming Chop Chop – a favorite in the Arctic where suddenly there is nothing else to eat.

This post will examine why Global Warming seems so hard to act on. The goal is to get some answers or at least identify some relevant patterns. History will help finding answers and patterns. Global Warming must be seen in its context, how it relates to society in general.

TOC

Tables of Contents and Other Stuff

The complete Global Warming essay is split up in several individual posts. The following introduction In the Fieldsimplifies navigation through the mass of material. If you have been following the series, you may (or not) want to skip right to the main content to avoid repetition If so, hit the “Bypass” below. Keep in mind that this introduction and the contents are constantly updated.

If you are new to the series, you may want to 1) start at the beginning of the series using this link: “Culprits, Scoundrels and Villains” or 2) check out the table of content and other explanations of what this is all about – just read on. The TOC button brings you to the essay’s Table of Contents.

TOC
ByPass

About the Essay and Its Nine Main Parts

The essay is split into nine main posts due to its size. Click here for more details on each post.

  • The first main post examines the basic reasons why we ended up in this dreadful mess.
  • The second main post covers the political and UN scene.
  • The third main post deals with rising temperatures.
  • The “Sauerkraut” post dives into Europe and its mysteries.
  • The fourth main post bares secrets about the forecasting business.
  • The “Ann Coulter” post made some fun out of America’s favorite fascist.
  • The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” previews the April 2007 UN IPCC Report
  • The “Quick News” issue of 3-14-2007 updates you on British, EU and other news.
  • The fifth main post explains the issues due to rising populations.
  • The present sixth main post probes the polarized attitudes to Global Warming.
  • The seventh main post discloses opinions on Global Warming
  • The eight main post looks at the very real effects of Global Warming already present.
  • The ninth main post explores possible outcomes: cure or disaster?

Additional posts cover special subjects, comments and news. The “Sauerkraut” post looks at Europe and its peculiar history of early tribes, wars and more wars, deceit, Fuehrers, Reaching for the SkyGeneralissimos, Emperors, Kings and Queens, imperialism, strange food, democracy and greed, finally ending up as the world’s largest market. The post looks at how all of that, more or less, relates to issue of and attitudes to Global Warming. The post also evaluates, in detail, the recent EU proposal to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020.

I couldn’t resist doing a piece on Ann Coulter. She makes a splendid living out of out-chock-jocking Howard Stern, Bill O’Reilly, Geraldo, Moammar al-Ghadafi, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pat Robinson, Hugo Chavez, Baghdad Bob, Joseph Goebbels and Dick Cheney all at once. You gotta admire her ignorant persistence and ambition. Doing anything for a buck, she certainly managed to become America’s favorite fascist. Why not?

The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” is precisely that. There is nothing fun about this preview of the next UN IPCC report “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. These reports are getting more and more alarming which by itself is truly scary. All prior reports have underestimated the impact of climate change.

The “Quick News” feature may become a regular service to keep us all up to date on recent news and to call the BS floating around.

TOC
ByPass

Table of Contents

An elaborate link and TOC (Table of Content) system helps you get around the mass of material in this essay of nine main posts. Use it to find what is of your most immediate interest. Just above, there is a TOC button that brings you to the navigation system. Enjoy.

TOC
ByPass

Odes, Ballads, Songs and Arias

This essay contains real life mini stories. They describe usually small, even insignificant, effects of ForestGlobal Warming. The aim is to make you consider reality, survival, pain and your own future. I cite simple stories about how some of us (humans, animals, plants, oceans and everything else) are already in, or cause, deep trouble. Here are links to the various little puzzle pieces:

TOC
ByPass

Images in this essay

The images in this post differ from those in all the others except the upcoming Post 7: “Lies, Madness and a little Truth”, which follows the same format as this post. All images are paintings rather than photographs, with the exception of a few photos of sculptures. The motif is pain, sorrow and compassion. This theme sets the tone to awareness of the devastating future we Sitting Outsidemay be facing. There may well be a lot of human suffering in our or our kids’ life time due to this ugly thing called Global Warming.

You see, all of this art work is associated with another era of great suffering. The Holocaust. The paintings are by individuals close to that genocide. Some artists were in and survived the camps. Others are children of former camp inmates. Yet others have a different link to the camps. I believe the suffering endured in the camps may, in some sense, be repeated in the future of Global Warming. We may not see a Dr. Mengele or Himmler, nor gas chambers or death trains. But the suffering from Global Warming may well exceed that of the Holocaust many times over.

I did not choose the images from a strictly artistic point of view. Not all paintings are masterpieces. Some are downright ugly. I choose them because of their emotional content and their impact, at least on me. I believe Earth will suffer major tragedies as it has in the past. Global Warming is one likely cause of such suffering, but probably not the only one factor. And, of course, Global Warming is already harvesting its first victims. It would be fantasy to think there is not a lot more to come. Lady in the Camp

Using the Holocaust for this post is not politically motivated. In fact, almost none of the artwork directly addresses the camps themselves or isolates the Jewish experience. The choice of the motif has nothing to do with the cheap shots recently fired about so called Holocaust Deniers, a phrase I find repulsive in the context of Global Warming.

This post is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. May no one ever suffer such pain again. The art work comes from The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. Please visit them using this link.

This blog, its design, text content (except quotes from others) and my own images and graphs are copyright © Leading Design, Inc 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved. I make absolutely no claims on images or quotes originating in other sources.

TOC

Mirages and Mirrors – My Own View

Let’s disregard the crackpots for a while and consider the saner views. I often have this déjà vu feeling about the serious opinions – I look at a Skeptic opinion and feel “I’ve been there”. Often, either side raises the same issues using the same data and research. Arguments are very similar. Only the ultimate conclusion mysteriously differs. Some of us surely have to look into the old timeLoading the Cart funny mirrors found in amusement parks. Or smoke the wrong kind of fags.

I am in complete agreement with the Skeptics on more than a few issues. For instance, I readily agree the climate is a complex issue with several layers of warming and cooling trends and cycles that are only partially understood. Parts of Global Warming are due to factors that mankind has little power over. I have little confidence in the complex forecasts presented, preferring to stick with known, verified evidence rather than dim assumptions. I do not buy any conclusions before I can verify them based on, preferably, my own analysis.

I view the Kyoto Protocol and the CERs as useless and inequitable in the current implementation. I think the IPCC reports contain too many political “mass committee” compromises to be truly effective. They are wide open to the critique of being politicized. I believe that current European initiatives are ambitious but perhaps motivated by commercial and political interests. The initiatives themselves are totally useless in defeating Global Warming unless the world follows. The Europeans know it, securing the high ground for future use.

But I view the possible outcomes entirely differently than the Skeptics. I believe Global Warming is real and the most significant and dangerous issue facing mankind. The Skeptics differ at that point. How can serious and knowledgeable people differ on such well researched questions? It seems Skeptics often quote well known facts and then reach a Coffindifferent conclusion without really proving why. Perhaps it is Divine Insight?

Shouldn’t it be simple enough to prove solar energy or cosmic rays are the main cause of the warming, if indeed that is the case? Tell me what about the origin of views such as: “manmade GHGs do not cause rising temperatures” and/or “earth will cool within a few years” and/or “temperatures were much higher in the past” and/or “the shape of Earth or its orbit is the cause”. Someone, please help me.

Where is the verification of all these claims? I have yet to see evidence supporting any of these points. Why is that? For that matter, do any of these raised issues have anything to do with resolving the problem? Do they actually matter?

TOC

Let’s Remember Some Basics

In the fever of Fact Challenged Opinions and Name Calling, a few basics tend to be forgotten. We might actually be doomed if we don’t act real soon. Even most Skeptics acknowledge we do have a problem. We may already be doomed. So arguing about who is the Fascist is a bit too late. If in fact we still can win this war, the obvious Killing a Childquestion is how we get the right actions taken real soon. Every one with some understanding of the issue knows how to solve it. In fact, it is not even that hard to make Global Warming go away – unless we apathetically wait too long or let a few bullies stop us.

Why has a basic issue such as Global Warming become a polarizing item? In what way is it Socialist Extremism to read measurements from thermometers? Why does the Capitalist World feverishly oppose the very thought of Global Warming, considering there is a ton of money to be made? Why are Skeptics compared to SS concentration camp guards? Why are some Skeptics receiving death threats? Why are we plagued with a US President who is completely aloof of his own catastrophic policies? Why is he allowed to lead us further into the abyss?

Take two similar, not very distant, issues. In the 1960s a real concern was the pollution from sulphur dioxide and other cooling gases, causing acid rain and health issues. A little later, ozone holes showed it was a bad idea to dump Freon, aerosols and similar articles into the atmosphere. In both cases, many parts of the world simply did what was needed with no major fuss or any significant long term hardships. Emissions of these quite deadly gases were rapidly controlled. No one was called a Fascist or Maniac for supporting whatever belief one favored.

TOC

Lies, deceptions and a History View

Perhaps the resistance to Global Warming has some roots in Genuine Papaer on Deaththe following: I see a very strange trend occurring in many sectors of today’s world. It is one of increasing tensions, human rights abuses, government deceit and lies, unconventional arms races, highest level crimes, secret agendas, greed, religious terror and plain old fascism trying to sneak in.

The bottom line is a top level struggle for power, national and often personal, using very unethical terrorist style methods. It appears anything goes as much of the public is apathetically and silently standing by. Considering that, it may not be odd that Global Warming became merely a pawn in this frightening struggle. I generally do not buy conspiracy theories, but I do think all of the above fuels the basic human emotion of fear which is blinding a lot of people.

TOC

Old Country Deceit, Wars and Fascism

Europe fought at least 60 wars since 1300, averaging one every 12 years, most lasting several The Last Stepsyears. Perhaps wars were fought 1/3 of the time and a shaky peace held up 2/3 of the time. Casualties are in the hundreds of millions. No country avoided the slaughter; many were almost constantly in conflict. Germany and France lead the charge with England not far behind. Even Poland, the Swedes and the Danes threw their armies in the pot.

Following the collapse of the USSR, many countries reduced their military forces drastically to only support international peace keeping rather than foreign aggression against the home land. After all, who is the enemy?

Amazingly, in spite of the bloody times, Europe laid the foundation for western civilization with incredible feats in arts and industry. The history of betrayal, deception and secrecy is long and colorful. The Europeans are master plotters, negotiators and back stabbers. Here is a short list of events to keep in mind:

  • The conspiracy to murder Julius Caesar in 44 BC – “Et tu Brutus”, “Help, Brothers”, “Villain Casca, what do you do?” No plea stopped the murder, no brother or friend interfered.
  • Florence in the Renaissance – a study in betrayals, double crosses, power struggles. The Italian wars of early 1500s – power struggles, alliances, counter alliances and betrayals. The Republic of Venice – profiteering from the Crusades, exploiting trade controls, devious aristocrats, secret police, you name it.
  • The plays of William Shakespeare – Betrayal, lust, power, egotism, murder and ambition a galore. Or what about Wagner’s Niebelungen Ring: 15 hours of mysticism, Greek drama, Jungian psychology nonsense, alleged socialist critique. This German high romance was favored by Hitler and the Nazis.
  • The 1884 anti-Semitic conviction of Alfred Dreyfus by France based on falsified evidence. The conviction was engineered by the French High Command. Dreyfus spent 12 years on the Devil’s Island till being pardoned after Emile Zola’s intervention “J’ accuse”. He fought in WWI, ended up a Lt. Colonel with a Legion d’Honneur.
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914, marking the start of an escalation leading to WWI. Prinic was one of six Serb assassins in a madcap and bizarre event. Balkan terror started thousands of years ago and is still ongoing.
  • The secret support from the Roman Catholic Church towards Nazi Germany, during and after WWII. The current Pope Benedict XVI enlisted in the Hitler Youth in 1941 and served in the German air defense. Pope Pius XII is widely known as the Nazi Pope with far reaching involvement in favor of the Germans before, during and after WWII.
  • The Holocaust by no means being the only European anti Semitism tragedy. Pogroms occurred in Poland, pre-Hitler Germany, Spain, Britain, Switzerland and Romania, not to mention Ukraine and Russia. Anti-Semitism has a history of at least a thousand years in Europe.
  • The European Jews not being the only ones persecuted. Romans (Gypsies), Armenians, Gays, the mentally ill or handicapped and many others suffered as well. Genocide and ethnic and racial cleansing are age old realities. Today, explosive tensions grow out of difficulties in assimilating new cultures such as “different” immigrants, labor and refugees.
  • Hitler’s 1939 non-aggression pact with Stalin to divide Poland, Finland, Romania and others. Stalin ended up in chock on June 22, 1941 as the Operation Barbarossa attack by Hitler on the Soviet Union commenced.
  • A wave of covert Communist spies originating in the 1930s at upper class English universities, in particular Trinity Hall at Cambridge. Known as the Cambridge Spy Group, John Cairncross, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald McLean, Anthony Blunt and Michael Whitney Straight all spied for the Soviets after rising to significant positions in the British civil service, including in the Foreign Service, MI5 and MI6. The Group was devastatingly successful. Several defected to Moscow after exposure. Oxford University produced its Oxford Spy Group but with far less success than the Cambridge Group.
  • George Blake being another famous spy of the same WWII – early Cold War era, who apparently still lives in Moscow after a successful career for, among others, MI6. Sir Roger Hollis, one time Director of MI5 is a suspect spy of the same mold, as are Peter Ashby, Leo Long, Brian Symon, Goronwy Rees, John Vassall and Victor Rothschild. Quite likely, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The 1970s violent underground terrorist organizations operating in Germany, Italy and elsewhere – The Red Brigade, the Red Faction or the Baader-Meinhof Gang are the most infamous examples. The death toll wasn’t great but the terror factor was effective. Another terror organization, the Gladio, operated under the command of NATO and some national governments.
  • The British fame for its political scandals: the 1912 Marconi scandal – corruption; the 1963 sexual/spy Profumo Affair that sent Jack Profumo from a Minister post to cleaning toilets at an East End charity; architect John Poulson bribed various politicians until exposed in 1972; the 1973 call girl scandal resulting in the fall of Cabinet minister Earl Jellico,; Liberal Party leader and MP Jeremy Thorpe lost his appointments in 1976 after a gay affair and shooting a dog.
  • The more recent British scandals: Edwina Currie’s allegedly conducted a 1984 affair with PM John Major; Author and MP Jeffrey Archer lost his posts in 1999 due to various sex, perjury and fraud accusations; Scottish party leader David McLetchie resigning in 2005 after submitting false travel expenses; Liberal spokesman Mark Oaten stepping down after gay affairs in 2005; and finally, Tony Blair’s possible involvement in the 2006 Cash for Peerage scandal.

Deceptions, betrayals, scandals are not what we like to have in our neighborhoods. We may gawk Bodiesover them as long as it happens far away to someone else. If they impact or approach our laird, we close the hatches, turn off the noise and hide in the basement. “The only good bad news is dead bad news. Turn it off, make it go away.” Fear suddenly becomes real.

It took Stalin a week of isolation in his private basement to admit the Germans actually were attacking him in 1941. Hitler hid in his bunker for weeks during the fall of Berlin, believing his armies would come to his rescue, plotting his fantasy strategies. It took the English decenniums to face up the fact some of their most trusted civil servants were Soviet spies. Some still can’t face the Holocaust. Caesar denied the threat of betrayal even as he died. Harry Truman would not believe Mount St. Helen would blow. It did. The Titanic was unsinkable. She sank.

The World in the 1900s and early 2000s

The Decline of the Old World

The 1900-1914 years saw the last of an old world dominated by aristocrats, monarchs and House of a ChildhoodVictorian influences. European Empires still thrived. Japan won the 1905 war against Russia and started its route towards Asian dominance that would not end for 40 years until it was commercially restarted in the 1950s. Communication devices thrived: the telephone went commercial; the wireless (radio) became increasingly common; the Zeppelin and scheduled steamboats contributed to globalization and trade. Civilization was leaping forward, faster and faster.

War, Social Revolution and Depression

1914 -18 and really into the early 1920s were overwhelmed by first WWI, then the deadly Influenza as well as the Russian Revolution. The German Weimar republic showed signs of democracy. Some countries allowed Path in the Forestfemales to vote. Labor organizations were born. Empires started to crumble. Females entered war production. Things were changing course.

The rest of the 1920s saw hyperinflation, booming stock markets followed by collapses and the start of depressions. Prohibition in the US went up and eventually down, leaving gangster gangs behind. Social attitudes evolved away from Victorian norms to much more permissive behavioral attitudes. Many old authoritarian rules were demolished: Russian Tsars, German and Austrian Emperors, the powerlessness of the “under class”. The Old Way of Things kept crumbling.

The 1930s suffered the deepest depressions in modern times. Germany and Italy became Fascist states. The Soviet showed its true face in a series of famine driven mass murders and various other deadly human rights abuses to the tune of millions murdered. Germany started suppressions of Jews. Japan’s war against China intensified. Left wing Facerepublicans in Spain were annihilated followed by almost 40 years of Fascist government. President Roosevelt introduced the New Deal. Storms were clearly approaching.

Another War and the Final demolishment of Old Powers

1939-1945 was dominated by war in Europe and China. 1941-1945 saw the US become the leading Western warrior and eventual winner. The Soviets won the Eastern part of the war and quickly assembled an empire in Eastern Europe. The US dominated Western Europe and parts of Asia, including temporarily Japan. The Old Order and Imperialism and finally fell apart for ever. Fascism went into hiding.

In the late 1940s, the depression was long over and manufacturing capabilities were revolutionized. Rebuilding Europe took a decade and provided plenty of jobs, partly based on the Marshall Plan. Millions of returning warriors entered the labor and consumer markets. Economic growth followed. The first traces of the Cold War made an entrance. Nuclear weapons started their route to the costliest arms race ever. China is united under Mao. In about 30 years, everything changed. Few traces of the Old Order remained. All human guidelines were new and untested.

A Brief Lull and a Cold War More facces in the dimness

Apart from the Korean War, the French Indochina war, the Hungarian uprising and the Cuban Revolution, the 1950s were mostly a peaceful era of stabilizing the new values. Prosperity and civil calm blossomed. The Cold War thrived and provided economic growth in its arms race. Nuclear warfare was scary but accepted in a naive fashion (“Duck!”). Communist scares on one side (McCarthy and others) and democracy scares elsewhere (Stalin, Khrushchev) caused ripples, serious at the time but without real impact.

All Hell Breaks Loose

In the 1960s, concerns about explosive growth in populations were on the agenda. Man entered Another Atticspace. The Green movement was born. Civil rights became important and deadly. JFK establishes the Peace Corps. The Soviets crushed the Prague Spring. The War in Vietnam became a domestic battle ground and symbol in countless countries. Social upheavals erupted worldwide, in the streets and on the campuses. The French battled students and worker riots. Woodstock became a legend. Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Che Guevara and Malcolm X were all murdered. Mao’s Little Red Book quickly printed 600 million copies. Now we really had some challenges to face. The impact of the 1960s is still with us.

Terror, Oil Crisis and Pollution

The 1970s saw food supplies become an issue and pollution suddenly cost money. Greenpeace was founded. The Pill became commonly used. The 1970s also was the decennium of scarce oil and long waits at the gas stations. Suddenly the price of oil got close to its real value to the shock of a world. AtticNations went to war over fishery grounds. Intel’s first microprocessor hit the market. Pollution started to kill people in earnest. Aircraft hijacking mushroomed. Terrorism spread, in particular in industrial countries. The Munich Olympics Massacre became symbol of mindless killings. Elvis Presley allegedly died. Feminism took off. Gay rights became a movement. The rate of change continued its acceleration.

Environmental disasters, No More Cold War, Political Murders

AIDS started killing millions in the 1980s. Most whaling was stopped. The Bhopal chemical leak Face in the Darkkilled 10,000. The world turned conservative led by Reaganomics and Thacherism. Perestroika, Glasnost and Tiananmen Square became household words. The Berlin Wall fell. The Ozone Holes were discovered. The Chernobyl reactor blew up. Exxon Valdez ran into a reef. The notion of Globalization was popularized. John Lennon was murdered, as were Indira Gandhi and Olof Palme. The Asian Tigers conquered their place in economic history books. The US stock market suffered its Black Monday. Political Correctness was required. El Nino started creating chaos. The World passed yet another decade of horrendous change.

Greed, Me First, Genocides

By the 1990s, Global Warming popped up its ugly head in earnest. Politics moved left, yet capitalismTrain Tracks flourished. The end of the Cold War reunified Germany. India and China started their meteoric ascent. Al Gore’s Internet connected the world as did PCs, CNN and cell phones. Much of Africa descended into civil wars. Genocides became an everyday word. Dolly the sheep was the first official clone. Genetically engineered crops went commercial. The EU was born out of EEC. Economies and dot coms boomed. Stock options and IPOs enriched a few. The Japanese bought most of Hollywood and others, eventually losing billions, ending their invincible air. Changes, changes, will they never stop?

Mutual Terror, Insane Wars, Global Warming, Exuberance, Un-Ethics

Today, in the mid to late first decade of the 2000s, we worry about extreme weather, pandemics and flooding. Social security is running out. Hideous foreigners invading our lands. Crazed but generally unknown or fictional terrorists kill our neighbors. Many obsess whether gay marriage is OK Coloful Abstractsor not. We endured Enron, WorldCom, dot coms, 9/11, a mystical War on Terror and the strangest US President ever. Toyotas and Hondas slaughter Ford and GM. Government ethics fell in a black hole as did human rights. Torture was suddenly OK while stem cells were not. And of course, less taxes for the rich!

The Religious Right and the Neo Con movements gained in strength worldwide. Although some of those gains may have reversed, these people still polarize everything they touch. Black and White. With Us or Against Us. No Middle Ground. We Are Right, You Are Wrong.

The changes do not stop or rest, they fly by at a dizzying pace. Stress is everywhere, too many needin the Night antidepressants, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, Yoga, recovery centers, rehab, therapy, marathon runs, hypnosis, relaxation exercises, self help books, face lifts, tattoos, anti harassment rules, exercise machines, weight programs/pills/food, subconscious tape messages, reality shows, Tums, herbal treatments, nail enhancement, health spas, bleached teeth, botox treatments, Viagra, breast enhancement, Internet porn, perfect abs, alcohol, drugs and a lot more from the billions of dollar “Coping Industry”. Most of these items were completely unknown just 50 years ago, now they are crucial to our well being. Our brains truly must be cooked. This is progress?

Patterns I Don’t Like – Go Away

If you think about it, perhaps you’ll see a pattern in the madness. These up and down events were, and are, caused by the checks and balances present in any system being thrown out of sync. You Three menhave seen the graphs. Things were flat for a million years. Then by 1750, things started to head straight up, be it populations, industrial production, GNP, indoor plumbing, carbon fuels, emissions, concentrations, pollution, space travel, information overload and frenzy, commuting, extinctions, milk prices, IRAs and of course temperatures.

By the 1960s, things really caught up with us. Matters switched into overdrive. Ancient imbalances went critical and all hell broke loose. Who the heck are we to assume the old abuses would never have to be paid for?

No one likes things to be out of whack, out of control. If they are, then life is suddenly uncertain. The future is unclear. Fear is fueled. Denials are easy. “Everything is out of control, in particular, my control. Pile the bad news in the corner over there. Better yet, dump it outside, a few miles down the road. I won’t take it anymore. Go away.”

TOC

The Increasingly Tense World

Tensions – US Approaching Fascism

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are getting away with murder, literally. They also get away with breaking more laws than any White House duo in history, including such abuses as torture, illegal surveillance, violations of human rights and the avoidance of war criminal charges. The White House People in Great Fearis implicated in infinite lies and routinely suppresses the truth on a wide spectrum of major issues.

Of course, part is just upholding a great, longstanding tradition in American politics: that of lying. FDR lied about his WWII plans. Harry Truman lied about the attack on Hiroshima. Eisenhower lied about U2 spy planes over Russia. JFK lied about the Bay of Pigs. Ford lied about JFK’s death. Nixon, isolated and drunk in the White House, regretted his lies but believed Watergate was an invention of his enemies. Reagan lied about the Contra Affair. Bush Sr. lied about taxes. Bill Clinton never had sex with that woman. George W. Bush is a serial liar.

Scooter Libby lied. Duke Cunningham lied. Tom DeLay lied. Colin Powell lied. So did Mark Foley, Bob Packwood, Spiro Agnew, Wilbur Mills, Gary Condit, Joe McCarthy and an endless array of grand government leaders.

More and more political and religious leaders are accused and convicted of crimes. I’ve shown the lists, including the one above, of individuals before. The abuses are not stopping. In March of 2007 Abstract Color Shapesalone we have the conviction of “Scooter” Libby (and by association, Dick Cheney). Alberto Gonzales is exposed as the destroyer of his own Justice Department in a ballet that is implicating the White House. Major damage controls and, you guessed it, more lies are underway.

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal of March 2007 cost some Generals their jobs, but no one else apparently had a clue. Frequent but suppressed accounts of substandard treatments and facilities go back several years but were completely ignored. George W. Bush is currently “deeply troubled” but must have missed the moldy walls on his visits there.

Earlier, George W. Bush, in spite of plenty warnings, botched Hurricane Katrina responses for days and months if not longer, never admitting failure. “We’re fully prepared”, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees”, “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job”. Bush: on vacation. Cheney: on vacation. Bad phone lines. Lies. Failures. No accountability.

In 2001, it took George W. Bush and Dick Cheney hours if not weeks to face 9/11. They still do not, nor will they ever, understand 9/11. They are clueless about the meaning of terrorism. They believe the Muslim World collectively attacked the Towers and the Pentagon. So they declared war on Islam, under a thin veil of “terrorism”.

Check my War on Terror posts for details and many more opinions: A Building

The truth is maybe a few dozen Mideast individuals were involved in 9/11 out of 414 million Mideasterners or 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. 10 million Muslims live in the United States, none of which are known to be involved in 9/11 or terrorism. Now the number of Muslims detesting the United States has skyrocketed. Devastating two Islam countries facing civil wars for years to come do not make things better. New armies of terrorists make their bombs, strap them on and envision a next life rewarded with true virgins. The next lives of their victims are not known.

As the Bush and Cheney duo looked the wrong way two new renegade nuclear powers (to be) popped up. Then the duo support a nuclear arms race in India and Pakistan. As the whole Mideast is falling apart, war with Syria, Iran and North Korea are real possibilities.

Bush and Cheney refuse to accept or even acknowledge the reality of failures in Iraq, Iran, North Korea or Afghanistan. They hide the facts and live their fantasy while dismissing the urgent messages from those who know.

Never will they admit the lies, deceptions, mistakes, betrayals and ignorance leading to the Iraq invasion. They lie about going to war, about WMD, Saddam’s Face Inside Starinvolvement in 9/11, terrorism, Global Warming, energy, over friendly lobbyists, special interests, industry and corporate pals, civil rights, human rights, US attorneys and CIA in an endless morass.

US Democrats and all Presidential candidates have shown their complacency. The Democrats are in power in Congress. Yet, no real action is underway in fighting Global Warming, stopping the Iraq war or rolling back Bush’s illegalities. Not one Presidential candidate has the guts to deviate from the official “support our troops” blasphemy. Support them by exposing them to death? By making them targets in a civil war of no meaning to any national interests (except to a few very rich companies)? Why are US soldiers forced to sacrifice their lives for the profits of oil companies?

The American people largely have turned a blind eye to these disgraces. In the past, such abuses led to protests – not any more: it’s just too many things to deal with in today’s society. No one can keep up. The four year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war resulted in some protest demonstrations. They rated maybe two paragraphs next to the Classifieds in the news. Face in History

Are you surprised Bush and Cheney are botching Global Warming? Are you surprised they falsify and suppress the truth about climate change both to the people and to Congress? Do you realize they single handedly can actually cause mass death? This may affect you.

No one will trust such leaders, their judgment, their ability to do the right things or their ability to protect rather than kill. The result? Fear. Add Global Warming to all the other messes and brains shut down. Most of us end up in protective denial, the closer we are to the horrors. “Enough is enough. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. Stay away from me. Go away. Adios Global Warming”. Some retreat into contrarian, “Skeptic” views and yell as loudly as possible “It just ain’t true”.

Will the US accept its Global Warming responsibility? Not with this President. Not with this Congress. Not till it’s too late. Or hopefully, not quite too late.

TOC

Tensions – Democracy Out, Totalitarianism In

Russia and several former Soviet Republics are slipping into Neo Fascism. Most early democratic reforms are gone by now. Old Soviet (or new) hard liners are back in power. Free press and media in general are history. Putin shows his KGB background.

Russia is building up its new weapon, energy, as a new way to hold Europe and others under the gun. Where the Warsaw Pact failed, the energy weapon might succeed. Russia will be back as a formidable power, this time backed by reality, not by central planning formulas. They will not be a Conductorsdemocratic showcase.

Ukraine is a confused mix of Pro-Russia and Pro-Western influences. Georgia went through civil war ending up in the same ideological struggle as did many of the ex Soviet republics. Belarus remains a hard line outpost. Chetnya, of course, is simply a terrorist/freedom fighter war ground. All the ex Soviet Republics are in a tense struggle of fascism versus not democracy but pro Western or Pro Russian alignment.

Several Eastern European countries, long viewed as new born democratic stars, are slipping backwards towards the old hardliner school of politics. In the Czech Republic, the Communist Party holds an important swing vote, preventing stable governments. The President – Václav Klaus – maintains close contacts with the Communists with a background of corruption. Klaus, incidentally, recently jumped on the anti-Global Warming band wagon. Hungary is ruled by “Socialists”, in spite of a recent scandal involving the government lying to the people. The people rioted and forced the exit of the PM. Most Romanian politicians are former members of the Communist Party. Likewise, “Socialists” rule Bulgaria.

Iraq, Syria, Palestine prove beyond doubt the shortcomings of democracy. No one sees a democratic future in Iraq as once proudly, naively and groundlessly seen by Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney. Few No Escapeeven believe there is a future Iraq. Iraq likely will end up split into various ethnically cleansed areas under control of Iran, Syria and Turkey. Iraqi oil revenues? That’s the real battle ground. My bet is on the oil companies.

Syria, one of the oldest civilizations on earth, is not known for democratic ambitions but plenty of militant policies. Neither is Iran or Turkey.

The Palestine Territories are a paralyzed mix of competing forces that make no sense to outsiders. Bush maintains victory is around the corner while infuriating every Arab state by blindly supporting Israeli power tactics, such as using cluster bombs on civilians. There is no stability in sight in any part of this region.

Global Warming will receive little attention in these countries. Russia and Eastern Europe may pay lip service but not much more. The Mideast with its highly polluting oil industry will look forward to CER subsidies but not drastic or even modest changes.

Tensions – Economic Warfare and Blackmail

China and India both evolve towards domination through unfair practices. Both claim the right to special entitlements simply by “or else” or “screw you” tactics. China uses its imaginary “one child” policy to defend its lethal – to the whole world – pollution of everything from the air to the deepest oceans. India argues along the same lines. Both ignore the fact they are subject to a heavily industrialized sector that should be treated the same as any industrial area. Then there is a huge Restless Soulsnon-industrial area that should be protected. This distinction is not on the table but is crucial to managing the Global Warming disaster both these countries are creating. A power plant is a power plant whether in Belgium, China or India. Equal treatment.

North Korea and Iran successfully blackmail the world using the threat of nuclear weapons. They insinuate warfare against neighbor countries, especially Israel and Japan. North Korea may have an ICBM capable of reaching US soil in the foreseeable future. They already have the rockets to hit Japan. Iran probably can target Israel while not yet having a war head. In fairness, prior US administrations did not do much to resolve these two threats. But Bush has dragged his feet for six years. It just proves to the world the vulnerability and weakness of the US as it struggles to source its war in Iraq. The question is who is next to overturn the nuclear cart?

Global Warming? Not a likely priority in these places by any measure.

Tensions – The Militant Right Wing Islamic

The Religious Right of Islam has a hold to varying degree in most parts of the Muslim world, supporting strict Islamic laws. The countries affected share the characteristics of any extremist Water Liliescountry: tense international relations including isolation, hatred of the US and democracies in general, militant postures and, internally, human rights abuses and suppression of most modern life styles. Some support international terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, Palestinian Hamas or Hitzbullah in Lebanon and Iraqi insurgents.

The Iranian Supreme Leader is an Ayatollah who is the religious source of real power. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is elected President with some power but Iran is a theocratic country. Relations with Europe improved but are now marred by Holocaust denials and the nuclear issue. International relations are extremely tense. Relations with the US are practically nonexistent and subject to demagogic extremes and brinkmanship.

Other countries or factions maintain similar Islamic theocracy and practice hard line Islamic laws and customs. Examples include pre-invasion and the probable future The Other SideAfghanistan (Taliban), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Pakistan, parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria. Factions of war torn Somalia and many Iraq insurgents are led by religious Islam leaders. The strictness of the Islamic “purity” may vary. Often, there are mounting tensions within the theocratic country longing for a freer, more modern life style (e.g., Iran). The penalties due to poor international relations are significant and contribute to internal pressures. Yet, the religious power is very strong and will not go away.

One thing is clear: Global Warming will not be a concern of the ruling class in these countries.

Tensions Are Not Good for Me – Stay Away

“I need tensions like a hole in my head. I sure don’t need any more. Who are all these weirdoes piling it up on me? It used to be so simple. Apple pie and roast. Mummy in the kitchen. Fresh Firebirdcookies. No tensions.”

The world these days is next door. Instant communication is everywhere and “all of it is bad news about things I don’t care about. I don’t want it. I already have my fears, my worries, my tensions and problems. Paying bills, not getting fired, staying healthy and providing for the family”.

“Now they say I cause Global Warming and earth will blow up. Thank you, but I already have a head ache. You’re last in line. I’ll never get to you. I don’t want to get to you. Arnold in California will make you go away. Besides, it’s freezing outside. Global Warming, huh? Nah.”

TOC

Unity or the Lack Thereof

Let’s put the fear factor aside for a bit and look at some more tangible examples such as the IPCC and Stern Reports. It turns out that while almost all agree that these reports are terrifically fantastic, no one, except perhaps the EU internally, seems to agree on what to do except push the same old private agendas:

The Europeans (February 2007 Version)

  • Take Jacques Chirac, President of France, who hosted the meeting in Paris. He, on the last day, promoted his own idea to create a new agency handling Global Warming in a manner more to his liking – partly a forum to insult the US, it seems. 45 nations, such as Algeria, Ecuador, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Seychelles, Gabon and Burundi apparently responded favorably to his proposal although its mission remains completely unclear. The UN responded that organizational changes are less important than actual actions.
  • The Italian PM wants urgent global carbon taxes and promotes his own ideas of a new UN organization for Global Warming (see point above).
  • Then, we have the Bush, President of the US, rejection of everything the meeting accomplished. Of course, the US boycotted the Chirac new agency idea as fast as it dumped the report.
  • The new Conservative PM of Sweden declared that Swedish emissions are already so tiny that no further action was required but offered to send its compliance money to China. Sweden seems to have backtracked completely, in fact advocating tighter emission targets than EU in general.
  • German Chancellor Merkel’s government, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has threatened to block an EU attempt to impose a general emission reduction on the auto sector, insisting the size of cars must be taken into consideration.
  • EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called on Germany — Europe’s largest economy — to put more efforts behind its promises to combat climate change, saying the nation had failed so far to take a leading role in fighting global warming.

The Europeans (March 2007 Version)

  • In late February, EU proposes 20-30% reductions in emissions by 2020 by its members and asks for others to follow the path. Proposals are ignored by the US, China and India.
  • EU approves of the proposal at a Summit in March 2007.
  • The UK unilaterally commits to 60% reductions by 2050.
  • Presumably, the French and Italians individual proposals are now abandoned.
  • These points will be addressed in the next sections.

Others

  • The Australian Ecology Minister stated that the Report’s science is important but does not add anything new [to convince Australia to comply with mandatory emission ceilings].
  • China responded to the IPCC report by defending their emissions: “China has low per capita emissions and that developed countries must take responsibility for the damage they create.”; “As a developing country with a rapidly growing economy and a big population, to use clean energy would need a lot of money.”; China declined to say whether Beijing would be willing to place caps on its own emissions.
  • The Indian government is not worried as of February 3, 2007. “It is too premature to talk of policy implications based on this report,” said Prodipto Ghosh, secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests. He said the report has to go through several steps of scientific peer review before being translated into policy.
  • “To avert the catastrophic effects of continued global warming, such as desertification of the Amazon rain forest, all countries both rich and poor must do a part”, Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva said. But then: “It is not pertinent to place environmental concerns in opposition to economic development and vice-versa.”.
  • Kenneth Green of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, allegedly sent a letter offering $10,000 to scientists and economists to “undermine” the panel’s report. Mr. Green complains he never used the word “undermine”. Is this a WamingGate deal? Mysteries and scandals abound.
  • Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the U.N. report was written and edited by government officials: “This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain.”

Senator Inhole, R-Okla., always amazes me. Remember Baghdad Bob? He also amazed and amused me in a tragic manner. Then we have Le Président Glorieux Chirac (now retiring) Burning Manwho forgets that his own country is not complying with the emission requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. The French excuse is its heavy investment in nuclear energy which does not emit GHGs.

The French and Italian initiative may have died a peaceful death given the recent EU near unity on a passed proposal coordinating strict emission targets for 2020. Chirac leaving office contributes to unity. In late February 2007, the EU made public a plan amounting to serious CO2 emission reductions, such as 20% by 2020 compared to the 1990 levels or 30% if non-EU countries, notably the US, followed the lead. This is an important step if indeed it is based on real commitment. Some view the proposal simply as a bargaining chip in the face of an updated Kyoto Protocol going beyond the current limit of 2012 as well as an attempt to dominate the commercial market for emission control. The plan was passed at a March 2007 EU Summit.

The objections to taking action of most countries really say “We are not emitting very much compared to So-and-so and therefore do not need to, or cannot, reduce our miniscule emissions”. That is a completely flawed argument. Emission caps address specific carbon intensive practices and industries. They do not punish other parts of the economies, whether based on nuclear energy in France or the modest lives of billions of Chinese or Indian farmers. If the targets do affect complying areas of the nationaLast Walk Mother Childrenl economies, then they should be corrected. If there are no targets for non-compliant sectors, then there should be.

There is no difference between dirty coal burning power plants in China, excessive use of air conditioners in the US, disastrous energy developments in Russia or the Arctic, gas guzzling Autobahn car races in Germany or forestry practices in Indonesia. These practices all emit GHGs which can be reduced below set targets. All should be subject to similar, equitable rules. Many practices are, or are intended to be, capped in Annex 1 countries; none are in Non Annex 1 countries. That is not equitable. Emissions are emissions. Whatever causes the emissions is similar everywhere. The profits are comparable. They should be treated consistently with out excuses based on some other economic segment.

TOC

Europe Revisited

The UK is getting real about Global Warming by outlining binding legislation to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050. The Bill also sets targets of 26-32% cuts by 2020. Parts of the opposition favor 80% cuts, or even 90%. Government assistance will enable insulation of 8 million homes over the next ten years. UK is on track to meet all Kyoto Protocol goals. Government officials stressed the DespairUK’s leadership in the War on Global Warming with a clear eye towards the lack of leadership or action from the US.

Simultaneously, The UK enters direct cooperation with California, bypassing the inertia of George W. Bush. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californian maverick, called Tony Blair an action hero for inspiring the introduction of a law committing California to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Mr. Schwarzenegger said: “It is very clear the Prime Minister has been a great inspiration to many, many countries all over the world… I think he is a pioneer, because he has had the guts to sign the Kyoto treaty and to show to the world that you can protect the environment and protect the economy at the same time.”

Have the Blair or California Governments gone insane? Won’t this madness bankrupt the whole world (or the US as Mr. Bush claims without proof)? Of course not, the UK hopes to make big money on its leadership. They have key parts of the technology to make reductions of this magnitude possible. So do others, including the EU, US and California in particular. If you view these emission reduction plans as some form of misbegotten charity, you are very Handsmuch on the wrong track. Incidentally, California is not the only state bypassing Bush to enter overseas cooperation and to pursue independent Global Warming and energy policies.

And as I covered in the post “Sauerkraut, Bourgogne, Bangers“, the EU is continuing its path towards 20% emission reductions by 2020. An EU summit in early March 2007 approved the original proposal. More leaks of the upcoming April IPCC report about the consequences of Global Warming led to my post “The Bleakest Outlook Yet”. Optimistic those UN folks are not. Some of you might enjoy my take on Ann Coulter “To Ann Coulter” after she used the Faggot word referring to John Edwards, who, by the way, is looking to define himself as a Global Warming advocate. Also recently published, the main post “Just Too Many of You” deals with a variety of issues, most related to how Global Warming relates to populations or, more precisely, you and me.

If the world follows the initiatives of the EU, the UK and California, then the issue of Global Warming will be resolved in our – mankind’s – favor. If, on the other hand, the US, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil continues to destroy the world, then we face extinction.

TOC

The Final Word

That is where things stand. Tensions, ignorance, pressures, greed and envy, lies and deceptions, inertia and overloading and, not least, Modern Life. It’s a long list to overcome. Can it be done? Compare today to the Londoners during the Nazi Blitz. Think about the Hamburgians during the Allied fire bombings. Did you ever experience the Hungarian or Czech barehanded uprisings against the Soviet tanks? Consider The Tiananmen Square protests in face of massive troops and tanks? Did you see Boris Yeltsin single handedly preventing the return of Soviet hardliners? Do you remember the Civil Rights workers in Man in the CampMississippi just 40 years ago or Rosa Parks 50 years ago?

Simple isn’t it. All we have to do is rise to the occasion. Of course, we may have to live a bit more frugally. There might be hardships. Perhaps it won’t go all my way. We may not even succeed. We are probably doomed. It’s hopeless. I can’t take it any more. Go away.

Let’s hope that’s not how it will play out. Mankind will pick up the ball and run. Don’t you think?

TOC

Next and Previous

Here is a summary of the nine main posts in the essay. Navigation links are located just below the summary.

GlobalWarming:1 discusses why Global Warming happened, who and what causes it, ending up with a list of villains. It did not go into the consequences of Global Warming. There was no Face of a Mandiscussion of impacts on the oceans, the Arctic, Greenland, El Nino, ecosystems, the weather, tundra and ice packs. The Kyoto Protocol or the Stern reports or other Global Warming topics were not covered. That is yet to come.

GlobalWarming:2 covers two main subjects. The UN provides a real mixed bag of positive and negative influences on the fight against Global Warming. The positive is that they try, have some credibility and many resources. The negative is that they fail. The current versions of the Kyoto Protocol and its associated reports do not reduce emissions. The CER system causes more harm than good. Solutions exist but are not acted on. Industrial strategies and national policies do little to reduce Global Warming – in fact, the opposite is often true in spite of rhetorical lip service.

Global Warming:3 examines the basic root cause of our problem: rising temperatures. Is the increase real and does it matter? Is it natural or caused by man? Are the temperatures unusual compared to history? Do GHGs actually cause the increase? What can past temperature variations tell us about what we face today? Can you even trust the basic data and analysis of temperatures? The post answers those and other questions in exuberant detail.

GlobalWarming:4 notes that Global Warming is not the first disaster forecast ever done, published and hyped. There were many in the past and as a rule they failed. The disaster in question simply did not happen because extending some historical trend into the future does not Face and a Handwork – trends change. So the question is – why is this particular doom and gloom outlook right? What is different this time? As you will see, plenty is different.

GlobalWarming:5 reviews the role and issues of population growth. This is a vital issue for future emissions as shown in GlobalWarming:1. Historically over the past 250 years, the explosive growth in populations explains two thirds of the increase in GHG emissions. The rise in personal carbon use must be reversed as must other issues related to unbalanced growth in populations.

The current GlobalWarming:6 probes why Global Warming turned into a polarizing mess. History plays a role. Emotions such as fear impacts judgments. Lack of perspective is limiting true understanding. Lack of knowledge and clouded judgments don’t help. Many agendas are hidden from view. Rarely in human history have so many ignored so simple requirements for no good reason.

GlobalWarming:7 summarizes some important and a few not so important opinions on Global Warming. Global Warming is a battle ground, galvanizing the left against the right, neo conservatists against liberals, Shadowsthe sane against those not quite sane, the religious right against evangelists, politicians against constituents, reactionaries against activists, bloggers against bloggers, late show hosts against ratings, journalists against circulations, spokespersons against skeptics and, not least, scientists against scientists. This post contains a small sample of the rare truth, accusations, biases, opinions and propaganda thrown left and right, up and down.

GlobalWarming:8 is perhaps the meat of this series. It gets into the details of what is happening right now in the some 25 different real life areas. The true impacts of Global Warming range from ocean bottoms to mountain tops, from oil fields to highways, from tundra to tropics and from farm fields to smoke stacks. These items are not forecasts, assumptions or opinions but verifiable hard facts. The picture is indicative of your, and my, future. The earthly signs get worse by the day.

GlobalWarming:9 paints three scenarios (not forecasts) of what might happen in the future. There are pessimistic, optimistic and middle of the road pictures. The three scenarios use simple, common sense assumptions, veryFemales in Camp different from the elaborate, multi million $ systems enjoyed by the UN, the Stern Report, EPA and others. The big systems rely on myriads of assumptions as input, many of which aren’t really known and/or subject to lots of complexity. I favor the KISS approach.

I’m by no means competing with the “big” studies or the smart people putting them together. I used to be a forecasting guru working for the UN, the World Bank, FAO, OECD, the EU and many Fortune 500 companies. I guess I have a right to an opinion. No one is required to consider my views.

I am completely nonaffiliated. No political party enjoys (or wants) my support. I have no axe to grind. I receive no monetary compensations, grants or sponsorships. There are no PayPal buttons on these pages. I have no obligations to fulfill. Office politics do not thrive around here. I promote no agendas except my own – the survival of us all. Occasionally, I put up some of the photos from my portfolios and my photo business.

GlobalWarming:7-9 will follow together with other commentaries and follow ups. Hang in there. The links below help you navigate this monster essay. It’s all quite important to your health.

Thank you. Karl


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TOC

 

 

A Temporary Link Target

Marching off in Seattle

 


Sorry, the next releases are not quite ready yet. They will be online shortly. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get automatic notification or check back soon


TOC

Too many of you demand too much. You emit unprecedented and unsustainable amounts of carbon gases. You deplete nonrenewable resources. How many people can earth sustain and for how long? How much mismanagement is allowed? The air, oceans and lands can only provide, and take, so much. All resources are constrained, including food, energy and earth’s capacity of handling pollution. Howard Beale

We, politically and personally, must start dealing with this climate thing. Check out my recent post “The Bleakest Outlook Yet” and you’ll see why. Too much time is spent arguing trivia or grandstanding trifles. Energy is wasted blaming this, that or someone, defending imaginary turfs, plotting petty deceptions and delivering meaningless rhetoric.

There may be a few occasional bright spots but they are far too dim and rare. Over the last few months, the frivolous and childish ploys exploded in mass media and on the web. It is the last thing we need. It is time to get mad.

Scene from a Classic

Howard Beale of the movie classic “Network” famously rants at the top of his rage:

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy. I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I want you to get mad! You’ve gotta say, Howard Beale of Network showing his rage“I’m a human being, goddamn it! My life has value.” I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,”

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”

Try it on; it may save your life or even your sanity. Perhaps some one will listen. OK. All right, I know. I’ll return from the land of fantasy and try to behave. Back to order. It sure is a great movie, though. It fits our subject like a glove, in my not so humble opinion.

TOC

Back to Order

Sustainable populations and survivability are some of the most studied and argued subjects on Earth. It’s covered by a slew of academic specialties from demographics to sociology and economics to geography. The issues of growth are well known and there are policies in place to manage some aspects of “it’s just too many of you”. One major unresolved issue is how Global Warming affects the growth – or decline – in populations. An equally vital issue is the impact of population growth on emissions of greenhouse gases. The stream flows both ways.Woman waiting for better climate

Today’s world population of 6.6 billion may swell to 9 billion by 2050-2075 time frames. Most of the growth will be in the less developed countries. Estimates of sustainable population levels vary from 6 to 10 billion. Population forecasting has had their share of doomsday practitioners. Such dire outlooks have been, so far, embarrassingly off target like most disaster outlooks. That does not mean that we can ignore the impact of 6.6 billion people, growing quite rapidly.

While populations and Global Warming are the main subjects of this post, the scope is a bit wider. The world changed dramatically in the last 50 years. The rate of that change went off the chart. Complexity and interactions multiplied. We went from a small town society to a global hegemony. Issues previously unknown to the common man suddenly hit him in the face and the wallet.

It is not enough to only know the role of populations and emissions in Global Warming. The whole picture must be viewed, tackled, put in context and understood. Skeptics are right for the wrong reason when they say there is no such thing as Global Warming. Global Warming is just one of many factors that interact to create our future or lack thereof. The problem of smokestacks pouring out carbon dioxide must be viewed in light of what is happening in the world.

I’ll do what I can to make some sense out of this mess. That’s the goal of this huge multi part essay.

Tables of Contents and Other Stuff

This essay is split up in several individual posts. The following introduction simplifies navigation through the mass of material. If you have been following the series, you may (or not) want to skip right to the main content to avoid repetition. If so, hit the “Bypass” below. If you are new to the series, you may want to 1) start at the beginning of the series using this link: “Culprits, Scoundrels and Villains” or 2) check out the table of content and other explanations of what this is all about – just read on. The TOC button brings you to the essay’s Table of Contents.

TOC ByPass

About the Essay and Its Eight Main Parts

The essay is split into eight main posts due to its size. Click here for more details on each post.

  • The first main post examines the basic reasons why we ended up in this dreadful mess.
  • The second main post covers the political and UN scene.
  • The third main post deals with rising temperatures.
  • The “Sauerkraut” post dives into Europe and its mysteries.
  • The fourth main post bares secrets about the forecasting business.
  • The “Ann Coulter” post made some fun out of America’s favorite fascist.
  • The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” previews the April 2007 UN IPCC Report
  • The “Quick News” issue of 3-14-2007 updated you on British, EU and other news.
  • The present fifth main post explains the issues due to rising populations.
  • The sixth main post discloses public and not so public opinions on Global Warming
  • The seventh main post looks at the very real effects of Global Warming already present.
  • The eight main post explores possible outcomes: cure or disaster?

Additional posts cover special subjects, comments and news. The “Sauerkraut” post looks at Europe and its peculiar history of early tribes, wars and more wars, deceit, Fuehrers, Generalissimos, Emperors, Kings and Queens, imperialism, strange food, democracy and greed, finally ending up as the world’s largest market. The post looks at how all of that, more or less, relates to Global Warming. The post also evaluates, in detail, the recent EU proposal to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020. Nuit Noir in the City

I couldn’t resist doing a piece on Ann Coulter. She makes a splendid living out of out-chock-jocking Howard Stern, Bill O’Reilly, Geraldo, Moammar al-Ghadafi, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pat Robinson, Hugo Chavez, Baghdad Bob, Joseph Goebbels and Dick Cheney all at once. You gotta admire ignorant persistence and ambition. Doing anything for a buck, she certainly managed to become America’s favorite fascist. Why not?

The “Bleakest Outlook Yet” is precisely that. There is nothing fun about this preview of the next UN IPCC report “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. These reports are getting more and more alarming which is truly scary. All prior reports have underestimated the impact of climate change.

The “Quick News” feature may become a regular service to keep us all up to date on recent news and to call the BS floating around.

TOC

Table of Contents

An elaborate link and TOC (Table of Content) system helps you get around the mass of material in this essay of eight main posts. Use it to find what is of your most immediate interest. Just above, there is a TOC button that lets you enter the navigation system. Enjoy.

TOC

Odes, Ballads, Songs and Arias

This essay contains real life mini stories. They describe usually small, even insignificant, effects of Global Warming. The aim is to make you consider reality, survival, pain and your own future. I cite simple stories about how some of us (humans, animals, plants, oceans and everything else) are already in, or cause, deep trouble. Here are links to the various little puzzle pieces:

TOC

Images in this essay

The photos in this post are devoted to people, considering that is what makes up the somewhat Man at a Windowabstract concept of “populations”. Most of the photos are from my own portfolios. I produced the factual graphs from my own databases which combine data from many sources into a reasonably complete and consistent set.

This blog, its design, text content (except quotes from others) and my own images and graphs are copyright © Leading Design, Inc 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved. I make absolutely no claims on images or quotes originating in other sources.

TOC

Songs and Carols – Ode to an Ancient Past

Let’s start with a mini story – The Ode to an Ancient Past. Researchers found a huge abnormality in Earth’s climate 55 million years ago. Temperatures soared related to a massive outpour of carbon gases. Here is the Ode to an Ancient Past:

The event (PETM) happened 55 million years ago. It was caused by a massive release of carbon, possibly from volcanic eruptions, massive fires, huge burps of methane gas or plant material. The greenhouse effect increased temperatures five to eight degrees Celsius for around 10,000 years. This has been known and researched for years.

The higher temperatures remained for the next 170,000 years. The North Pole weather was similar to that of today’s Florida. “If the climate was as insensitive to GHGs as the skeptics claim, there would be no way to make the Earth so warm for so long”.

The world’s ocean current system did a U-turn. Before the event, deep water up welled in the southern hemisphere; over about 40,000 years, the source of this up welling shifted to the northern hemisphere; it took another 100,000 years before recovering completely.

Ocean acidification likely caused a mass extinction of phytoplankton by reducing the availability of carbonate ions necessary for marine organisms to build calcium carbonate shells and exoskeletons.Ancient primate

There was ecological devastation, but new species rose from the ashes. Our ancient primate ancestors were winners (picture). The first true members of this group appeared virtually simultaneously in Asia, Europe and North America some 55 million years ago. The whole dispersal event happened within about 25,000 years. New research indicates that sudden, rapid global warming drove the dispersal.

In Wyoming, USA, animals such as giant horned bunnies arrived, the size of small elephants that eventually went extinct, but may be a close cousin of today’s rabbits. Other new species include ancestors of hoofed animals such as deer, pigs and camels, and a group that includes rhinos, tapirs and the dawn horse. Wyoming climate was sub-tropical at the time.

Our current carbon dioxide emissions are risking biological, chemical, and climate changes of a magnitude that has not been seen for more than 50 million years. We must develop the clean energy sources that can provide for economic growth and development without risking the natural world that is our endowment.

Isn’t it ironic that the last big Global Warming helped create mankind while the current version may make us extinct? The reason, of course, is that today’s humans, aka couch potatoes, are far less resilient than our forefathers. Who knows what might replace us, though. Will it be a new super species, if it comes to that bleak – for humans – stage? It appears spiders are quite resilient creatures. Are they the next rulers? Or will our luck keep up for a few more thousands of years?

TOC

Fantasy and Reality

Mankind evolved through three major phases. The first was the ancient inventions of hunting and associated tools. That sustained the early people for thousands of years. Then agriculture was discovered, leading to settlements and a lot more comforts. Finally, machines extended humans to produce seemingly endless goods, satisfying newly created demands and starting a race towards limitless standards of living. This development led to massive growth in populations. The growth in populations and technology led to Global Warming.Ghost Image by the Stairs

Realities were never considered in these “mammoth leaps forward”. The price of cultivating farm land was mainly sweat till fertilizers came along. The price of fishing was also mostly sweat and eventually fuel. The price of putting up and running a textile mill was building materials and then labor and raw materials at a cost that did not reflect eventual scarcities. If you thought supplies were indeed unlimited, why worry about depletion?

Artificially low prices created enormous imbalances relative to population growth. Raw materials were extracted and consumed without applying a price on its non renewable status. Waste products were produced and dumped without considering the cost of pollution. Farm lands and urbanization developed without accounting for the price of destroying long standing, sensitive ecosystems that make life possible. No charge was applied to filling the atmosphere with a deadly mix of warming and cooling gases, plain poisons, smog agents, ozone killers and no one knows what else.

Finally, two other major imbalances will affect our future. The first is the huge imbalance in incomes between less developed and industrial nations. The second is the differential in population growth; poor countries let their populations multiply while high income countries experience much lower growth or even declines. These two imbalances will create migration and social issues on an unprecedented scale.

TOC

Nothing Stays the Same

The hidden laissez-faire problems piled up for thousands of years. Now, they caught up with us, seemingly without warning. The rate of change jumped way up. Trends oscillated from left to right, top to bottom. Suddenly, the whole world was visible to, and ruling, us all. Tensions multiplied. Raw Actor Moving His Handsmaterials showed signs of running out, pollution killed real folks, Global Cooling and Warming played hell with our fears.

In the 1960s, concerns about explosive growth in populations were on the agenda. Man entered space. Social upheavals were common. The Green movement was born. Civil rights became important. JFK establishes the Peace Corps. The Soviets crushed the Prague Spring. The French battled students and worker riots. Woodstock became a legend. Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Che Guevara and Malcolm X were all murdered. Mao’s Little Red Book quickly printed 600 million copies.

In the 1970s food supplies became an issue and pollution suddenly cost money. Greenpeace was founded. The Pill became commonly used. The 1970s also was the decennium of scarce oil and long waits at the gas stations. Suddenly the price of oil got close to its real value to the shock of a world. Nations went to war over fishery supplies. Intel’s first microprocessor hit the market. Pollution started to kill people in earnest. Aircraft hijacking mushroomed. Terrorism spread, in particular in industrial countries. The Munich Olympics Massacre became symbol of mindless killings. Elvis Laughing WomanPresley allegedly died. Feminism took off. Gay rights became a movement.

In the 1980s, AIDS started killing millions. Most whaling was stopped. The Bhopal chemical leak killed 10,000. The world turned conservative led by Reaganomics and Thacherism. Perestroika, Glasnost and Tiananmen Square became household words. The Berlin Wall fell. The Ozone Holes were discovered. The Chernobyl reactor blew up. Exxon Valdez ran into a reef. The notion of Globalization was popularized. John Lennon was murdered, as were Indira Gandhi and Olof Palme. The Asian Tigers conquered their place in economic history books. The US stock market suffered its Black Monday. Political Correctness was required. El Nino started creating chaos.

In the 1990s, Global Warming popped up its ugly head in earnest. Politics moved left, yet capitalism flourished. The end of the Cold War reunified Germany. India and China started their meteoric ascent. Al Gore’s Internet connected the world as did PCs, CNN and cell phones. Much of Africa descended into civil wars. Genocides became an everyday word. Dolly the sheep was the first official clone. Genetically engineered crops went commercial. The EU was born out of EEC. Economies and dot coms boomed. Stock options and IPOs enriched a few. The Japanese bought most of Hollywood Another LKaughing Womanand others, eventually losing billions, ending their invincible air.

Today, in the mid to late first decade of the 2000s, we worry about extreme weather, pandemics, flooding, social security, hideous foreigners invading our lands, crazed but generally unknown or fictional terrorists killing our neighbors and whether gay marriage is OK or not. We remember Enron, WorldCom, dot coms, 9/11, a mystical War on Terror, the strangest US President ever diminishing the power of the US across the world and Toyotas and Hondas slaughtering Ford and GM.

If you think about it, perhaps you’ll see a pattern in the madness. These up and down events and problems were, and are, caused by the checks and balances present in any system being thrown out of sync. You have seen the graphs. Things were flat for a million years. Then by 1750, things started to head straight up, be it populations, industrial production, GNP, indoor plumbing, carbon fuels, emissions, concentrations, pollution, space travel, commuting, extinctions, milk prices and of course temperatures. By the 1960s, things caught up with us. Matters switched into overdrive. Ancient imbalances went critical and all hell broke loose. Who the heck are we to assume the old abuses would never have to be paid for?

TOC

Fish Stories: Cod Catches and War

Atlantic Cod

Take North Atlantic cod fisheries as an example. Viewed as being of unlimited supply for over 1,000 years, cod was over fished as no price applied to depletion or management. Rising populations enjoyed great and cheap food. Then suddenly the demand/supply balance caught up with reality. Cod Liver Oil - The Scare of All ChidlrenThe supply of cod went cold. The price of cod abruptly was infinite on many traditional, especially Canadian, fishing grounds. No matter what the price, the fish was no longer there. Fishermen lost their livelihood; in Canada alone 40,000.

Alaskan Pollack and other fishes became staples. But now the fisheries are more regulated. Some lessons were learnt. No longer is infinite supply assumed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Grand Banks, Labrador and Newfoundland still lack cod after almost fifteen years. Russians are still over fishing the Barents Sea. North Sea cod fisheries are collapsing as you read this.

Other, more regulated cod fishing grounds are still thriving. Icelandic catches are strong. Of course, Iceland furiously defended their grounds in the Cod War of the 1970s. Little Iceland effectively defeated the Royal Navy of the British Isles. Many fishermen in Hull and other British ports suddenlyFish and Chips UK Style lost their livelihoods.

I bet you didn’t think anyone could go to war over cod, did you? Especially since it produces the most hellishly bad testing item on earth – cod liver oil, given to children as punishment for their sins and occasional illnesses. Well, the war happened, but it really wasn’t much of a war. I don’t think anyone was actually hurt. Some damage was made to vessels in a series of close encounters between the brave lads of Iceland and the equally brave lads of England with everyone freezing their butts off in the icy waters off Iceland.

Yet, here is what happened:

  • For ages, cod fisheries weren’t as good is in the past. Alarming to both Iceland with a whole economy depending on the ugly thing and England not ready to let go of Fish And Chips (Fish’n’Chips or Fish Supper), that long time staple of its cuisine.
  • Then, the 1970s came along with an even more alarming outlook – the cod is disappearing! And the Icelanders saw the few remaining fish caught by vile foreigners. It was THEIR fish, damn it. So the Icelanders declared their fishing grounds extended out 200 miles from their coast line. No one was allowed fishing inside except the brave lads of Iceland.
  • The British trawlers said, hell with you and proceeded to fish as if nothing had happened. Big mistake. The Icelanders called in their Navy, or Coast Guard as they call it, which is actually, at the time, four small patrol vessels each with one rather small gun. The Iceland Coast Guard is manned by no less than 150 brave lads and lasses.
  • The Icelandic Coast Guard (motto: ,,Við erum til taks.‘‘ “We are ready.”) proceeded to the high seas and cut the trawler wires of the Enemy ships, causing severe economic setbacks and harm to the brave lads of Britain.
  • The British, seeing their battered Cod dry up, had no choice but to send the mighty Royal Navy to the defense of its trawlers upon which everyone started ramming each other, resulting in damage to several ships. The 22 ship Royal Navy fleet almost but not quite sunk the patrol vessels of Iceland, who nevertheless continued cutting the British nets. Several shots were fired across the bow, mostly using blanks.
  • By 1976, cooler minds prevailed, agreements were signed and peace was restored. And you should know, this is the THIRD cod war in the proud history of the Icelandic Islands. And that is not even counting the Cod War of 1893!

Trawler versus War Ship in Iceland British Cod War

The point is that many species are over fished because management restrictions (“price”) have not been stringent, or real, enough. After 1,000s of years of no price at all on excessive fishing, reality caught up. The resource went essentially extinct. Without realistic prices, supply and demand will be out of sync. Some resources will head for depletion. Others will be under utilized.

TOC

Supply and Demand Reality Style

Resources, such as food and energy, to support populations depend on four interrelated components: prices, raw material reserves, technology and productivity. Gains in the two last kept Man and His Newspaperus alive for thousands of years. Understating the first component, prices, led to excessive and eventually unsustainable growth in the wrong areas since limits to the second factor, reserves, were never understood or considered. Combining low prices, innovation, seemingly abundant raw materials and plain hard work over the last thousand years led to populations growing by 2,000%.

With populations up 2,000% plus huge leaps in standards of living, many raw material reserves decline simply because we consume them. Earth is no bigger than a thousand years ago. Plenty of oil, gas and coal fields are already silent, depleted and forever abandoned. The capacity of air, oceans and biomass to store greenhouse gases is declining. There are limits to food productivity and farm lands, especially as Global Warming reduces arable acreage. Fresh water supplies are dwindling as glaciers disappear and too much is tapped. Man in WindowThere is only so much coal and oil left in the ground. It takes 80 years to replace the tree cut down to print an Ann Coulter article. Too many of us labor in industries that do little to sustain life, such as – come to think of it – almost all industries.

What we want must be matched to what we can get and it isn’t. We must apply the true prices of supporting our tribe. We do not pay anywhere close to the real cost of children, air conditioning, food, SUVs, health care, Led Zeppelin albums and retirement or, as a matter of fact, simply existing. Prices are ridiculously understated. The price of emitting carbon gases into the air is not zero as is commonly assumed. The price of running out of oil or cod is not zero. Food prices do not reflect reduced farm land as climate changes. No one plans for the cost of famines or pandemics in “civilized” countries. Taxes do not cover the quite possible need to relocate entire cities as oceans rise. By understating prices, we spin out of control even with the most clever controls and policies aimed at unlimited growth. No DHS or similar emergency organizations have a clue how to deal with any of these issues.

Tragically, organizations such as EPA, CDC and numerous think tanks, universities and industries are quite aware of these Girl in a Holeproblems yet do little to resolve them, perhaps to please a famously ignorant President. This ain’t rocket science. The solutions are well known. I mentioned four factors that support mankind. Let’s make that five – add the political will to do what is needed as a required component. That component is lacking in most parts of the world.

The price of driving a car must reflect the fact that the air needs to be cleaned of all the pollution caused by the chain from finding the oil, extracting and refining it to pouring it into your car and then driving along. We will have a problem as long as emissions are essentially a free bee. Of course, add the elusive environmental and social cost of building the car in the first place.

There is an urgency to reduce demand of dwindling resources through real prices. As it is, we simply keep depleting resources. The longer that continues, the higher the real prices become. When a resource is depleted, its price is infinite. Finding alternative sources to overcome depletion relies on a proper price formation. Too low prices means the alternatives aren’t developed and won’t be there when needed. Then true prices keep going up and at some point, we can’t afford them. The system breaks down. The growing population can no longer be supported. People die.

Supply and Demand Global Warming Style

Many of us may not think of Global Warming as something tied to supply and demand, resources and pricing. All we do is dump these gases into the atmosphere and forget about them. That of course is a bit naive. Such actions have consequences that are quite complex. Supply and demand theory is a way to reduce that complexity.

Greenhouse gases are both a user of resources and a supplier of other resources. Greenhouse gases uses resources such as carbon storages or sinks. Oceans, the atmosphere and Child Cryingbiomass provide such storage. The storages today contain many teratonnes of carbon. There are also the potential of man made storages in depleted oil and gas fields.

Greenhouse gases are resources themselves. Many of these gases are used in industry, for instance. Quite importantly, mankind needs a certain level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or we would rapidly freeze to death. But too high concentrations will cause all the problems and eventual catastrophe of Global Warming.

On the supply side we have all the processes, natural or man made, that result in the emissions into air. On the demand side we have storages and processes that attempt to balance the supply in a natural manner. This balancing act is really a chemical/biological/environmental issue where “prices” in the normal sense really don’t have much impact. So far, that is.

But there is another layer to the supply/demand equation related to why greenhouse gases end up in the air. Partly, we depend on natural phenomena which we can do little about. Then we deal with the part we can control and there the control mechanism is applying proper prices. Girl Sitting on the Ground

On the natural side, as an example, the most prominent and powerful GHG is humidity in the atmosphere. Increase the humidity and temperatures go up. Such an increase may be caused by increased evaporation from oceans which in turn may be caused by man made emissions of GHGs. But evaporation and humidity are not controlled by humans and attaching a price to such processes is not productive or even possible.

On the other hand, humans allow a very large share of emissions of GHGs by running industries, pursuing deforestation and so on. That is part of the supply of greenhouse gases and is definitely sensitive to pricing. Historically, the price of emissions was zero which put us in this spot in the first place. It never should have been zero and it cannot continue to be zero.

Kyoto style CERs and EU Allowances put a price of sorts on some emissions. The CERs in particular have too many loopholes to be a real pricing mechanism. Allowances gyrate wildly in actual prices on the market and are not exactly good measures of long term equilibrium prices. What exists as a pricing mechanism today is immature, volatile and cannot be used as justification for investment. Politicians – do something to support stable prices. That is how you beat the devil.

Supply

Price
(Supply)

Demand

Price
(Demand)

Natural GHG sources

No

Natural sinks

No

   

Other natural processes

No

   

Bioengineering

Yes

       

Manmade GHG sources

Yes

Natural sinks

No

   

Manmade sinks

Yes

   

Other natural processes

No

   

Bioengineering

Yes

       

Substitute energy

Yes (partly)

Not carbon driven

Not carbon driven

Neither the natural supply of GHGs, nor the natural demand, is subject to pricing. No matter what humans might be willing to pay, natural sinks will not increase, nor will natural emissions decrease. Bioengineering might impact the demand side at some point and is clearly subject to Ladies on a Shopping Bingeprice effects.

The supply of manmade GHG emissions is clearly very strongly subject to pricing. A high price, through taxes, CERs or allowances, would reduce emissions. The technology of manmade sinks is well established and it is just a matter of pricing to make such deposits real. Bioengineering could also be a price driven demand factor.

Substitute energy sources are well established technologies held back by artificially low carbon fuel prices as well as a multitude of national policies. Nuclear energy, for instance, is subject to restrictions in almost all countries. Solar and wind power are subject to weather patterns. Forestry and biomass based energy is subject to availability.

Global Warming, Populations and Vice Versa

The impact on Global Warming from populations is not a common subject in the many discussions on Global Warming. It generally is not quoted as an important cause of Global Warming. Usually, the discussion is focused on the dire effects of Global Warming on populations such as migration, famines and water shortages. There are exceptions to this rule; Greenpeace, for instance, provides a more general view that does account for the age old issue of the explosion in populations across the globe.

Every one wants a good life, whether a farmer in India, an industrial worker in China, a soldier in North Korea, a game warden in Africa, a former Communist in Bulgaria, the guy next door or even myself, come to think of it. Not only is standard of living important to us, we insist on multiplying, thereby creating Woman Thinkingmore individuals demanding a decent standard. In some areas – Europe and Russia in particular – is that fertility urge somewhat controlled but in most areas it is not. China makes a big deal out of their one child policy but data does not support their claims. High standards of living and a couple of children are really the two factors that motivate most of us. Very few are prepared to give that up – most understandably so.

This incessant desire for growth inevitably results in ever more carbon emissions as long as history is allowed to repeat itself. That truly is the death trap, which leaves us with four possibilities; 1) do not make children; 2) reduce living standards; 3) reduce emissions or 4) become extinct. Take your pick.

One way to look at it: there is no need to take a pick. It will be made for us. As Global Warming continues unabated, there will simply be a natural selection. Many will die, which eventually reduces emissions. Some will survive; making ends meet one way or another. Good old Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory still is relevant.

Long, Long Trends

Population growth as a cause of Global Warming is one of its most frightening and difficult aspects. The danger is not population growth per se (in our context), but the closely associated demand for ever more carbon based energy and goods in general. Simply look at the very long term graph below showing populations and emissions going back over 2,000 years.

World Population versus Greenhouse Gas Emissions 0-2006

The graph above shows the explosion in world populations from around 1750 and on, coinciding roughly with industrialization. Prior to 1750, populations rose quite slowly, going all the way back to the year 0. Emissions of GHGs were flat and largely insignificant prior to the late 1700s, then they exploded as more and more mills and factories were built.

The big population question, of course, is how much can the world provide for these masses on a sustained basis? What can it do to neutralize the horrifying waste products generated? With the curve going practically straight up, how many people can be fed? Most of the population growth is in less developed areas while most industrial nations are stabilizing or, in some cases, already declining. How will this disparity be managed; the growth in labor supply is in one set of countries while the demand is in areas far away, both geographically and culturally.

There’s Too Many of You

Let’s go one more analytical step. The graph below shows the World and the US population data using a logarithmic vertical scale. If you are not familiar with such math, a log scale means a small number looks a lot bigger and large numbers look smaller than with the linear scale used in the previous graph. A straight line indicates that the growth rate is stable. An upward curving line means that the growth rate is going up. That is a very bad news in our case. If the line curves towards flat the rate of increase is moderating, a good sign. If the line is flat, neither going up nor down, then the growth rate is zero – a major step forward in our case. If the line actually turns downwards, then the rate growth rate is negative. That would be excellent news.

Temp 7

What is that dramatic drop in US populations (brown area)? In 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived to the New World or, in his mistaken opinion, India. Others followed. The indigenous population was partly slaughtered by the invaders’ superior weapons. Even more deadly, the invaders brought smallpox. Yellow fever, whopping cough, alcohol, typhus, influenza, measles, bubonic plague, mumps and what have you. These illnesses utterly decimated the Native Americans, a process that is still going on today.

Beyond this historical tragedy, there is a lesson to be learned. Changing circumstances can bring extreme consequences very rapidly. The Native American democide is one case. The influenza of 1919 and the Black Death of Europe are additional examples. Will Global Warming cause similar massive disasters? No one knows, of course, as we are far beyond any comparable situation. But, without being an alarmist, it is possible and should be considered in contingency planning. Unfortunately, no such planning exists to my knowledge.

Let’s examine the graph’s tail-end. The World population line curves upwards: the rate of growth increases. That is bad news, making it difficult to control GHG emissions since most of this growth is in unregulated less developed countries. The US growth rate is declining slightly. The US is unique among developed countries – Temp 1most others have much lower growth rates, some even experience declining populations.

Anytime you look at populations and related events, one inescapable fact is important. A person born today will most likely be around in 60-70-80 years, depending on his/her heritage. This carries a built in inertia that is very hard to overcome since most of us resist change, in particular for the perceived worst. Changing human behavior is much harder than changing the look of a car, a toaster or the views of a politician (except Bush). All solutions to Global Warming involve changing human behavior, expectations and overcoming inertia. The inertia problem is even tougher considering the window of opportunity to avoid the horrendous consequences of Global Warming is no longer than a few years at best, not 70 years.

Yet such change is not impossible. Consider the revolution of the Internet in less than a decade. Remember how PCs conquered the World in just a decade or two. Check out (as we will) the success of the US Clean Air Act. Note how AIDS was quite successfully battled in the developed World (while leaving the rest of the World dying). Look at the almost extinct measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, polio, infant mortality, smallpox, plague, diphtheria and tuberculosis, ignoring for the moment the reoccurrence of strands resistant to prior cures.

Such changes required clear and inquisitive minds, dedication to truth/science and the willingness to try something new. Unfortunately, such an attitude is usually limited to the abstract technical and scientific world. Most of us do not live in that clean world. Witness the almost total, mindless inertia of Shias versus Sunnis, Soccer hooligans team by team, Pro-life versus Pro-choice, Evolution versus Creation, Us versus Foreigners, Oprah versus Letterman, Suns versus Spurs, Gay marriages or not, Global Warming or not, Right to Die or not, Democrats versus Republicans, Bush versus 6.5 billion others, Pot versus Booze, Crime versus Justice, SUVs versus Minis, NRA versus Sanity or, finally, Men versus Women.

TOC

Stop Those Emissions – Right Now

The graph below shows the growth rates of populations and carbon emissions. Moreover, it shows the part of emissions associated with population growth (Emissions per Capita) and the balance, technology. Growth in populations accounted for 2/3 of the growth in emissions. The technology factor made up the remaining 1/3 of emissions.

World Population and Greenhouse Gas Emissions 0-2006

Populations and made carbon emissions were low or almost flat prior to 1750-1800, then they mushroomed. People found cheap sources of energy for the new factories, keeping warm and other uses. That led to an incredible rise in standards of living and allowed populations to multiply quickly. The cheap energy was mostly carbon based: coal and oil. Major carbon emissions followed.

In the battle of Global Warming skeptics and believers, skeptics often claim Global Warming is just a natural cycle, thus nothing us humans need to worry about. Temp 5The believers take the opposite tack, pointing out that emissions are completely outside any historical range. The many graphs in this essay totally debunk the skeptics’ argument. There have never been as many energy dependent people on this Earth before. Today’s population over 20 times that of a thousand years ago. Man made emissions today are without parallel, or some 17,000 times those a thousand years ago. Prior to the early 1800s, neither population size nor pollution was all that significant in the global survival equation. There is no way to make that claim today.

The human simple and natural desires to breed and improve the comforts of life led to an unsustainable situation, far outside any historical norm. Any logic would tell you such drastic change will backfire at some point. All evidence indicates that point has been reached and that the consequences will be painful, if not lethal.

How can such natural and understandable desires lead to possible extinction? Well, look closer. The explosion in population is due to many “non natural” factors. These factors allowed the population to expand far beyond historical rates. The increase in living standards is a man made phenomena which rests on a “borrow from the future” attitude. Consider:

  • Health care advances dramatically reduce infant death and extend life. Miracle drugs combat disease. Some of us even live healthy life styles. As more of us live longer, we force more carbon into the air.
  • Almost all of us are fed royally by agricultural and fisheries productivity such as fertilization and various ways to alter species. Manipulating the environment is a risky long term route.
  • Many of us have marvelous man made shelters, heated or cooled, with indoor water, electricity and plumbing, allowing us to comfortably survive in harsh environments at the expense of huge amounts of carbon emissions.
  • We enjoy man made innovations in most aspects of life: freedom, security, money, jobs, water/highway/air/rail transportation, postal and many other services, phones and iPods. Even iPods cause greenhouse effects.
  • We endlessly consume resources, many non replaceable. Miraculously, our garbage and human waste disappears. Astonishingly, lights come on by flipping a switch. Somehow, stores are stocked with far more than anyone needs. That convenience comes at a very high price few of us consider or care about.

On the bleak side, today we experience a second wave of carbon emissions. The first wave was industrialization of the developed countries which is now maturing. The frantic race for ever higher living standards may be moderating a little. The heavy reliance of carbon energy is slowly, very slowly replaced by alternative albeit expensive sources – solar, wind, water, perhaps nuclear and non carbon biomass energy. Technology such as energy conservation, hybrid cars, improved appliances and industrial measures gain ground.

Now, the second wave sets in. Less developed areas want the same standard of living they see personally, on television and in movies from the “West”. Some countries are quite successful in Temp 4achieving massive growth. The Asian Tigers, China, India, Russia, South Africa, Latin America and some others are all good examples. After hundreds of years of abuse, carbon based energy is still the cheap way to quickly increase standards of living. Carbon emissions in, say, China and India are now out of control and without limits as is, by the way, the case in the US under the policies of George W. Bush.

Pollution control is a much lower priority in too many minds: “Spend your future today”. We have all seen pictures, some right here, of the smog filled skies over smoke pouring stacks with people clad in mouth masks coughing and hurrying along, tears streaming from their inflamed eyes. Somewhere the path to higher standards of living went very wrong but that seems not to diminish the dreams at all. So the emissions and pollution continue at an ever increasing rate Temp 2with a high price to humans, ecosystems and our collective future.

You really deal with two issues. First, these “less” developed areas are the source of almost all growth in populations, putting heavy upwards pressure on their carbon based energy use. Second, each and every of these individuals wants to improve his/her lot. The energy spiral continues.

How do you tell such countries to stop their quest for a more comfortable life a la the West? How do you tell them they can’t have what the guys on the other side of tracks have? The solution according to the Kyoto Protocol is to let a few Western countries pay billions in carbon emission credits – subsidies really – for marginal and largely non-measurable improvements as these countries continue to pollute. The CER approach is inequitable, corrupt and will never solve the problem. So the original problem persists.

On a bizarre side note, the less developed world in their understandable desire for air conditioning is actually doing us a “favor”. They produce and use millions of cheap, Freon leaking air conditioners. Freon is a cooling gas, reducing the ozone layer. Unfortunately, a reduced ozone layer causes all kinds of health hazards, but nice try.

Chant for the confused

As is my habit, I add a few practical items I call hymns, odes, songs, tales and so forth. The purpose is to demonstrate in concrete terms little and some not so little events going on in the present. None of the events, by them selves, destroy the whole world or are even noticed by most. But these little stories add up to show something very strange (to some) is indeed happening. Here is the “Chant for the Confused” animals, plants and insects (Source: here):

Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world. Spanish meteorologists predict that this year is likely to be the warmest year on record in Spain, similar to the UK.

The osprey found in the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands in the summer Brown bear [Click to Zoom] (C) Foto Ardeidasmonths usually migrate to West Africa to avoid the freeze. This winter, ospreys have been spotted in Suffolk and Devon. Swallows, which also normally migrate to Africa for the winter, have been also seen across England this winter.

The red admiral butterfly which hibernates in winter has been spotted in gardens this month, as has the common darter dragonfly, usually seen between mid-June and October, which has been seen in Cheshire, Norfolk and Hampshire.

The smew, a diving duck, flies west to the UK for winter from Russia and Scandinavia. This year, though, they have been mainly absent from the lakes and reservoirs between The Wash and the Severn.

Evergreen ivy and ox-eye daisies are still blooming and some oak trees, which are usually bare by November, were still in leaf on Christmas Day last year.

The buff-tailed bumblebee is usually first seen in spring. Worker bees die out by the first frost, while fertilized queen bees survive underground between March and September. This December, bees have been seen in Nottingham and York.

Primroses and daffodils are already flowering at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in Carmarthenshire. ‘Early Sensation’ daffodils usually flower from January until February. Horticulturists put it down to the warm weather.

In the Netherlands, more than 240 wild plants flowered in the first 15 days of December, along with more than 200 cultivated species. Examples included cow parsley and sweet violets. Just two per cent of these plants normally flower in winter, while 27 per cent end their main flowering period in autumn and 56 per cent before October.

Personally, I’ve never heard of Spanish bears, glens from the Scottish Highlands, Rear Admiral Butterflies, smews, ox-eye daisies, buff-tailed bumblebees or cow parsley. None seem to make much difference in my life. The elusive sleep of some bears or who is flying where and when seems non critical to me. Maybe you think the same. On the other hand, do look around you, wherever you are. In all probability, something similar is happening in your corner of the world. If not, it will be. That’s what the hymns, tales, odes and chants are all about. Look around you.

How Many Will You Be?

Population growth is where no one advocates the “Do Nothing” scenario. If you extrapolate the growth in world population in the 1960-1990 periods from today’s 6.6 billion level, then by 2050 there will be 13 billion of us on Earth. That will not happen, given widely accepted views. If it does, billions of us will be very hungry and probably dangerously angry. There are no resources available to sustain twice as many of you.

A Married Woman's HandGrowth declined in the 1990s and early 2000s. Reasonable estimates for 2050 are around 8.5-9 billion. So there is a shortfall between the “Do Nothing” outlook and the more realistic outlooks of over 4 billion people. That is the result of allowing patterns that break with historical trends – growth is reduced by almost 60% through assumed pro activity and plain economics. The UN even projects declining world populations in the last half of this century.

In spite of very sophisticated forecast models, actual population in 2050 is really anyone’s guess. But the probability of the 8.5-9 billion estimates is pretty high. Demographics benefit from a unique feature – around half of that population is already born today. That is not a forecast but a stabilizing fact assuming no catastrophe such as pandemics spreading uncontrollably, meteors hitting us or all out nuclear war happens. This inertia helps the accuracy of the forecasts.

TOC

Cradle to Casket

Here are the components considered in a population forecast: The current population, its age and gender status is Item #1. The base forecast follows the individuals, grouped by age, gender and Laughing Man in a Tavernpossibly other demographics, for as long as possible into the future. We all get one year older each year. Eventually we meet our fate and become part of the mortality rate. Before we reach this stage, most of us have reproduced which is accounted for by the fertility rate. Thus we get little persons that enter the forecast cycle like every one else. The last major item is net immigration which usually considers both legal and illegal comings and goings. A good thing is that net immigration so far equals zero on a world wide level. Many forecasting systems consider far more factors and provide extremely detailed forecasts almost down to a neighborhood block.

The graph below contains examples of basic demographics in a few areas. Contrast life in Japan to that in Swaziland. Swaziland life expectancy is 33 years compared to 82 years in Japan. That’s the price of being poor.

Fertility, Birth and Death Rates and Life Expectancy

The current population and its structure are mostly very well known facts. Not much uncertainty there. Both the fertility and the mortality rates are thoroughly studied and usually changes slowly, with some exceptions. Wars, famine, HIV, bird flu, leaders such as Kim Jong-Il and George W. Bush are examples of potentially fast moving exceptions. The slower moving influences on fertility include women in working life, economics of having a child (costly), government incentives and disincentives, lower marriage rates and higher divorce rates, contraceptives and abortions. A long term change in mortality is influenced by health factors, economics and environmental trends.

Let’s take a look at forecasted population growth, by Groups of demographic similarities:

Group 1 includes pre industrial societies and applies only to the poorest on Earth. These countries have a high birth rate but low life expectance. These countries will see a high population growth in the 1-50 age brackets but will be plagued by a multitude of health issues, including starvation, malaria and violence. Swaziland belongs in this category (see graph above).

Group 2 examples include Nigeria, Kenya and Bangladesh. All see very high birth rates coupled with better health care and an increasing life expectancy. Many less developed nations fall into this group. Overall, the largest part of Earth’s increase in population will be seen here. A Trades Woman

Groups 3 and 4 include most industrial countries: they see or will see a zero growth population in the foreseeable future. Most of Western Europe fits in this group. Russia suffer declining population, partly due to health issues (oh, that vodka). China, Brazil and India are aiming for zero population growth, largely using birth control (China’s one child policy, so far a failure). Other countries see urbanization, women in the work force, contraception and the price of raising a child. South Korea, Malaysia and South Africa are members of this group.

Group 5 is the ultimate step. These countries are post industrial with an emphasis on services and information technology. Sweden, Germany and Italy are entering this group. They will experience declining populations due to low birth rates and an aging population.

About a few myths: Abortion plays a very minor role: about 0.7% of all pregnancies end in abortion, reducing world population growth by about 0.001% annually. Infant mortality, on the other hand, affects about 8% of births world wide, ranging from 19% in Angola to 0.2% in Sweden and Singapore. Infant mortality world wide is more than 10 times as mortal a factor as abortions. HIV deaths are declining in developed countries. In 2005 about 2.8 million died and, since 1981, some 25 million perished. Traffic accidents claim 1.2 million lives annually. All of the preceding causes of death are minor compared to heart disease and cancer, accounting for close to half of all deaths.

TOC

A Ration of Years

Forecasting increased life expectation is next to impossible. There is no way to determine when a cure for heart disease or cancer is available globally, much less in St. Louis, USA. All you can do is guess based on historical events and, here we go again, extrapolate into the future. What about biotech – once so promising? Will Michael J. Fox (and many others) win over some politicians to accelerate cell stem research? If so, will it actually be the expected break-through? Will Bill Gates’ and William Buffet’s massive philanthropy succeed where so many major organizations have failed? No one knows.

USA Life Expectancy 1930-2004To the right is a graph of US life expectancy. It shows a nice, smooth, steady trend since the 1930s. Why wouldn’t that continue for the foreseeable future? Well, it might. As long as Mad Cow Disease, Nile River mosquitoes, Bird Flu, new HIV strands, Ebola, re surging smallpox and tuberculosis, the declining effectiveness of many antibiotics plus a host of unforeseen medical problems will have no effect. You’d assume nuclear proliferation would be harmless. You’d ignore much of what this essay is describing, including the upcoming issue of global warming.

There is no reason to expect history to be much help when you attempt to see into the future. You may be optimistic or pessimistic – it makes no difference. In neither case do you actually know. That does not mean we are totally clueless. Historically, the pattern is clear: we are getting older, bigger and smarter. Life expectancy is up. Why shouldn’t that continue? You haven’t been paying attention, have you? NEVER assume history will repeat itself. We are not only getting bigger, we are getting fatter, less ambulatory and more receptive to a host of diseases.

TOC

Too Many, Too Few

Let’s turn to birth rates and infant survivability probabilities. There are essentially three groups of nations – largely similar to the Groups above. The first group will experience high growth in spite of high infant mortality and dismal medical facilities. HIV will also add to mortality. Even so, the lack of family planning such as contraceptives will result in these nations causing practically all of Earth’s increase in population. These countries have population growth rates ranging from 1+% to 8% per year, averaging some 3-4%.

World Population Growth by Area 2005-2050

The next segment consists of countries that would have a high growth rate, because of high birth rates, unless they had not taken strong measures. China (one child or else) and India Illegal Immigrants(contraceptives or else) are the prime examples. After all, together they account for almost 20% of the world’s population. Still, both countries have growing populations – India 1.4% and China 0.6% per year. Extrapolate that till 2055 will lead to aver 3 billion people compared to 2.4 today. That might mean they’d account for a mind-boggling 35% of the Earth’s population, up from 20%. I sure hope that will never happen – it’d be a major risk to all of us.

Then we have third group – that of the industrial countries:

  • The US has a population of 300 million, growing at a rate of .9%. Only Australia, New Zealand and Canada have higher rates of .9-1.0% among industrial nations.
  • Compare that with slow growers such as the Netherlands .5%, Norway .4%, Denmark .4%, Sweden .3%, France .3%, UK .2%, Japan .2%, Switzerland .2%, Finland .2%, Spain .1%, Austria .1%, Belgium .1%.
  • Then there are the stagnant or declining nations: Poland, 0%, Germany 0%, Portugal -.1%, Hungary -.2%, Romania -.2%, Russia – .3%, Ukraine – .6% and Estonia – .9%.

Eye balling the growth rates into five groups group:

  • Less developed countries – about 3.5% population growth and 3 billion people today
  • The China and India mammoths – about 1% growth and 2.4 billion people today
  • North America (ex-Mexico) and Australia, New Zealand – about .9% growth and about 360 million people today
  • Western Europe – about .2% growth and some 370 million people today
  • Eastern Europe and Russia – about -.4% and roughly 230 million people today

First, we have the less developed countries with huge increases in populations. This is a large supply of labor coming on stream. Unfortunately, these countries do not generally possess the resources to utilize or even support such a huge, mostly unskilled labor force.

Populations Selected Countries 2005-2050

Then we have the middle block – China, India, North America and Oceania – that have growing populations and thus at least a start on the supply of labor. They certainly have the opportunity to continue the high economic growth already in place. China is most likely self sufficient in labor, India may for some time have a surplus as its economic growth accelerates. North America may or may not have a demand for additional labor, depending on supply and productivity. Of course, the US is a very desirable immigration target and can easily import selected labor as needed. Explorers on the Ice

But consider Europe and its no-growth and aging population. Labor will be scarce. Europe’s only internal source for growth is productivity which goes only so far. Europe has imported labor for ages (did you really think that BMW was built by Germans?). The traditional labor sources of the Balkans and Turkey will not be able or willing to continue exporting their people to a cold and discriminating Northern Europe.

When Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe truly get going – and that will happen – you will see a labor shortage develop on a magnificent scale. And the only significant, untapped source of labor will be located in those less developed countries, mostly Africa. A second round of slave trade, anyone?

TOC

Immigration, Emigration

Net immigration of labor has worked fine in many cases, both in Europe, the US and elsewhere. Still, net immigration is an emotion laden subject. Two factors are important. First, immigration is generally viewed by the receiving country as uncomfortable at best, concern in the middle ground and downright violence at its worst. Second, the next generation of mobile labor may not be as skilled as the prior generation but a lot more militant.

TOC

A Big Picture

Here is a map showing immigration/emigration trends across the globe (Source Wikipedia):

Net Migration

Mexicans and Caribbean move to the US, Eastern Europeans move to Western Europe, Greenlanders sadly move who knows where (Denmark?). Most of Asia and the Middle East lose people. It is hard to understand why Russia, Siberia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Angola and Namibia are net immigration Refugees migratingareas. American and European computer programmers face stiff competition from highly educated, imported Indians and Chinese. Many Americans are upset Mexicans and others cross the borders to do jobs few Americans would dream of taking. Similar tensions are present in all labor importing areas.

Generally, the less developed areas close to the equator migrate north or south to more economically attractive areas such as Europe, Australia, Argentina and North America. In broad terms: Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin and Central America and Africa supply people to North America, Western Europe, Oceania and perhaps Russia. Legal US immigration is tightly regulated as are those of Canada, Australia and Europe.Refugees Climbing Mountain

Naturally, labor importers want highly qualified workers. Outside of the industrial world, the main sources of such skills are in India and China. More and more high tech Indians choose stay in India as places like Bangalore become very attractive compared to an aging Silicon Valley or a stuffy Europe. China’s internal growth requires their talents to stay at home rather than emigrate on a mass scale to Stuttgart, Nantes, Copenhagen, Zurich, Manchester or Hamburg – or for that matter, Chicago, Wichita, Toronto or San Diego. Migration of highly skilled labor is not truly critical. The current trend of outsourcing, not migrating, high tech jobs will likely prevail.

The high tech workers in strong demand cannot be supplied from the poor countries. Instead, these Refugees and Bus in Mountain Passmainly equatorial countries have a huge surplus of unskilled labor. This is where we may face a major social issue as their populations continue to explode resulting in an ever growing unskilled labor surplus.

Most post-industrialized countries cannot accept massive inflows of a low-skill, possibly hostile labor force out of mainly Africa. Such an inflow invokes high costs for health care, social benefits, housing, schooling and numerous subsidies. Will social tensions be as bad or worse as they are today and have been in the past? Can the imported labor achieve the expected productivity? Assimilating “guest workers” requires real patience, sensitivity and foresight from both the host country and its people and the immigrants.

Consider the magnitude of the imbalance:

  • Countries with surplus labor: 3 billion people. This includes most of the poorest countries.
  • Countries more or less neutral on imported or exported labor: 2.8 billion people. Main countries are the fast growing countries of Asia.
  • Countries clearly needing labor resources: 750 million people. This includes Western Europe and Australia and North America.

Belgium Refugees in CartSay the surplus countries desire to export 5% of their population due to lack of domestic employment. That amounts to a 150 million laborer supply. Suppose the labor importers need to increase the labor supply by 5% of their population to reduce their labor shortage – that amounts to a 38 million demand.

In short: perhaps a 160 million labor supply, possibly a 38 million demand. Add the imbalance of skills available and skills wanted. It seems clear there will be a low end buyer’s market and a high end seller’s market. Very significant labor surpluses will continue in the less developed countries.

To make things even worse, Global Warming will force a migration northwards throughout the Northern Hemisphere and the reverse south of the equator simply because of a similar migration of food sRefugee in Tentupplies and life supporting ecosystems including fresh water. Look at a map of Africa. Suppose the citizens of Congo, Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon and Kenya are forced to migrate, say, north. Where is the next stop? It’s not likely to be inhospitable countries of Chad, Niger, Sudan or the Sahara desert. Maybe they will not be welcome in Arab states such as Libya, Algeria or Egypt which will have problems of their own. The next stop is Europe that may already be chockfull of imported labor, refugees and illegal immigrants.

Combine all these forces and you have a very volatile situation with a potential for massive social unrest, including wars. There are no easy solutions. What started out as a seemingly innocent difference in basic demographics with a somewhat higher population growth in poor countries suddenly is a potentially catastrophic issue. Will such a catastrophe happen? I certainly hope not. But the possibility is there and should be thought about.

TOC

USA, Mexicans and some Extremists

The importation of illegal Mexican labor is probably the most successful labor program ever. Mexico Border SignUnfortunately, it is viewed differently by a vocal segment of American citizens and its retarded government. The program is peaceful and subject to supply and demand. It carries real financial advantages. It is productive, flexible and non-union. What else can a Capitalist desire? So let’s flip/flop the logic and build a fence to keep them out. Let’s harass them, spending billions of dollars. Let’s force them to face deadly dangers. Let’s use them as shooting targets. But, by God, let’s not lower ourselves to do the kind of work they do for us.

In the US, gun toting vigilant red blooded Americans patrol the Southern border, “helping out”. Some US Congressmen hold quite radical views on how to deal with illegal or even legal immigrants. Building a fence a la the Berlin Wall (in reverse) or that in Israel is by no means the only suggestions. Organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Americans for Immigration Control people are not exactly in favor of immigration and stand ready for extreme measures.

This is by a country that is built from the ground by immigrants (not ignoring the contributions of the ingenious population that was almost exterminated). If the US cannot resolve no-brain immigration issues, how are countries less experienced expected to handle it?

You might also consider the importation by some countries of AMERICANS to do their dMexicans Crossing Borderirty work. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other regional kingdoms are the prime examples. To many Saudis, ordinary work is not compatible with their way of life. After all, who’s got the oil? Practically all labor (العمال المهاجرون) is imported from a variety of countries. Of course, there are no social tensions involved. Such tensions are outlawed and subject to stiff penalties. Forget about human rights, dating or having a drink. Accept living in specially designed ghettos. Please do not be female or, gasp, gay. Realize you are a dirty dog and an infidel of no value. Extend every courtesy to your masters although you will receive none in return. Of course the money is good. You may be able to send some home to your ailing mother in that little, backwards village in Omaha.

Now read that last paragraph again. Substitute a few names and you might understand the feelings of imported labor to ANY country a bit better. Immigration and an internationally mobile work force require sensitivity beyond any normal call of duty. How well do you think the possible forced mass migration of the future will work?

TOC

Realistic, Steady Canada

Like the US, the people of Canada are mostly made up by immigrants. Here are comments on a very recent report the 2006 Census from Statistics Canada:

  • Two-thirds of Canada’s population growth over the past five years was fueled by immigrants. The country will become 100 per cent dependent on immigration for growth by 2030, when the peak of the baby boomers born in the 1950s and early ‘60s reach the end of their life spans.
  • Thank immigration for Canada’s relatively robust growth. An average 240,000 newcomers per year more than compensated for the country’s flat fertility rate of 1.5 compared to the 2.1 required to maintain a flat population. Canada can weather the demographic storm if it successfully integrates its huge migrant population.
  • “We’re heading towards a point where immigration will be the only source of growth in Canada”, according to Laurent Martel, a Statistics Canada analyst. “You’re going to see an increase in the number of deaths in Canada and the number of deaths will exceed the number of births — so natural increase will become negative”, he continued.
  • A demographic squeeze faces much of the developed world. Among G8 countries, only the U.S. at 5.0 per cent approaches Canada’s growth rate. France grew 3.1 per cent, Britain 1.9 per cent, Japan near zero and Russia shrank 2.4 per cent over the same five-year period.
  • Canada’s net migration, per capita, is among the highest in the world or 6.5 migrants per 1,000 populations. Australia, another immigration juggernaut, allows 6.2 migrants per 1,000. USA lets in 4.4 immigrants per 1000 but its fertility rate is 25% higher than Canada’s.

Canada recognizes the issues of immigration but the path is not a simple one:

  • Candidate Christian Raymond for the ADQ in the Quebec provincial election was dumped by his party on the weekend after telling a weekly newspaper that native Quebecers need to “boost their birth rate, otherwise the ethnics will swamp us. If they [the ethnics] don’t want to conform, they can just go back home. I say to them: You’re not at home here, you’re visiting.”
  • Michael Bloom, a vice-president with the Conference Board of Canada, says Canada’s policy makers need to get their heads around a potentially explosive trend, both economically and socially. “We have not strategically thought through how we should manage our largest single source of population for net growth,” Bloom said in an interview.
  • For a country like Canada, the political vacuum is curious. Bloom continued: “It is a charged atmosphere in which competing interest groups look with suspicion on the motivations of policy makers. They’re looking for a challenge almost the moment anybody says anything. I think that’s the environment we have right now. So creating a safe context for discussing the issues without people immediately assuming you have a hidden agenda is the challenge. And I’m not sure how to resolve that challenge.”

Best of luck to Canada, the probably sanest and most peaceful nation on earth, eh? So you may think but consider the following list of no less than ten riots in 159 years resulting in 5 deaths and a few hundred injuries. In the US, there were 139 riots in 219 years which boils down to about ten times as many as in Canada. My goodness, no less than 40% of the Canadian riots involved either the Quebecois or ice hockey (or both). Peace was generally restored quickly:

The Stony Monday Riot of 1849 (No known injuries. Peace was quickly restored), the Conscription Crisis of 1917 (them Man looking outQuebecois making trouble as usual but no known injuries, peace was quickly restored), Bloody Saturday of 1919 (Labor union troubles resulting in 2 deaths and 30 injured. Peace was restored), the Christie Pits Race Riots of 1933 (Fascist/Racist issue. One person charged for carrying a lead pipe), the Regina Riot of 1935 (Depression condition issues. 2 killed and hundreds of injuries), The Richard Riot of 1955 (Suspension of hockey star, them Quebecois making trouble as usual, 37 injuries), the Sir George Williams Computer Riot of 1969 (Student revolt, several million computer punch cards dumped on street are the only known casualties. Peace was restored), the 1969 Murray-Hill Riot (them Quebecois making trouble as usual: Disgruntled taxi drivers. One dead), the 1994 Stanley Cup Riot (Canucks lost to the Rangers, some 200 injuries) and, finally, the 2001 Quebec City Summit of the America’s Riot (Trade negotiations, anti-globalization demonstrations, some injuries).

Settling in any province except Quebec and staying away from hockey games should ensure the safety of most immigrants, eh?

TOC

Struggles of Europe and Others

Here is the current German and French view on labor shortages. Source: NYT 3/10/2007.

Ms. Corinne Margot, the director of human resources for Soitech, a fast-growing French manufacturer of semiconductors, is reaching deep into her bag of tricks to find new employees. She is bringing in people from outside France — indeed, outside Europe — to plug the gaps.

The scarcity of qualified labor is already hitting the bottom lines in the major economies, and companies like Soitech seem sure to follow in the footsteps of companies that have been forced to forsake sales opportunities.

Moving jobs offshore is another alternative. The SMS Group has found itself weighing whether to move parts of the business to its operations in China, India, the United States and Brazil.

Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive of Siemens, said that it had 2,500 positions open in Germany alone. Over the last year, the shortage has become acute enough that Siemens has begun bringing employees out of retirement to work on specific projects. “Our growth rate is now mostly limited by our human resources capacity,” Mr. Kleinfeld said.

Recruiting more people from outside Europe is another persistent theme. At Soitech, there has been an explosion in the number of nationalities represented over the last few years, from a handful to at least 19 today. “We are beginning to recruit on an international market rather than a French market,” Ms. Margot, the personnel chief, said.

For recruiting departments around Europe, 2007 could be the worst year in memory. This cyclical upswing in Europe is accentuating labor bottlenecks. Sometimes the solution is higher salary and better benefits. But more often than not, companies have to find ways to work around a limited supply of qualified employees.

The article describes the difficulties of finding highly skilled engineers, mainly. It does not even mention to inflow of unskilled labor, legally or not. Here is a current example of what’s to come. 30,000 illegal immigrants from Senegal head to Spain and then the rest of Europe. This 2006 story is from Reuters via CNN:

Senegal said on Thursday [11/9 2006] it will introduce quotas allowing some 4,000 citizens to work in Spain over the next two years in an effort to stem a flow of illegal jobs seekers leaving the West African country.

Senegal has been at the center of a regional migration crisis this year in which thousands of young West Africans have attempted perilous ocean journeys in rickety boats to Spain’s Canary Islands looking for a better life in Europe.

More than 26,000 people, at least half of them Senegalese, have come ashore on the Spanish islands off the West African coast this year in an exodus that has triggered an increasingly emotional debate in Europe and Africa.

A special case of immigration is that of asylum seekers. It’s not a very significant issue in North America (since the end of the Vietnam War) but it is a critical question in Europe, especially with the EU attempting a common but controversial asylum policy of sorts. Here are a few quotes dealing with the issue of foreign “holding tanks” for asylum seekers:

“Buttiglione [Failed EC big shot-to-be] offered his support for a German proposal that resurrects the discredited idea of establishing centers to process asylum-seekers off-shore, this time in North African countries. What is the reason? “To prevent the mass exodus from swamping the EU,” he said.”

“Such asylum “processing centers,” a polite term for detention camps, would signal an about-face in Europe’s historic commitment to refugee protection. The centers would violate the individual’s right to seek asylum and shift responsibility for migrants and asylum-seekers to developing countries with scarce resources and poor human rights”

“The specifics of future [sic – never happened] commissioner Buttiglione’s proposal appear to be exceedingly bad. He argues that the “reception centers” in North Africa should be managed by the governments of the countries where such centers would be established. Putting poor and repressive governments in charge of EU asylum-seekers is a recipe for disaster. The prime example is Libya, a main transit point for African migrants and asylum-seekers on their way to southern Europe. Libya, which has neither ratified the Refugee Convention nor established national asylum procedures, already has an appalling migrant-protection record”

“Some of the agreed provisions raise serious issues under International Refugee and Human Rights Law and they may result in judicial action being taken against them “; “The removal of asylum policies…… and the scrutiny of international human rights monitoring bodies raise serious legal issues from a refugee protection point of view.”

If you think this sound a bit like a new wave of concentration camps, you share the concern with many Europeans. It certainly is not the right tone to strike for a continent that will need massive amounts of imported labor.Child at Night

What will be the attitude of a sub-Sahara work force be towards the rich countries that turned a blind eye on or conducted the slave trade, exploited them as colonies, stole their raw materials, broke all promises of financial aid, let HIV go unchecked, ignored the genocides and the famines? Witness the fury of Muslims in the UK, Spain and African immigrants in France. The British are not pleased with Mideast immigrants blowing up the Tube. Neither are the Spaniards. The French experience with North African immigrants is rocky at best. Most European countries already have ghettos filled with immigrant workers and refugees. Each such area is explosive socially and definitely not pleasant.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and, in particular, France have seen some very ugly riots involving immigrants and the domestic population, usually the police. Many of these clashes involve Muslim immigrants frustrated by perceived or real injustices. Australia has seen its share of immigrant riots as well as Australians rioting against immigrants. These tensions are a two way street

OC

The Plight of Country X

Let’s take an example: Suppose European country X desires a GNP growth of 2.5% a year. Such a growth must be sourced by economic resources. Perhaps capital investment can make up 1% of that Woman Looking Outgrowth. That leaves 1.5% in required additional resources annually. Suppose the original, domestic labor force was 25 million workers. Further speculate this pool is declining at a rate of 1% per year due to aging and a low birth rate. That means we somehow have to find 2.5% additional skilled labor since no other resource is available. But we can only find unskilled labor that is a net of 2% less productive than the existing, highly trained labor force. Now we need 4.5% new laborers annually from a base of 25 million.

Assume this continues unabated for 20 years. That means the country imported 35 million laborers – a number I’m sure no one in country X would be happy with. The new labor force would exceed the original one by 10 million. The original work force of 25 million natives is now down to about 20 million if all works well and all the numbers above are plausible.

First, the foreign workers now make up 2/3 of the work force. Second, the work force is more than twice as large due the poor productivity. Suppose something goes wrong in this idyllic scheme of things. Consider, for instance the cost of housing and other infrastructure required by the 35 million “guest workers” (“Gastarbeiter” as the Germans call it or “travailleurs immigrés” in French). Suppose some marvelous capital investment temporarily forced the layoff of 1 million of the labor force. Or perhaps the business cycle turned down. Or Country Y with even cheaper, imported labor starts a price war. Possibly the whole bloody system falls apart. It’s not hard to see the riots explode. It’s even easier to see the racial tensions boil over into real ugliness.

Also consider that the country X had maybe 50 million citizens at the beginning of these games. After 20 years of the scenario above, the population would have swelled to about 80 million. 35Woman in the Sun million of that, or 44%, would be the immigrant “guest workers”. That is quite a power block, putting a strain on everything from old to new.

This, of course is just playing with some rough numbers – all of which are disputable. Even worse, I extrapolated these numbers 20 years into the future and came up with an absurd outlook that will not happen – no country could afford a scenario like this. It’s far more likely that GNP growth will be lower, the original work force working longer and some, but not as high, import of labor would occur. That doesn’t resolve the excess of labor in the poor countries. The imbalance remains.

Let the Money Flow

There is an alternative to the almost certain explosiveness of the massive importation of labor to a post industrial country. That is to move the production of goods and perhaps even services to the country with excess labor. After all, most industrial countries are happily doing that right now. The US and Woman with Computerothers have chased low wages from Cuba to Mexico to Japan to Korea to Taiwan to Hong Kong to Singapore to the Philippines to Malaysia to Indonesia to Vietnam to China to India. No doubt Africa is next.

Not only are wages low, but the costs of taken-for-granted Western standards are usually relaxed. Feel free to pollute away, use child labor and to ignore social responsibility. There is no need to worry about human rights.

You also need to consider risks. Take Cuba and its nationalization of American properties in the 1950s. No alert Capitalist wants to experience that again. Hence, invest as little as possible and be ready to bolt at a moment’s notice.

Don’t fret about the jobs exported from the old country. A jolt now and then is good for them domestic workers. Those ghost towns make good movie backdrops. Former loggers make great Asian Drummernurses. Ex-textile workers are good at picking cotton or growing tobacco. Of course they are.

The trouble is that those low wages never stay low. Move on as soon as cost is higher than the next place. Leave nothing behind. If lucky, one country after another prices itself out of the slave wage market and end up with a great infrastructure and skilled work force paid for by the exploiting foreigner. Or they end up with nothing. Some win, some lose.

Sarcasm aside, foreign investment in less developed countries has always been controversial, high risk and ethically questionable. Is there a reason to believe that will change? Can ruthless capitalism work with endless corruption to create sustained growth with steady and fair employment? Hmm, that’ll be the day.

TOC

Aria for the Polar Bears

Here is another, last little story about real global warming in line with my odes, ballads, songs, hymns and the like. This one is called “Aria for the Polar Bear” (compiled from many sources): Polar Bear on Thawed Tundra

U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration moved away from its steadfast refusal to recognize the effects of global warming, proposing to protect polar bears, whose habitat is threatened by the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice. U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced that polar bears should be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, initiating a review that is expected to take a year.

Three conservation groups earlier filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior, in an effort to protect the polar bear from the effects of global warming. In return for these groups dropping their effort to force the Bush administration to grant polar bears “threatened” status under the ESA, the administration agreed to commence a rulemaking to list the bears.

Now, the government may have to consider tougher measures to clean up the air because scientists believe carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming. Bush administration officials, however, indicated there would be no new curbs on oil drilling in Alaska or limits on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Polar bears have dwindled in numbers and are in a serious fight for survival due to Arctic ice melt. In Canada’s western Hudson Bay, the population of polar bears has already declined 22 percent. Global warming cause an earlier summer melt of the ice, givingSleeping Polar Bears polar bears less time to hunt for seals and build up fat reserves. There is evidence of weight loss, reduced cub survival and bears moving closer to human communities in their search for food.

Arctic ice coverage in recent years has been the lowest on record and studies have found polar bears to be smaller and suffering from lack of food. Some have drowned swimming vast distances of open water between ice floes and far fewer cubs are surviving the first months of life, studies show.

Polar bears have survived previous Arctic warming periods, including the last warm stretch between ice ages some 130,000 years ago. Some climate experts project that nothing in the species’ history is likely to match the pace and extent of warming and ice retreats. That is assuming emissions in this century, and beyond, of heat-trapping gases continue unabated. International climate scientists predict unless global warming is stemmed, polar bears will be extinct by the end of the century. Migrating Polar Bears

Still, Kempthorne said an endangered species listing could not be used to trigger new limits to greenhouse-gas emissions. “That whole argument of climate change is beyond the scope of the Endangered Species Act,” he said.

Yet, the true dilemma is how to protect polar bears. Fisheries of endangered species may be curtailed. Logging is prohibited in habitats of endangered species such as the spotted owl. Whaling is largely eliminated. But how does a government protect the habitat of polar bears when Global Warming is the obvious culprit – an issue George W. Bush refuses to recognize? Maybe George will finally grasp that Global Warming is just not going away.

In the ironic, aka tragic, department, Canada, the US, Greenland and Russia permit indigenous people to hunt polar bears as part of their cultural heritage. In 2005, the Canadian quota was 518 bears, of which 50 were allocated to recreational hunters.

The plight of the ice bears is just another little piece of the puzzle. They live far away from most of us. Few have seen one in its natural habitat. Not many care about the breakup of the Northern ice packs. As we hear about it, our feet remain dry. Why care about all that much about something so far away. But here is the unfortunate inconvenience: No matter what we do, temperatures will continue to rise for years. These small stories, odes, hymns, ballads, what have you, won’t be so small for long. You will notice, if not now, very soon.

Terrifyingly Scary Outlooks

Many of these studies agree on one aspect of their disasters, whether running out of raw materials, the disappearance of food sources, racial riots from immigration or all kinds of threats from Global Warming. There will be horrific consequences to civilization once such bad things happen. We are not dealing with trivial stuff. Let’s look at a few samples of the horrors apparently awaiting us:

  • The economies crash. Supply of goods dwindles. Support programs, welfare stop. Safety programs die. The military, police and National Guard disband. Border control goes AWOL. Financial markets and banks disappear in the night. Industrial production stops. Hospitals close. Air, train and bus transportation grinds to a halt. Ports close. Resources such as oil disappear. Unemployment becomes sky high. Forest fires are out of control. Other fires devastate cities and towns.
  • Food and drinking water runs out. Arable acreage is lost with no fertilizers or water. Crops decline rapidly. Live stocks starve to death. Drinking water becomes treated with sewage and salt water. Extinction of species accelerates. Food shortages quickly develop into famines. Coastal areas may be under water.
  • Health becomes critical. Starvation becomes the order of the day. Malnutrition kills. Lack of sewage control spreads disease. Infant mortality skyrockets. HIV, fevers and infectious diseases explode as no medical help is available. Life expectancy declines.
  • Social fabric breaks down. Crime and corruption prevails. Warfare – local, civil, nation to nation and eventually world wide becomes yet another threat to civilization. When will the first nuke go off? Mass migration occurs in search for food, water and shelter, leading to even more violence. The justice system is gone with local tribunals handing out death sentences left and right.

Is it sensationalism? Of course it is. Could it happen? It might just be a question of time, hopefully a long time. Note, though, that the sagas above are not created by unscrupulous news rags. They are forecasted by reputable scientists. Could any national guard, military, government, nation, economic union or international authority deal with even 10% of the above? Hell no.

TOC

disaster Outlooks UN Style

This section is a partial reprint of my “The Bleakest of Outlooks” post of March 2007.

Man talking to WomanThe UN will publish a series of four major reports on Global Warming in 2007. A summary of first report is already out, dealing with updates to current Global Warming trends. The second summary report is due in April of 2007 covering the impacts on Earth of Global Warming. The third and forth summary reports and the full reports are due later this year.

I covered the first summary report of February 2007 in my “Politics, Scandals, Mass Committees” post. This first IPCC report really did the easy part, simply updating data and recent research. Even so, it created major attention, perhaps mostly in the European EU powers. The EU is now in the process of creating much more stringent limits on their internal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. I discussed the impact of this proposal, now approved by the EU, in my previous “Sauerkraut” post. The current post you are reading contains some updates to the EU plan.

Here are some conclusions known to be in the current pre-release of the April report, according to a Seth Borenstein AP article and numerous similar reports:

Geography, Areas and Life Styles

  • The effects of Global Warming are happening far faster than believed earlier. Climate changes are now impacting physical and biological systems on every continent. Global Warming will affect everyone’s lives, in particular the lives of the poorest. Life styles across the world will change, mostly for the worse.
  • Africa and Asia will be hit the hardest followed by small island communities. On a relative basis, North America, Europe and Australia face the least impacts. Yet, hurricanes and wildfires already cause major disruptions to North American social, cultural and biological ecosystems. Australia is experiencing a drought partly blamed on Global Warming.

Agriculture, Starvation and Forestry

  • The agriculture sector will face major upheavals as their ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing farm land cannot follow. The forest sector faces the same issue.
  • The forestry sector will see temporary improvements due to a longer growing season. It will face major upheavals later as its ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing forests cannot follow.
  • There will be temporary relief in some agricultural areas, such as soybeans and rice production in Latin America, due to longer growing seasons. Later, 200-600 million people will suffer starvation as agricultural ecosystems are destroyed.

Health and Fresh Water

  • Health issues will result in higher death rates. Malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and dengue fever will grow dramatically. Human allergies are mushrooming due to increased pollens. Smog in the US will cause severe health hazards.
  • Hundreds of millions of Africans, tens of millions of Latin Americans and more than a billion of Asians will lack sufficient fresh water.

Ecosystems and Extinctions

  • We are truly standing at the edge of mass extinction. Species’ habits and habitants are changing rapidly. Half of Europe’s spaces are vulnerable to extinction.
  • Polar bears will only be found in zoos, their northern habitat melted into oblivion. Other polar animals will follow into extinction. Half of Europe’s species are threatened. Pests such as fire ants will thrive.

Oceans, Flooding, Coasts, Arctic and Ice

  • Oceans and coastal ecosystems face the most damages. Wetlands will be lost. 100 million people may be flooded out of their lands because of rising sea levels. Coastal flooding might eliminate millions of homes.
  • Coral reefs are killed by bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef could become functionally extinct in less than 20 years.
  • Transportation, e.g. the Northwest Passage, will “improve” in Arctic regions. This alone may lead to major ecological problems as newly accessible areas are exploited.
  • Alpine glaciers in Europe and elsewhere will disappear. Greenland ice sheets decline. The North Pole is no longer under a solid ice pack in the summer.

The report offers some hope if nations slow and then reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but it notes that what’s happening now isn’t encouraging. The Report states: Many, but not all, of those effects can be prevented if within a generation the world slows down its emissions of carbon dioxide and if the level of greenhouse gases sticking around in the atmosphere stabilizes. If that’s the case, the report says “most major impacts on human welfare would be avoided; but some major impacts on ecosystems are likely to occur.

I truly object to the statement that “those effects can be prevented if within a generation the world slows down its emissions”. I believe reductions in emissions must start very soon, or within a few years, for mankind to stand a reasonable chance of survival. Waiting a generation will not do it.

TOC

Next and Previous

Here is a summary of the eight posts in the essay. Navigation links are located just below the summary.

GlobalWarming:1 discusses why Global Warming happened, who and what causes it, ending up with a list of villains. It did not go into the consequences of Global Warming. There was no discussion of impacts on the oceans, the Arctic, Greenland, El Nino, ecosystems, the weather, tundra and ice packs. The Kyoto Protocol or the Stern reports or other Global Warming topics were not covered. That is yet to come.

GlobalWarming:2 covers two main subjects. The UN provides a real mixed bag of positive and negative influences on the fight against Global Warming. The positive is that they try, have some credibility and many resources. The negative is that they fail. The current versions of the Kyoto Protocol and its associated reports do not reduce emissions. The CER system causes more harm than good. Solutions exist but are not acted on. Industrial strategies and national policies do little to reduce Global Warming – in fact, the opposite is often true in spite of rhetorical lip service.Zaire Refugees down the Road

Global Warming:3 examines the basic root cause of our problem: rising temperatures. Is the increase real and does it matter? Is it natural or caused by man? Are the temperatures unusual compared to history? Do GHGs actually cause the increase? What can past temperature variations tell us about what we face today? Can you even trust the basic data and analysis of temperatures? The post answers those and other questions in exuberant detail.

GlobalWarming:4notes that Global Warming is not the first disaster forecast ever done, published and hyped. There were many in the past and as a rule they failed. The disaster in question simply did not happen because extending some historical trend into the future does not work – trends change. So the question is – why is this particular doom and gloom outlook right? What is different this time? As you will see, plenty is different.

The current GlobalWarming:5 reviews the role and issues of population growth. This is a vital issue for future emissions as shown in GlobalWarming:1. Historically over the past 250 years, the explosive growth in populations explains two thirds of the increase in GHG emissions. The rise in personal carbon use must be reversed as must other issues related to unbalanced growth in populations.

Mexicans Heading For US BorderGlobalWarming:6 summarizes some important and a few not so important opinions on Global Warming. Global Warming is a battle ground, galvanizing the left against the right, neo conservatists against liberals, the sane against those not quite sane, the religious right against evangelists, politicians against constituents, reactionaries against activists, bloggers against bloggers, late show hosts against ratings, journalists against circulations, spokespersons against skeptics and, not least, scientists against scientists. This post contains a small sample of the rare truth, accusations, biases, opinions and propaganda thrown left and right, up and down.

GlobalWarming:7 is perhaps the meat of this series. It gets into the details of what is happening right now in the some 25 different real life areas. The true impacts of Global Warming range from ocean bottoms to mountain tops, from oil fields to highways, from tundra to tropics and from farm fields to smoke stacks. These items are not forecasts, assumptions or opinions but verifiable hard facts. The picture is indicative of your, and my, future. The earthly signs get worse by the day.Immigants Lining Up at US Border

GlobalWarming:8 paints three scenarios (not forecasts) of what might happen in the future. There are pessimistic, optimistic and middle of the road pictures. The three scenarios use simple, common sense assumptions, very different from the elaborate, multi million $ systems enjoyed by the UN, the Stern Report, EPA and others. The big systems rely on myriads of assumptions as input, many of which aren’t really known and/or subject to lots of complexity. I favor the KISS approach.

I’m by no means competing with the “big” studies or the smart people putting them together. I used to be a forecasting guru working for the UN, the World Bank, FAO, OECD, the EU and many Fortune 500 companies. I guess I have a right to an opinion. No one is required to consider my views.

I am completely nonaffiliated. No political party enjoys (or wants) my support. I have no axe to grind. I receive no monetary compensations, grants or sponsorships. There are no PayPal buttons on these pages. I have no obligations to fulfill. Office politics do not thrive around here. I promote no agendas except my own – the survival of us all. Occasionally, I put up some of the photos from my portfolios and my photo business.

GlobalWarming:5-8 will follow together with other commentaries and follow ups. Hang in there. The links below help you navigate this monster essay. It’s all quite important to your health.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

TOC

 

 

A Temporary Link Target

Marching off in Seattle

 


Sorry, the next releases are not quite ready yet. They will be online shortly. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get automatic notification or check back soon


TOC

The UK is getting real about Global Warming by outlining binding legislation to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050. The Bill also sets targets of 26-32% cuts by 2020. Parts of the opposition favor 80% cuts, or even 90%. Government assistance will enable insulation of 8 million homes over the next ten years. UK is on track to meet all Kyoto Protocol goals. Government officials stressed the UK’s leadership in the War on Global Warming with a clear eye towards the lack of leadership or action from the US.

Simultaneously, The UK enters direct cooperation with California, bypassing the inertia of George W. Bush. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californian maverick, called Tony Blair an action hero for inspiring the introduction of a law committing California to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Mr. Schwarzenegger said: “It is very clear the Prime Minister has been a great inspiration to many, many countries all over the world… I think he is a pioneer, because he has had the guts to sign the Kyoto treaty and to show to the world that you can protect the environment and protect the economy at the same time.”

Have the Blair or California Governments gone insane? Won’t this madness bankrupt the whole world (or the US as Mr. Bush claims without proof)? Of course not, the UK hopes to make big money on its leadership. They have key parts of the technology to make reductions of this magnitude possible. So do others, including the EU, US and California in particular. If you view these emission reduction plans as some form of misbegotten charity, you are very much on the wrong track. Incidentally, California is not the only state bypassing Bush to enter overseas cooperation and to pursue independent Global Warming and energy policies.

And as I covered in the post “Sauerkraut, Bourgogne, Bangers“, the EU is continuing its path towards 20% emission reductions by 2020. An EU summit in early March 2007 approved the original proposal. More leaks of the upcoming April IPCC report about the consequences of Global Warming led to my post “The Bleakest Outlook Yet”. Optimistic those UN folks are not. Some of you might enjoy my take on Ann Coulter ” To Ann Coulter” after she used the Faggot word referring to John Edwards, who, by the way, is looking to define himself as a Global Warming advocate. Also recently published, the main post “Just Too Many Of You” deals with a variety of issues, most related to how Global Warming relates to populations or, more precisely, you and me.

If the world follows the initiatives of the EU, the UK and California, then the issue of Global Warming will be resolved in our – mankind’s – favor. If, on the other hand, the US, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil continues to screw the world, then we face extinction.

The Skeptics’ favorite TV show “The Great Global Warming Swindle” lost all credibility after journalists and others proved beyond any doubt that the show knowingly presented false data. That included using data sources decenniums out of date, then falsifying “updates” to make it look like the data was recent. Of course, these fantasy (to use a kind word) “updates” were tailored to support the show’s claims. Actual and correct data was easily available but would not support the show’s conclusions, thus ignored by the producers in favor of their own famously fraudulent version.

Sir John Houghton, the former head of the Met Office who chairs the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said: “Last Thursday’s programme purported to debunk the science of Global Warming describing it as ‘lies’ and an invention of hundreds of scientists around the world, who have conspired to mislead governments, and the general public. The material presented was a mixture of truth, half truth and falsehood put together with the sole purpose of discrediting the science of global warming as presented by the main world community of climate scientists and by the IPCC.” Sir John continues to thoroughly expose the show’s false claims.

This is the first issue of “Quick News” that will filter the mass of news to pull out what is actually important and, occasionally, what is not. This little service may or may not become permanent, depending on you guys. Please feel free to provide feedback!

Thanks, Karl


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Starvation. Drought. Flooding. Lack of fresh water. Malaria and dengue fever. Extinction. Malnutrition. Dead coral reefs. Melted glaciers and ice packs. Those are some of the chilling elements of our future according to a UN IPCC report to be released in April of 2007. It sure is a bleak outlook.

I’ll take a closer look at those dire outlooks, then cover a few recent events in the Global Warming world. Finally, I’ll provide a preview to my next major post about Global Warming.

The 2007 UN IPCC Reports

The UN will publish a series of four major reports on Global Warming in 2007. A summary of first report is already out, dealing with updates to current Global Warming trends. The second summary report is due in April of 2007 covering the impacts on Earth of Global Warming. The third and forth summary reports and the full reports are due later this year.

I covered the first summary report of February 2007 in my “Politics, Scandals, Mass Committees” post. This first IPCC report really did the easy part, simply updating data and recent research. Even so, it created major attention, perhaps mostly in the European EU powers. The EU is now in the process of creating much more stringent limits on their internal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. I discussed the impact of this proposal, now approved by the EU, in my previous “Sauerkraut” post. The current post you are reading contains some updates to the EU plan.

Here is a list of my previous Global Warming posts. There are many more in the pipeline, including one on the impact of populations to be released in a few days:

In a month (April 2007), a most likely quite controversial summary report “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” is due, dealing with what Global Warming means to Earth, you and me. Although not yet final or published, mush of the current thinking has leaked. This post covers what is known and likely to be included in the April 2007 summary.

The April 2007 UN IPCC Summary Report Preview

This preview does not guarantee anything about the content of the final report. UN reports require a broad agreement through extensive reviews which waters down conclusions and recommendations to the least common denominator. The April Report is currently in that review process. Scientific findings are balanced against national political agendas of well over a hundred nations and against the biases of thousands of scientists.

In spite of their shortcomings , the IPCC reports carry sufficient weight to attract the attentions of a worldwide press, thousands of pro and con bloggers, Skeptics, Deniers, fascists such as Ann Coulter and more importantly, a few politicians. The austerity of the first report was a contributory factor in passing an EU resolution requiring EU countries to reduce emissions by 20% and increase renewable energy sources to 20% of the total demand.

One scientist: “This is the story. This is the whole play. This is how it’s going to affect people. The science is one thing. This is how it affects me, you and the person next door.”

Another comment: Global warming soon will “affect everyone’s life . . . it’s the poor sectors that will be most affected,”

Here are some conclusions known to be in the current pre-release of the April report, according to a Seth Borenstein AP article and numerous similar reports:

Geography, Areas and Life Styles

  • The effects of Global Warming are happening far faster than believed earlier. Climate changes are now impacting physical and biological systems on every continent. Global Warming will affect everyone’s lives, in particular the lives of the poorest. Life styles across the world will change, mostly for the worse.
  • Africa and Asia will be hit the hardest followed by small island communities. On a relative basis, North America, Europe and Australia face the least impacts. Yet, hurricanes and wildfires already cause major disruptions to North American social, cultural and biological ecosystems. Australia is experiencing a drought partly blamed on Global Warming.

Agriculture, Starvation and Forestry

  • The agriculture sector will face major upheavals as their ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing farm land cannot follow. The forest sector faces the same issue.
  • The forestry sector will see temporary improvements due to a longer growing season. It will face major upheavals later as its ecosystems move north (south in the Southern Hemisphere) and existing forests cannot follow.
  • There will be temporary relief in some agricultural areas, such as soybeans and rice production in Latin America, due to longer growing seasons. Later, 200-600 million people will suffer starvation as agricultural ecosystems are destroyed.

Health and Fresh Water

  • Health issues will result in higher death rates. Malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and dengue fever will grow dramatically. Human allergies are mushrooming due to increased pollens. Smog in the US will cause severe health hazards.
  • Hundreds of millions of Africans, tens of millions of Latin Americans and more than a billion of Asians will lack sufficient fresh water.

Ecosystems and Extinctions

  • We are truly standing at the edge of mass extinction. Species’ habits and habitants are changing rapidly. Half of Europe’s spaces are vulnerable to extinction.
  • Polar bears will only be found in zoos, their northern habitat melted into oblivion. Other polar animals will follow into extinction. Half of Europe’s species are threatened. Pests such as fire ants will thrive.

Oceans, Flooding, Coasts, Arctic and Ice

  • Oceans and coastal ecosystems face the most damages. Wetlands will be lost. 100 million people may be flooded out of their lands because of rising sea levels. Coastal flooding might eliminate millions of homes.
  • Coral reefs are killed by bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef could become functionally extinct in less than 20 years.
  • Transportation, e.g. the Northwest Passage, will “improve” in Arctic regions. This alone may lead to major ecological problems as newly accessible areas are exploited.
  • Alpine glaciers in Europe and elsewhere will disappear. Greenland ice sheets decline. The North Pole is no longer under a solid ice pack in the summer.

The report offers some hope if nations slow and then reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but it notes that what’s happening now isn’t encouraging. The Report states: Many, but not all, of those effects can be prevented if within a generation the world slows down its emissions of carbon dioxide and if the level of greenhouse gases sticking around in the atmosphere stabilizes. If that’s the case, the report says “most major impacts on human welfare would be avoided; but some major impacts on ecosystems are likely to occur.

I truly object to the statement that “those effects can be prevented if within a generation the world slows down its emissions”. I believe reductions in emissions must start very soon, or within a few years, for mankind to stand a reasonable chance of survival. Waiting a generation will not do it.

My previous and upcoming posts deal with all of these issues, and many more, in great detail.

Other recent comments about Global Warming

Global Warming is catching enormous amounts of publicity these days. Here is a very brief update of what people think as seen by the press.

EU Pursuing Drastic Global Warming Actions

My post GlobalWarming:Europe – Sauerkraut, Bourgogne, Bangers discussed a recent European Union proposal to reduce carbon gas emissions in a quite drastic manner. March 8, 2007, this proposal was approved by an EU Summit. Here are a few comments:

  • European Union leaders agreed to fight climate change with more windmills, solar panels, nuclear power and efficient light bulbs. The plan goes beyond the 35-nation Kyoto Protocol in setting targets for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. The deal does not yet include an enforcement mechanism.
  • “We assume leadership with this unilateral reduction,” said French President Jacques Chirac. “This is part of the great moments of European history.”
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds both the presidency of the EU and the Group of Eight industrialized nations, will present the plans to President Bush and other G-8 leaders at a summit in June. Merkel challenged the rest of the world to follow the EU, saying there still was time to “avoid what could well be a human calamity” caused by an overheated planet.
  • Merkel continued: “We are not saying they should throw out all bulbs in their house today, but everybody should start thinking about what’s in the shops”; “Most of the bulbs in my flat are energy-saving bulbs, but they’re not quite bright enough, so sometimes when I’m looking for something that’s dropped on the carpet, I have a bit of a problem.”
  • The major business lobbying group BusinessEurope complained to Merkel this week about the energy targets and said it was “a step into the unknown” because no one has ever assessed the impact on European companies.
  • The nations are divided over the role of nuclear energy. At French insistence, the summit agreement noted the role atomic energy could play in replacing coal- or oil-fired power plants.
  • Friends of the Earth called the mention of nuclear energy in the final statement “appalling”; “Nuclear energy is too expensive. Nations should invest more cleverly in developing other energy sources,” said Jan Kowalzig, a campaigner with Friends of the Earth.

There is nothing wrong with this quite ambitious plan except it will not make much of a difference by itself. The EU may be the largest trading and political union on earth but their emissions are not large enough that even a 20% reduction will materially change the impact of Global Warming. There is no way Global Warming is defeated unless the US, China and India jumps on the band wagon.

If, on the other hand, the rest of the world follows the EU lead, then the problem of Global Warming is solved. I discussed these possible outcomes in my previous European post. Check it out.

The Plight of Skeptics

Here is from a UK Telegraph newspaper report 3/11/2007, proposing Skeptics of Global Warming are ill treated:

  • Scientists who questioned mankind’s impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.
  • Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats. “I can tolerate being called a skeptic because all scientists should be skeptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal.”
  • Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology said: “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science.”
  • Dr Myles Allen, from Oxford University, agreed: “The Green movement has hijacked the issue of climate change. It is ludicrous to suggest the only way to deal with the problem is to start micro managing everyone, which is what environmentalists seem to want to do.”
  • Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said: “Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.”

Making death threats certainly crosses the border into terrorist camps by whoever made them. The trouble I have with all Skeptics is their lack of documented facts to support their positions. I’m not really concerned with who or what is hijacking grants and stifling views. It seems to me that no Skeptic views are stifled – Professor Ball is more widely published than most “pro-Global Warmers”. How come the article only deals with perceived personal slights rather than the actual issue of Global Warming?

Ann Coulter, another Skeptic, does not share Professor Ball’s concerns about name calling. Follow this link to her comments on Global Warming and various other issues.

And the Troubles of Believers

James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, and two dozen other conservative Christian leaders, including Gary L. Bauer, Tony Perkins and Paul M. Weyrich, denounced the association’s vice president, the Rev. Richard Cizik, for urging attention to global warming:

  • Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
  • Cizik cannot be trusted to articulate the views of American evangelicals on environmental issues, then we respectfully suggest that he be encouraged to resign his position with the NAE [National Association of Evangelists].

It appears the NAE board decided to ignore the concerns of Mr. Dobson et al. Mr. Dobson, of course is a steadfast Republican right winger specializing in “family issues”. He chairs the “Focus on the Family” organization that supports school prayer and corporal punishment, a truly mind boggling combination of subjects. NAE lobbies against and opposes abortion, homosexuality, pornography and pre-martial sexual activity. It provides advice for victims of rape or child abuse and on parenting difficulties; child adoption; husband/wife roles; family history and traditions; struggles with gambling, pornography, alcohol, and drugs.

Perhaps that is all good and well if that’s what you fancy. But I can’t seem to find anything indicating insights into Global Warming here. Aren’t evangelists allowed to express concerns about the future of mankind? Why is Global Warming a religious or political issue?

Global Warming and Too many People

Here is a brief preview of my next Global Warming post discussing the impact of increasing populations. This post is scheduled for release by Mid March 2007.

“With populations up 2,000% together with huge leaps in standards of living, many raw material reserves decline simply because we consume them. Earth is no bigger than a thousand years ago. Many oil, gas and coal fields are already silent, depleted and abandoned for ever. The capacity of air, oceans and biomass to store greenhouse gases is declining.”

“Growth in populations accounted for 2/3 of the growth in emissions. A technology factor makes up the remaining 1/3 of emissions.”

“There are limits to food productivity and farm lands, especially as Global Warming reduces arable acreage. Fresh water supplies are dwindling as glaciers disappear and too much is tapped. There is only so much coal and oil left in the ground. It takes 80 years to replace the tree cut down to print an Ann Coulter article. Too many of us labor in industries that do little to sustain life, such as – come to think of it – almost all industries.”

“Tragically, organizations such as EPA, CDC and numerous think tanks, universities and industries are quite aware of these problems yet do little to resolve them, perhaps to please a famously ignorant President. This ain’t rocket science. The solutions are well known.”

“The high tech workers in strong demand cannot be supplied from the poor countries. Instead, these mainly equatorial, poor countries have a huge surplus of unskilled labor. This is where we may face a major social issue as their populations continue to explode resulting in an ever growing unskilled labor surplus. To make things even worse, Global Warming will force a migration northwards throughout the Northern Hemisphere and the reverse south of the Equator simply because of a similar migration of food supplies and life supporting ecosystems including fresh water.”

“The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and, in particular, France have already seen some very ugly riots involving immigrants and the domestic population, usually the police. Many of these clashes involve Muslim immigrants frustrated by perceived or real injustices. Australia has seen its share of immigrant riots as well as Australians rioting against immigrants. These tensions are a two way street.”

Thank you, Karl


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hi Ann, did you know that just a few weeks ago, hyper liberal extremist Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe compared Global Warming Deniers to Holocaust Deniers? Accusing upright Americans for such perfectly valid views is pretty chocking, wouldn’t you say? Name calling like that really has no place in a civilized fascist society, don’t you think?

Ann Coulter drinking and laughingNeedless to say, right thinking journalists, bloggers and citizens let Ms. Goodman have it on no uncertain terms. I’m surprised if she still has a job. If indeed she by chance still works at the Globe, it’s just another example of the arrogant, liberal and elitist “press” showing its contempt for American Christian values. Perhaps you agree.

Of course, Ellen Goodman is not the only liberal terrorist out there, we have crazies such as Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama, Alec Baldwin, Michael Moore and, come to think of it, just about all them Democrats and even a few wishy-washy Republicans. They all have to go in the glorious fascist Utopia.

We really need to think about the future of fascist America. George Bush is getting a bit long in the tooth so who is next to carry the torch? I mean, apart from you, Ann. Jimmy Inhofe is just about the only one to be trusted in the new Senate of leftist lunacy. Perhaps there is room for David Duke, he seems trustworthy. James Dobson is great on family values. Of course, all the old boys at CNP stand ready for the crusade. And we all know there are plenty of closet fascists out there just waiting to come out.

I’m sure you are not familiar with my modest little essays on Global Warming, Ethics and Wars on Terror. But one of the features in those essays is what I call “mini-stories” or “Ballads, Odes, Songs”. The idea is to make these quite boring subjects a little more accessible to those foolish enough to tune in to such useless subjects.

Ann, your brave, hold-no-barrels offensive dedicated to the true American fascist values cannot but move every red blooded American Christian almost to tears. To help spread the message, I decided to dedicate one of my ballads to you personally. Of course, I cannot claim any of your talents. I hope I’ll get it right; it’s important to grasp the full picture of the fascist movement of America, After all, this is the policy of the future, as envisioned by so many.

Here is The Anthem of Ann Coulter, also dedicated to that American hero, Joe McCarthy, a man of great vision and unswerving dedication, sadly lacking monuments:

Anthem of Ann Coulter

On Anne Coulter herself

  • I’m here, I’m not queer, and I’m not going away; Let’s say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I’m not married; Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair; now, they all have long blonde hair; I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn’t; I’m so pleased with my gender – we are not too bright; You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard.
  • Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy—you know, all the virtues in the church of liberalism; I’m a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it.

On Clinton et al

  • [Clinton] masturbates in the sinks; Clinton is in love with the erect penis.; Bill Clinton “was a very good rapist”; It’s enough [to be impeached] for the president to be a pervert; If you don’t hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don’t love your country; We’re now at the point that it’s beyond whether or not this guy is a horny hick. I really think it’s a question of his mental stability. He really could be a lunatic. I think it is a rational question for Americans to ask whether their president is insane.
  • [Clinton] had crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree; is a celebrated felon, a known felon, a pervert, liar and a felon, a criminal, a flimflam artist, a prominent criminal.
  • I don’t know if [former U.S. President Bill Clinton is] gay. But [former U.S. Vice President] Al Gore – total fag. I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edward, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word “faggot”, so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards; C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.

On JFK and the rest

  • JFK was — in theory — as ferocious an anti-communist as the great Joe McCarthy. But Kennedy was a Democrat and thus an utter incompetent when it came to execution. (Johnson is not your strongest case. He had all of JFK’s incompetence without the good heart.)
  • This is as we have come to expect from a [Kennedy] family of heroin addicts, statutory rapists, convicted and un convicted female-killers, cheaters, bootleggers and dissolute drunks known as “Camelot.” Why would anyone want such people as their “good friends”?”

On Dick Cheney

  • Cheney is my ideal man. Because he’s solid. He’s funny. He’s very handsome. He was a football player. People don’t think about him as the glamour type because he’s a serious person, he wears glasses and he’s lost his hair. But he’s a very handsome man. And you cannot imagine him losing his temper, which I find extremely sexy. Men who get upset and lose their tempers and claim to be sensitive males: talk about girly boys. No, there’s a reason hurricanes are named after women and homosexual men, it’s one of our little methods of social control. We’re supposed to fly off the handle.

On Joe McCarthy

  • I know he [McCarthy] got a bad rap because there are no monuments to Joe McCarthy. Liberals had to destroy McCarthy because he exposed the entire liberal establishment as having sheltered Soviet spies; If the internet, talk radio and Fox News had been around in McCarthy’s day, my book wouldn’t be the first time most people would be hearing the truth about McCarthyism.
  • The portrayal of Senator Joe McCarthy as a wild-eyed demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal hobgoblinism. Liberals weren’t cowering in fear during the McCarthy era. They were systematically undermining the nation’s ability to defend itself while waging a bellicose campaign of lies to blacken McCarthy’s name. Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie. Liberals denounced McCarthy because they were afraid of getting caught, so they fought back like animals to hide their own collaboration with a regime as evil as the Nazis.
  • McCarthyism’ means pointing out positions taken by liberals that are unpopular with the American people. As former President Bush said, ‘Liberals do not like me talking about liberals.’ The reason they sob about the dark night of fascism under McCarthy is to prevent Americans from ever noticing that liberals consistently attack their own country.

On Earth

  • The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s yours; God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
  • God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view.

On Global Warming

  • Even right-wingers who know that “global warming” is a crock do not seem to grasp what the tree-huggers are demanding. Liberals want mass starvation and human devastation. There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending “global warming.”
  • When are liberals going to break the news to their friends in Darfur that they all have to starve to death to save the planet? But global warming is the most insane, psychotic idea liberals have ever concocted to kill off “useless eaters.” If we have to live in a pure “natural” environment like the Indians, then our entire transcontinental nation can only support about 1 million human beings. Sorry, fellas — 299 million of you are going to have to go.
  • Liberals are already comfortably ensconced in their beachfront estates, which they expect to be unaffected by their negative growth prescriptions for the rest of us. Liberals haven’t the foggiest idea how the industrial world works. They act as if America could reduce its vast energy consumption by using fluorescent bulbs and driving hybrid cars rather than SUVs.
  • In fact, most scientists whose field is climatology and not, say, the mating habits of the zebra, do not believe we are in the midst of global warming. No matter what the weather does, it is invariably described as further evidence proving the authenticity of “global warming.” Climatologist Jane Fonda explained on her husband’s cable station a few years ago that the “invisible threat” of global warming includes the threat of an increased incidence of blizzards.

On War on Terror

  • Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims; We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war.
  • I’m getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties, I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning. I just think it would be fun to nuke them.
  • When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker [Taliban American] is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.
  • Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.
  • The only subject fewer authentic Americans cared about than the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo was World Cup Soccer. America is an epic global battle with ruthless savages who seek our destruction, and liberals are feeling sorry for the terrorists.
  • As millions of lunatic Muslims plot to murder Americans, some Americans — we call them “Soccer Moms” — will cast a vote to save Michael J. Fox this year. In the process, they will put all Americans at risk by voting for a frivolous, dying party.

On Liberals

  • Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents and they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now; Liberals have absolutely no contact with the society they decry from their Park Avenue redoubts.
  • Liberals refuse to condemn what societies have condemned for thousands of years – e.g., promiscuity, divorce, illegitimacy, homosexuality; Liberals always get a lot of credit for suffering, while never actually being made to suffer; Liberals are always wrapping their comically irrelevant charges in a haze of lies; Liberals love America like O. J. loved Nicole.
  • Since liberals can’t just say that they hate democracy because democracy requires persuasion and compromise rather than brute political force, they accuse any potential “strict constructionists” of being closet slavery supporters. Ludicrous ad hominem attacks on conservative nominees are then used as a basis for the respectable press to refer to the nominee as “divisive.” You are “divisive” if you have been the victim of McCarthy slanders from the left.
  • Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.
  • Usually it’s impossible to have the satisfaction of winning an argument with liberals because they are genetically programmed to pout and chant slogans rather than to engage in logical argument.

On Democrats

  • In the history of the nation, there has never been a political party as ridiculous as today’s Democrats. It’s as if all the brain-damaged people in America got together and formed a voting bloc; Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children; Taxes are like abortion, and not just because both are grotesque procedures supported by Democrats.
  • After repeatedly accusing John Ashcroft of essentially belonging to the Klan and harboring a secret desire to take away women’s right to vote and to murder them personally in back-alley abortions, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee made it clear that there would be no more Mr. Nice Guy when President Bush sends up his first Supreme Court nominee.
  • This from a candidate [John Edwards] (I almost said a “man”) whose campaign falsely accused the president of stealing an election, barring a million black voters from the polls, and sending a thousand American soldiers to their deaths just for oil.

On Fascism

  • My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that’s because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism; The presumption of innocence only means you don’t go right to jail.

On Swing Voters

  • The swing voters—I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don’t have set philosophical principles. You’re either a liberal or you’re a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster.

On Ethics

  • Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.

On New York Times

  • My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building. Of course I regret it. I should have added ‘after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters’; The only standard journalists respect is: Will this story promote the left-wing agenda?;
  • The Times was rushing to assure its readers that ‘prominent Islamic scholars and theologians in the West say unequivocally that nothing in Islam countenances the Sept. 11 actions.’ Keep excluding the New York Times from all exclusive press briefings.
  • I think, on the basis of the recent Supreme Court ruling that we can’t execute the retarded, American journalists commit mass murder without facing the ultimate penalty. I think they are retarded. I’m trying to communicate to the American people and I have to work through a retarded person!
  • The New York Times editorial page is like an Ouija board that has only three answers, no matter what the question. The answers are: higher taxes, more restrictions on political speech and stricter gun control.

On Women

  • I think [women] should be armed but should not vote. Women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it It’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.
  • It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 – except Goldwater in ‘64 – the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted;
  • These [9/11 widows] broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis… These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them… I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.

On Welfare

  • Then there are the 22 million Americans on food stamps. And of course there are the 39 million greedy geezers collecting Social Security. The greatest generation rewarded itself with a pretty big meal; The “backbone of the Democratic Party” is a “typical fat, implacable welfare recipient; To a disabled Vietnam vet: “People like you caused us to lose that war”.

On Schooling

  • [A] cruise missile is more important than Head Start; I have to say I’m all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with is the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the ‘hood to be flogged publicly. Few failures have been more spectacular.
  • Illiterate students knifing one another between acts of sodomy in the stairwell is just one of the many eggs that had to be broken to make the left’s omelet of transferring power from states to the federal government; If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. Don’t pray. Learn to use guns.

On Foreigners

  • I’d build a wall. In fact, I’d hire illegal immigrants to build the wall. And throw out the illegal that are here. […] It’s cheap labor; When we were fighting communism, OK, they had mass murderers and gulags, but they were white men and they were sane. Now we’re up against absolutely insane savages;
  • They’re never very high in anyone’s caste system, are they? Poor little Pakis; Perhaps we could put aside our national, ongoing, post-9/11 Muslim butt-kissing contest and get on with the business at hand: Bombing Syria back to the stone age and then permanently disarming Iran.

On Canada

  • Canada has become trouble recently; It’s always the worst Americans who go there; We could have taken them over so easy. But I only want the western part, with the ski areas, the cowboys, and the right wingers. They’re the only good parts of Canada; Because they speak French; [Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.

Now that the Canadians finally know the score, it is time to end the Anthem to Ann Coulter, famous author, conservative, philosopher and commentator.

Ann, Here’s to You

Ann, I know that you are called all kinds of unkind names. That is just utterly incomprehensible and unfair. Sadly, people, especially them traitor liberals, are so biased, intolerant and fanatical. Generally, they possess the intelligence of a toaster, at best. Luckily, I know you are a strong, level headed woman. No one believes that dyke, bigot, Paris Hilton and boozer slander. Baghdad Bob not frinking or laughingSue’ m.

That stuff about being a vulgar money making machine is just the voice of envy. What’s wrong with making an honest million or two bucks on fascism? It’s the American Way. What’s wrong with selling books by expressing one’s honest convictions out in the market places of college campuses and talk shows? Publicity is the key to all good things. It’s the future. Screw ‘m.

And just think about the injustice of being put in the same camp as weaklings such as Zell Miller, Joseph Goebbels, Howard Stern, Ralph Reed, Joseph Kennedy, John Rockefeller, W. R. Hearst, Thomas Watson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Geraldo, Rod Parsley, and,Joseph Goebbels why not, Charles Lindbergh. This, of course, is the answer:

  • C’ mon, it is a joke. I would never insult anyone by suggesting that they are like Ann Coulter. That would be mean”.

Ann, I just don’t know why I keep seeing Baghdad Bob in my mind whenever I think of you. Strange because you don’t look like him at all. After all, he wears glasses and is not a blond. But he seemed to mean what he said, just like you do, although perhaps not always accurate. Accuracy sure is overrated, though, don’t you think?

Joe Goebbels, on the other hand, looks more like you – slim, well spoken and no glasses. Perhaps a bit shorter than you but that’s a detail. It’s all really a matter of common views. Right?

The 14 Pillars of Fascism

Some liberal fool came up with fourteen points critical to American Fascism. I thought I’d make sure your statements truly conform to these sound fascism principles. After all, we want to make sure you really see the fascist light. So I rearranged things a bit and came up with the following. Personally, I think you pass with flying red and blue colors:

  • Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism: Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy. Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.
  • Disdain for the importance of human rights: The only subject fewer authentic Americans cared about than the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo was World Cup Soccer. I’m getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals.
  • Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause: In the history of the nation, there has never been a political party as ridiculous as today’s Democrats. Taxes are like abortion, and not just because both are grotesque procedures supported by Democrats. Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents and they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Liberals are always against America.
  • The supremacy of the military/avid militarism: I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning. I just think it would be fun to nuke them. America is an epic global battle with ruthless savages who seek our destruction. Don’t pray. Learn to use guns. [A] cruise missile is more important than Head Start. Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims;
  • Rampant sexism: It would be a much better country if women did not vote.. Women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. I’m so pleased with my gender – we are not too bright; I’m here, I’m not queer, [Clinton] masturbates in the sinks; Clinton is in love with the erect penis.; Bill Clinton “was a very good rapist”; Al Gore – total fag. John Edward…. “faggot”.
  • A controlled mass media: My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building, after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters’. The only standard journalists respect is: Will this story promote the left-wing agenda?;
  • Obsession with national security: I’d build a wall. Bomb Syria back to the stone age and then permanently disarming Iran. [Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.
  • Religion and ruling elite tied together: We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy—you know, all the virtues in the church of liberalism; I’m a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s yours; God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
  • Power of corporations protected: God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view. Liberals haven’t the foggiest idea how the industrial world works. They act as if America could reduce its vast energy consumption by using fluorescent bulbs and driving hybrid cars rather than SUVs.
  • Power of labor suppressed or eliminated: Then there are the 22 million Americans on food stamps. And of course there are the 39 million greedy geezers collecting Social Security. To a disabled Vietnam vet: “People like you caused us to lose that war”.
  • Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts: My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that’s because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism.
  • Obsession with crime and punishment: I have to say I’m all for public flogging. The presumption of innocence only means you don’t go right to jail.. Liberals love America like O. J. loved Nicole. Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with is the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman.
  • Rampant cronyism and corruption: Cheney is my ideal man. Because he’s solid. He’s funny. He’s very handsome. He was a football player. But he’s a very handsome man. And you cannot imagine him losing his temper, which I find extremely sexy. The portrayal of Senator Joe McCarthy as a wild-eyed demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal hobgoblinism. Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie.
  • Fraudulent elections: The swing voters—I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don’t have set philosophical principles. You’re either a liberal or you’re a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster. As millions of lunatic Muslims plot to murder Americans, some Americans — we call them “Soccer Moms” — will cast a vote to save Michael J. Fox this year. In the process, they will put all Americans at risk by voting for a frivolous, dying party. ….falsely accused the president of stealing an election, barring a million black voters from the polls, and sending a thousand American soldiers to their deaths just for oil.

Ann, please keep up the good fascist work. We all depend on you! Someone got to keep the light shining. Someone to give us hope for a fascist America. Someone to stand up to against the profiteering, liberal, communist, Hollywood and Wall Street so called elite. Someone that gives the common man hope. Sieg Heil! Credere, Obbedire, Combattere!

Thank you, Karl


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

Global Warming is in the news every day. Rarely is the news good. Can it lead to Apocalypse, Armageddon, doomsday, showdown, annihilation, extinction? It can indeed. But will it, if drastic changes are made? It probably will not. What do we need to change to avert doomsday? Can such changes actually happen? Those are the important questions.Storm at the ocean

Drastic changes only happen if credibility is beyond doubt that “staying the course” means certain disaster. Global Warming is an extremely complex issue and layman credibility is a tall order. No one knows the full story. Many conclusions rely on murky assumptions fed to climate forecasts of dubious accuracy. Past cry-wolf forecasts of different subjects were wrong, their assumptions off the mark. Skeptics believe, suspect and argue that Global Warming is yet another forecasting fad and flop.

Ignore the forecasts and focus on Global Warming as it impacts Earth today. The uniformly negative actual events are enough to paint a very bleak picture. Current Ocean storm waveevents will be felt long into the future, perhaps for a thousand years. That is not a forecast but plain scientific fact. Chemistry is chemistry, as are physics, biology and geology. Do the Skeptics know better? If they do, they better prove it.

The forecast issue clouds people’s mind and therefore must be dealt with. This post examines intricacies of forecasting. What is real, what is not and how do you tell the difference?

TOC

Odes and Songs – Ballad of the Lemmings

Let’s take an example from Sweden, known for balanced, considered and calm views. Their very conservative government meteorological institute recently published a fact sheet on climate change as observed in this icy, Northern outpost. Some points made in this the Ballad of The Lemming:

  • Northern temperatures are up about 1 degree Celsius. Rainfall, due to severe thunder storms, is up 7%. Ocean levels rose due to glacial run-off and higher temperatures, causing flooding.
  • Climatic and growth zones move North at a rate of 10 km per year. Existing, The Tale of The Swedish Lemmingstationary forests are threatened as their eco systems move north.
  • Some alpine areas have lost 15 meters, or 45 feet, of its snow and ice pack. Alpine tree-limits rose from 700 meter above sea level to 1,200 meters.
  • The density of harmful insects is increasing. New species of butterflies arrive.
  • Nordic lemmings (see picture) are going extinct because their natural tundra habitat is thawing. The declines in lemmings cause a decline in the fox and owl population.

I choose this example, the Ballad of The Lemming, because it is neither unique nor all that dramatic. Similar climatic and ecological events happen in Chile, the Sahara, Maine, Bolivia, Tibet, China, Indonesia, Alaska, the Urals or just about anywhere including the Arctic and Greenland. Add the events happening in the oceans, alpine mountain tops, tundra, glaciers, ice sheets, ice packs and coral reefs and the true picture slowly emerges.

The lemmings’ microcosm is real, measured and documented. These events are not causing the extinction of Swedes today. Nor is the rest of the world seriously threatened by the demise of the lemmings. Some of us may not truly care what happens to lemmings. It’s really just another rat. But multiply this simple example by a factor of thousands and you might get concerned. You should be.

TOC

About the Essay and Its Eight Parts

I split the essay into eight posts because of its size. Click here for more details on each post.

  • The first post examines the basic reasons why we ended up in this dreadful mess.
  • The second post covers the political and UN scene.
  • The third post deals with rising temperatures.
  • The “Sauerkraut” post dives into Europe and its mysteries.
  • The present fourth post bares secrets about the forecasting business.
  • The fifth post explains the problematic contribution of rising populations.
  • The sixth post discloses public and not so public opinions on Global Warming
  • The seventh post looks at the very real effects of Global Warming already present.
  • The eighth post views possible outcomes – cure or disaster?

Additional posts cover special subjects, comments and news. The “Sauerkraut” post looks at Europe and its peculiar history of early tribes, wars and more wars, deceit, Fuehrers, Generalissimos, Emperors, Kings and Queens, imperialism, strange food, democracy, greed ending as the world’s largest market and how all of that more or less relates to Global Warming.

TOC

Table of Contents

An elaborate link and TOC (Table of Content) system helps you get around the mass of material in this essay of eight main posts. Use it to find what is of your most immediate interest. Just above, there is a TOC button that lets you enter the navigation system. Enjoy.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TOC

Odes, Ballads, Songs and Arias

This essay contains real life mini stories. They describe usually small, even insignificant, effects of Global Warming. The aim is to make you consider reality, survival, pain and your own future. I cite simple stories about how some of us (humans, animals, plants, oceans and everything else) are already in, or cause, deep trouble. Here are links to the various little puzzle pieces:

TOC

Images in this essay

The photos in this post are devoted to the oceans, being a crucial part of the Global Warming Beached Fishing Vessel by the seaprocess. Watch the many nuances of oceans, fishing, wildlife and pollution. I’ll have a lot more to say about the seas, rising, falling, their streams and mind boggling energy contents, ice, ecology, krill, cod, whales, bottoms, reefs, salinity, temperatures, acidity, photosynthetic and thermohaline processes, evaporation and perhaps most crucial – its storage reservoirs for carbon dioxide gases.

I produced most of the factual graphs from my own databases, combining data from many sources. All photos in this post are from external sources.

This blog, its design, text content (except quotes from others) and my own images and graphs are copyright © Leading Design, Inc 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved. I make absolutely no claims on images or quotes originating in other sources.

TOC

Odes and Ballads – The Carol to Failures

Throughout history, bad and failed forecasts abound. This Carol sings the story of many such cases, most real and some pure fantasy. Enjoy the flops, ignorance, BS and plain incompetence. Marvel at the level of foolishness. Laugh at the dim views. Then try to laugh about Storm by the oceantoday’s incredibly ridiculous views. The trouble, of course, lies in knowing just which view is laughable and which is the true gospel. You’ll never be safe or sure.

The carol comes in three verses, the first two deal with old failures to grasp the basics. The third verse pokes a bit of fun at events today. The thing is – can you really tell what might be and what might not? Here’s the Carol to Failures:

Verse 1 – Statements by those that should have known better:

  • “Fooling around with alternating current, AC as we know it, is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever. It’s too dangerous. Direct current is better.”; “The phonograph has no commercial value at all.” Thomas Edison
  • X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” Lord Kelvin, 1883; “Man will not fly for 50 years.” Wilbur Wright, 1901; “The Titanic is practically unsinkable” Engineers, 1912. “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H.M. Warner, 1927.
  • “It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts, no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs.” From a US Navy pamphlet dated November 28th 1941, eight days before the bomb attack on Pearl Harbor sunk eight battleships.
  • “Among the really difficult problems of the world, [the Arab-Israeli conflict is] one of the simplest and most manageable.” UK Newspaper 1948
  • “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” Albert Einstein; “The atomic bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert on explosives.” Admiral William Leahy.
  • “[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances.” NYT 1957; “Space travel is utter bilge.” UK Astronomer 1956; “Space travel is bunk.” UK Astronomer 1957.
  • “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” DEC 1977 (now bankrupt); “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”; “We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” Bill Gates (not bankrupt).

Verse 2 – More formal and quite embarrassing forecast flops:

  • 590, 992, 1424, 1700, 1882, 1911, 1914, 1925, 1928, 1936, 1952, 1953, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006: the all time favorite forecast -The End of the World is near; 1552, 1844, 1992 and many more – The Return of Christ is near. Both forecasts are frequently quoted on the US Senate floor by Highly Religious Senators.
  • 1798 forecast by Thomas Malthus – Great Britain and the world face immediate and deadly starvation; 1865 forecast by Stanley Jevons – British coal will run out within a few years; 1914, 1939, 1951 forecasts by US Government Agencies – Oil reserves will be depleted within ten years. Not true.
  • 1919 Albert Porta – The Sun is about to explode. 1950s – Nuclear War is imminent; 1960s saw Summers of Love, a New Left, a Sexual Revolution, Social Activism, Counter-Cultures, LSD and much more, all of which were to last, none of which did. Sadly.
  • 1968 – The Population Bomb by Paul Erlich – “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…” So far no sign of this dreadful event. Not counting Africa, of course.
  • The 1960s and 1970s – The Ice Age is coming (this is not really a flop – unusually decisive government action changed the outcome). The 1972 forecasts by the Club of Rome – All kinds of raw materials from gold to oil will run out within decades. Details follow below.
  • 1987 – Raveendra Batra published “The Great Depression of 1990”; 1988 – he published advice how to deal with said depression, followed in 1998 by “Stock Market Crashes of 1998/99”, in 1999 by “Crash of the Millennium” and in 2004 “Greenspan’s Fraud”. I suppose the dot com bust might be what he meant by the 1998/9 Stock Market Crashes. The rest of the stuff is pure bunk.
  • 1993 and 1994 – the U.S. Treasury Department’s staff rejected the notion of the Euro as “fantasy”; The late 1990s – At midnight December 31 1999, all computers face meltdown due to that little year mistake. Sorry, no go.

Verse 3 – My personal forecasts of current affairs, based on absurd fantasies, nightmares, lies, insults, a few jokes and serious mental issues:

  • Skeptics finally and convincingly prove the liberal inspired Global Warming is a hoax – it’s only a few sun spots and Martian cosmic rays; it’s a poor loser named Al Gore; it’s treasonous, falsified, biased data and/or outrageous, politicized lies and it’s corrupt, greedy, anti-Christ scientists loving the spot lights and fat grants.
  • Common Conservative Sense prevails as does creationism and school prayer. The ultimate demise of Democrats dooms gay deviants, abortionist monsters, misguided abortionees, Social Security freeloaders, obstructionist generals, whiny veterans, minimum wage losers, rabid Jews, shameless lawyers, Arab nihilists, homeless duds, clueless actors, shifty gypsies, Cuban weekend warriors, anarchist atheists, NYT journalists, hateful Islams, deadbeat immigrants, Hillary Clinton, Ralph Nader and yours truly blogger.
  • Weirdoes are out, neo cons are in. Indian casinos, surveillance, racial profiling, torture and border fences are popular as are lobbyists, under the table money, Halliburton, reborn Enron and Good Ol’ Religion. James Inhofe takes over EPA. Oprah Winfrey runs for President with Dr. Phil as VP and David Letterman as Campaign Manager but loses badly to the Jerry Springer/Tom Cruise/Bob Dole team.
  • George W. Bush approval ratings skyrocket, opening the East Coast, Washington DC, the Alaska Wildlife Refuge and Hope, Arkansas for oil drilling and pipelines. Other initiatives include whale hunting and secret detention of suspect Americans such as jaywalkers, San Francisco residents and Catholics. Dick Cheney wins the Nobel Peace Price, shoots the last whooping crane, Bill Frist and Tom DeLay while narrowly missing Barney the Scottish Terrier. Chief Justice Donald Rumsfeld approves ethnic cleansing of Bronx, New York, by a new mean and lean FBI.
  • Bill Clinton is arrested for groping three undercover policemen, Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Ruth Ginsburg and Britney Spears. DNA proves he is not the father of Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, nor Daniel Wayne Smith – “It was only a cigar and I did not inhale”, Bill promised. Hillary Clinton stands by her man, announcing her safe-bet VP candidate of choice, the late Strom Thurmond.
  • Paris Hilton heads the Christian Coalition of America. Michael Jackson is elected Democrat Senator from Idaho. Bill O’Reilly, President of UC Berkeley, rejects lame, teary pleas for a job from disgraced, homeless Stephen Colbert. Rush Limbaugh is the CBS Medical Expert on ED, anchoring the “Living A Swinger’s Life” segment. Larry King announces he is the loving father of Dannielynn Hope Marshall King. Rudi Giuliani announces he is the excusive North American licensee of the British “Peerage for Cash” program. “Just bring the cash”, he said, abandoning Presidential plans.
  • The 2007 hurricane season wipes out Cuban Miami, Guantanamo, most of Mexico and Havana due to the outlawed Global Warming. “Praise the Lord”, announces President Bush, sending Michael Brown, DHS Over-Secretary, to level the mess. Brown, believing Miami is in Alberta, Canada, charters a plane and departs for Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Secretary of Defense Ann Coulter wins the Iraqi war, establishes fascism and sends the troops back for R&R before the next mission. Iraq’s cache of WMDs is surrendered to Greenpeace for use against Japanese whalers. Peace and fascism spreads across the entire Mideast in spite of defeatist slants from Barack Obama, Jay Leno, Martha Stewart, Geraldo, Nancy Pelosi, Liza Minnelli and Pat Buchanan. Michael Brown levels Iran in a case of mistaken identity, heads for Moscow-Miami International.
  • Terrorists are those refusing to stand tall beside George W. Bush for decent photo ops. Terrorists are all the same – bad, bad people with unruly beards to be tortured for invaluable info on Osama bin Laden’s shoe size, toothpaste and boiled mutton recipes, then deported to the CIA affiliate Bulgarian Freedom Subcontractors and Executioners (NASDAQ BFSE) to maintain our collective, well surveilled security. Michael Brown is last seen departing for Tokyo-Miami International after accidentally levelling Moscow. “Praise the Lord”, Mr. Bush exclaimed, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”.

Don’t get me wrong. Many forecasts actually come out right. The eruptions of Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo were correctly forecasted, saving many lives. 9/11 was forecasted but no one listened. The Iraq war disasterHurricane ashore on the ocean beach was forecasted but Bush ignored the evidence. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was accurately forecast but the audience was asleep.

Salmon run forecasts in Alaska are pretty accurate. I can forecast my age going out several years. Greenspan’s 1996 stock market outlook “Irrational Exuberance” turned out correctly while mine did not. But my forecast that Phoenix is hotter than Anchorage turned out OK.

TOC

Forecasting disasters

Global warming is not the only disaster scenario in town as you might gather from the Carol above. Shipwreck on an ocean beachI’ll look at two popular Armageddon views – the Club of Rome and a recent, overly pessimistic Fisheries study. I’ll discuss why these two forecasts failed. Why is Global Warming a real threat when these and other “Cry Wolf” scenarios were dead wrong? How do you judge what is what?

In the next post, I’ll discuss population growth, a thoroughly researched subject. My goal is to interpret its impact and possible future issues. It is a good example of how a potential disaster is dealt with in real life. That serves as the background to several important Global Warming issues.

Let me explain the basic philosophy of my “On Reality” series of essays. Nothing is real. We have Harbor Fire and Pollution Disastervery little knowledge of “Reality”. Our Reality is based on distortions. We can’t distinguish between distortions and Reality. That point of view is a major theme in this essay. To place your bet on survival based on unreal distortions does not seem to be a good idea. But if so, what is a good way?

By the way, why are we typically caught with our pants down when a catastrophe actually happens? Witness our lack of preparedness when hurricanes Hugo, Andrew and Katrina hit. Or check out the one hitting Galveston in 1900. Consider the lack of accurate disaster weather forecasts:

“With their understanding of the forces that act on tropical cyclones, and a wealth of data from earth-orbiting satellites and other sensors, scientists have increased the accuracy of track forecasts over recent decades.

High-speed computers and sophisticated simulation software allow forecasters to produce computer models that forecast tropical cyclone tracks based on the future position and strength of high- and low-pressure systems.

But while track forecasts have become more accurate than 20 years ago, scientists say they are less skillful at predicting the intensity of tropical cyclones. They attribute the lack of improvement in intensity forecasting to the complexity of tropical systems and an incomplete understanding of factors that affect their development.”

“The improved accuracy” may be true but don’t bother pointing that out to the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas. Consider Rumsfeld’s forecasts of post-invasion events in Iraq. They were not accurate as a few thousand dead Americans can attest. Is the lack of a forecast better or worse than failing to act on a one that happens to be correct? What do you do to a forecaster who misses the mark at the expense of thousands or millions of lives?

TOC

Real is Good

Evidence of Global Warming is already in place and well documented – the reduction of Greenland ice packs. The opening of the Northwest Passage due to melting ice. The disastrous effects of the Another shipwreck by the ocean shoreIndonesian, Amazon and other deforestation. The emission of methane on a massive, but “natural” manner from warming Siberian lakes. The huge emissions caused by heating and cooling buildings. The transportation industry’s supply of high margin gas guzzlers and, yes, SUVs rather than efficient transportation. Temperatures edging upwards. The weather growing violent. We see droughts and famines, then storms and flooding.

Those effects are not dim, complex and vague forecasts – they are facts. That is why I believe Global Warming is real. Most established reports – IPCC 2007 and the Stern Report rely on and emphasize forecasting models. I believe that emphasis distracts from the message. Stick with observable facts.

  • Realize that most forecasting is a futile act – there is no way to predict unexpected future events. The unexpected are the events that will shape the world, not those that happened in the past. The only time forecasting stands a chance is when such unexpected events by luck simply do not happen or cancel out. Such luck is very rare.
  • A small example from the world of business: Tell me one non-involved person who forecasted the demise of Enron and WorldCom. There were plenty of smart people forecasting the opposite of what happened. In fact, forecasting the fall of either in, say, 1998 would have been viewed as pure irresponsible speculation (except by Kenny Lay, Bernie Ebbers and fraud pals).
  • Another example: The US Federal Reserve sets interest rates based on its opinion of future growth, inflation and other black box fantasies. Everyone relies on that rate, from the stock market to home owners to foreign powers. Since the Feds revise their view several times a year and the factors they deal with usually change much slower, the Feds tend to be right quite often simply by “staying the course”. When the economy does the unexpected, the Feds will generally not recognize that in time but continue their “stay the course plan” too long. The Feds will exaggerate the ill effects of the unexpected change in the economy. They are a lagging indicator of the economy, not the leading indicator they should be.
  • Forecasting is merely a tool: This post is about our inability to see into the future. Any view of the future is extraordinary limited and potentially dangerous. We routinely draw the wrong conclusions and make the wrong decisions about future events. We live in an uncertain world where almost everything is distorted. While there are a few good forecasts, there are simply way too many bad ones.

The most powerful super computers on Earth predict weather patterns. They, for instance, analyze hurricanes and predict tSunken shipwreck off an ocean beachheir track. Ask New Orleans citizens of their view of the accuracy of these super computers. Nor are they very good at issuing timely warnings for tornadoes or any type of extreme weather. In these cases, we look at a time frame ranging from minutes to a few days. Why would you expect these computers saying something meaningful a year out? Do you trust these machines to give good answers 20 or 40 years out?

No one likes uncertainty, least of all politicians and investors. Every one loves a forecast that provides the “right” answer. Yet limiting our beliefs to such forecasts is like relying on tea leaves or a pair of crutches. Concentrate on what actually is happening even if it is in a remote location far from you.

TOC

Secrets and Witchcraft

Ocean going tanker in troubleI’ve had the fortune to spend fifteen years as a technical forecasting guru. I created quite complex forecasting systems and used them to produce believable (if I was lucky) results to clients such as the UN, EEC, FAO, OECD, the World Bank and many other very big organizations. I forecasted everything from product life cycles, supply/demand of commodities, business cycles, housing prices, currency rates to industry ROI. Later on, I spent some 10 years as an economist for a major corporation.

After twenty five years in the business, I know where the forecasting skeletons are buried. I went away skeptical of many forecasting techniques and disgusted with the often sensationalistic and self promoting attitude of some forecasting and economist practitioners.

The downfall of forecasting is its reliance on historical data to provide a pattern. The forecaster extrapolates this pattern into the future, believing nothing will change except, possibly, changes to the pattern that the forecaster subjectively inserts. The mathematical system may be quite sophisticated, taking into account time series, cross sectional data, price elasticity, multivariate factors, spectral analysis, statistical and economic theories, measures, distributions, Groundhog Day, recent Elvis sightings and much else. The result is a huge, complex black box that is incomprehensible to most humans, including the scientists themselves.

f(x;\mu,\sigma) = \frac{1}{x \sigma \sqrt{2 \pi}} e^{-(\ln x - \mu)^2/2\sigma^2}

\mathrm{E}(X) = e^{\mu + \sigma^2/2}

\mathrm{var}(X) = (e^{\sigma^2} - 1) e^{2\mu + \sigma^2}\,

\mu = \ln(\mathrm{E}(X))-\frac{1}{2}\ln\left(1+\frac{\mathrm{var}(X)}{\mathrm{E}(X)^2}\right)

\sigma^2 = \ln\left(1+\frac{\mathrm{var}(X)}{\mathrm{E}(X)^2}\right)

Above is the math representation of a life cycle curve, known as a lognormal distribution. It was a favorite of mine for cross sectional analysis. It’s still used frequently.

I’m showing the graphs to emphasize the black box syndrome of the forecasting business. For all its little mysterious variables and odd Greek characters, below are some samples of the different forecasts you can get given the wonder of science shown above. Just look at the spread of the curves and pretend they are forecasts of world temperature. Pretty wild, huh? Makes any sense? Of course it does not. This complex mass ofLog Normal Distribution Forecast Samples math and theory is quite a powerful tool – better than many others. But few of us understand that power and even fewer can use it effectively. The graphs are obtained from here.

The sophisticated systems of today may explain history in an astonishing detail but not necessarily in the right manner. Even assuming the researcher got the historical patters right, why does anyone believe that these patterns will hold true in the future?

Here are a few examples where historical trends were useless in forecasting the future:

  • In the first years of the 1900s, no one had successfully flown a heavier that air airplane. Thus the forecast said 1) man would never fly or 2) if in fact man did fly, then there would never be commercial air traffic. In the 1950s, no man had reached into space, therefore it would never happen. “Manned space flights are bunk”. There are scores of similar examples where because no one succeeded in the past, it would never happen. Ever. Wrong.
  • 1960s forecasts of a new ice age did not consider that the sharp rise in SO2 pollution could be reversed as in fact it was. Early forecasts claimed that Global Warming would never happen since it never happened in the past. Just because something didn’t happen is no guarantee it will not happen eventually.
  • I’ll never get fired because I never was fired in my life. I’m sad today, therefore I’ll never be happy. I’ll never suffer from cancer because I’ve never had cancer. I’ll never die because I never died in the past. Ladies and Gentlemen, place your bets – true or false?
  • WWI was the war to end all wars. More troops in Vietnam would win the war. In 2003, Bush forecasted the Iraqi mission was accomplished with the capture of Baghdad. He stated Iraq would be the Mideast stronghold of democracy and a base for spreading the gospel to the rest of the area. None of this nonsense turned out accurate.
  • Forecasts say mankind will run out of this or that vital resource: oil, coal, food, Barbie dolls, space, umbrellas, Mini Coopers, pot, Internet IP addresses or fish sticks (frozen, breaded). Temporary conditions generally do not last long. I believe the Minis are still in tight supply but the other items are easily available.
  • The 1990s forecasts of Microsoft stock doubling endlessly. The wildly overstated 1990s forecasts of fiber optic network demand. The 1990s forecasts of CompuServe’s ever rising customer base. A similar forecast from AOL based on the distribution of millions of CDs to unsuspecting households. The 2000s forecasts believed that Google stock will 1) fizzle or 2) rise forever. The 2000s forecast housing prices will increase forever is already proven false as are the other outlooks in this paragraph.
  • The 1950s forecast that manufacturing costs would be low in Japan forever. The 1990s forecasts claimed that labor costs in Mexico, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore would remain low. The 2000s forecasts stated that manufacturing and service costs would stay attractive in Malaysia, Vietnam, China and India. None of these forecasts survived the test of time. Africa is the next exploitation target. That’s the last outpost.
  • The 1950s and 1960s CIA assessed the superior economic and military strength in the USSR required the US to counter by spending more on “defense” – actually offensive – capabilities. The longstanding belief was that the Soviets sought to expand its dominance world wide – the domino theory requiring massive US counter measures. In reality, the USSR never expanded beyond Eastern Europe and was soon to go bankrupt.

The common feature in above examples is that some actual or perceived historical fact, trend or event somehow will govern the future. Occasionally, that is a valid assumption: we know the sun will rise in the east and settle in the west every day. We can forecast the position of stars and planets Dying ocean sealrelative to earth with great precision. It’s easy to forecast when we turn 50. In general, except for a few such cases, assuming the past will prevail forever is a very bad foundation for decisions.

Any forecasting system can provide absolutely wild and totally unbelievable results. I produced a lot of systems that happily went off the map in believability and common sense. You quietly dump these systems and hope no one will notice. These rouge systems may explain historical patterns very well. There is plenty of theory explaining why this happens. Analysis of real life is very difficult. The earlier “lognormal” graph is a simple illustration of how you can get results that are so extreme that they are completely useless.Dying heron on an ocean shore

In real life, some fool starts a war in Iraq, throwing every oil price forecast out the door. Or it snows in Boston, destroying all flight forecasts in a jiffy. This in turn makes confetti out of stock price forecasts. Then interest rates rise or decline, freaking out the banks and pushes another Silicon Valley biotech company over the edge; just because it snowed in Boston. But MySpace.com and eHarmony.com flourished because what else can you do when it snows?

You’d be amazed to know how many controversial and perhaps newsworthy forecasts are based on a Forest Gump approach. They are not sophisticated or advanced. They are based on trivial “Statistics 101” level analysis. I’ll show famous examples below.

No one can accurately forecast future patterns, however smart the forecaster or his/her toys are. But some forecasts are better than others. Here are two examples, telling the tale of the furious battle of scientists (you and me):

You: You are given a grant to forecast meteor hits on Earth and their impact. You quickly analyze the precise effect of a 1 mile diameter meteor hitting the Aleutian Chain in Alaska on May 3, 2008 at noon, local time. Results: the globe will be real cloudy and cold for a long time, the Bering Sea fish stock evaporates, half of mankind dies and no one worries about Global Warming. Next, a historical pattern tells you meteors hit once every 10,000 years The last hit was 9,998 1/2 years ago. So you say May 3, 2008 will be a real bad day after consulting your PDA calendar. The world’s Mass Media report the sensational news. Every one runs for the hills. Of course today you have no idea if the meteor even exists. But history tells us… ah well, I hope you got the point.

Me: I am to forecast what will happen to a forest lot that was recently clear cut. Here is my forecast: on May 3 or 4, 2008, there will be no timber harvest from that lot. Why? First, it’s a Saturday or Sunday (remember the date line) plus many parts of Earth will be dark at noon Dutch Harbor time. Next, I forecast that there will be no mature timber on the lot, hence no harvest. I also boldly forecast there will be no meteor hit that day because I want what’s left of your grant money.

You: The meteor forecast may be detailed and accurate as to the impact of a hit. The problem is you relied on that 10,000 year historical pattern. The probability of that holding true for that day and location is microscopic and pure speculation. You are promoted to Dutch Harbor’s postal office effective May 5, 2008. I win the grant.

Me: The sneaky forecast of no meteor hit is likely right on. My harvest forecast uses the historical pattern saying it takes about 80 years to grow trees. That is well researched and based on biological facts. I’m pretty safe about the week end, no work deal. Lastly, I’m OK if there are earthquakes, insurgent attacks, tsunamis or forest fires on the lot. My no harvest, no meteor forecast for May 3/4, 2008 is a pretty sure winner.

Serious practitioners are quite aware of high and low probability forecasts. If faced with low Otter dying from oil spill by the oceanprobabilities, produce “what if” scenarios. Put all high probability forecasts on page one, whether relevant or not. That provides a range of perhaps relevant answers but no special way to determine the real outcome. Forecasting models are also of value when looking at the consequences of doing nothing – the obvious, simple answer: no change means more of the same but it can really impress the audience if “the same” is quantified in some convoluted manner. Often, the safest forecast is saying something will NOT happen as is evident in the example above. “In our forecast, no tsunami will hit Chicago tomorrow”. Gee, promote that guy, he is right again.

Here are examples of low probability forecasts, meaning they probably won’t be correct:

  • Timing of meteor hits, tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
  • Spotting Elvis, the Loch Ness monster, James Traficant or Michael Jackson next Tuesday.
  • The stock market and commodity futures one month out. Weekend movie ticket sales.
  • Timing of turns in economic cycles. Housing market peaks or bottoms. The price of oil.
  • The roulette table hitting 6 three times in a row (anytime soon) in your favor.
  • Fish catches two years out. Agricultural yields six months out. Kentucky Derby winners.
  • GHG concentrations returning to the levels of 1900 in 6 months. Gas prices in Vermont.
  • Glaciers back to 1950’s levels in a year. Swedish lemmings prospering.

Here are some higher probability forecasts, meaning a pretty good chance of hitting the mark:

  • Forest land harvest one year out (assuming no forest fires and similar catastrophes).
  • No meteor hits, UFOs, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes at your place tomorrow.
  • Your loss in one day’s Las Vegas gambling exceeding what you can afford.
  • One’s income next week (assuming no meteors). One’s rent/mortgage bill next month.
  • Tomorrow’s weather being the same as today. Rain today means rain tomorrow.
  • Average world temperatures 5 years out and its impact on many ecological changes.
  • GHG levels 5 years out and its impact on temperatures and ocean acidification.
  • The US, China and India will not curb CO2 emissions within the next two years.

How do you judge the accuracy of forecast model? If you are a scientist and forecaster you examine the methodology, if available, and you consider probabilities. Sometimes you deep-six the other guy’s model because he is a competitor or, possibly, because Mr. George W. Bush told you so. If you are a real person with no expertise, you exercise skepticism till a sufficient number of real experts will put aside their vicious infighting (“where the stakes are low”, as some say) and tell the truth.

With all this negativity – why don’t I reject the Global Warming outlook as I do with so much else? It really boils down to four factors.

  • First, much of the data does not rely on forecasts but on readily observed actual events. The rise in temperatures and increases in green gases ARE occurring NOW.
  • Second, these events are widespread, consistent, univocal, readily observed and measured. Few deny the universal importance of global warming except George W. Bush, his friends, employees and lobbyists and a few neo con bloggers.
  • Third, there is a unique case of general agreement among experts. In doubtful cases, there will be differing opinions and lots of infighting. Most scientists are in a rare state of agreement in the case of Global Warming.
  • The fourth factor is that the scientific community has strong enough arguments to actually generate some world wide political attention. That attention resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, its annual boondoggle conference and a few, at times, meaningful national and industry programs, such as in the EU. Unfortunately, universal attention does not equal universal political action.

I’ll draw on three examples of real life forecasting: first, the disaster scenarios of the Club of Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. Second, I’ll examine recent forecasts that there will be no edible fish by 2048. Third, I’ll cover population growth and related alarmist outlooks (next post).

TOC

The Club of Rome

How many of you know about, or remember, the Club of Rome? Probably that is not too many, these days. The Club was formed in 1968. In 1972 it published a book that sold 35 million copies. The Oil spill on the ocean beachbook caused both the rise and fall of the Club. The Club still exists although it’s hard to understand why. For a time in the 1970s and perhaps the 1980s, they were really quite influential. Today they are not, to the best of my knowledge.

Their book is called “Limits to Growth”. It dealt with perceived limits to raw materials throughout the world. They stated that gold would run out by 1983. Petroleum (oil) would run out around the mid 1990s. Since it was published in 1972, the oil crisis starting in 1973 seemed to confirm their thesis. Even I have a copy of the book somewhere. It really had a broad cult following of millions.

The trouble, of course, is that their forecasted disasters never happened. That will destroy credibility quite fast. And it did to most of the world. Who are these guys anyway? They are labeled a global “think tank of innovation and initiative” to this day. Their motto:

“As a non-profit, non governmental organization, it brings together scientists, economists, businessmen, international high civil servants and heads of state and former heads of state from all five continents who are convinced that the future of humankind is not determined once and for all and that each human being can contribute to the improvement of our societies.”

They do have a current membership which seems to fit their motto to some degree. For instance, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Mikhail Gorbachev are members as are a number of ex-Presidents and big shot Academia. To this day, they do seem to deal with a variety of issues and operate on a world wide basis. Critics say it is an elitist, old boy European power group with very murky motives, whatever that means.

Club of Rome Gold Reserves

Let’s return to their 1970s glory days of “Limits to Growth” (sponsored by Xerox by the way). They used a model called World3 to run a series of analyses to examine what they called static and exponential indices of supply and demand of key raw materials in light of very rapid growth in populations. The index is simply the ratio of supply (existing reserves) to annual consumption.

They forecasted this ratio based on two assumptions: The static index assumed that demand is constant. The exponential index let demand (but not supply) increase by some growth rate. The result would be the number of years of remaining supply.

Club of Rome Oil Reserves

The alert reader will realize that the exponential index will result in a quicker catastrophe (running out of raw materials) than the static index. The two graphics next to this text illustrates their forecasts of gold and oil (petroleum) supply, as seen in 1972. You can see gold running out by the early 1980s. Oil would run out by the late 1990s. They were wrong by, probably, a few hundred years as we know today.

This model is quite naive. It’s below Statistics 101. It’s a classic example of bad analysis somehow gaining a foothold in the minds of ignorant people (including me for a while). The analysis and results mean absolutely nothing. Not too surprising, it was a total failure. Incidentally, it took me about five minutes to reproduce their “World3” forecasting system in Excel. It took a bit longer to produce the two graphs above (I’m no Excel guru) to show how their model works.

The “Limits to Growth” of 1972 led to 1992’s “Beyond the Limits” and various updates in 1993 and 2004. You might wonder what they had to say after their so incredibly silly first try. Here is a sample (source here):

“Society has gone into overshoot … a state of being beyond limits without knowing it. These limits are more like speed limits than barriers at the end of the road: the rate at which renewable resources can renew themselves, the rate at which we can change from nonrenewable resources to renewable ones, and the rate at which nature can recycle our pollution.

… We are overshooting such crucial resources as food and water while overwhelming nature with pollutants such as those causing global warming.”

‘Beyond the Limits’ recognizes that the future doesn’t lie in tinkering with resource use or simply squelching population growth in developing countries. A sustainable future will require profound social and psychological readjustments in the developed and developing world.”

Current crop yields can only sustain the world’s population at subsistence levels … while nonrenewable energy resources and fresh water supplies are dwindling, and greenhouse gases and other pollutants increase.

But while the prognosis is disaster within decades if nothing is done, there are encouraging signs.

Technology offers greater efficiency in energy consumption and pollution control, international response to the ozone crisis has been relatively swift, and recycling efforts are gaining headway.

[However] … the conditions underlying limit overshoots-population growth and resource depletion in a finite world, for example–remain un addressed in the corridors of power.”

I’m not clear on what they are saying above except I’m surprised by their statement about Global Warming which has to be a very early reference (1992). Have they learnt? Perhaps they have, perhaps not. Perhaps it is the strange English. There is no way to tell unless you read their books. I’m not sure I have the time. Frankly I don’t care. This is too much like shooting fish in a barrel.

TOC

Forecasting Traps and Mistakes – Take 1

Here are a few items ignored by the Club (and, by the way, a lot of other bad analysis):

  • The forecast doesn’t account for productivity and technology – one kilo of raw material lasting longer or growing faster. One kilo of computer is infinitely more powerful than 20 years ago. A given car part is much lighter than before. The DVD won over the video tape and the CD. CDs killed cassettes. Cassettes killed LP’s.
  • The forecast doesn’t consider finding more recoverable resources – such as new findings or better extraction of, say, gold, oil or coal. Additional resources are found daily through very sophisticated means. Consider solar power panels – unheard of just a few decenniums ago.
  • The forecast ignores that scarce resource demanding a higher price leading to diminished demand – the oil crisis of 1973 lead to explosive growth in the use of wind power. Wind power can theoretically supply all of Earth’s electricity needs. High gas prices recently dampened the demand for SUV’s.
  • The forecast fails to account for preservation acts – today’s gas mileage is far better than in 1973. Most appliances use less energy. Food items stay fresh longer. There is an abundance of legalities aimed at preservation from a household level to big industry.
  • The forecast doesn’t allow for substitutions for the scarce materials. Wind power, again, is a good example. So is the use of somewhat controversial hybrid or electrical cars. The possible substitutions of gas fuel by ethanol, natural gas, butane, propane, diesel, hydrogen fuel cells and improved lithium batteries.
  • The forecast bypasses the influence of political means to protect, regulate and promote resources through subsidies, tariffs, threats, intimidation and any other means. Take textile, steel, farming, tobacco, sugar and lumber as just a few examples.
  • The forecast is completely out of whack with the historical data: Historical data is not always relevant if there is an explainable break in trends. However, be very suspicious if no history is shown or no explanation is given why there is a break. What do these guys want to hide? Easy: the history doesn’t support their insane forecasts. Perhaps they never explained or looked at history, just making up some numbers.

Simple historical trends and patterns NEVER last. They ALWAYS change. Any forecast that assumes static relationships is sure to fail. Unfortunately, there really are no reliable ways to forecast how these historical relationships will change. That did not bother the Club of Rome – they simply ignored history, changing trends and made up the numbers.

TOC

No more Fish

I like fish. It tastes great if done the right way and it is mostly good for you although various toxins and bacteria are alarming in some fish catches. As a kid I went fishing with spectacular failures. Once upon a time I ran a fish wholesale business, doing just as badly as in my fishing endeavors. I even went to College learning about fish and the preservation of quality (keep’m cold, don’t step on’m).

So when I see headlines stating no more fish beyond 2048, I’m alarmed. Never Fishing in the Bering Sea, Alaskamind if I live that long I probably won’t care. Still it sure sounds bad indeed. The headlines were due to a quite recent study by the University of Stockholm, published in Science Magazine and funded by the National Science Foundation.

A personal comment: I will mention trends, techniques and events in this section that I personally am not all that happy about, such as fish farms and genetically manipulated fish. I will set aside my own concerns to provide an unbiased and balanced (?) perspective.

The study deals with what the authors call “collapses of stocks”. First a fact: about 140,000 species go extinct every year, some part of which is fish. Second, according to the study, a third of fish species have “collapsed” since 1950. In 1950, six commercial species went critical. By 2003, 2,200 species had collapsed according to the study. A species is collapsed when the harvest falls below 10% of historical levels.

Below is one of my reasons for suspicion. The graph shows US fish and shellfish consumption per capita from 1910 to 2004. It looks like consumption was pretty flat from 1910 till the late 1960s. Then, up till the RECORD year of 2004, consumption INCREASED steadily by about 60%. Further, the data is on a per capita basis. The US population increased by 300% between 1910 and 2004. That means that gross US consumption of fish increased by a whooping 360% over the 94 years with no sign of letting off.

US Fish Consumption 1910-2004

Where are the signs of “collapsing species”, starting in 1950? There is sure no sign thereof in the US. Perhaps some species have suffered but substitution more than made up for that. Data source: US National Marine and Fisheries Service.

World Fish Catch 1998-2004

The next question in my mind was that perhaps the US is uniquely lucky in this regard. So I tool a quick look at the rest of the world. Indeed, the picture in Europe is a bit different. Based on data from 1990 through 2003, it looks like European fisheries hit a peak in 1995 and has fallen quite dramatically since. That may not be too surprising since their primary catch – North Atlantic cod – has indeed collapsed. A closer look at the data reveals that the decline (and the 1995 peak) was shared almost totally by two countries: Denmark and Spain. Major fishing nations such as Norway and the UK seem to be unaffected. Neither do UN figures for the world as a whole seem alarming as shown in the graph above.

Obviously, there is something I’m missing. Or is it? Here are the authors somewhat feeble conclusion:

Human-dominated marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of populations and species, with largely unknown consequences. We analyzed local experiments, long-term regional time series, and global fisheries data to test how bio diversity loss affects marine ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales.

Overall, rates of resource collapse increased and recovery potential, stability, and water quality decreased exponentially with declining diversity. Restoration of bio diversity, in contrast, increased productivity fourfold and decreased variability by 21%, on average.

We conclude that marine bio diversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean’s capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations. Yet available data suggest that at this point, these trends are still reversible.

The study mentions possible Dead fish washed up on ocean beachsolutions or, at least, hopeful factors, such as marine conservation. That sounds innocent enough, but the world newspapers draw different conclusions using the sensational parts of the report.

The study forecasts that commercial fish species would all have collapsed by 2048. The world press quickly picked up on this and the news flew around the world in no time. A few accounts, first some of the pro arguments:

  • Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the ocean species together as working ecosystems, then this century is the last century of wild seafood… It looks grim, and the projections into the future are even grimmer
  • The impacts of species loss go beyond declines in seafood, the authors said, noting that human health risks also emerge as depleted coastal ecosystems become vulnerable to invasive species, disease outbreaks and noxious algal blooms.
  • …. Declining species diversity could have profound impacts, creating more unstable marine ecosystems that are quicker to crash and slower to recover. For humans, the decline in diversity was tied to declining seafood harvests, water pollution and a stagnation of maritime economies. And as more species collapsed, they concluded, the overall ecosystems may unravel at a faster rate.
  • The research team analyzed 32 controlled experiments, observational studies from 48 marine protected areas and global catch data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s database of all fish and invertebrates worldwide from 1950 to 2003. The scientists also looked at a 1,000-year time series for 12 coastal regions, drawing on data from archives, fishery records, sediment cores and archeological sources.
  • …. Pressing question for managers is whether losses can be reversed, the authors said. If species have not been pushed too far down, recovery can be fast, they found, adding that there is also a point of no return where recovery is unlikely, as in the case of the northern Atlantic cod.
  • Examination of protected areas worldwide showed that restoration of bio diversity greatly increased productivity and made ecosystems 21 percent less susceptible to environmental and human-caused fluctuations on average—an indication that ocean ecosystems have a strong capacity to rebound.

All of the above SOUNDS reasonable with responsible reporting and all. Obviously the study is quite detailed and possibly well thought through, based on the above. Still, why does none of this show up in readily available and authority based data? Next, some of the critique:

  • Global fishing trends point to a collapse of most wild seafood harvests by mid century… “It’s just mind-boggling stupid,” said…. For example, most of the harvests in the North Pacific off Alaska… are not in sharp decline… (Seattle Times)
  • (Paul R.) Erlich wrote that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the future (more to come). Of course the future was 1985. This [study] is similar nonsense.
  • ….. Does not share the researchers’ alarm. Fish stocks naturally fluctuate in population….. Developing new technologies that capture target species more efficiently and result in less impact on other species or the environment…….. Industry does not adversely affect surrounding ecosystems or damage native species.

So some disagree. That’s to be expected. Yet, I don’t really see the answer. Llet’s look closer. Here is the simple graph from the study that destroys a fair bit of its credibility:

Naive Fishery Foreccast

Sorry about the blurriness – no, it isn’t your eyes after too much reading! Look closely at the graph. Here is another classic example of exaggerating a few facts (history) to create a sensational result. And yes, they did gain the attention of most major newspapers and magazines around the globe. The trouble is that the conclusion reached in the graph is dead wrong. Fish and seal victims of by catch fishing

Consider this. First, do you see the similarity to the Club of Rome nonsense? In both cases there is a trend line (forecast) that dramatically heads down to hit a rueful zero (or in this case “100% collapse”) What I said about the errors of Club of Rome applies just as much here. Do not blindly extrapolate your favorite trend.

Second, they – as opposed to the Club of Rome – provided a bit of historical data which to an untrained eye may validate the results. A trained eye immediately picks up on a glaring error in the analysis – notice that the historical data points are all BELOW the trend line in the 1980s and ABOVE the trend line in the 2000s. That statistical phenomenon is called auto correlation and invalidates the collapsing trend line right there.

Again, how come their historical data bear no resemblance to the historical data I picked up from the UN and the US government? It certainly raises some integrity questions. Can’t they even get their easily verified history right?

Let me play with the graph above a bit:

Woldwise Seafood Catches - Alternative Forecasts

As you can see, I extended the time scale by a hundred years or so. Then I penciled in (so to speak) a straight line that fits the historical data far better than does the original downwards curved trend Mixed ocean fish catchline (the one the authors insanely labeled “Projected trend” to the joy of mass media). The new, much more technically plausible “Do Nothing” forecast delays Armageddon till 2122 – by 74 years.

But even the more optimistic, linear “Do Nothing” trend is no better than the Club of Rome’s static index foolishness. It ignores any break in historical patterns. The chance of that happening is zero. It disregards all kinds of scientific wisdom.

So I made my own assumptions. I speculated that some positive change will occur. It might be effective Fishery Management, which can work well and is in place today in many part of the world. Bad by catch from ocean trawlingIt might be fish farms that have spread, successfully, like wild fire for many years. It might be genetically managed fish on a huge scale. Or it could be an improvement in the astonishingly low productivity in the fishery industry in general. Perhaps such measures will turn the curve up. Why not, it happened with some species of whales.

The hypothetical result is a curve that returns to previous heights. Perhaps not very likely considering disasters such as North Atlantic cod but still just as plausible as any of the study’s unsubstantiated calls. Take Maine lobster, left for dead a few years ago. They were over fished, near extinction and no doubt “collapsed”. Today Maine fishermen enjoy record catches with no sign of depletion or “collapse”. That’s what Fisheries Management is all about. Plus some luck.

But I’m still troubled. The optimistic assumptions that I made are plucked right out of thin air. I ignore far too many other possible outcomes. For instance, how will global warming affect the fish ecology? The oceans are warming up. Acidity and salinity change faster than in a very long time. Will that kill fish or the other way Bristol Bay, Alaska Crabbingaround? What about the mercury poisoning of many fish species and other pollution impacts? What about the possibly disastrous side effects of fish farms? Farmed fish can severely threaten wild stocks. What about biotechnology – good or bad? How will pollution affect the ecology of the oceans? Anyone claiming to understand these issues a liar. No one has all the answers.

The fact is fish stocks may easily nosedive. The pessimistic study forecast may prove to be right for the wrong reasons. The same is true of any view of the future. Things may easily go to hell. We live in a world very vulnerable to mankind’s manipulations. We need no forecasting systems to tell us that. Just look around you.

TOC

Forecasting Traps and Mistakes – Take 2

Take 2 adds the lessons learnt in the Fisheries example plus some other general observations, many of which I’ll discuss in later posts in this series. This is the final list of do and don’t items. Put it on your wall.

  • The forecast doesn’t account for productivity and technology – one kilo of raw material lasting longer or growing faster. One kilo of computer is infinitely more powerful than 20 years ago. A given car part is much lighter than before. The DVD won over the video tape and the CD. CDs killed cassettes. Cassettes killed LP’s. Farmed fish grows faster than wild fish. Farmed trees grow faster than old growth. Genetically managed fish, trees and food drastically change the supply curve. General labor and capital productivity in food production, such as farm land optimization, feed stock growth and disease control, in particular in less developed areas, can hugely increase food production.
  • The forecast doesn’t consider finding more recoverable and/or renewable resources – such as new findings or better extraction of, say, oil or coal. Additional resources are found daily through very sophisticated means. Consider solar power panels – unheard of just a few decenniums ago. Fishermen are remarkably adept at finding new species to catch as their traditional markets or supplies decline. Continued energy shifts such as towards wind, solar, recycling, farming (including food, fuel, trees and energy), hydro or even nuclear energy is not only possible but highly likely.
  • The forecast ignores that scarce resource demanding a higher price leading to diminished demand – the oil crisis of 1973 lead to explosive growth in the use of wind power. Wind power can theoretically supply all of Earth’s electricity needs. High gas prices dampened the demand for SUV’s. Historically, high priced fish has been substituted for lower priced, often new species – when is the last time you chose wild King salmon over farmed salmon in the supermarket?
  • The forecast fails to account for preservation acts – today’s gas mileage is far better than in 1973. Most appliances use far less energy. Food items stay fresh longer. There is an abundance of legalities aimed at preservation from a household level to big industry. Alaskan king crab went through a major boom-bust cycle some twenty five years ago – preservation has led to a solid recovery of the species to the point of being a threat to other species. Energy conservation and supply from a macro national level to micro household actions will be effective.
  • The forecast doesn’t allow for substitutions for the scarce materials. Wind power, again, is a good example. So is the use of somewhat controversial hybrid or electrical cars. The possible substitutions of gas such as ethanol, natural gas, butane, propane, diesel, hydrogen fuel cells and improved lithium batteries. Farmed fish substitute for low stocks in some areas and possibly globally – cod and salmon in the North Atlantic, wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest, various other species in Chile and elsewhere.
  • The forecast bypasses the influence of political means of protecting, regulating and promoting resources through subsidies, tariffs, threats, intimidation and any other means. Take textile, steel, farming, tobacco, sugar and lumber as just a few examples. Fishery Management in the US, New Zealand and elsewhere are examples as is the moratorium on deep-sea trawling.
  • The forecast ignores that historical patterns generally cannot be extrapolated into the future for all the reasons above.
  • The forecast does take into account major shifts in demographics, immigration, regional labor imbalances, all of which can lead to explosive social problems.
  • The forecast does not address economics: growth, stock markets, currency rates, budget deficits, employment, capital formation, productivity and entitlement programs. Balancing supply and demand across countries: free trade, free labor movement, free capital flows, international cooperation politically and financially.
  • The forecast ignores ecology issues: the weather, pollution, ozone layer, El Nino, flood control, poison spills, farm land runoff, forest fires, and much else such as Global Warming and catastrophic events.
  • The forecast fails to account for human and livestock health issues: affordable drugs for less developed countries, new drugs and treatments such as cell stem innovations, crisis management: flues and viruses, control of Mad Cow and other animal diseases are crucial items that need resolution.

Dying duck by ocean oil spillOur ABC of forecasting the future in a comprehensive manner is getting quite long. Of course, not all of these items are required in all forecast projects. You probably can ignore Mad Cow disease when determining the need for day care centers in lower Manhattan. The ozone layer may have little to do with balancing supply and demand for crayons. But as you dive deeper into the game of forecasting, you will be surprised at the complexity of seemingly simple issues.

TOC

Next and Previous

Here is a summary of the eight posts in the essay. Navigation links are located just below the summary.

GlobalWarming:1 discusses why Global Warming happened, who and what causes it, ending up with a list of villains. It did not go into the consequences of Global Warming. There was no discussion of impacts on the oceans, the Arctic, Greenland, El Nino, ecosystems, the weather, tundra and ice packs. The Kyoto Protocol or the Stern reports or other Global Warming topics were not covered. That is yet to come.Crabs killed by pollution piled up on ocean shore

GlobalWarming:2 covers two main subjects. The UN provides a real mixed bag of positive and negative influences on the fight against Global Warming. The positive is that they try, have some credibility and many resources. The negative is that they fail. The current versions of the Kyoto Protocol and its associated reports do not reduce emissions. The CER system causes more harm than good. Solutions exist but are not acted on. Industrial strategies and national policies do little to reduce Global Warming – in fact, the opposite is often true in spite of rhetorical lip service.

Global Warming:3 examines the basic root cause of our problem: rising temperatures. Is the increase real and does it matter? Is it natural or caused by man? Are the temperatures unusual compared to history? Do GHGs actually cause the increase? What can past temperature variations tell us about what we face today? Can you even trust the basic data and analysis of temperatures? The post answers those and other questions in exuberant detail.Dying penguins by the Antarctica Sea

The current GlobalWarming:4 notes that Global Warming is not the first disaster forecast ever done, published and hyped. There were many in the past and as a rule they failed. The disaster in question simply did not happen because extending some historical trend into the future does not work – trends change. So the question is – why is this particular doom and gloom outlook right? What is different this time? As you will see, plenty is different.

GlobalWarming:5 reviews the role and issues of population growth. This is a vital issue for future emissions as shown in GlobalWarming:1. Historically over the past 250 years, the explosive growth in populations explains two thirds of the increase in GHG emissions. The rise in personal carbon use must be reversed as must other issues related to unbalanced growth in populations.

GlobalWarming:6 summarizes some important and a few not so important opinions on Global Warming. Global Warming is a battle ground, galvanizing the left against the right, neo conservatists against liberals, the sane against those not quite sane, the religious right against evangelists, politicians against constituents, reactionaries against activists, bloggers against bloggers, late show hosts against ratings, journalists against circulations, spokespersons against skeptics and, not least, scientists against scientists. This post contains a small sample of the rare truth, accusations, biases, Fish killed by ocean pollutionopinions and propaganda thrown left and right, up and down.

GlobalWarming:7 is perhaps the meat of this series. It gets into the details of what is happening right now in the some 25 different real life areas. The true impacts of Global Warming range from ocean bottoms to mountain tops, from oil fields to highways, from tundra to tropics and from farm fields to smoke stacks. These items are not forecasts, assumptions or opinions but verifiable hard facts. The picture is indicative of your, and my, future. The earthly signs get worse by the day.

GlobalWarming:8 paints three scenarios (not forecasts) of what might happen in the future. There are pessimistic, optimistic and middle of the road pictures. The three scenarios use simple, common sense assumptions, very different from the elaborate, multi million $ systems enjoyed by the UN, the Stern Report, EPA and others. The big systems rely on myriads of assumptions as input, many of which aren’t really known and/or subject to lots of complexity. I favor the KISS approach.Bird dying from ocean oil spill

I’m by no means competing with the “big” studies or the smart people putting them together. I used to be a forecasting guru working for the UN, the World Bank, FAO, OECD, the EU and many Fortune 500 companies. I guess I have a right to an opinion. No one is required to consider my views.

I am completely nonaffiliated. No political party enjoys (or wants) my support. I have no axe to grind. I receive no monetary compensations, grants or sponsorships. There are no PayPal buttons on these pages. I have no obligations to fulfill. Office politics do not thrive around here. I promote no agendas except my own – the survival of us all. Occasionally, I put up some of the photos from my portfolios and my photo business.

GlobalWarming:5-8 will follow together with other commentaries and follow ups. Hang in there. The links below help you navigate this monster essay. It’s all quite important to your health.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TOC

A Temporary Link Target

Marching off in Seattle

 


Sorry, the next releases are not quite ready yet. They will be online shortly. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get automatic notification or check back soon


TOC

Everyone blames the US, China and India for the evils of Global Warming. Rightfully so, they do emit shameful amounts of greenhouse gases, refusing to take responsibility. But what is the story of the largest economy of all? That’s Europe, not the US. This post is aimed at those curious about the wholesomeness of the Old World when it comes to climate change. Why do they act as they do? Are they innocent? I’ll run through a bit of history and current affairs to come up with answers.

Fact 1: The EU – the European Union – recently proposed a major Global Warming initiative. This initiative, following the IPCC 2007 Paris report, aims at a 20%, or even 30% reduction in greenhouse Abstract Fencegases (GHG) emissions by 2020 compared to the 1990 levels. Let’s examine that.

Fact 2: The EU is one of the corner posts of carbon credits (CER) trading. The Emissions Trading Scheme attempts, allegedly, to control the corrupt schemes of CERs and to provide a fair trading body. Is that working?

Question 1: How come Europeans are now the Good Guys? Are they? After thousands of years of barbaric, bloody history, now EU is trying to be the true, sane democracy to itself and the world. Can it make a contribution for the better? Is it Realpolitik as usual or does it really have a smattering of idealism and responsibility?

Europe, in particular the EU, is the largest homogenous market in the world, yet nowhere close to exercising the power it could. It comes from a fragmented mess with a long history at slaughtering each other rather than cooperating for prosperity. The membership ranges from Luxembourg, tiny but incredible rich, to poorhouse Romania. The overall population of 495 million (compared to 300 million in the US) includes Malta’s 400,000. It’s seen Hitler, Mussolini, Napoleon, the Kaisers, Soviet suppression, the Berlin Wall, Kings and Queens, 30 year or even 100 year long wars, the Roman and House in MistGreek Empires, Imperialism, Bubonic plague, the Vatican and wars, wars and more wars.

Note: here is a major simplification. When I mention “Europe”, I sometimes refer to EU 25 (the 25 European nations belonging to the European Union as of 2004). These countries comprise the vast bulk of Europe, and it is easier by far to obtain data on this bloc than the “total”.

This stand-alone essay is linked to my main Global Warming essay as published in this blog. Below are links to the first three posts in that essay. The complete essay will contain five more posts.

Images in this essay

The photos in this essay come from my fine art multimedia presentation Symphonie Noir. I finished the Symphonie last year and it has been exhibited publicly. Contact me if you’d like a quote for Shadowyour personalized, numbered and signed, full size, museum quality print from the current edition. You can view images from the full Symphonie here. The DVD multimedia show is also available.

I produced the factual graphs from my own databases, combining data from many sources.

This blog, its design, text content (except quotes from others) and my images and graphs are copyright © Leading Design, Inc 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved. I make absolutely no claims on images or quotes from other sources.

Global Warming Heating Europe

Europe emits 15% of the world’s total GHGs, all of which are subject to the Kyoto Protocol caps. The US, Australia, China and India together produce 45% of the world’s GHG emissions. None of the 45% is regulated by the Protocol. The rest of the world spews out the remaining 40%, mostly not Silhouettessubject to caps.

The “Certified Emissions Reduction” CER system of the Kyoto Protocol divides, essentially, the world into providers of CER money and receivers of CER money. Europe, Japan and Canada are the providers. The “less developed” countries (which includes China, India, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Singapore and other rapidly growing, no-longer-that-poor countries) are the receivers of money with no obligations at all. China is the biggest receiver of all, subject to vast CER corruption while remaining the second largest and fastest growing polluter.

In the EU, only two countries emit more than 2% of the global total. Nineteen countries individually emit less than 1%. Seven emit less than .1% of the world total. Many of these totally insignificant emitters question what difference it makes if they reduce their emissions from .1% to .08% of the world total while China aims at overtaking the US by emitting more than the EU combined.

Yet Europe is, largely, a major supporter of the Kyoto Protocol and the fight against Global Warming. LampCertainly national interests dominate. Lip service is widespread. Actual results are questionable. But no other area has done as much. The Bush administration jealously claim the voluntary system in the US produced more emission cuts than the EU managed. That is complete BS. The US energy consumption is growing rapidly as are emissions. European emissions are flat and have been flat for decades.

Very recently, the EU suggested a Global Warming Initiative that should reduce GHG emissions dramatically. The initiative is scheduled for debate in March 2007. I’ll discuss some scenarios of how this initiative may or may not make a difference. But first, let see what Europe is all about.

I aim this essay at those perhaps not really knowing Europe that well. Europeans, read and laugh your heads off. As matter of disclosure, I lived in Europe for 30 years. I’ve traveled all over the place. I love it dearly.

Master Killers

After Australia, Europe is the smallest continent by area. Today, a little less than 700 million people live there (EU 25: 500 million). People wise it is dwarfed by both China and India. Area wise, the US is larger. Economically, Europe beats them all – while its population is 11% of the world, GNP is 35%.

Modern humans in Europe trace back about 35,000 years. By contrast, Africa saw modern humans 200,000 years ago, from which the Europeans evolved. Early Europeans formed small bands of Pillowshunters. 10,000 years ago agriculture led to more stable settlements of a tribal quality. Conflicts and territorial competition quickly followed. Civilizations such as Egypt evolved 6,000 years ago. The empires of Persia and Rome came into being about 2,500 years ago. Greece was a major influence in much of the early European days.

Empires withstanding, early Europe was organized around tribes, developing into cities, states and a few other organizational structures. The Holy Roman Empire contained some 300 states. Italy was made up of some 15 distinct provinces. Germany included 38 different states, 4 free cities and five kingdoms. At the time, there really was no such thing as Germany, Italy, France or Europe. This extreme fragmentation prevailed and is still present today.

With fragmentation, war followed as part of an eternal power struggle. Kings, Queens, Kaisers, Popes, Cardinals, Priests, Lords and Emperors all wanted more. At the cost of millions dead, theLight Abstracts modern nations eventually evolved. As nations came into being, wars continued while exploitation and conquest of the rest of the world started in earnest. Africa, Asia, America soon knew who the boss was. Europe dominated the world and its nations fought for the prizes, whether Aztec gold or Asian spices.

But wars grew more and more costly while a strange thing called democracy became reality – no longer were divine or not so divine rulers in command – the people became powerful, political parties popped up and most kingdoms became republics. The people took their seat in the sun.

Yet, it took two world wars to finally tear down imperialism, Kaisers, Generalissimos and Fuehrers. Today’s Europe is very different from that of even 100 years ago, not to mention 1,000 years ago. It is working on becoming one bloc as opposed to the thousands of tribes in medieval times. No longer do Europeans have colonies. Kings and Queens, if still present, are figure heads. Emperors are long gone. Perhaps nostalgic about times passed by, Europe adjusted and is doing well.

Europe is still influenced of the old tribes, the habit of making wars and intolerance galore. The Balkan wars of the 1990s are splendid examples of not only tribal wars but the murderous impact ofBranches religious fanatics and ethnic cleansers. Iraq, while not part of Europe, shows the same barbaric consequences of religious differences. Ethnic cleansing always was a part of life. Racism is far more common than admitted. The Holocaust was and is not an isolated event.

As recently as a hundred years ago, Europe and its nations were the superpowers of the world. Asia and Africa was split between the masters. North America managed to split away but that was the exception. Europe never forgave the Americans and never will.

So here you are: from tribes to states to nations to superpowers by the way of war after war, followed by collapse. Eventually, a new consolidation came along, this time called the European Union or the EU. Today Europe is a fairly peaceful place. It is rich. Its democracies are more stable than any others. But never forget the Europe of the past. Don’t for a moment imagine racism, tribal conflicts, power struggles and national envy has disappeared.

Alliances – Idealism, Realpolitik,Greed

The Second World War ended, in Europe, in May of 1945. The power structures of Europe were crushed and replaced by those of the USSR and the US. The comeback of Western Europe happened quite quickly while Eastern Europe disappeared into failing Soviet fiefdoms. The Cold War focused on Europe as the main battle ground of America versus the USSR.

Masters of Deception

Europe fought at least 60 wars since 1300, averaging one every 12 years. Casualties are in the hundreds of millions. No country avoided the slaughter; many were almost constantly in conflict. GarageGermany and France lead the charge with England not far behind. Following the collapse of the USSR, many countries reduced their military forces drastically to only support international peace keeping rather than domestic aggression.

The history of betrayal, deception and secrecy is long and colorful. The Europeans are master plotters, negotiators and back stabbers. Here is a short list of events to keep in mind:

  • Florence in the Renaissance – a study in betrayals, double crosses, power struggles. The Italian wars of early 1500s – power struggles, alliances, counter alliances and betrayals. The Republic of Venice – profiteering from the Crusades, exploiting trade controls, devious aristocrats, secret police, you name it.
  • The secret support from the Roman Catholic Church towards Nazi Germany, during and after WWII. The current Pope Benedict XVI enlisted in the Hitler Youth in 1941 and served in the German air defense. Pope Pius XII is widely known as the Nazi Pope with far reaching involvement in favor of the Germans before, during and after WWII.
  • The conspiracy to murder Julius Caesar in 44 BC – “Et tu Brutus”, “Help, Brothers”, “Villain Casca, what do you do?” No plea stopped the murder, no brother or friend interfered.
  • Hitler’s 1939 non-aggression pact with Stalin to divide Poland, Finland, Romania and others. Stalin ended up in chock on June 22, 1941 as the Operation Barbarossa attack by Hitler on Russia commenced.
  • The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914, marking the start of an escalation leading to WWI. Princip was one of six Serb assassins in a madcap and bizarre event.
  • The 1884 anti-Semitic conviction of Alfred Dreyfus by France based on falsified evidence. The conviction was engineered by the French High Command. Dreyfus spent 12 years on the Devil’s Island till being pardoned after Emile Zola’s intervention “J’ accuse”. He fought in WWI, ended up a Lt. Colonel with Legion d’Honneur.
  • In the 1970s, violent underground terrorist organizations operated in Germany, Italy and elsewhere – The Red Brigade, the Red Faction or the Baader-Meinhof Gang are the most infamous examples. The death toll wasn’t great but the terror factor was effective.
  • Consider the plays of William Shakespeare – Betrayal, lust, power, egotism, murder and ambition a galore. Or what about Wagner’s Niebelungen Ring: 15 hours of mysticism, Greek drama, Jungian psychology nonsense, alleged socialist critique. This German high romance was favored by Hitler and the Nazis.
  • The Holocaust is by no means the only European anti Semitism tragedy. Pogroms occurred in Poland, pre-Hitler Germany, Spain, Britain, Switzerland and Romania. Anti-Semitism has a history of at least a thousand years in Europe.
  • A wave of covert Communist spies originated in the 1930s at upper class English universities, in particular Trinity Hall at Cambridge. Known as the Cambridge Spy Group, John Cairncross, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald McLean, Anthony Blunt and Michael Whitney Straight all spied for the Soviets after rising to significant positions in the British civil service, including in the Foreign Service, MI6 and MI5. The Group was devastatingly successful. Several defected to Moscow after exposure. Oxford University produced its Oxford Spy Group but with far less success than the Cambridge Group.
  • George Blake is another famous spy of the same WWII – early Cold War era, who apparently still lives in Moscow after a successful career for, among others, MI6. Sir Roger Hollis, one time Director of MI5 is a suspect spy of the same mold, as are Peter Ashby, Leo Long, Brian Symon, Goronwy Rees, John Vassall and Victor Rothschild. Quite likely, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • England is famous for its political scandals: the 1912 Marconi scandal – corruption; the 1963 sexual/spy Profumo Affair that sent Jack Profumo from a Minister post to cleaning toilets at an East End charity; architect John Poulson bribed various politicians until exposed in 1972; the 1973 call girl scandal resulting in the fall of Cabinet minister Earl Jellico;, Liberal Party leader and MP Jeremy Thorpe lost his appointments in 1976 after a gay affair and shooting a dog; author and MP Jeffrey Archer lost his posts in 1999 due to various sex, perjury and fraud accusations; Edwina Currie’s alleged 1984 affair with PM John Major; Scottish party leader David McLetchie resigning in 2005 after submitting false travel expenses; Liberal spokesman Mark Oaten stepping down after gay affairs in 2005; and finally, Tony Blair’s possible involvement in the 2006 Cash for Peerage scandal.

You got to admire the colorful history of scandalous Britain. No other country comes close. Has Europe changed in light of the EU and NATO? Hell, no. The old tribes will get you anytime.

NATO – Center of Leaky Secrets

Initiated in 1948’s Treaty of Brussels and formally established in 1949, NATO provided the first level of integration that included the US as the leader. NATO is a system of collective, mutual security: Pot“An armed attack against one or more of them [members] in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all”. If an attack would occur, “Each of them [members] will assist the Party or Parties attacked by taking such action as seemed necessary, including the use of military force”.

As is typical of European agreements, there is a balance between the collective cooperation and integration versus national sovereignty. NATO provides common security but when the security is breached, each country can decide on its response, if any.

Behind the Iron Curtain, Eastern Europe and the USSR formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955 as a military countermeasure to NATO. In addition to military cooperation, the Pact guaranteed noninterference in each state’s internal affairs. The Soviets used the Warsaw Pact when invading Hungary in 1956 andLeaves on Street Czechoslovakia in 1968, each time crushing uprisings. The Warsaw Pact fell apart starting in 1988, ending in 1991. Today, these countries, minus Russia, are part of both NATO and EU.

Through the Cold War, NATO was only a deterrence never used beyond sable-rattling to counter Soviet sable-rattling. NATO simply existed as a defense against a Soviet invasion of Europe. NATO would respond using nuclear weapons to overcome the Soviet’s alleged huge advantage in number of tanks, artillery and soldiers. The USSR proposed it should be a NATO member in 1954 to preserve European peace. NATO refused, as you might expect.

In 1958, France revolted against NATO because it felt slighted by the greater influence by the US and the UK. Charles de Gaulle expelled US troops and by 1966, all French armed forces exited NATO. France still is not participating in NATO militarily but remains involved politically in an odd Night Street“I’m here, I’m not” game. France contributes a significant part of NATO’s budget and even commits 5,000 troops to Alliance operations.

France has long established a Maverick status in European affairs. National pride, envy of others, pride in their language, general rudeness, intolerable arrogance and a thorough dislike of the US drives sometimes bizarre behavior. Yet, France knows very well it can’t isolate itself and is mostly supportive of European activities. They are not at all supportive of US activities.

Another strange twist is the then-existing and super secret paramilitary group Gladio set up, originally, to fight guerilla warfare behind Soviet lines. Gladio was trained by US Green Berets and British SAS troop, sponsored and commanded by NATO. This partly neo-fascist and ex-SS group carried out dozens of terrorist bombings, snipers shootings, torture, blamed on various leftist groups. Exposed in 1990, Gladio units covertly operated in at least 15 Western European countries. In many cases, the secret armies were well known to the national governments, in some cases not.

NATO conducted, and still run, plenty of covert operations with involvement of Britain’s MI6 and the CIA. Such operations include destabilization through terror in Italy and Belgium, military coups in Night WalkersGreece and Turkey and possibly a failed attempt to oust Charles de Gaulle of France, the infamous Algiers Putsch. NATO certainly is involved in the strange and utterly mismanaged “War on Terror” but its precise role is unknown.

NATO has more skeletons in its closet. Nuclear weapons were deployed without approval by or knowledge of the nations involved. Classified information on the Kosovo war was lost. A spy provided secret information on the Kosovo air operations to the Serb regime. Numerous spies provided information to East Germany, the USSR and others during the Cold War. Security breaches were and are more common that colds. Several NATO countries participated in US covert experiments with chemical and germ warfare involving civilians and soldiers in the sixties and early seventies. NATO was secretly involved with, and supported, terrorist organizations in Macedonia and Albania in the late 1990s.

After the demise of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, NATO had and has considerable difficulty finding a mission. After 40 years of preventing Soviet aggression but without ever having to actually prevent such aggression, it turned towards becoming an international security force. From 1993 through 1995, NATO invoked a non-fly zone to control the fractional civil wars of ex-Yugoslavia. In 1999, Seattle Center in FogNATO fought an air war against Slobodan Milošević’s armies in Kosovo.

The 9/11 2001 attacks on the US led NATO to officially take several actions: militarily NATO provided defense of US airspace by deploying AWACS surveillance and naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent arms shipments to terrorists. Later, NATO stayed out of the Iraq controversy.

NATO today is in charge of the Afghanistan War. This is the first NATO involvement outside its traditional area,in fact it is NATO’s first involvement in regular combat. The mission is supported by most member states. Recently, the troop count in Afghanistan was about 32,000 from 37 countries. Although under a central command, the forces of each country are operating according to national rules, not NATO rules. The actual fighting is limited to troops from the US, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands. The other 33 countries do not fight. The debate on NATO’s mission continues.

EEC and the EU – Bureaucracy, Economics and Booze

The role as Cold War victims and the common bond of rebuilding a European power structure after WWII led to the formation of EEC, the European Economic Community, in 1957. Over the next fifty years, that organization swept through the entire continent, became the European Union with 25 Branches in Fogstates as of 2004 and scheduled to go to 27 in 2007.

The EU is in essence a trade bloc with some coordinated internal and external policies. The general goal is to achieve an increasing degree of integration at the expense of some national sovereignty. This goal is open-ended and undefined. In practice, the EU is a number of institutions and common policies.

There are several drivers to the official EU doctrine. First, it grew out of devastating world wars and the threat of nuclear showdowns with the USSR. At least emotionally, there is a “No More Wars” motivation. Second, the creation coincided with a drive for increased equality between sexes, nations and worldwide. Third, the concept of increased international, national and individual solidarity was widely supported. Forth, it brought the hope of increased riches to the powerful elite and perhaps even the common man. Fifth, the economic benefits of trading blocs are well established. Sixth, it counterbalanced the excessive power of the US and the USSR. Leaves in Fog

The EU institutions include or embrace the mammoth European Parliament (785 elected Members with no direct legislative power), the European Commission, the European Council, the European Central Bank, the European Court of Justice and the Council of the European Union. Common policies include an Economic Policy, a Foreign and Security Policy, a Policy of Police and Judicial Cooperation, an Agricultural Policy, a Fisheries Policy and a Regional Policy to assist EU states in the need of assistance. Add the common currency of the Euro that rapidly became a staple internally within the EU but also an international alternative to the yen and the dollar.

As you might gather, the EU is a classic example of bureaucracy running wild. Not only that, it is a bureaucracy with only a few fangs. Although it can provide a lot of pressure on member states, memberAlley Lamp states do not always succumb. The Euro, for instance, is the day to day currency in only half of the EU countries.

Integration of longstanding policies of 25 (now 27) countries, from hard line, ex-Communist Bulgaria to bicycle ridden Denmark, to Pound Sterling focused Britain and pot permissive Holland is a painful and sensitive process. That process goes into microscopic aspects of life in the member states. Traditional subsidies are challenged. Social policies are threatened. Protected economic segments might became unprotected. Minor issues can become “do or die” challenges. Major issues are often bypassed, delayed or ignored.

The major countries have organizations responsible for coordinating national policies to those of the EU. Such an organization ensures that a nation speaks with one voice towards the EU. The Open Method of Coordination is a recent concept that takes a soft approach to aligning policies and laws. The method relies on broad EU level policy statements and national, voluntary implementations. The tools include guidelines, bench marks and best practices. The enforcement consists of Street Lightpeer pressure and shaming, not mandates, threats or sanctions.

Here is an example of the issues tackled in great detail in the area of “Social Integration and Inclusion”. Details include: coordinated social and civil dialogues for the homeless, migrants, those disabled (including personal support, use of facilities, discrimination, medical and social care and benefit levels), others not included properly in society, persons with multiple disadvantages, old and young people, race equality challenged individuals, those affected by mandatory retirement, immigrants (legal or not), asylum seekers, refugees, young persons involved in trainee ships and the associated compensation, those suffering persistent and generational poverty, persons discriminated against, individuals affected by minimum income schemes, those overloaded by family responsibilities, self employed individuals and, finally, those dependent on social assistance and those not getting such assistance. Imagine coordinating all this in 27 countries, each with histories of domestic policies going back to the beginnings of life.

Take booze with its age old influence on individual lives. Policies range all the way from liberal (South Europe) to restrictive (North Europe). In France and Italy, wine is part of life, taken for granted and certainly not viewed as sinful. The English like their pink gins, bitters, pints, cider and salty dogs. Many associate Alpine skiing with Jagermeister. In the North, consumption of booze is a sinful act prone to be taxed heavily. It is controlled by the state in order to maintain perceived health standards. Here, booze is sold through government monopoly stores with strict id controls and long Rainqueues. Elsewhere you buy it in grocery stores.

The attempts to equalize “alcohol policies” led to the strangest side effects. Previously, tax free shops sold cheaper booze to whoever crossed a border. Such savings became a good reason to cross a border. Smuggling spirits was not a sin to most. Neither was running an illegal home brewery or distillery a real crime. Today, tax free shops no longer do business as borders are wide open. Open markets threaten Nordic tax revenues as EU demands Northern prohibitive taxes on alcohol are lowered dramatically. Internet trade in cases of wine and the like bypass national restrictions to the wrath of policy hawks, holier-than-thou moralists and a concerned medical audience. Booze remains a significant integration issue with high emotional content. No current solution is seen. The battle continues.

Without question, the EEC and the EU benefited, now and in the past, the member states in spite of its weaknesses. Apart from the ex-Yugoslav wars, Europe experienced no wars since the formation of EEC fifty years ago. EU is the world’s largest economy. Coordination of major economic and social policies is a painful process but the result is generally positive.

A question is whether the benefits can remain as the bloc grows ever larger. Economic theory tells us the benefits decline with size as well as over time. Trade blocs really exist to counterbalance natural supply and demand mechanisms. Basic economic imbalances such as non competitive industries are hidden. The East Bloc is a good example with its totally non competitive industries that fell apart when exposed to international competition after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Life in Europe

Fragmentation, stubborn national legacies, never ending power struggles, scandals, cloak and dagger, national exuberance, betrayals, deceptions mark life in Europe. Europeans are proud of a newfound emphasis on peace, cooperation and social consciousness. That is Europe in all its nuances and complexity. Here are a few other points that may be of interest:

  • Europe long was long the only Western center of art, from the Greeks to Leonardo da Vinci, Cervantes, J. S Bach, Daniel Defoe, W. Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Paul Cezanne, Thomas Mann, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Django Reinhardt, Robert Capa, Olivier Messiaen, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Albert Camus, Gunther Grass, Claude Chabrol, the Beatles, the Rolling Stone, Celtic Dancers and, of course, ABBA. Unmentioned artists, accept my apologies.
  • Europe is a center of culinary delights that include boiled brains of calves or beef, breaded testicles, chopped lungs, garlicky snails, tender horse meat, frog legs, tasty kidneys, nutritious blood sausage or pudding, boiled ox tongue, rotten herring, sautéed calf’s ears, pig’s head pudding, raw tartar beef, smoked reindeer, boiled or jellied eels, barbequed pig’s feet or tails and how about braised rabbits. Mmmm.
  • Europe really is the origin of great food. Where would we be without: Entrecote, Steak a poivre, Coq a vin, Bouillabaisse, Langoustine, Smoked salmon, Beaufort, Pommes frites, Crepes, Raclette, Spazle, Lasagna, Pâtés and terrines, Brie, Feta, Rosti, Meat balls, Salami, Blau Forelle, Boeuf Bourguignon, Yorkshire pudding, Foie gras, Stilton, Schnitzel, Gruyere, Souvlaki, Spaghetti bolognese, Olives, Fish and chips, Pizza, Frikadeller, Paella, Gorgonzola, Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat, Jambon de Bayonne, Prosciutto, Moussaka or Scampi.
  • Europe is a master of alcoholic beverages: France with more than twenty grape types, over a hundred wine districts and thousands of brands and vintages. Add the six growth areas and grape types for real cognac, the various distilling processes, the aging to VS, VSOP and XO status. Move on to Scotland and Ireland: whisky is made from grains into “vatted or single malt”, “grain” or “blended” variations and aged to many categories, blends and brands. Then there is absinth, pernod, armagnac, akvavit, gin, schnapps, slivovitz, vodka, ouzo, and thousands of liqueurs. Not to mention beer and ciders in endless variations.
  • Europe offers seriously excusive travel destinations: cruise the Rhine valley, stay at castles with exclusive dining, admire ruins, check into the Claridge’s, do some river boat cruising, tour the White Cliffs of Dover, ski the Alps, hike from Zermatt, walk the Le Louvre, cruise the fjords, sun on a topless Riviera, gaze at the Sistine Chapel, sail the Greek Islands, stroll Via Veneto, ski Mont Blanc, fall in love in Paris, climb the Matterhorn, stay in Hotel De Crillon or Arctic hotels made of ice, discover the Parthenon, experience the North Cape, pray in the Canterbury Cathedral, visit St. Peter’s Square, climb the Matterhorn, drive at 200 miles per hour on the autobahns, photo the Stonehenge, swim the Bodensee, check the Coliseum, rent an Italian villa and risk your life in Spanish bull runs. Beat that if you can.
  • Europe is a worker’s paradise (or so do envious foreigners think): 35 hour work weeks, six week vacations, numerous holidays, extensive child care such as year long birth time off for both for mother and father, generous pensions, free health care, free education to any level, powerful labor unions for Indians and Chiefs alike, employment security and much, much else. The flip side is high taxes and the almost mandatory need for two incomes in any household.
  • Europe is not the liberal socialist big brother controller of all life that some expect or assume. Most of its left wingers are really centrists. Most of the right wingers are really, you guessed it, centrists. Power changes hands but basic principles and policies are quite stable. It certainly is an area with more social benefits than others. Centrist probably is a shade to the left compared to some other places. Perhaps the EU uses subsidies more than competitors like. But they sure should not be underestimated.

Europe is an old traditional and cultural society, set in its way and not all that tolerant of outsiders. Food, drink, work&social conditions, art, comforts, spying, deceit, vacations, scandals, pride and war are all items taken very seriously. The rules are set, understood and rarely changed. Consensus is a Windowrelative thing, “yes” does not always mean “yes”. Watch your wallet. Watch your back. You are dealing with masters. Smoke and mirrors.

What has this all got to do with Global Warming? Perhaps nothing. I do believe that if you want to understand an issue, you better look at the full picture. It always amazes me that so much, say, American policies and diplomacy ignore that simple rule. You really cannot successfully project your own ideas and expectations on others, especially not mature and sophisticated countries. It is rude and not appreciated. History and age old relations will impact the future and how disasters, such as Iraqi wars and Global Warming, are handled. Who will be the friend, who will be the foe and why?

Energy Facts and Figures

The EU imports 82% of its oil and 57% of its natural gas. Russia is a major supplier, not viewed as reliable after several supply shutdowns. The Mideast provides the rest of imports. The UK, Germany and Poland possess and use major coal resources; the UK, Netherlands and Norway benefit from North Sea oil and gas. Romania has oil fields dating back to before WWII, once the prized conquest of Hitler but now in steep decline.

The EU and the individual states have longstanding policies on energy, conservation and alternative sources. The EU stretches from midnight sun Arctic to the Mediterranean sub tropics. Southern PipeEurope countries have close ties to the Mideast and North Africa going back thousands of years of war, conquest, terrorism, jihads, crusades, deceits and occasional peace. Mid and Northern Europe, with equally long histories of conflict and competition, mixes oil and gas producers with those of almost no energy resources. Northern Europe requires huge resources to combat frozen winters. Southern Europe has far less such need and will need even less as Global Warming continues.

Latitude wise, the northern tip of Europe (the North Cape) is the equivalence of mid Greenland, passes through the Baffin Island and continues well north of Prudhoe Bay and through the northern part of the Siberian tundra. The southern tip of Gibraltar is the same latitude as the Carolinas, San Francisco and Japan. Climate wise, the Gulf stream pushes that northern tip much further south to maybe Newfoundland and the southern tip to Florida. Europe also have east-west differences – the landlocked east is much colder than the coastal west. The point is that a common energy policy has to cover vastly different needs that are not present anywhere else.

Moreover, local conditions have an impact on energy use. In Scandinavia with a large forest product industry, process energy from pulp mills heat nearby homes. Landlords’ heating or cooling obligation of apartments is often mandated in law. Houses, appliances, heaters, machinery and workplaces all are subject to very tight energy conservation standards, in particular in the north. “Green” bulbs are mandated in some areas. Single pane windows are long gone as are, often, double panes. The EU Picturessponsors both individual and commercial driver training for lower mileage under the name Eco driving (shift appropriately, maintain steady speed, decelerate smoothly with minimum braking, use conservative RPM (2,000-2,500) and ensure well maintained engines and tires).

Most energy prices in Europe are much higher than elsewhere because governments want to control and reduce demand while encouraging conservation. For instance, the high gas prices, roughly twice those in the US, are caused by high taxes. Not surprisingly, cars are more efficient and overall energy use is relatively low, growing far slower than in, say, the US or China. European energy use per unit of economic activity is 30% lower than in the US, 70% lower than in Russia and 85% below that of OPEC.

Offsetting the high taxes, subsidies impact areas such as maintaining uneconomical coal mining, subsidizing lower income families, controlling energy prices for different industries such as airlines and promoting various schemes for renewable energy. Subsidies are recognized as inefficiently maintaining status quo but are still used extensively. Bar

Overall European energy production stagnated in the mid 1980s while demand increased by 17% causing rising dependence on foreign sources. The demand increase is well below the world average of 44%. Demand in individual countries varied from an increase of 104% in Ireland to -1% in Germany (the West Germany number is much higher – the decline is due to East Germany shutdowns). The former East Bloc countries typically reduced demand by 15-40% as their antiquated industries collapsed after the Warsaw Pact and the USSR disappeared.

Regardless of all the ifs and buts, subsidies and taxes, driver training and general rhetoric, Europe depends on expensive, non renewable, fossil energy just like the rest of the world. Europe emits frightful amounts of GHGs. Europe’s use of carbon energy is the same as or only slightly below that of other comparable regions. They are a little bit more efficient in the generation of electricity due mostly to efficient hydro and nuclear power generation. They use less air conditioners. More importantly, they do recognize there is an energy problem present called Global Warming.

The Flawed Kyoto Protocol

Please click on the link in the heading above for basic information on the Kyoto Protocol. Use the back button to return here. Night

CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in Europe have been stable since 1980, neither up nor down. If you exclude the Eastern Europeans with their sorry, dead industries, there was a slight increase. Compare that to a world wide increase of 48%, a 224% increase in China and 271% in India.

By comparison, Europe is doing well but do not approach the goals of the Kyoto Protocol or those suggested by the Stern Report, calling for significant reductions, not stabilization. But the caps mandated by the Kyoto Protocol are dim at best. Many industries are below targets without doing a thing. Others face impossible odds. Street Scene

From what I can see, the EU is not close to reaching its 8% reduction target by 2010. Mysteriously, the UN applauds Europe is on track. Here is some evidence: The Eastern Europe countries will be below targets. The UK, Sweden and Germany (very much maybe) might end up on target. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are forecasted not to reach the mandated targets. Germany is facing more stringent caps (six percent lower than before) after a recent EU decision.

Europe is determined to tackle Global Warming their way. Here are some statements from leaders following the publication of the Paris IPCC report:

  • Jacques Chirac, President of France, hosted the meeting in Paris. He, on the last day, promoted his own idea to create a new agency handling Global Warming in a manner more to his liking – partly a forum to insult the US, it seems. 45 nations, such as Algeria, Ecuador, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Seychelles, Gabon and Burundi apparently responded favorably to his proposal although its mission remains completely unclear. The UN responded that organizational changes are less important than actual results.
  • The Italian PM wants urgent global carbon taxes and promotes his own ideas of a new UN organization for Global Warming (see point above).
  • The new Conservative PM of Sweden declared that Swedish emissions are already so tiny that no further action was required but offered to send its compliance money to China. Sweden seems to have flip-flopped by pushing for mandatory reductions of 30% rather than 20%.
  • German Chancellor Merkel’s government, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has threatened to block an EU attempt to impose a general emission reduction on the auto sector, insisting the size of cars must be taken into consideration. Apparently this issue is resolved in favor of the German auto industry.
  • EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called on Germany — Europe’s largest economy — to put more efforts behind its promises to combat climate change, saying the nation had failed so far to take a leading role in fighting global warming. Germany apparently is accepting 6% lower caps.
  • Czech president Vaclav Klaus criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis. “These are politicized scientists who arrive there with one-sided opinion and assignment,” he told interviewers. “Each serious person and scientist says that global warming is a myth.”

I’d say Europe is playing its age old game of deception and egotism. Yet not quite: in late February 2007, the EU made public a plan amounting to serious CO2 emission reductions, such as 20% by 2020 compared to the 1990 levels or 30% if non-EU countries, notably the US, followed the lead. This is an important step if indeed it is based on real commitment. Some view the proposal simply as a bargaining chip in the face of an updated Kyoto Protocol going beyond the current limit of 2012. Europe is devious.

The Corrupting Carbon Credits

Please click on the link in the heading above for basic information on Carbon Credits – CERs. Use the Treeback button to return here.

The European Emission Scheme is Europe’s primary trading market for carbon credits. It is geared to trade “Allowances” as its primary unit, although CERs are also traded. An “Allowance” is a somewhat different concept than “CER”. Allowances are allocated to an EU country or a business subject to a cap on how much GHG that entity can emit. If the entity emit less then the balance may traded. Emit more and allowances can be bought.

A CER, on the other hand, is associated with a specific investment elsewhere, preferably in a less developed country, that reduces GHGs. CERs are associated with Annex 1 and Non Annex 1 countries as opposed to the EU alone. Checks and balances hopefully ensure that emission reductions are not double counted. Although being two different concepts, Allowances and CERs are interchangeable in the marketplace.

The current CER system is corrupt. There simply are too few controls, too many loop holes and many inequitable traps. The Kyoto Protocol and its dualism of Annex 1 and Non Annex 1 is the root of the problem. But even so, carbon trading in CERs or allowances if used right can be very Night Personsbeneficial. Here’s how:

Technology exists today to drastically reduce carbon emissions. Two examples from the energy sector: Build second generation power plants that emit far less CO2. Capture CO2 emissions from older power plants and store them in obsolete oil or gas fields (CCS for Carbon Capture and Storage). In both cases, the entity receives allowances in accordance to the reduced emissions. Use the allowances to pay for the investment required. Calculations show that this approach could be enormously profitable.

There is nothing mysterious about the idea. A Cap and Trade system is supposed to work that way. The CER as well as the Allowance system certainly support schemes like this. The problem is the instability of the trading market both in terms of 1) its extreme volatility and immaturity, 2) uncertainty about what the next version of the Kyoto Protocol brings. Investors require some form of Government level guarantees and protection. So far that has not happened although sought for in several EU countries. The UK is a front runner both in the technology and in Government involvement.

It is, of course, hard to justify any investment where part or all of the return is in the form of CERs or Allowances. The price of allowances sold by the Emissions Scheme is now $1.70 compared to $27 on year ago. That’s a drop of 94%. Not only that, the European Emission Scheme is not a Truck and Windowpermanent organization, it is a temporary trial for a possible world wide system.

As always, different approaches have their moment in the spot light and then most disappear. Carbon taxes are perhaps the most persistent and potentially sensible example. Other ideas include individual carbon credit cards for purchases of carbon intensive products. Another proposal reduces corporate taxes for carbon neutral companies. Extending the concept of Carbon Allowances to individuals is yet another idea. Buy an allowance, fill up the tank.

One particular, different approach is that of the so called Deniers or Skeptics. More common in the US than in Europe, these advocates of right wing ideas deny the existence of an energy crisis and Global Warming in particular. In the US, they exercise considerable power based on similar views held by a moronic Mr. President George W. Bush. As a result, desperately needed reforms are delegated to any hiding place possible. I have yet to see any of these people, including Bush, present credible analysis or evidence of their stand. Mr. Bush claims to have spent $8 billion of climate research, all of which seem to be lost somewhere. Perhaps the three scenarios below will explain why this is such a tragedy.

Three Global Warming Scenarios A La the EU proposal

The EU proposal on the 20-30% emissions reduction across the borders of the bloc will be open to discussion within the EU in March 2007. Who knows the outcome? Let’s try a little guessing game to see what the EU proposal might bring.Market Lights

My work on Global Warming led to creating various databases and a basic emission to temperature model. This model is real simple compared to the models used by the UN and others. The input is expected emission levels; the output is concentrations and temperatures based on a few simpleminded relationships.

The input relations between emissions, concentrations and temperatures are pretty well known on a macro level. The only other input is the assumed GHG life cycles and an assumption on how much emissions are tolerated by oceans, biomass and how much is counteracted by man made recovery efforts, such as bio engineering, emission storage and cleanup using scrubbers and the like.

Here are three scenarios and the base line:

  • Baseline: 2007 emissions worldwide are 6.8 trillion tons CO2 equivalent. The GHG concentration is 385 PPMv. Temperature is 12 degrees Celsius, calibrated roughly to London data. Bioengineering and GHG cleanup and storage will have a significant impact in the optimistic case, then gradually less so in the medium and pessimistic cases.
  • Optimistic Case: The EU proposal is successful and the EU convinces the rest of the world to follow course, leading to a world wide goal of a 30% by 2020. World emissions will decline to 4.1 trillion tons by 2050 and 3 trillion tons by 2100.
  • Medium Case: The EU reduces emissions by 20% on plan. The rest of the world refused similar cutbacks but reduces the growth by 50% till 2050, then embark on a crash emission reduction scheme. World emission will rise to 15 trillion tons by 2050 and then decline to 8.5 trillion tons by 2100.
  • Pessimistic Case: Neither the EU nor the world reduce emissions which will continue to grow. The recent historical growth rate of 3% per year declines to 1.8% by the end of the century. World emission will rise to 21 trillion tons by 2050 and then continue to a mind boggling 50 trillion tons by 2100.

To provide a full picture, the three cases are extrapolated till 2100 because even if emissions are reduced as indicated, inertia will prevent significant impact on temperatures as soon as 2020 or even 2050. Here are the three cases:

Let’s Dream – Optimistic Case

Let’s dream a little: the EU proposal is taken seriously, George Bush flees town, the Religious Right and neo cons disintegrate, China and India see the light and industry captains merrily buy all kinds of CO2 catchers. Miraculously, emission will nose dive, starting real soon. Today’s 6.8 trillion tons of emissions decline to 3 trillion tons by 2100. Even so, the EU goal of 30% isn’t reached till the 2040s – let’s be a little real. To continue the reality check, even with the drastic cuts, the CO2 life cycle emissions don’t peak for fifty years, or not till 2058. That’s the impact of inertia in the atmosphere mix (top graph).

EU Emmision Proposal optimistic Case Emissions

EU Emission Proposal Optimistic Case Temperatures

Here is the good news (bottom graph): concentrations peak at about 445 PPMv compared to 385 today, well below the danger signal of 550 PPMv. Temperatures top out at less than a degree above today’s levels. By any known measure, that should keep mankind safe.

Of course, this case will not happen. It is wildly optimistic because of the politics involved. But technically and with the right incentives – it is indeed possible. Will it bankrupt the world? No way. The world would end up in far better shape than today after perhaps suffering some Market Workersacrifice. There are even sane arguments that there would be no suffering at all with a drastic scenario like this. The reshuffling of the economies would offer tremendous opportunities in new jobs, innovations and new markets.

Incidentally, it is not the splendid commitment by the EU to reduce its emissions that saved the day. It is not in the power of the EU alone to turn things around. Their emissions are too small in the whole world picture. Without the three big ones on board – the US, China and India, it really does not matter too much what the EU or anyone else does.

It’s a matter of simple math: the EU emits 15% of the total; reduce the 15% by the EU goal of 20%. That works out to a reduction of 3% of the world total. 3% equals less than one year Lonlinessof current growth in emissions. The sacrifice by the EU only delays the catastrophe of doing nothing by less than a year. The real value of the EU proposal is the pressure put on others to follow suit.

Returning to the viability of a drop in emissions of a huge magnitude as described. Is it possible? How could it be done? In the late sixties, warming was not the issue, cooling was. The villain at the time was not CO2 but SO2. SO2 is a cooling, highly pollutant gas that causes unpleasant things such as acid rain. Acid rain destroys forest stands and is generally bad for your health. I’ve covered the details of this in other parts of the essay – the issue was largely resolved by the US passing the Clean Air Act, principally of 1970. Here is the impact on SO2 emissions:

US emissions of SO2 in the 1900s

SO2 emissions spiked in the 1940s, no doubt as wartime production of aircraft carriers and tanks took precedence over pollution. By the mid 1950s, SO2 emissions had returned to typical levels but started a rapid growth that peaked in 1970-73. Acid rain and general pollution that actually killed people caused the passage of the Clean Air Act amendment of 1970. The CAA imposed mandatory caps on SO2 emissions and an emission trading system soon followed. Many other countries, notably the UK, following the leadership of the US under, believe it or not, Mr. Richard Nixon, arch Republican.

Several major industries were forced to invest heavily in cleanup equipment, mostly smoke stack scrubbers. It was expensive. It caused difficulties. Industry whined. Some obsolete plants closed. Did Neon Lightsit cause serious damage to the economy? The answer is most assuredly no. Did it cause serious suffering? It definitely did not. Did it produce opportunities? Yes it did. Was industry in better shape afterwards? You bet.

Check out what happened. After 10 years of mandatory caps, emissions were down 17% compared to the 1970 level (upper percentages in the graph). The 1990 reduction reached 24% and today SO2 emissions are half the 1970 level. Compared to a case of continued increases in emissions at the trend rate of the 1960s (dotted yellow line in the graph), emissions were down 36% compared to such a “stay the course” trend. That extrapolates to 52% by 1990 and 76% today (lower percentages in the graph).

Those reductions are very close to what is required to eliminate the issue of Global Warming. Simply apply the same tools of caps and trade to GHGs. Question why this can’t be done. Write your ParkingCongressman, Senator, Deputy or Representative in the Bundestag, Congress, Senate, Sabha, Parliament, Diet, Folketing, Knesset, Eduskunta, Duma, Bundesrat, Seima, Assembly, Storting, Council, Riksdag or Politburo. Let’s get it done.

The SO2 situation is not identical to that of GHGs. Resolving GHGs and Global Warming is more complex. The SO2 issue was localized to relatively few and well defined industries. The villains of Global Warming cut through far more parts of society throughout the entire world. The SO2 spike in emissions largely lasted ten-fifteen years, not 250 years. The technology and economics are more complex in the case of Global Warming. Sadly, the political attitudes are far less proactive now than in the 1970s. Thank you George W. Bush and Mr. Dick Cheney: we’ll remember.

But no one can tell me it is impossible, crippling or unnecessary to take on andFence win the battle of Global Warming. All resources needed are present and accounted for: technology, science, R&D, political tools and structures, labor, experts, bloggers, champions, stakeholders, financial resources and real life organizations exist today. It’s just a matter of lightning the fire. Then let’s get it done.

That concludes the optimistic picture. Let’s look at what could well go wrong. At the present time the “go wrong” scenarios are far more likely than the “dream” optimistic case.

Not So Good – Medium Case

The next case is perhaps more realistic but not desirable. The assumption is that the EU goes ahead with its plan of 20% reductions. The rest of the world does little for years as is not unlikely. They start to seriously reduce growth in emissions around 2025 after realizing things are not going too well. Then by 2050, things are sufficiently bad that the world embarks on a panic program to reduce emissions. Luckily, the reductions are real and fast at that point. The bad news: the life cycle emissions will not peak till almost the year 2100. The delay is very, very costly.

EU Emmission Proposal Medium Case Emissions

EU Emission Proposal Medium Case Temperatures

The good news is that the panic program will eventually work. But there is more bad news. GHG Linesconcentrations will peak at 670 PPMv, well above the 550 PPMv danger zone. Temperatures are up three degrees by the end of the century. Please remember the assumption of successful and major bioengineering and GHG recycling initiatives that went into this scenario. Without such a major program in place, this “medium” case will spin out of control.

The bottom line is that delaying action will put us all in harm’s way. This really is the Russian roulette case; we are running way to close to the edge. With incredible luck; we’ll make it; otherwise we won’t. Which seems simple enough?

Au Revoir, Mon Monde – Pessimistic Case

Good bye, my world. In this case, the EU may or may not valiantly reach for their goal. It won’t matter if they do or not. This case simply assumes the world emissions will continue to grow till the end of the century. Emissions grew at a 3% per year rate on most of the 1900s. That rate wouldStairs decline a bit due to local cleanups to an average of about 2% per year over the next 93 years.

Emissions will reach 60 trillion tons, about 8 times today’s level. There is no peak in life cycle emissions in sight. Emissions, man made and secondary from positive feedback loops spiral completely out of control. This is the Cataclysmic Apocalypse. At some point not very distant, this process will become unstoppable. No one knows when we pass the point of no return. Some argue we already are beyond that point. Let’s hope we still have some time – 5 years? 10?

EU Emission Proposal Pessimistic Case Emissions

EU Emission Proposal Pessimistic Case - Temperatures

The atmosphere’s mix of GHGs race by 1200 PPMv by the end of the century, over twice the danger zone bench mark of 550 PPMv. Temperatures, equally out of control, pass 21 degrees, 9 degrees above today. Here is just a small part of the issues this scenario would bring. The glaciers and ice packs of the Arctic and Greenland are lonDoorwayg gone by the end of the century. The big problem will be the melt down of Antarctica. Ocean levels will not rise a few meters but a few hundreds of meters.

But it will not really matter. Few of us would be alive to worry about it. The Religious Right will get their Second Coming. So will most of the rest of us. Is this Liberal Junk Science from an Alarmist Doomsayer? I sure hope so. Do I personally believe this will happen? No, I don’t. I’m just saying it CAN happen, hoping some one will wake up and take the simple steps required to stop this. It’s just a tragedy that George W. Bush has two frightening years to go. He, unfortunately, is a required part of the solution, together with his Indian and Chinese counterparts.

Next and Before

So we are at the end of this winding trail through Europe, wine, food, castles, spies, a cold war, politics, Global Warming, CERs and allowances, acid rain and who can remember what? Do you expect a clever conclusion? I don’t think there is one. Sometimes it is just the journey that counts. So I’ll leave it with that. Below are links to the first three posts in my main Global Warming essay:

Thanks, Karl

%d bloggers like this: