Is Gore's Global Warming just another Leftist Fantasy?

Lords of Science, Convince Me that (Gore’s) Global Warming isn’t just another Narcissistic Leftist Fantasy…

Oh, before you get your hackles up! Yes, I’m sure that things are cooler and warmer and wetter and drier, zone to zone, in parts of the world. Sure I’m sure that the black smoke billowing from sooty brick pipettes into a graying sky since the age of iron industry don’t help none…

But watching Al Gore (Holy Jesus, what (who?) did he eat?) on Maestro Letterman’s late-night pony show Friday (the 23rd of June1), I was whisked back to a place in my adolescence, when I first learned to be afraid of the things the Left wanted me to fear:

At 14, standing in the kitchen, hearing that there was one virus (and nothing else) that was killing some gay men … at 17, hearing that it was now killing all those poor Africans who Sally Struthers had, for years, been trying to help not starve to death… and when I was in my twenties, hearing that if we could just get all those African truck drivers to stop having sex, we’d end AIDS…

And we were told to pray:

Be afraid, wring your hands, wrinkle your forehead, and say a prayer to the benificent Lords of Science, that they might help us figure our way out of it.

In the meanwhile, I was personally unaffected, no matter how much sex I had. Remarkable. Then again, I also managed to eat regularly, not get cholera, TB or malaria, and not drink polluted, shit- and garbage-filled water, unlike so many impoverished African “AIDS” patients2.

But the fear was there, that dark and nebulous fear of sex and death and Africa and strange, foreign diseases. And then I learned to read and pay attention (at the same time), and that fear went away, and was replaced by a distaste for fear-mongering.

And so it was that watching the former Vice-presidential Macy’s Day Parade float Al Gore (come on, man, push back from the table!), that the same old formless and vague, hopelessly-excited, narcissistic fear took hold in my brain, only this time, sex was replaced with water and wind and heat and cold: Oh look at the terrible terrible thing we’ve wrought! Global Warming!

And so, we should pray:

Oh, if only they (the bad Republicans) would understand! Oh, if only we could all just get together and use Hybrids! Oh, Oh, Oh, if ONLY!

And the Lords of Science have spoken, said Gore, in that peculiar drawl: “The De-bae-ayt is Oao-Ver!”

And so we can rest assured that all is well, or at least that it will be, as long as we Hybrid-ize as soon as possible, and buy something with a ….. oh, what color will they make it? A Blue ribbon? With Clouds?

But my distaste asks: Oh really? The debate is over? According to who? Al? Or his cadre of stem cell and human-genome project-futurists, of hormone therapy miracle cures, of thalidomide for immune suppression-revivalists3?

By whom? The makers of such blockbusters like Sars-Wars and Attack of the Sneezing Birds?

The kings of hundred-billion dollar, two-percent correlated (non)cancer-(non)virus shmuckery packaged into adjuvant-laced vaccines stuffed into the asses and arms of little girls of gullible parents? (Tell someone! A virus causes Cancer? No, not really, but take this vaccine, please).

“Really,” asks my distaste? “The debate is Oao-Ver?”

Well, Go-aaally Sarge, I ain’t never got ta read nothin’ ‘bout it yet.

So if you don’t mind, I will ask those in the know to tell me why I should give a flying freniculum about Gore’s latest, “let’s all get scared, and feel superior to the dumb Republicans” self-congratulory liberal bash-a-thon, that is now sending otherwise attractive, nubile young things to my door, asking for MONEY to STOP GLOBAL WARMING!!

(Oh, such a waste… Right at my door, too. If only I could pretend to care…)

And for the record:

  • I have done my part to not support the reckless, careless and unrestrained abuse of land and water by industrial animal agriculture by not consuming its products for at least 4/5ths of a Score to date.
  • I own no car or motocyclette, and have happily used public transportation since I was a little tiny boy, hey, ho, the wind and the rain…

But,” says the college student on my doorstep, “the last 19 years have been the hottest of the century, and if we just really work hard now… ”

“So,” I interrupt, “81 out of the last 100 years haven’t been?”

“Well,” she stammers, “I guess … But it’s a problem … and if we do something now….California is the 12th biggest producer of CO2 in the world!”

“Twelfth? What about China, and India? What about what happens when they get cars? China’s going nuclear – pebble-beds – because they want what we have! Cars, prosperity, fast-food! What are you going to do about that?”

She looks deflated, I consider asking her in for tea and seduction, but sympathy takes over.

“Look,” I say, “I’m not going to give any money, but I appreciate your answering questions. I don’t mean it in a bad way, I just don’t know anything about it, and I think that if the earth wants to shake some of us off its back, it will…and there’s not a lot we can do about it.”

She sort of frowns, sort of smiles, our brief fling about to end. Always triste, these summer romances…I say good-bye, the door closes, and I go back to what I was cooking on the natural gas running underground through our city.

Speaking of natural gas, I watched a documentary from the 80s about rural China4, under the first blush of the New Prosperity: Less communism, more capitalism, without the burden of unions or human-rights concerns…

(And you think we’re at war with the Middle East? We’re at war with our own national demise at the hands of our own free-market done one better in The New Prosperity Zones outside of Beijing and in Bangalore.)

The family (in the documentary) were farmers, raising pigs, among other things. They kept the pig shit in a sealed pit, with only a thin pipe jutting out and stretching, stretching….all the way to the kitchen, where, with a turn of a stop-seal at the end of the pipe, and a flick of a match, the stove lit on full methane burn:

Dinner cooked a la pig-poo. Or pig methane, to be clear.

I wonder if that’s what Al has in mind? Ingenious, truly….but the smell!!

So comrades, if you have a clearer take on our Warming Globe, then please provide info to help me (and other readers) understand: What’s really happening, what is likely, what’s known – with papers, citations, etc. Please don’t drop in abstracts like they are arguments, please post titles and link them to full papers or articles where possible and choose excerpts and highlight important bits.

I will read what you post, and will read the linked papers in full. I’m interested in the broad discussion, so you are invited to argue either side, with your evidence, as you are so inclined. Thanks! and a free Slushie to all who participate*. (*certain rules and restrictions apply (there will be no slushies) )

The notes

1 Letterman! Uncle Dave, still grumpy after all these years. Just the way we love him.

2 Some clean water, please? Knowing is Beautiful (yours truly, GNN 2005) | AIDS in Africa: In Search of the Truth (Rian Malan, Rolling Stone, 2001) | Kampala in Flood (New Vision 2003) | Kampala’s Soweto (Soweto Monitor)

Debates on AIDS and Sex: British Med Journal online | Aetiology pt.1 | Pt. 2 | GNN on Africa | On the Right to Debate

3 Thalidomide revived ; Putting tax dollars to work and In use | The least stable universal force: the promises of academic medicine. At least as bad as anything coming out of religion. See the shifting sands of AIDS drugs, for example

4 Heart of the Dragon Time-Life video series 1985. If you can find it in your local library or video kiosk, grab it, watch it, it’s incredible.

Also very much worth your time is Beijing or Bust (Films Media Group, 2005) A wonderful video, truly instructive in the future direction of the world marketplace.

And although it belabors its premise excrutiatingly, Frontline’s The Tank Man is great for revealing the burgeoning, booming New China.



  1. Liam,
    Great article, I am surprised that there aren’t any comments as of yet. I wish that I had your great talent for writing and satire. You make some very valid points, I believe that most of the changes in the world are cylclic and will continue to be so. Nevertheless, we humans do pollute and do not respect Mother Earth but she is more powerful will always have the last say and regurgitate these ungrateful offenders.

  2. Hi Noreen,

    She’ll shake us off like a case of fleas? Is that what you mean?

    (That’s an old George Carlin line – pretty funny at that. He’s viciously (even sadistically) unsentimental – to the point of cruelty, at times.)

    [ More Carlin]

    Yes, well, true. Global Warming. A Warming Globe.

    But really not, really “Global Temperature Change,” you know, like an Ice Age, or, what would the opposite be… a Fire Age? No… a Hot and Wet age? A Hot and Dry Age?

    I don’t know. I’ve been telling people to get out of their cars and walk (to work, to the store, to the mailbox) for about ten years, but no luck. Seems that wherever we’re heading, we’re driving.

  3. I am still uncertain what to believe about global climate change, although despite Al Gore, I tend to be more convinced by those who argue it is real. Unfortunately it makes me a bit cynical when the nuclear industry proposes they have a solution. The rapid warming of the far North is a great concern, and if it is cyclical it is a cycle beyond Inuit memory. I think it is best to proceed with caution and heed the potential warning signs. It certainly will not hurt to give up oil and gas consumption in favour of wind, solar and tidal power, or build a culture which lives at a much slower speed.

    Still there mijght be a parallel with “HIV/AIDS.” The test became a means of identifying people who were supposedly ill and would die in a short term, and in doing so it assured the “negative” population of their health and their (temporary) escape from death. It became a focus drawing attention off of the increase in chronic disease in the west and the rise of disease in Africa due to worsening economic conditions as nations “developed.”

    Global climate change as reported in the mainstream keeps the focus off the big picture, assuring us the real problem is greenhouse gas emissions and keeping attention off how chemical pollutants and the destruction of resources in a frenzy of corporate greed are killing us and the planet. The western lifestyle, including as it is picked up by China and India, is obviously deadly and unsustainable — this includes not just cars, but processed foods, militarization, agribusiness (the Green Revolution), biotechnology, Hollywood movies global free trade, and constant air travel. You name it there is not much that is truly sustainable about the way the west lives, and the lifestyle it pushes down other nations throats as “development.” As long as panic is focused on climate change it is easier to avoid the reality that our lifestyle is a form of suicide.

    While we might be fleas on the planet, we are also of the planet. There is no her/us — just one entity.

    I look forward to a couple of people who know the science taking up Liam’s challenge.

  4. Hi Robin,

    Great points – sure, yes, and why not? The earth has altered its temperature over and over again – so why not now? It’s quite possible. I’d love someone to throw in some good references for reading.

    I agree, we’re not really fleas, and I agree that the earth is organismic (and that the universe is a consious energy stream, among other things).

    But there is something on the Left that approaches (who am I kidding) that is a religion, when we talk about gooey, self-gratifying, obsessive reductionist fear memes: “Let’s all get scared of (bird flu, AIDS, Global Warming) because (insert hoary chestnut here): ‘one peaceful world is possible (if it weren’t for those nasty fill-in-the-blanks (usually Republicans)’ or ‘If we only all try really hard and really believe, and wear our new ribbons, and look shiney and bright (and put on some sort of televised awards ceremony, replete with serious-faced Hollywoodians giving their grave take on the issue….)

    Then we’ll all be okay!!! (if it weren’t for those bad Industrialists (who made the cars we drove to the protest in, and the plastic we encapsulate every one of our possessions in, etc, etc, etc)…

    My take is, if there’s going to be a climactic event (or series of events), they’re gonna happen, because if we tipped the scale, we did it a long time ago, and no amount of faux-concern is going to get us (the US, China, Europe, India, South America – all of us) out of oil, or CO2-producing energy processes, before there’s a great deal of consequence – suffering.

    Like I wrote in the post, I don’t eat animals, as it goes (and I like it that way. I would to survive, but we’re far from there). I don’t drive a car, or burn petrol, I do take public transportation. So I am aware that we leave a footprint. But so what, in the scheme of things?

    I mean, I’m happier doing what I’m doing than not. A lot happier. A lot a lot. But most people don’t have the time or energy or inclination to look into various diet and lifestyle habits that impact a great deal less and preserve (or return) a great deal more. These things take a great deal of time to investigate and gain some mastery over. You can’t just switch from the standard McLife to an organic, cook-at-home, buy a great deal less-lifestyle without a lot of energy to devote to the switch.

    And even then, the way I eat still requires transport of food across unecessary distance (I do my best to eat seasonal foods, and I hope that keeps it more local, but it may not).

    So, it’s nice, I guess, that big Al-i G. is getting some people to think about….well, that’s the question: What the f— is he getting them to think about? What’s idiot loud-mouth Sharon Stone going to do after seeing “An Inconvenient Truth”?

    What’s anybody going to do? Sell their car? Become a hermit?

    No, they’ll consider buying a hybrid. Big freaking deal. When oil’s up, it’s up. When the climate wants to change, it will. There’s a lot of loss before there’s change, that’s standard human operating rule #1.

    At least that’s my experience, from the personal to the historical. Punctuated Equlibrium, is what Gould and Eldgredge called it. Long periods of stability, and then…BAM! Spice-weasel!

  5. I’m agnostic on the issue. But, I’d love to see a public debate — two teams of scientists. The proposition:

    Global warming is harmful to the planet, and caused by humans

    And, if one side were too chicken to engage this debate, I would foreever be skeptical of their particular side.

    Let’s rumble!


  6. Liam,

    Given Al’s record from the first stolen election, I don’t expect he will probably do much. But I prefer his recent career choice to that of Bill “ARVs” Clinton. Maybe it is because I am Canadian, but I can’t get too hyped that this is just a “Left” problem — and if being a Democrat means “Left,” and hence Hilary is “Left,” then please let us retire those terms for good because there are more progressive Republicans around than the next Clinton president in waiting.I n Canada I don’t really expect much from the “Left” (NDP) except jumping on what they perceive as the latest vote winning bandwagon with the centrist crowd. As for the celebrities, being stupid idiots is part of their contracts.

    I admit I prefer to live the fantasy that we can make a difference and that personal choices matter, be it in terms of “HIV?AIDS,” climate change, saving local agriculture or pollution. If I did not and did not remind myself of the changes made by the likes of Gandhi, King or Mandela, I am not so sure I would find the reason to keep going. I came of age in the Reagan era and frankly almost everything that has happened since has made this a crueler and more poisonous world, and basically nothing I have worked for has come to pass. 9/11 has only speeded the descent into barbarity and stupidity. We began living Orwell’s 1984 long ago.

    Floods and hurricanes in some ways do not frighten me as much as the the direction our culture has taken towards total corporate control, irrationality and state terrorism. More permanent damage was and is being done in New Orleans by people (especially corporations and government) than by wind and water.

    Our cutlure is not just unsustainable in terms of pollution and depletion of resources, but at the basic levels of emotion, spirit, soul and intelligence. Solar panels and wind farms won’t solve this, but if they take some power away from big oil and give it to communities, they might help some people take further small steps to rediscover their humanity. Community gardens may well only cause a small reduction in emissions from produce transport, but they will also teach people about community, life and what healthy produce tastes like. (Really strawberries are quite sweet and unlike the CA versions they do not resemble cardboard.)

    I don’t see much in our current corporatized culture which is worth saving, but I know I have to find some things in life worth cherishing or I won’t survive (in season local organic strawberries are one.) Almost a year ago I started feeling incredibly paralysed around my inability to have any political impact, particularly in terms of bringing down the “HIV?AIDS” and “War on Terror” scams. By the end of the year that sense of paralysis was having physical manifestations, and today I can barely walk with a cane or assistance. Four doctors and six months of consultation and they are still puzzled at what is going on, although MS is a possibility. Despite a former “positive” test I have managed to stay out of the “AIDS” zone by insisting I am straight white guy with no past “risks.” Whatever is going on physically, I am quite convinced it has some basis in psychology, and it certainly reminds me of Caspar Schmidt’s account of epidemic hysteria among gay men in the early 80s.

    All this to say, don’t destroy hope. If climate change is real and it cannot be stopped by human actions, at the very least the efforts to stop it may produce a healthier and happier culture than the violent hell we currently live in. That is of course assuming the nuclear option is shoved down our throats. I would rather see a world of happy people deal with floods, the than current consumer zombies because at least for a moment those people did live.

    Enough of my rants. I look forward to the rumble.


  7. OOPS — I meant “assuming the nuclear option is NOT shoved down our throats.”

  8. That was beautifully, well stated Robin and probably the reflections of many. I would love to have the religious vs. psychology angle debate the above statements. I can envision an interesting debate.

    We have to think that we make a difference, or we would really seem insignificant and no reason for being here. We probably make a bigger difference than we realize, we just don’t always know how our actions affect and touch the lives of others.

    You are so right about coporate control. Gone are the independent farmers, service station owners, and small stores. In its place is “big business” who make harmful products which cause cancer and pollute the environment while at the same time are seen in front of the camera writing a hefty check to the cancer society. Employee dedication and loyalty means nothing to the greedy. Employees are laid off when they are near being vested or nearing retirement so that the cheaper, younger worker may be hired in their place.

    The problem of the so-called, civilized society is that we are a disposable society, whether it be in our daily food, conveniences, luxuries and even relationships. People live next door to one another and hardly know their neighbors. Most have become isolated in their own caves, afraid to reach out to others. Compared to the rest of the world, many of us live like kings and queens yet we strive for more so that we may hide our treasures in storage sheds and storage units.

    In regards to floods, storms, nuclear attack, etc. it does no good to worry about these things. Worry is extremely detrimental to one’s health which I really haven’t heard much stated in regards to stress and AIDS. I personally believe that it is a very large piece of the pie as if one thinks they are well, they generally are and visa versa. This is why that the death sentence dealt out by the AIDS doctors cannot be accepted by the patient. Doctors should never tell a patient that he or she is terminal. The patients are generally susceptible to suggestions and will lose hope, give up and this will seal their coffin.

    Robin, you must stay positive regardless of whatever name the doctor’s give your diagnosis. After all, it just a name that you will toss around and think about the various symptoms associated with said disease. I know that I may be preaching to you but in this case I have certainly been there and I have surivived quite an ordeal, only by believing that I would.

    Count your blessing every day and realize that there are many who care about you and will be there for you, many you haven’t even met.

  9. Hi Robin,

    Yes, questions of Right and Left are always muddled by the terminology, and the shifting sands of actual character and consituents huddling under either tag or title.

    I’ll use ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ broadly, to describe those who think of themselves as such, here in the US. But on Canada? You’ll have to be our educator on Parliamentary procedings!

    About “fantasies of societal change through personal change”: Well, I’m not so worried about it. We have to live with ourselves first, and our cultures second. I do what I do because I’m compelled to by forces and energies that I choose (prefer) to honor. I like the way I eat (for example), which is very different than the cultural norm. I prefer it, whether it makes a global difference or not. It makes me clearer, and more balanced, and that let’s me be myself better (better at what I do, what I want to do, etc.)

    As to: We began living Orwell’s 1984 long ago.

    I think human societies have always been formed of the same basic layers, with greater and lesser degrees of individual freedom, slavery, expression, coercion, civility and cruelty. We in the West live in an obsessively libertarien society, from the limited points of view of commerce (what you can buy, own, eat, etc).

    We can say what we think, within limits. We have greater freedom and flexibility in this regard, than say, someone working in a textile mill outside of Beijing. But you go from working class to working class, and elite to monied elite, and I’ll be psychologies are quite similar, place to place.

    Our working class can have enough to eat and cable tv to cool the passions and the critical thinking. It’s either a bad thing, or a good thing, depending on what you’re comparing it to.

    Our culture is not just unsustainable in terms of pollution and depletion of resources, but at the basic levels of emotion, spirit, soul and intelligence.

    Yes, we’re not a spiritually-attuned culture. We tend to be deprived (self-depriving) of connection with the larger energies of the world. We seek catharsis in tiny, momentary, neurotic release: ipods, video games, constant stimulation. I’d like to live in a more connected culture, at least, I think I would.

    But then, there’s India, a nation aware that everything and everyone is an inarnation of the immortal infinity, and they’re not doing a whole lot better. On the contrary, you want to see poverty embraced? View the millions looking for sustenance in Mumbai and Calcutta.

    On your personal struggles:

    By the end of the year that sense of paralysis was having physical manifestations, and today I can barely walk with a cane or assistance. Four doctors and six months of consultation and they are still puzzled at what is going on, although MS is a possibility. Despite a former “positive” test I have managed to stay out of the “AIDS” zone by insisting I am straight white guy with no past “risks.” Whatever is going on physically, I am quite convinced it has some basis in psychology, and it certainly reminds me of Caspar Schmidt’s account of epidemic hysteria among gay men in the early 80s.

    I am sorry for your pain and your struggles.

    I had a similar situation about four years ago, with what was being diagnosed as an MS-like or pre-MS-like condition. I was having increasing trouble with movement in parts of my body (hands, arms, legs). I was pushed to undergo standard medical processes (and I pushed back, asked a lot and researched on my own), and realized that they had very little actual idea of what they were looking at or talking about. MS is about as nebulous a diagnosis as exists.

    After a point, they just wanted to drill and drug. Their fall-back mode.

    At a specific point, just before a spinal tap, I said “No, thank you. I’m not ready to go that way.”

    I had an idea come to me that I had not tried everything I could, that there were possibilities and paths that I was not aware of, and I would have to do the work of being open to what I did not know.

    I sensed that I had not done everything I could, not looked everywhere inside, not unearthed everything that was there, that might be feeding the stresses and wounds that led to long-building degradation: I had a number of experiences in childhood that were traumatic, quite traumatic. Abuse, some other situations. Some short-term (but acute), some long-term and very wearing.

    There were clues, burning points, recurring patterns, thoughts, impulses that called out, stood out in my consciousness, that asked to be explored, identified, opened. I was compelled to open those doors, those wounds, and find out what lay beneath.

    It was at that point, or during that process, that I began to investigate the non-reductionist side of life, that is, the open-ended, the sources of our energy, The source, the spiritual, whatever you’d like to call it. It was life-saving to me, allowing those connections to energize and flow.

    I also focused on diet, essential fatty acids, less protein, more green and root vegetables, different kinds of cooking, more seasonally appropriate. And less and less sugary stuff and processed food over the next couple years.

    And I opened up, let go of the idea that I could answer everything, made changes, followed unconventional paths, had some deep personal experiences, connections, etc. Went to therapy for the trauma. And over a number of months, I noticed that things were changing inside. My world-view, my self-perception.

    I no longer wanted to tolerate cruelty – especially that sneaking self-directed cruelty that comes from internalizing abuse – and I stopped some patterns and habits that were both subtley and unsubltley self-abusive.

    And over the months, I felt my heart and head and spirit clear up. And I kept on with that connection. And, I am pleased, and happy and quite grateful to say, things got better. A lot better. A lot a lot.

    There’s more to that story, but I’ll save it for something I write someday, unless you have a question you’d like to ask at present.

    Books I like: Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods, above all. And various macrobiotic tomes, mostly for principle, rarely for day-to-day. Too yangizing, to strict for Westerners. For most people. But the principles, pairs of opposites, all things manifested out of an undifferentiated infinity, manifested in pairs of opposites, etc.

    Incredibly important to me, that’s for sure.


    All this to say, don’t destroy hope.

    Come on Robin! Hope springs eternal! But holding on to a particular wish, in my experience, is not helpful. No particular view can be “hoped” for, against a rising tide. We don’t make the weather, for example, we can observe the changes and make the best decisions, if we are in a place to be open, observant and thoughtful – and act when we are compelled to act. Easy to say, I know.

    I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s particular struggle. I’ve had them to. But I decided it would be okay to stop wishing a lot of things about the world, and to start becoming very accepting of the world as it is, and of my unique role or activity in it.

    There are things I must do, because I feel deeply that I must. So I do them. Sometimes I have a wish for a result, but mostly I know that I have to honor the energy that wants to be expressed. It’s a daily practice, certainly.

    I have to say that this practice, more than anything, has improved my life.

    I am able to do what I want to do, because I want to do; the rest of the world can do what it does. The two are not in contradiction.

    Let us know how it goes. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself in your letter.



  10. Hi! I don’t have much time to post something more thorough, but here are some basic things on this. Do you understand how greenhouses work? Do you understand why cars parked in the sun with the windows roll up can get mighty hot inside? How heat generated by sunlight gets trapped by glass like in a greenhouse or car?

    The burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal, wood, etc.) creates carbon dioxide which gets trapped in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is transparent to visible light but absorbs some infrared radiation (heat coming from the earth), so traps heat generated from light hitting the earth. So sunlight comes in and hits the earth and gets converted to heat but then gets trapped by all of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Still with me?

    Global warming is definitely real and we are in big trouble with this one. There is a lot of science out there and not all of it is junk science. If you believe that there are toxic chemicals, for example, which can cause cellular damage in the body, there is science, cellular biology and other areas, which can show us how damage is done to cells from different chemicals. And moving away from fossil fuels, drilling, oil spills, deforestation, air pollution from coal burning, wars over oil, and so on, toward more sustainable sources of energy is a good thing. Different folks have done studies on weather, surface temps over many thousands of years and can show correlations between different times where there was high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and higher surface temperatures.

    And yes, it is a shame that more folks are not better utilizing waste streams. Imagine if we could get rid of all of these disgusting sewage treatment ponds, plants, and use more waste for energy. Lots of alternatives. Solar power has been around for many decades. Why don’t we have more alternative energy (wind, solar, biomass, waste stream systems)? Politics.

  11. Oh, geez. I am writing too quickly and not explaining some of this well, have to correct a few things.

    Fossil fuels are fossils– organic material (wood, plants, etc.), carbon that was fossilized. All organic material has carbon so burning any kind of organic material is going to produce carbon dioxide. Burning fossil fuels and other organic material releases carbon that was trapped in the earth or plant, etc., into the atmosphere. Carbon combines with oxygen when burned to create carbon dioxide.

    With things like biofuels, when we burn these, carbon dioxide is still being made but the production of these fuels (growing plants) takes carbon out of the air as plants absorb carbon dioxide. So there is not a net carbon increase in the air. With much current energy production (burning fossil fuels), there is nothing in the equation which takes the carbon out of the air, not creating a more sustainable/balanced cycle of fuel production and consumption.

    How does carbon dioxide lead to global warming? All light is electromagnetic radiation. There are different wavelengths/frequencies of electromagnetic radiation from low frequency long wavelength radiation such as radiowaves and infrared light, to visible light, up to high frequency shortwave length radiation such as x-rays. The sun generates radiation across this spectrum.

    Electromagnetic radiation reacts with matter in three ways: it is transmitted through a material, reflected by a material, or absorbed by a material. Each material responds to different wavelengths/frequencies of electromagnetic radiation by transmitting, reflecting and absorbing different percentages of that wavelength/frequency.

    Carbon dioxide transmits most high frequency radiation including visible light, but reflects most low frequency radiation such as infrared. Light striking the earth’s is absorbed by the earth’s surface and then re-radiated as low frequency radiation (infrared). This low frequency radiation is reflected back to the earth by the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, in essence trapping this radiation as heat. Increases levels of carbon dioxide will decrease the amount of infrared radiation released back to space, trapping increases amounts as heat and making the earth and the atmosphere hotter, increasing the atmospheric temperature.

  12. Oops. Did you understand that last paragraph? I had a few typos. Corrected text below.

    Carbon dioxide transmits most high frequency radiation including visible light, but reflects most low frequency radiation such as infrared. Light striking the earth is absorbed by the earth’s surface and then re-radiated as low frequency radiation (infrared). This low frequency radiation is reflected back to the earth by the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, in essence, trapping this radiation as heat. Increased levels of carbon dioxide will decrease the amount of infrared radiation released back to space, trapping increased amounts as heat and making the earth and the atmosphere hotter, increasing the atmospheric temperature.

  13. P.S. I think you are going to lose some folks who might otherwise be interested in hearing some about the problems with some areas of medical science by this post, asking whether or not this is just scare tactics, whether human activity is contributing much to global warming.

    Think about the word petro-chemical. What else are petrochemicals used for besides energy?

  14. Well, in theory, something like biofuels could have not net increase in carbon dioxide being produced, however, if folks are using industrial, chemical intensive agriculture to grow something like corn on a large scale, then might have an increase in carbon dioxide, correct? More energy might be put into something than is gotten back out of it.

    Have to look at overall inputs and outputs for different things in different scenarios. Depending on what kind of plant is being grown (going to get different amounts of energy out of different plant sources) and how it is being grown, the energy inputs can be greater than the outputs, so something might sound nice in theory but in reality might not be as good as it sounds.

  15. Hi NanaB,

    (pre-s: you never told me about the name! ?Nana B? please fill me in..)

    Well, that’s exactly what I was looking for: someone to weigh in on the subject in the affirmative.

    What I’m really looking for are a few of the central papers, studies or theses about the process of ‘global-warming or -temperature change,’ and maybe someone to explain some of the details..

    Sort of a fishing expedition for the relevant information.

    I don’t think anyone here is unaware of the connected nature of things – so an argument about the biosphere is well understood.

    The post wasn’t about global warming being junk science – it is about the Left’s response to projected crisis: “let’s all get scared, let’s put on T-shirts with the right logo or ribbon-color; let’s put on a celebrity all-star show; let’s go door-to-door begging for money for…what?”

    Lobbying? Oy vay!

    I’m really itching to have a good look at some of the central papers. Yes, I can look them up myself, but I’m juggling a few other bits of research at present, and thought I’d give those who care and those in the know to put their specific information on the line, for public viewing, so the questions can be asked and answered.

    Show us what we should know! Post a link to a good research or popular article!



    ps – thanks for the CO2 breakdown! I will read it thoroughly.

  16. Oh, just a nickname.

    Thanks for explaining more your interest in different issues concerning global warming. First, let’s say that we all believe that humans burning things and creating all of this carbon dioxide is causing much warming, okay? If for no other reason that for argument’s sake. (I will post some links for you on the science behind the greenhouse effect later.) Then the question would be what do we do about it, right? And yes, many think there are some corrupt things going on in relation to some of the proposed responses to global warming. And sounds as though this is what you might be interested in hearing more about. Of course, there are many good proposals as well such as ones that emphasize much conservation of energy (in the U.S. enormous amounts of energy is just wasted). With something like wind generated energy, nothing is being burned so carbon dioxide is not an issue in relation energy being produced from windmills. (Now in the production of things like solar panels and windmills, that is another issue.) And sunlight and wind are renewable sources of energy unlike fossil fuels, correct?

    Much carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere by forest fires in addition to coal burning, driving cars. In some places in Africa, as a result of extreme poverty, people are burning down forests so that they can get charcoal to sell for cooking fuel, I think is what I read, so emphasis on poverty alleviation in some areas such as this would be good so people aren’t so desperate they are burning down forests just to make charcoal to sell, for fuel. Some are running programs where they are giving folks solar ovens (solar boxes that they put food in and put out in the sun to cook food) and so on.

    To get back to my pointing out problems with biofuels, as I stated and will elaborate on a bit now, this is nice in theory, but definitely not always as good as it sounds in actuality. From what I have been reading: If someone is using more carbon based fuels to make biofuels, a lot more even, than they are getting back, this is definitely not a good solution, definitely not as good as it might sound in promotions and so on. Also could involve problems with valuable land being used to grow biofuel crops rather than food crops, other related environmental problems. So… in walks biotechnology and genetically engineered crops.

    Just was reading something on this this morning in a message I got from GM Watch (GM = genetically modified) and have included some from this message below.

    GM WATCH daily

    Following on from Bush’s “addicted to oil” speech,
    plant-derived ethanol and biodiesel are being heavily promoted by the biotech industry as a much-needed – and environmentally friendly – outlet for the glut of genetically modified crops that consumers are rejecting, but…

    The Biowatch Bulletin – May/June 2006 [excerpt]

    A new study from the University of Cornell and the University of Berkeley, California has found that turning plants, such as maize and sunflowers, into fuel, uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates. The study analysed energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from maize, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. The report of the study, published in Natural Resources Research (Vol.14, 65-76) found that:

    * maize needs 29% more fossil energy than the fuel it produced
    * switch grass needed 45% more fossil fuel than fuel produced
    * wood biomass needed 57% more fossil fuel than fuel it produced
    * soybean plants needed 27% more fossil fuel than the fuel produced
    * sunflower plants needed 118% more fossil fuel than the fuel produced

    Swiss multinational Syngenta recently applied to the South African Department of Agriculture for permission to import genetically modified maize (event 3272) for conversion into ethanol. The maize will not be planted in South Africa. It will be imported in a ground form but Syngenta acknowledges that event 3272 could contaminate the food and feed chain. The company is also applying for permission to import event 3272 in the United States of America, the European Union and China. Grain SA has objected to the application.

    Worse Than Fossil Fuel
    December 6th, 2005
    Biodiesel enthusiasts have accidentally invented the most carbon-intensive fuel on earth
    By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 6th December 2005

  17. Reposted from another forum – offered some counter-point:

    I do know a thing or two about global warming. I’ve studied both sides of the argument, and in my opinion, neither side makes a compelling scientific case.

    Which leaves me in the uncomfortable position of not having a clue who is telling the truth. I don’t like not having clues, so when science yields none, I look elsewhere for clues.

    In the case of global warming, the non-scientific clues are many, and almost all of them suggest that those who espouse the notion of global warming are the exact same sort of scaremongers who’ve been lying to us about AIDS. Jamison points out that they’re an AIDS-like cult who tend towards attacking their critics (a sure sign that someone has no real scientific argument to begin with,) and Michael Crighton points out that, throughout history, when a group of self-proclaimed “authorities” claim overwhelming consensus among themselves as proof that their critics are wrong (as the global warming camp are SO fond of doing,) it’s time to reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Further parallels between the AIDS orthodoxy and the global warming camp are invited by none other than Dr. Robert Gallo himself, who has used the fact that Dr. Kary Mullis doesn’t believe in global warming, as a means of portraying him as some kind of heretical flat-earther, thus claiming “proof” that Mullis has no credibility on any scientific subject. (Yet they still use Mullis’ PCR technique as a substitute for actual culturing of HIV. Go figure.)

    Here’s something else that’ll raise a few questions: Did you know that 30 years ago, it wasn’t global warming, but global COOLING that we were all being ordered to fear? That’s right, boys and girls — in fact, I have a copy of a Newsweek article from 1975 that points out that in the previous decades, the growing season had shortened by two weeks, and which warned that if this trend continued, there would be massive famines by the end of the 20th Century, and an impending ice age, perhaps as early as the 21st.

    Actually, this makes perfect sense, when you consider that the Earth naturally goes through climactic cycles every 30 or 40 years. A good chunk of the early 20th Century was a veritable modern-day ice age, with bitterly cold winters and average temperatures lower than any recorded since the latter half of the 20th Century. Then in the mid-20th Century, the climate warmed up, becoming downright balmy by the 1950s, before beginning a cooling trend again, which lasted until the late 1970s.

    Think that’s because of industry? Think again — we’ve been watching Mars’ polar ice caps shrink and expand for decades, and there isn’t a single sign of any sort of life form that might engage in heavy industry anywhere on that planet. Apparently, therefore, temperature cycles are a normal planetary phenomenon, even in the absence of intelligent life, let alone industry.

    Turning to the ice caps, Earth’s ice caps just happen to be melting at the moment. Currently, those in the global warming camp are pointing to this fact, combined with the record hurricane season of 2005, as proof that global warming is an imminent and undeniable threat.

    But wait — it’s a well-known fact that when the Earth switches between warming and cooling cycles, it does so by melting or freezing the polar ice caps. As the caps melt, this cools Earth’s climate, causing the surface temperature of the entire planet to begin to drop. As the planet cools, the ice caps begin to expand again, radiating heat back out into the atmosphere, and causing the planet to round the corner once more for a warming cycle. The ice caps, therefore, are how the Earth regulates her surface temperatures, and we should therefore not be surprised to find that in the current warming trend, the ice caps are shrinking. Now, if the ice caps completely disappear and the Earth still doesn’t cool down, I’d say we’re in some pretty deep shit, but until then, it’s just too early to tell.

    On the subject of hurricanes, I have yet to hear an explanation from the global warming camp, for the fact that, for ten years prior to 2005, our hurricane seasons had been unusually quiet — boring even. I do have an explanation, however, from an old friend of mine who was a retired Earth Sciences professor. Somewhere around 2001, he pointed out to me that the hurricane seasons for the past few years had been unusually quiet, and told me that since hurricanes are the Earth’s way of dissipating excess heat from the tropical regions of the oceans, that Earth was, in his words, “saving up for one hell of a monstrous hurricane season.” He even went so far as to say that the longer it took for us to have such a season, the more severe that hurricane season would be, since with each summer that passed without any major hurricane activity, the more heat would build up in the tropics, and when all that pent-up energy was finally released, it was going to cause all hell to break loose.

    My friend, it would seem, was 100% correct. As it turned out, it took another 4 years for us to have any real hurricane activity, and when we finally did, in 2005, there were a record 27 named storms, including no fewer than two Category 5 hurricanes (Katrina and Rita). Exactly as my friend had predicted 4 years earlier, all hell broke loose, and we had one hell of a monstrous hurricane season.

    Go figure — here was a scientist who predicted the 2005 hurricane season 4 years in advance, and mentioned not a single word about global warming.

    So while the scientific evidence on both sides is profoundly weak, I have to say, on balance, that I am inclined to be strongly suspicious, both on scientific and non-scientific grounds, of those who claim an impending global warming catastrophe.

    — Gos
    “Nobody here but us heretics…”

  18. Liam,
    that’s a very well-spoken post from “Gos” at Aidsmythexposed.

    I posted quite a bit on that thread (not as eloquently as Gos), and found that my agnostic take on the issue forced me into a polarized position.

    I’m simply saying that I haven’t been convinced that global warming is real. The science behind it is wrought with supposition, assumption and correlation…much like HIV/AIDS.

  19. Thought you all might be interested in this one below from GM Watch. I will try to post some more information in the next few days, but basically many problems and confusion about different things have to do with corporate junk science.

    If you have a problem with corporate junk science in the pharmaceutical industry, then you should better understand corporate junk science in relation to more aspects of the chemical, petro-chemical, industry, in relation to environmental science. There is overwhelming consensus in the environmental science community that human activity is causing dangerous global warming. Confusion on this has been caused by corporate junk science coming out of folks with connections to folks in the oil industry, Exxon-Mobile.

    Have read that during WWII, Hitler would never have been able to have done what he did without backing, right? So who was backing him, involved in his activities? Some groups were Standard Oil which is today Exxon-Mobil? IG Farben which was a pharmaceutical group which was broken up after the war into what is today Bayer, BASF and another one (can’t remember off the top of my head). Different groups in the oil and pharmaceutical industries have been closely linked over a long time, many pharmaceuticals are petrochemical products, right? Synthetic drugs, like synthetic in ‘synthetic fibers’ like polyester which is plastics derived from oil, no? Pesticides/herbicides are petrochemical products, no? All in the same family and different companies that produce pharmaceuticals are also involved in pesticides/herbicides and genetically engineered foods, genetically engineered organisms, ge drugs, etc. The ge stuff has to do with patents (another post), and selling herbicides, etc.

    The problem is corporate junk science not anyone raising an alarm about anything in general as there are real things which should be considered urgent problems, right? And global warming is definitely one of them. This does not mean that folks who might junk want to make a buck off of it, folks who might not have the brightest ideas on how to combat it, might not jump on the panic train, but it is real and it is truly terrifying, imo. So, have corporate junk science corrupting medical science over the years and have had corporate junk science trying to confuse people over different environmental problems. Why would a company who is, in large part, responsible for global warming want to hire some ‘scientists’ to do some ‘studies,’ and tell folks that the warming we are experiencing isn’t caused by our using their products? I wonder? Will write more later when I have more time. Just super busy.

    GM WATCH daily

    In his recent article on the problems of “soyafication”, the Argentinian agronomist-geneticist, Alberto Lapolla, explained how Roundup Ready (GM) soya makes possible the rapid expansion of soya farming into regions that have never been used for this type of agriculture before, leading to the take over of enormous tracts of land, often by illegitimate and even violent means.

    The article below makes clear, in passing, the almost unbelievable ecological impact, as well as direct human cost, that this is having.

    EXCERPTS: [felling] has reached far into the forest after the American multinational Cargill built a huge port for soya three years ago at Santarem, some 400 miles downriver from here.

    This encouraged entrepreneurs to cut down the trees to grow the soya.

    The symposium flew down en masse to inspect the damage this had caused – vast fields of beans destined to feed supermarket chickens in Europe, where until recently there had been lush, trackless forest.

    Priests and community leaders who were campaigning to protect the forest told us how they had received repeated death threats.

    So far about a fifth of the Amazonian rainforest has been razed completely. Another 22 per cent has been harmed by logging, allowing the sun to penetrate to the forest floor drying it out. And if you add these two figures together, the total is growing perilously close to 50 per cent, which computer models predict as the “tipping point” that marks the death of the Amazon.

    Dying Forest: One year to save the Amazon
    Time is running out for the Amazon rainforest. And the fate of the ‘lungs of the world’ will take your breath away

    Report by Geoffrey Lean in Manaus
    The Independent on Sunday, 23 July 2006

    Deep in the heart of the world’s greatest rainforest, nine days’ journey by boat from the sea, Otavio Luz Castello is anxiously watching the soft waters of the Amazon drain away. Every day they recede further, like water running slowly out of an unimaginably immense bath, threatening a global catastrophe.

    He pointed out what was happening on Wednesday, standing on an island in a quiet channel of the giant river. Just a month ago, he explained, it had been entirely under water. Now it was jutting a full 15 feet above it.

    It is a sign that severe drought is returning to the Amazon for a second successive year. And that would be ominous indeed. For, as we report on page 12 today, new research suggests that just one further dry year beyond that could tip the whole vast forest into a cycle of destruction.

    Just the day before, top scientists had been delivering much the same message at a remarkable floating symposium on the Rio Negro, on whose strange black waters this capital city of the Amazon stands. They told the meeting – convened on a flotilla of boats by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greek Orthodox Church, dubbed the “green Pope” for his environmental activism – that global warming and deforestation were rapidly pushing the entire enormous area towards a “tipping point”, where it would irreversibly start to die.

    The consequences would be truly awesome. The wet Amazon, the planet’s greatest celebration of life, would turn to dry savannah at best, desert at worst. This would cause much of the world – including Europe – to become hotter and drier, making this sweltering summer a mild foretaste of what is to come. In the longer term, it could make global warming spiral out of control, eventually making the world uninhabitable.

    Nowhere could seem further from the world’s problems than the idyllic spot where Otavio Luz Castello lives. The young naturalist’s home is a chain of floating thatched cottages that make up a research station in the Mamiraua Reserve, halfway between here and Brazil’s border with Colombia.

    Rare pink river dolphin play in the tranquil waters surrounding the cottages, kingfishers dive into them, giant, bright butterflies zig-zag across them and squirrel monkeys romp in the trees on their banks. And an 18ft black caiman answers, literally, to the name of Fred; gliding up to dine abstemiously on sliced white bread when called. There is little to suggest that it may be witnessing the first scenes of an apocalypse. The waters of the rivers of the Amazon Basin routinely fall by some 30-40 feet- greater than most of the tides of the world’s seas – between the wet and dry seasons. But last year they just went on falling in the worst drought in recorded history.

    In the Mamiraua Reserve they dropped 51 feet, 15 feet below the usual low level and other areas were more badly affected. At one point in the western Brazilian state of Acre, the world’s biggest river shrank so far that it was possible to walk across it. Millions of fish died; thousands of communities, whose only transport was by water, were stranded. And the drying forest caught fire; at one point in September, satellite images spotted 73,000 separate blazes in the basin.

    This year, says Otavio Luz Castello, the water is draining away even faster than the last one – and there are still more than three months of the dry season to go. He adds: “I am very concerned.”

    It is much the same all over Amazonia. In the Jau National Park, 18 hours by boat up the Rio Negro from here, local people who took me out by canoe at dawn found it impossible to get to places they had reached without trouble just the evening before. Acre, extraordinarily, received no rain for 40 days recently, and sandbanks are already beginning to surface in its rivers. Flying over the forest – with trees in a thousand shades of green stretching, for hour after hour, as far as the eye can see – it seems inconceivable that anything could endanger its verdant immensity. Until recently, scientists took the same view, seeing it as one of the world’s most stable environments.

    Though they condemned the way that, on average, an area roughly the size of Wales is cut down each year, this did not seem to endanger the forest as a whole, much less the entire planet. Now they are changing their minds in the face of increasing evidence that the deforestation is pushing both the Amazon and the world to the brink of disaster.

    Dr Antonio Nobre, of Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research, told the floating symposium – whose delegates ranged from politicians and environmentalists, to Amazonian Indian shamans and Roman Catholic cardinals – of unpublished research which suggests that the felling is both drying up the entire forest and helping to cause the hurricanes that have been battering the United States and the Caribbean.

    The hot, wet Amazon, he explained, normally evaporates vast amounts of water, which rise high into the air as if in an invisible chimney. This draws in the wet north-East trade winds, which have picked up moisture from the Atlantic. This in turn controls the temperature of the ocean; as the trade winds pick up the moisture, the warm water that is left gets saltier and sinks.

    Deforestation disrupts the cycle by weakening the Amazonian evaporation which drives the whole process. One result is that the hot water in the Atlantic stays on the surface and fuels the hurricanes. Another is that less moisture arrives on the trade winds, intensifying drought in the forest. “We believe there is a vicious cycle” says Dr Nobre.

    Marina Silva, a fiery former rubber-tapper who is now Brazil’s environment minister, described how the Government was finally cracking down on the felling by seizing illegally cut logs, closing down illicit enterprises and fining and imprisoning offenders. As a result, she says, it dropped by 31 per cent last year.

    But even so, it has only returned to the levels it was in 2001, still double what it was 10 years before. And it has reached far into the forest after the American multinational Cargill built a huge port for soya three years ago at Santarem, some 400 miles downriver from here.

    This encouraged entrepreneurs to cut down the trees to grow the soya.

    The symposium flew down en masse to inspect the damage this had caused – vast fields of beans destined to feed supermarket chickens in Europe, where until recently there had been lush, trackless forest.

    Priests and community leaders who were campaigning to protect the forest told us how they had received repeated death threats.

    So far about a fifth of the Amazonian rainforest has been razed completely. Another 22 per cent has been harmed by logging, allowing the sun to penetrate to the forest floor drying it out. And if you add these two figures together, the total is growing perilously close to 50 per cent, which computer models predict as the “tipping point” that marks the death of the Amazon.

    The models did not expect this to happen until 2050. But, says Dr Nobre, “what was predicted for 2050, may have begun to happen in 2005.” Nobody knows when the crucial threshold will be passed, but growing numbers of scientists believe that it is coming ever closer.

    One of Dr Nobre’s colleagues, Dr Philip Fearnside, puts it this way: “With every tree that falls we increase the probability that the tipping point will arrive.”

    Brazilian politicians say that the country has so many other pressing problems that the destruction is unlikely to be brought under control, unless the world helps to pay for the survival of the forest on which it too depends. Calculations by Hylton Philipson, a British merchant banker and rainforest campaigner, reckon that it will take $60bn (GBP32bn) a year, less than a third of the cost of the Iraq war.

    The scientists insist there is no time for delay. “If we do not act now”, says Dr Fearnside, “we will lose the Amazon forest that helps sustain living conditions throughout the world.”

  20. As I wrote before, not all science is junk science. Have to look for conflicts of interest. We see report after report coming out now of undisclosed conflicts of interest in publications, ‘findings,’ in the medical sciences. When looking at any scientific report, have to know if there is a financial conflict of interest, e.g., does this person promoting this theory of viral disease have a patent on a test for this supposed ‘virus,’ right? So when someone comes out and does a study that says something like ‘human activity, burning fossil fuels, etc., is not causing global warming, have to ask if they have a financial conflict of interest, are tied to the fossil fuel industry, right? Are you confused about global warming? Well, if so, that is exactly what some in the fossil fuel industry would like.

    What was one funny thing I read? One of the Rockefellers was going around trying to peddle a coal-tar ‘cure’ for cancer? Rockefellers (oil) starting corrupting medical science, infiltrating university medical programs beginning in the early nineteen hundreds?

    It is basically the same folks or related folks that create all of these medical scams who are trying to tell you that we aren’t causing global warming– chemical industry folks?

  21. RE: Your referring to this Crichton ape. Just scanning this one below, should give you a bit more info. on this guy as well as other propaganda guys for Exxon.

    Some Like It Hot
    Forty public policy groups have this in common: They seek to undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing the earth to overheat. And they all get money from ExxonMobil.

    Problem is that a lot of folks on the left who understand the problem with conflicts of interest in relation to different campaigns to discredit valuable environmental science, global warming and other problems, do not understand that much drug science and other different areas of medical science are also plagued by conflicts of interest. Gotta go now! Hope that helps!

  22. Here is a bit more while I am thinking about it and then will have to get back to you later. We could not live on this earth without having some carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere as the earth would be too cold. So people do not disagree that greenhouse gases trap heat, cause warming, but some try to say basically I think that we can’t cause runaway global warming by drastically increasing the amount of greenhouse gases that would be in the atmosphere without our influence. I think that is the basic argument which is just wrong.

  23. Check out the articles in the ARCHIVE section of the GM Watch web site. I think you might be interested in reading more on this web site. Lots of great information! Can view articles by month and year. Might help to fill in some gaps. Read all of the articles and posts for, say, the past five years and then let me know if you have any questions? ;-)

  24. And folks who don’t believe in all of the mainstream ‘HIV/AIDS’ stuff, who understand problems with conflicts of interest in relation to this, do not understand that the same kinds of problems with conflicts of interest are behind many claims that global warming is a hoax. Incomplete understanding of many problems plaguing different areas of the sciences coming from many different folks in different camps on different issues.

    -Problems with financial conflicts of interest corrupting many different areas of the sciences

    -Big problems with the drive to secure patents in relation to different areas of the sciences.

    For example, can’t put a patent on corn, but if you go into a lab and genetically engineer your own version of some corn, then can put a patent on it (and when an organic farmer gets his crop contaminated with this GE corn through cross-pollination, hey(!) he violated some creepo company’s patent and they can sue him for infringement(!)) and so on. Look at the history of different drug companies trying to get and keep patents on different drugs so they can corner the market on something? Constantly trying to come up with some new thing or version of thing that they can get a patent on it, no?

    Here is another one from GM Watch which mentions some of these patent issues in relation to stem cell research, therapy.

    Excerpt from one of the pieces below, on stem cell therapy:

    There has been little success in any area except when using the patient’s own adult stem cells to mend damaged organs and tissues. But that does not result in patentable and hence profitable cell lines, and so does not contribute to the “bio-economy”. There is a tendency to hush up the successes of adult stem cells, as well as the major failures of gene therapy, therapeutic cloning and genetic engineered drugs (see “London drug trial catastrophe” and related articles, this issue).

    Europe’s New Biotech Bubble Economy (31/5/2006)

    EXCERPT: Accounting firm Ernst & Young said in its annual report that biotech firms worldwide lost $4.39 billion last year; compared with losses of $6.27 billion in 2004. However, the combined net losses of publicly traded European biotech companies more than doubled to $1.57 billion in 2005 from $680 million in 2004.

    KBBE Europe’s New Biotech Bubble Economy
    An Extravagant Waste of Dwindling Resources that Spells Catastrophe
    Re-launching failed biotechnology
    Announcing Science in Society #30, Summer 2006
    From the Editor

    The European Parliament Green Group invited me to Brussels to contribute to their debate on biotechnology and bioethics, and that’s when I came across KBBE – Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy – Europe’s answer to climate change and energy crisis.

    KBBE was launched in an “event” organised by the European Commission’s Research Directorate General, “in close collaboration with the UK Presidency of the EU2005.”

    The conference was held in Brussels in September 2005, and already, a glossy report has been published entitled, New Perspectives on the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy, Conference Report, Transforming Life Sciences Knowledge into New, Sustainable Eco-Efficient and Competitive Products.

    KBBE is really a re-launch of biotechnology after decades of failures in both the agricultural and biomedical sectors; and it is riding on the new ‘sustainability’ ticket. It begins, as usual, with how much KBBE is worth. Janez Potocnik, EU Science and Research Commissioner, tell us it is “estimated to be worth more than €1.5 trillion per year” and “the life sciences and biotechnology are significant drivers of growth and competitiveness.” So huge amounts of public money yet again will be poured into biotechnologies in the EU’s next round of research funding, Framework Programme 7.

    No one knows where the figure €1.5 trillion comes from. Similar wild estimates were invented to promote biotechnology the first time round, and biotechnology has returned nothing but losses ever since.

    Accounting firm Ernst & Young said in its annual report that biotech firms worldwide lost $4.39 billion last year; compared with losses of $6.27 billion in 2004. However, the combined net losses of publicly traded European biotech companies more than doubled to $1.57 billion in 2005 from $680 million in 2004.

    The European Commission estimates a few pages later that R&D investment is responsible for up to 50 percent of Europe’s economic growth; that cannot have included the losses due to biotech.

    Europe’s declared love affair with the ‘knowledge economy’ goes back at least as far as March 2000, when European leaders gathered in Lisbon, Portugal, and set the goal for Europe to become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010.” The ‘Lisbon agenda’ has dominated Europe’s R&D investment and policies ever since, and all the more so now, the emphasis is on life sciences and biotechnology.

    Biotechnology in Technicolor

    There is a complete spectrum of biotech possibilities, we are told: red, green, grey and white. All colours of biotechnology will draw heavily on genetically modified organisms and genome sequences (genomics). A “holistic approach” is advocated, which means combining biotechnology with other disciplines, especially nanotechnology.

    Red is for pharmaceuticals and medical sector: “‘regenerative medicine’, ‘gene therapy’, ‘therapeutic cloning’, and the more precise and targeted use of organic matter to build better drugs” to treat and cure diseases such as Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s, cancer. There has been little success in any area except when using the patient’s own adult stem cells to mend damaged organs and tissues. But that does not result in patentable and hence profitable cell lines, and so does not contribute to the “bio-economy”. There is a tendency to hush up the successes of adult stem cells, as well as the major failures of gene therapy, therapeutic cloning and genetic engineered drugs (see “London drug trial catastrophe” and related articles, this issue).

    Green is for agri-food applications, such as genetically modified (GM) crops and plants with “enhanced characteristics, including drought resistance or salt tolerance”, also the application of life science knowledge [genomics] to improve plant-breeding techniques and to select wild plant for domestication. Again, no success whatsoever in GM crops, with limited returns on marker-assisted breeding. On the contrary, evidence has accumulated on health and environmental hazards of GM crops, which is systematically suppressed and dismissed.

    White is for industrial biotech; processing and production of chemicals, materials and energy, including biofuels from food crops such as oilseed rape, soya, maize and wheat. In the biofuels series, you will read how getting biofuels out of energy crops not only uses up land that’s needed for growing food, they also return less energy than is required to produce them. In the case of GM crops, we are told we need them to feed the world. In the case of biofuels, we are now told there is plenty of “spare” or “waste” land, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. That’s a lie. The latest satellite data show that 40 percent of the earth’s surface is in fact used up for agriculture already, either for growing crops or for pasture. There really isn’t enough land to grow energy crops for biofuels.

    Grey is new, and is for environmental applications, as for example, developing enzymes to help clean up environmental disasters such as oil spills, and microbes to absorb and filter waste in sewage water. We’ve heard that one before. But all the experience has been that the natural bacteria on site can already do the job. The only reason to genetically modify microbes and plants is to slap a patent on them for the “bio-economy”.

    KBBE based on the wrong science and technologies

    It is quite clear that the “knowledge-based bio-economy” cannot succeed, because it is based on the wrong kind of knowledge, the science is wrong, and so are the technologies that follow from the science. KBBE is a knowledge-bubble bio-economy. But that appears to have escaped the notice of our political leaders and their corporate masters, who believe that by manipulating knowledge, they can also manipulate the market.

    Several speakers at the KBBE conference blame the controversy over GM food and feed for Europe’s relative weakness in green biotechnology. This would be put right by redoubled efforts to “inform” the public on the benefits of biotechnology. And indeed the new campaign of misinformation, disinformation and suppression has begun.

    The Royal Society suppresses knowledge bad for the economy

    The UK’s Royal Society has sold its soul to big business since the 1990s. It lost public credibility when it set up a hasty committee in 1998 to stage an inquisition and humiliation of senior scientist Dr. Arpad Pusztai for adverse research findings on the safety of GM potatoes, which could affect Monsanto’s profits; and has periodically repeated unsubstantiated allegations against Pusztai and other honest scientists ever since.

    It has just issued a press release calling for scientists “to consider public interest when deciding whether to talk about their research results”.

    Professor Sir Patrick Bateson told the BBC that the Royal Society is concerned about scientists “producing work which is damaging”, such as the MMR vaccine and autism, GM potatoes and stunted rats, and the latest, a report in Nature suggesting that the Gulf Stream might be weakening.

    There is indeed evidence that a small proportion of children do suffer adverse reactions from the combined MMR vaccine (see SiS 13/14), just as there are good reasons to believe that as the ice melts the Gulf Stream might weaken and even reverse its direction (see SiS 20). As to GM food being unsafe, read the latest of a long string of evidence that has been systematically suppressed and dismissed in this issue! I have asked several times to debate/discuss the evidence with the Royal Society, with no success.

    When the Royal Society writes of the public interest it too often means only corporate interest. It reacted quickly and fiercely against Pusztai but said nothing at all about the Actonel scandal (this issue). If the outcome of that case is more honesty in the assessment and publication of the results of drug trials, the credit will go to one individual scientist and the media, not to the organisation that claims to provide leadership for British science.

    European Commission promoting biotechnology

    Back at the Green Party debate in Brussels, Prof. Yvon Englert, chief of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Erasmus Hospital, spoke in favour of EU funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. If public support is not provided, he said, it will lead to just the kind of abuse the MEPs feared as private companies got involved; the trafficking of human eggs, and women victimised by organised crime networks that traffic in people and organs.

    There was indeed a scandal last year involving a clinic in Romania procuring mail order eggs for EU countries, especially the UK. The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) investigated the concerns and claimed it was “unable to find evidence that Romanian donors were being paid more than legitimate expenses.” The Romanian government nevertheless closed down the clinic, while the UK HFEA published a consultation paper in which a payment of GBP1 000 for the donor is an option. If that is not a commercialisation of human eggs, what is?

    Englet failed to mention that adult stem cells already have a string of clinical successes, or that there are insurmountable technical and safety issues in using embryonic stem cells because the cells typically have genetic and epigenetic defects, are genetically unstable, and tend to turn into teratomas when transplanted into patients (see latest articles in SiS 25). Omitting crucial information is the subtlest kind of misinformation. It is widely used by mainstream scientists to promote their particular research. That is why ISIS has always maintained that ethics cannot be discussed in isolation from science

    Dr. Maurice Lex from European Commission’s Directorate General of Research for Agriculture and Food, delivered a florid speech on KBBE; and although he claimed he was “neither for nor against biotechnology”, a member of the audience accused him of sounding more like a promoter for biotechnology, and challenged him to give information on the €500 million he claimed had been spent on research into the risks of GMOs. He said that the European Commission had consulted a hundred scientists on the safety of GM food and feed, and not one of them indicated there was a “red light”. He was in part responding to my talk, “Ecological challenges to biotechnology from contemporary science”.

    We need to support appropriate biotechnologies underpinned by a new science of the organism I presented the latest evidence on the hazards of GM food and feed; on why genetic modification is failing on account of the fluid genome, and the urgent need to redirect substantial funds away from GM crops, DNA biobanks and genomics towards research that makes the EU and its member countries self-sufficient in food and energy in order to save us from climate change and the energy crisis.

    Instead of the failed biotechnology promoted by KBBE, we need appropriate biotechnologies for capturing energy from waste to reduce carbon emissions at source, such as anaerobic digestion and carbon capture using prolific green algae that can generate up to 15 000 gallons of biodiesel per acre per year instead of the 60 gallons from a typical ‘bioenergy crop’. All the appropriate biotechnologies and more can be combined in an integrated organic farm that minimises wastes and maximises productivity and efficiency in both food and energy (“Dream farm II”, SiS 29).

    KBBE is based on a mechanistic science of life that glorifies competitiveness and rampant exploitation. In contrast, our integrated food and energy farm is a concrete demonstration of the organic, synergistic relationships that enable all life in the ecosystem to prosper profusely and effortlessly.

    KBBE risks being another biotech bubble that we can ill afford. Time and energy resources are both running out (see ISIS’ Energy Report, Which Energy?, and if we do not invest in truly sustainable, renewable technologies and infrastructures now, the consequences would be catastrophic. You can only manipulate false knowledge for so long; nature cannot be fooled by lies and disinformation, and the current crisis may be her final warning to us.

    On the other hand, if we invest in the right kind of science and technologies, we shall find ourselves in a greener, cleaner, healthier, wealthier, and happier life without fossil fuels, if not by 2010, then certainly by 2050.

    All SiS articles cited can be accessed on ISIS members website:

  25. And that’s all she wrote folks! No really, catch up with you later if I have time. Really got to go now! That should keep you busy for a while anyway. ;-)

  26. Oh, wait. I just scanned over some more of your more recent post on this and have a few more comments in response to some of what you were writing. Yes, the earth has been through different natural cycles of cooling and warming throughout the history. So why should now be any different? Uh, was there ever a time in history in the past where there was close to seven billion people on the planet busy tearing everything up to hell, busy chopping and burning all of the trees down, burning up everything they can find, going nuts in their pyromania, creating tons and tons of toxic chemicals and waste, chomping down everything in sight basically? I am not sure what the numbers are now, but about five years ago I read that the world population had doubled since 1960, thirty percent of the natural world had been destroyed in the past thirty years and the rate of destruction of the natural world is accelerating. We are depleting the earth’s natural resources waaaay faster than nature can replace them. Rapidly advancing technologies have enabled people to be able to do severe damage to the environment at unprecedented rates, i.e., takes no time at all now to completely clear cut a huge forest and extract the wood, the rate of environmental destruction via new technologies is excelerating rapidly.

    Anyway, there is no way we can really compare our current situation to anything in the past, is just ridiculous. We can look at times when there were a lot of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to natural causes but not the same thing. Different variables like a whole lot more people! a lot more advanced technologies which can drastically increase the rate of environmental destruction, the use of massive amounts of toxic synthetics, etc. Allright, I will try to finish reading what you wrote later, but me thinks you are a bit confused and that’s fine but hope you can move away from supporting ExxonMobile propaganda on this one? You have a super day! I am really logging off now. ;-)

  27. Woah! Wow, that’s a lotta info.

    Alright, will take it offline and have a read.

  28. Well, Nana B, I’ve looked at the articles you posted. My response?

    I’m not sure you read my original post!

    To be fair, what you reposted here is all very interesting, certainly. I think a lot of us are aware of most of this stuff.

    None of it, however, goes to my major point – what does the Left propose to DO about what are calling the new Global Warming Crisis?

    The movements don’t really move. Global Warming isn’t the first alarm the Left has sounded. For example…

    I’ve been vegetarian some 16 years, because I became aware of the ridiculous cost of land and water in raising animals for food, as well as the cruelty applied to what I consider nice little animals, which I’m more than happy to leave alone.

    In making the switch, I studied deeply, and enjoyed my studies in health, nutrition, economics, agriculture and various food/diet/life philosophies like Aryuveda and Macrobiotics, and all the places these studies took me (and continue to take me).

    At the time I made the ‘let’s leave the cows alone’ switch, a great many of the ‘Go Veg’ arguments were the same as those in the Global Warming movement – the destruction of natural bodies of water, the anihilation of crop production, the ruination of habitats (including the Amazon).

    I read a great deal about land, water and resource use (and destruction) due to mechanized agriculture, and the severe impact of Western appetite. I talked about it, and at times, argued about it. Some friends and acquaintances saw that my health and attitude were good, and were open to some of my basic, central ideas: eat locally, eat whole grains, beans and vegetables, plenty of hot water (soups, etc), and avoid refined foods (crap).

    And the friends and acquaintances who gave these concepts a spin, usually had good things to report. But everybody’s different, and we’re not all here on earth for the same thing, I think. Some people just didn’t care, some with good humor, some with hostility.

    And not much changed. The facts remain, the reasons that affected my being enough to make a change – land and water use, increased diet-related illness, etc – but the culture remains mostly unchanged, or slightly, in areas of affluence, (where Whole Foods has become the Supermarket to the Stars.)

    So the question is, what does the newly-invigorated (frightened) always-slightly-brainwashed Left really expect anybody to DO about this not so brand new thing? Besides throw money at a problem – that remains undefined in its total consequence?

    People don’t change quickly – and not typically until there is great reason to change (that is, great loss that leaves little room for debate as to the cause of the loss).

    So, I will say that in a real sense, the question is answered – the Left has no answer, but is only fanning the flames that it can fan, ‘global warming! the Right is anti-science!‘ as it’s failed in so many ways to make a meaningful stand on Anything relevent to the culture in the last 6 years.

    In sum, Nana B, I liked the articles (but please just post links, or a couple shorter excerpts!). I think the folks who show up here are aware of the contamination of research by money and social/cultural/ideological influence. But people remain people, and if Global Warming does indeed go in the direction of its worst predictions….well, I think that there’ll be a lot of loss, a lot of suffering, and then people will do what they’ve always done.

    Pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and remake civilization in the changed landscape.

  29. Hi Liam! Okay. Just to be clear: I am just joking around with you about ‘let me know if you have any questions,’ etc. Of course, please do and if I have the time and know something I will try to answer something, but I am just joking around mostly, still trying to figure some of all of this out myself of course. And I should make some corrections to some things I wrote earlier. I should say *some* folks on the left or right (who knows) or in between or undecided, etc., *some* folks who may believe in this or that in relation to, uh, not the best medical science in the world, may not understand that there are many similar problems in relation to corporate junk science and environmental issues?

    Also, I am not exactly sure who all you mean when you say ‘the left?’ I consider myself to be on the left on many issues but I am not a Democrat. I think that there are areas where different folks on the ‘left’ need to reconsider some of their thoughts on ‘science’ as well? If we have a problem with corporate junk science and we find, say, that different corporations are donating to folks in both the Democratic and Republican party? But what party is more often in support of big businesses, corporations? What party is more often in support of small businesses, small family farmers, etc.? What party is pushing cuts in the estate tax that will mostly benefit extremely wealthy folks, big farms, etc.?

    Personally, I think people should be voting on the issues and not on candidates at all. Vote on the issues and then hire someone with experience in a particular area, who has worked in support of whatever choice the people make on an issue? Of course, majority rules is not always the answer, right? A majority in different areas could vote for something which is discriminatory, which violates the constitution such as voting to ban gay marriages, right?

    Anyway, does anyone anywhere on ‘the left’ have any good plans to help combat the problem of global warming? Absolutely. Do they always have enough power and support to get different things going? No. Do powerful interests often block change for the better in different areas? What do you think? One problem is is that the U.S. has been subsidising many bad things instead of good ideas, right? So, let’s say, that if we subsidise the oil industry rather than put a lot of funding into much cleaner forms of energy? If we support big chemical intensive agribusiness instead of small organic farmers, etc.? If someone, say, writes and gets a bill passed in CA which requires automakers to increase their fuel efficiency, cut emissions, but then some automakers fight to block this bill from going into effect? if we continue to try to accomodate more cars rather than try to put more funds into more and better public transportation, etc., right? There are tons of things and you are probably familiar with much of this, no?

    There are many things that individuals can do, but there is also a lot that changesn in policy can do. Should we get rid of all traffic signals and just ask folks to drive right?

    I hear a lot of folks say things like ‘if global warming comes and causes disaster…’ From what I can tell, this is not a future tense scenario, right? Many disasters have already been caused by global warming? Excessive heat in France a few years ago killed something like 30,000? Is that right? Excessive heat in CA recently killed people as well? All kinds of awful floods and weird weather have displaced many people in recent years. Hurricane Katrina was fueled by warm waters right off the coast. I think I read the water temps were upwards of ninety degrees? Is that right? Crops have been damaged in many different places and folks have expressed concerns about some food shortages as a result. So, in any case, weird weather is already upon us and has already caused a lot of damage and deaths, right?

    Well, have lots to say on this topic but will have to write more later. Lots of folks are doing all kinds of things to try to help save energy, use or promote better forms of energy, but we absolutely have to have policy changes as well, have to stop obstructions to progress. We need policies that will move us forward rather than backwards, energy policies which are not formed by oil companies, etc.?

  30. Hola! Oh, another correction. This IG Farben was a chemical group, not just making pharmaceuticals, from what I have read. I just did a quick search for something on this and found the page below of possible interest.

    The Corpocracy Uncovered
    Bush family supported Third Reich
    The GW Bush Gang, IG Farben 2001 by Robert Lederman

    Also, I am not sure if I wrote this before, but pesticides were first developed as chemical warfare, I think in the first world war?

    If you are not familiar with the many attacks on existing environmental legislation that have come from the right under this administration, you might be interested in reading more about that as well. So one problem is that there are a lot of environmentalists who would like to see more forward movement in a lot of areas including global warming, but many have been having to fight just to defend environmental laws already on the books, have been having to waste a lot of time just to keep things from moving backwards. Some folks recommend that everyone who can and is interested get involved in local and state environmental struggles, that this would help a lot and more and more people are getting involved in different things. Well, states and local communities can pass stricter environmental laws but then if some special interests, etc., pass something which overrides these laws? Does that make sense? Some counties in CA passed some legislation to ban genetically engineered seeds and now some pro-ge foods interests are now trying to pass something in committees which would override these democratic decisions, for example? And it was Fran Pavely, a California Democrat even, who authored this bill I mentioned earlier which would require automakers to make better cars which produce less emissions, right?

    What else? I think there was a bit on this in one of the pieces I posted before, but I have read in different places that some say if we are going to make biofuels we should be making them from algae, that this is the best plant for this as can get a lot more energy back than what is being put in. I have to read more about this, but I have read that some think that everyone who can could be growing some of their own algae for food as well as energy? Can have waste streams used to fertilize algae as well? I can’t remember all of the details of all of this off the top of my head, and I have to read more, but I think that is the basic idea. What else? Has anyone seen this ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ I haven’t seen it, but might. So if you have a better source of energy and are able to charge up an electric car from that? And yes, more localized systems, more decentralization of power systems, etc. Have a good one!

  31. Oh, wait. Geez. Oh, will humanity just keep going if the worst-case scenarios of global warming occur? Well, again I am still reading about this, but from some things I have scanned, some folks don’t think things could just get difficult or deadly for a lot of people, but that the entire planet could become impossible for all human life. But, like with Katrina and other deadly storms in recent years in different places throughout the world, it has been the poor who have been most adversely affected. It was the poor for the most part and others who did not have the means to leave New Orleans who were left stranded there, who drowned in their homes, etc., right? Wealthier folks got into their cars and drove out of harms way, booked a hotel room or stayed with friends or family who had space for them to stay, right? All right! That’s it! I have to make myself get off of the computer now! Best wishes!

  32. Hi Nana B,

    great comments, thoughtful and open-ended, appreciate them.

    Are you European? I’m getting a little of that in the writing – or correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’d agree that the activity that always matters is local activity. I’m interested (and planning) to learn about building structures that conserve energy, water, and remain habitable in heat and cold, and also work with solar and wind to create electricty. I’m working towards having a half-acre or so to work on in the next couple years to learn to build a little adjunct structure that can operate off the grid – keep a little electricity going, etc.

    Gardening and growing some essential foods is high on the near-future to do list too. That would include various roots, yellow and green vegetables and maybe some beans, maybe a seed tree too.

    I’d like to have a property with a water pump, or a local water source. Need to get out of the city, of course.

    So, I’d agree, local is where it’s at.

    As to – Will human populations survive? I think it’s likely. If storms increase wildly in certain areas, those areas will be far less inhabitable, and then only seasonally, nomadically, in that sense. But then it’s possible that cooler latitudes will be warmer, and populations flock north.

    As to – What is Left, what is Right… well, yeah, yup, yes indeed.

    Indeed, not so far from one to the other – and the people they claim to represent are only represented inasfar as they are invested moneterily in the concerns forwarded by the titular Right and Left…

    That is, we’re a country of mercenary capitalism. We’ve taken the idea of a free market, and convinced ourselves that the ability to earn without limit, or go bone-crushing broke is the same as Liberty (and justice for all).

    Capitalism is good, in that it allows for competition, and fosters productivity and inventiveness. But without checks, it (like any orthodoxy) tends to corrupt what it touches. Same with socialism and communism, the paired opposition to unrestrained capitalism. And it is this – unrestrained capitalism – that runs both the Neo-liberal and Neo-conservative agendas.

    What differences exist are mostly superficial, in my observation, and are observable in the agendas that are sold to those who are asked to support the parties (and their mostly disingenuous platforms).

    Back to – all politics are local politics, and get involved locally. Someday the massive infrastructure we’ve developed will waver and become a little thread-bare. When? In our lifetimes, possibly. Not this year, maybe not for 10, 15 or so. But eventually. The country is too large, in my estimation, to manage centrally in the presence of a weakening infrastructure).

    At such a point, local participation and governance will, by needs, rise in strength and stature, as has been the constant pattern throughout history.



  33. Oh. I should add that a flux between monarchy and democracy, dictatorship and aristocracy (as per… is it Aristotle’s wheel of history?) – these forms of government, in various combination and inflection, become other possibilities in a failing empire.

    I hope the better aspects of the American character (an effort to fairness, democracy in the town councils, and the better parts of the rule of law) – I will hope that these will remain as the world over here changes.

    But of course, some will, some won’t, and a lot of the stuff we don’t love will surely be along for the ride! So it goes.

  34. Hi! Sounds good overall. Well, if it gets hot enough no human beings will be able to survive on the planet. If there is a massive plant die-off, I guess we could also find ourselves without enough oxygen? When it got so hot in Southern California recently, power outages were happening as a result of electricity transformers blowing up after getting too hot. Some folks might have had air conditioning but without power it isn’t going to help much, right? Others write about possible chaos if there are massive food shortages, power outages, etc., mass migrations of hundreds of millions of people from low lying coastal regions.

    Oh, I was just looking at this one on tapping into the ocean, tides for power; thought you might be interested.

    Ocean Power Can Be a Global Warming Cure
    By Neil Peirce

    We have solar here and it provides enough energy for four people, is pretty neat. I was recently reading something else about how some are talking about putting arrays of mirrors up in space to reflect some of the sunlight back into space rather than having all of it hit the earth? I will have to read more about that. Also read a while back how some thought that rock dust could help with global warming a lot. Can’t remember the details of this off of the top of my heat but can do a search on something like ‘rock dust global warming’ for more if you are interested. Read some about some other kinds of possible fixes, some of them sounded kind of strange, maybe risky, with ‘side effects,’ so will have to keep reading about all of this. Maybe folks will get it together in time to avert many more and worse environmental problems associated with this, but I am not too optimistic at this time that we will be able to do enough in time.

    Yes, big problem with meat eating and things like methane from cows. Methane is another green house gas. In some areas, greenhouse gases from cows now surpasses that from cars even. What else? Pollution is also now changing the chemistry of the ocean, changing the pH balance of the ocean and causing it to become too acidic. If the ocean gets too acidic marine life cannot form shells, skeletal structures as they dissolve in environments which are too acidic. In some places there are huge pockets of greenhouse gases trapped beneath permafrost so once this heats up and melts these gases will be released making our problems much worse. This is the kind of thing people mean when they talk about ‘runaway global warming.’ It is not just about what we are producing but what we could unlease and chain reactions we could put in motion as a result of human activities and warming. Does that make sense?

    What else? We are sucking all of the clean water supplies dry. Many places in the world already have big problems to do with water. Some conflicts in places like the Middle East have had to do with water (although this is not the reasons you will always hear about in the news). Fresh water sources in Africa are dwindling? In the U.S., folks have paved everything up so well that underground water sources are not being replenished although they are being drained at a rapid rate. Throughout we have big problems with what is called ‘desertification;’ we are turning many areas into desert, wasting water which the environment needs on stupid things like washing cars, watering non-native plants, golf courses can use just completely enormous amounts of water (you might be surprised at how much water is wasted on some dumbass golf courses) and on and on and on.

    Well, at least now more and more folks are better understanding the many environmental problems we face and are mad as heck that many reps are not only getting serious about doing something positive about these problems but are standing in the way of progress or even moving us backwards in some instances.

    You have a super night!

  35. Oh, I am too tired and I hope you made it through my typos. I still can’t figure out why I proof some of my writing after I hit ‘post’ rather than before sometimes, but oh well. :-) Anyway, I meant to say ‘unleash’ not ‘unlease’ and who knows what else. You can probably figure it out anyway. The last paragraph should read:

    Well, at least now more and more folks are better understanding the many environmental problems we face and are mad as heck that many reps are not only NOT getting serious about doing something positive about these problems but are standing in the way of progress or even moving us backwards in some instances.

    Oh, no, I am not European, not sure what I wrote to give you that impression. I do have close European friends, however, so maybe some things have rubbed off over the years. Maybe I said ‘the U.S.’ meaning those in power, making decisions about different things in reference to something? I don’t know. Maybe I am just being lazy in my writing, writing fast and perhaps seems like English is a second language for me or something? My German is better? Ha! Ha! I know(!), my English teacher mother would be giving me hell with some of this ‘creative’ writing I am sure! All right! You have a good one!

  36. Hi Liam! Your idea to get some land and grow some food sounds very nice. I grew up spending a lot of time on a small family farm. We grow grapes, plums, apples, pears, persimmons, figs, blueberries, watermelon, canteloupe, different veggies, wildflowers, lots of different yummy things. I want to learn more about hydroponic farming. I have a little hydroponic system I got to grow sprouts for salads. It is pretty neat. Hydroponics is supposed to be the best way to go for growing some different things as can grow the same amount of food using much less space and much less water than with growing food in soil and don’t have many of the problems associated with growing plants in the soil. Can do a search on ‘organic hydroponic farming’ or something for more on this. Really neat. And can put the trays up at waist height so don’t have to ruin peoples’ backs from bending over to tend to crops grown in the soil. Don’t have problems with soil erosion, etc.

    Oh reminds me, in reference to what I wrote about the problems with water above, much water is wasted on mismanagement in agriculture in different places. Use tons of water on things like cattle and meat production, right? And then have bad agricultural decisions like growing water intensive crops in semi-arid climates in some places. More folks could be making better decisions about what to grow in different places. And again, many say many more need to switch over to hydroponics for crops that do well being grown this way as growing crops hydroponically can help people save a lot of water. There was some hype being put out about how, supposedly, some genetically engineered crops would be good for some areas where water is in short supply, but read that this is hype and would be nothing much compared to growing crops hydroponically in terms of water needs, etc.

  37. From:

    Global Warming Models
    First written on Aug 1, 2008
    Updated last on Dec 20, 2008

    Last year’s global temperature experienced an unexpected and relatively huge drop, and that is a perfect foil for a simple exposition and comparison of the conventional and Electric Universe models for explaining climate changes including the erstwhile global warming.

    The Uniformitarian Model

    Assumption Package #1

    This model assumes, among other things, that the earth has been in a stable orbit around a stable sun in a fairly stable galactic environment for millions of years. Early in this time the environment of the earth would have settled into what we will call a “baseline” climate system. During this time this baseline climate, which contains various normal cycles, has been periodically disturbed by external–comets, asteroid impacts, etc.– and internal–volcanic activity, plate tectonics, etc.–forces which have resulted in extreme but nevertheless temporary climate changes, i,e, ice ages and hot periods. When over time the effect of these forces is being ameliorated, the global climate heads back towards its baseline.

    Assumption Package #2

    In this model the assumption is that the sun’s energy is self generated internally by nuclear fusion, and we get all of our global energy input from the sun. There are no significant external factors with which to deal concerning energy input. And since it is well established that the sun has various cycles–sunspots, luminosity, CME activity, magnetic polarity, etc.–it is easy to expect some correlation between solar activity cycles and climate cycles. However, when the external and internal factors are not in play, the variation of the energy received from the sun does not seem to be enough to explain the magnitude of global warming and cooling.

    Resulting Model Constraints

    Given the above two assumption packages, the basic factors that go into a global climate model are just two: The amount of energy coming from the sun, and the amount of this energy that is absorbed. Not that building a climate model with just these two factors is easy. Some of that radiant energy may be variably blocked by changes in the earth’s atmosphere and some may be reflected or absorbed differently by changes on the earth’s surface. Measuring the actual radiant output from the sun is complicated, and trying to arrive at the right radiant energy absorbing and reflecting factor is even more so. We also are never quite sure whether we are still in a recovery stage from an ice age or a hot period.

    Bottom Line

    The bottom line is that the model makers are working with the flawed assumption that atmospheric pollutants (mostly CO2) are causing a “greenhouse effect” that explains the recent warming. The “runaway greenhouse effect” was just a hypothesis floated in the vacuum of having nothing else to explain the high heat of Venus, our “sister” planet. It is ill-advised for this purpose, probably has little, if anything, to do with global warming on earth, and it is not about to cause some runaway climate change.

    There is one overriding consistency with the various climate models that have been developed with the above assumptions. They don’t work! They may be wrong because the very premises upon which they stand are fundamentally incorrect.

    A Word On Pollution

    Whilst any reasonable efforts to minimize the amount of pollution man adds to our planet are commendable, the promotion of such efforts should never be at the expense of truth or good science. As the Anthropological Global Warming theory is based on flawed models and bad science, it should not be the basis upon which environmental concerns are addressed.

    Here is a good article that explains the mainstream theory of global warming and shows why it is wrong:

    “The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide” by Jeffrey A. Glassman, Phd,

    It seems that direct observation didn’t turn up the CO2 signature that planetary scientists were looking for (heavy absorption in specific IR wavelengths). That would SEEM to indicate little CO2 ice present. However, they seem to have discarded that result assuming that “it must be there” and that somehow it must be “covered” by some other sedimentation so as to “hide” the signal they were looking for.
    See Decoding Mars’s Cryptic Region

    Is the Fox Guarding the Henhouse?

    The trainee astrophysicist that first proposed the runaway CO2 greenhouse effect for Venus as his dissertation for his Ph.D in physics at the university of Iowa in 1967 was James E Hansen – the very same James E Hansen who is now the current director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the number one global warming alarmist ‘climate scientist’ that looks after the NASA GISSTEMP global surface temperature record and oversees the NASA GISS Model E climate modeling project.

    Amazing Climate Predictions Revealed—Climate Models Reviled

    A critical excerpt from the above site:

    “[O]ne of the more disquieting presentations was by retired TV meteorologist Anthony Watts. Part of Watts’ training back when he was getting his degree in 1970s was to construct a Stevenson screen in which to shelter weather instruments. When he was putting it together his hands got covered in whitewash. He complained to his professor and suggested that he paint it with latex paint instead. His professor objected that whitewash had been used since 1892 and new paints would change the way the instruments functioned and possibly bias the data they collected. The U.S. Weather Bureau changed paints in the late 1970s.

    “With time on his hands, a retired Watts decided to run a back yard test with Stevenson screens using whitewash, white latex paint, unpainted wood and an aspirated temperature shield. He measured for several months, but typical among his results was one day in August when he found that the bare screen registered a maximum daytime temperature of 98.47 degrees, the latex screen was 97.74 degrees, the whitewashed one was 96.94 and the aspirated temperature shield reported 95.03 degrees.

    “Watts decided to check to see how the Stevenson screens housing nearby weather stations that were part of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) had been painted. What Watts discovered was much more disturbing—many USHCN weather stations were deplorably placed near parking lots, air conditioning vents, under shade trees, at sewage treatment plants, and so forth.

    “Watts then proceeded to show the audience slide after slide of badly, even absurdly, sited weather stations. Watts has now created a website of volunteers who are working to identify and audit the siting of all USHCN weather stations. The results are reported at (regrettably down for maintenance at the moment. But for 50 examples of badly sited stations, go here.) So far Watts’ volunteers have reported 502 of the 1221 stations in the U.S., and only 13 percent of the network so far conforms to the National Weather Service’s own best practices manual. This is shocking when one considers that these are the same surface stations that climatologists rely upon to detect temperature trends.”

    The Catastrophic/EU model

    No Baseline

    The Catastrophic/EU model of climatology posits a radically different set of starting points, which results in the absence of any meaningful “baseline” to which the climate may return.

    No Stable Solar Environment in the Past

    The catastrophic model of the reconstruction of ancient times tells us that the earth settled into its current orbit just a few thousand years ago, and that the earth is still relaxing from being more pear shaped (prolate to the North) to being more spherical in shape. There have been two huge ice dumps from space over the terrestrial polar regions in the recent catastrophic past and these have had a significant cooling effect on the overall global climate.. The first was essentially from “purified” water in the south. The second was water mixed with much other material drawn up in the polar vortex from the underlying region in the north, and this was consequently cooled to near absolute zero temperature in space before its collapse.

    Outside of significant climate changes due to being in a different solar and orbital arrangement, the climate of the earth has been constantly adjusting during these latter few thousands of years and hasn’t yet reached the same degree of “baseline” that one would expect in the Uniformitarian Model.

    Sun Powered Externally by Plasma Current

    The EU aspect of the model, which can be considered separately from the catastrophic aspect, also posits that the sun is powered externally by electric current. The sun maintains its energy balance by feeding from the galactic Birkeland current directed to and from it. In the EU paradigm, very diffuse Birkeland currents, with huge cross sections, carry enormous currents that link to some degree every astral body in the universe. Plasma phenomena and plasma structures are extensively scalable, and so galaxies also would be energized by intergalactic currents. We know the universe is entwined by magnetic fields, but it is still not widely accepted that these are the result of the largely invisible, diffuse Birkeland currents.

    All Solar System Bodies Take Energy from the Current Feeding the Sun

    This model proposes that the sun–like other stars–is fed by a current with a variation of the basic hourglass shape oriented with the polar axis. All the planets of the solar system are immersed in this current, and all draw energy directly from it. All bodies would therefore radiate more energy than they receive from the sun. We know this latter statement to be true for the gas giants. All bodies in the solar system have been heating up during the recent period, even Pluto which is retreating from the sun. This fact should elicit major consideration, and would seem to be totally inexplicable in terms of increasing atmospheric pollutants on earth. Earth therefore would receive a not inconsequential amount of energy directly from the local Birkeland current, and this factor has never even been imagined, much less taken into account by the conventional climate model makers.

    Current through the Solar System has Periodic Cycles of Increase and Decrease

    Part of the EU model is that the galactic current feeding the solar system has periodic larger cycles of intensity increase and decrease other than just the more evident 22 year solar cycle, and that the sun has mechanisms for somewhat smoothing out these fluctuations in terms of its own radiant output. The sunspot and solar wind cycles would be driven by the cycles in the current, and the cyclical magnetic polarity reversals of the sun would have their explanation in the change from increase to decrease and back again in the 22 year solar cycle. Currently, the sun has gone on an extended solar minimum, 2 years instead of one. And the solar wind. the stream of charged particles ejected from the sun, has dropped down to the weakest level seen in 50 years. The first time in a hundred years the sun has gone without sunspots for two months. These are strong indications that something has changed in the energy balance of the sun’s input and output.

    Bottom Line

    This model is consistent with the observations of the entire solar system heating up, and actually explains the overall findings. Given the current quiescence of sunspot activity, we have probably already turned the corner of the cycle and are heading back into a global cooling period.

    Worst Case Scenario

    This would be where expensive, disruptive yet inconsequential efforts are made by humanity at the urging and political pressure of the Global Warming alarmists, and that these somewhat coincide with the natural cycle of cooling. We already know that the better, more careful science gets buried by the unleashed opinion floodwaters of a misinformed agenda. They will take credit for the cooling!

    Contributors to the model

    Major credit for contributions to the development of EU cosmology, and consequently to the above climate change model, should be given to Irving Langmuir, James Maxwell, Kristian Birkeland, Hannes Alfven, Immanuel Velikovsky, Ralph Juergens, Halton Arp, Donald Scott, Anthony Peratt, Wal Thornhill, and others. Most probably the man who now best understands these matters of the physical universe is Wal Thornhill.

    Petition website:

    An ongoing audit of IPCC climate science papers along with lots of other interesting stuff is happening here:

    A site examining climate science pitched more at lay people by TV met Anthony Watts:

    And the ongoing volunteer Surface Stations survey project started by Anthony Watts:

    You will find lots of interesting stuff being highlighted via ICECAP:

    Patrick Michaels has a good site commenting on various climate science papers:

    Roger Pielke Sr. has an excellent site dealing with papers on climate effects of land use and other issues:

    A simpler summary exposition of the arguments of the Gerlich, etc., paper by Hans Schreuder.

    “The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide” by Jeffrey A. Glassman, Phd,

    Interesting article describing how Wikipedia systematically censors out all but warmist/alarmist views on Global Warming.

    Science Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate by Michael Asher (Blog), Daily Tech, 7/16/08
    “Considerable presence” of skeptics
    The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.”

    In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains, “There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”
    full article:

    In a paper titled Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects within the Frame of Physics, arXiv:0707.1161v3 [], is the following abstract:

    The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that:

    (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects,
    (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet,
    (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33šC is a meaningless number calculated wrongly,
    (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately,
    (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical,
    (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

    Interesting information on cooling phenomena and current developments at:

    Captain Cook and Lord Nelson’s logs indicate 1730’s global warming wasn’t man made

    Global Warming piece by Floy Lilley on the Lew Rockwell Column at

    Christopher Monckton’s paper together with the contentious APS disclaimer can be found here:

    The Announcement by the APS editor of Physics & Society to open a debate about the IPCC and its scientific critics is available online here:

    Some significant quotes:

    I am a skeptic Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly..As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among
    the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

    Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    “The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds. I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported
    International Year of the Planet.

    “The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

    “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.”. Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    “After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    “Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp. Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in
    man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    “Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense. The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical
    Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another.. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so. Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

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