Earth ChangesS


Lysenkoism and James Hansen

[This is the essay Australia's ABC tried to ban. See story here...]

Is Hansenism more dangerous than Lysenkoism?

On June 23, 1988, a young and previously unknown NASA computer modeller, James Hansen, appeared before a United States Congressional hearing on climate change. On that occasion, Dr. Hansen used a graph to convince his listeners that late 20th century warming was taking place at an accelerated rate, which, it being a scorching summer's day in Washington, a glance out of the window appeared to confirm.

He wrote later in justification, in the Washington Post (February 11, 1989), that "the evidence for an increasing greenhouse effect is now sufficiently strong that it would have been irresponsible if I had not attempted to alert political leaders".

Hansen's testimony was taken up as a lead news story, and within days the great majority of the American public believed that a climate apocalypse was at hand, and the global warming hare was off and running. Thereby, Dr. Hansen became transformed into the climate media star who is shortly going to wow the ingenues in the Adelaide Festival audience.

Fifteen years later, in the Scientific American in March, 2004, Hansen came to write that "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic".

This conversion to honesty came too late, however, for in the intervening years thousands of other climate scientists had meanwhile climbed onto the Hansenist funding gravy-train. Currently, global warming alarmism is fuelled by an estimated worldwide expenditure on related research and greenhouse bureaucracy of more than US$10 billion annually.

Evil Rays

A dubious defender of the scientific faith

Some of America's top "warmist" scientists, demoralised at how their faith is being discredited, are planning a counter-attack on the "climate sceptics", according to the Washington Times. "We're not in a gentlepersons' debate, we're in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules," says Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University.

As for "well-funded", a new study by Jo Nova suggests that, in the US alone, the $79 billion (£52bn) of state funding for pro-warming research in the past 20 years outweighs the money given to climate sceptics by 3,500 to one. As for Prof Ehrlich, he is best known for his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb which, as well as catastrophic climate change, predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s. He also forecast that by 1980 the average age of death in the US would be 42, due to pesticides. Sounds like just the man to restore our faith in true "science".

Comment: Here is a PDF of all the emails relating to the global warming scientists proposed fight back. This is again a most revealing email trail. It makes for very interesting reading and tells us a lot about the character and psychology of these people.

Cloud Lightning

Australia: Massive hailstones pound Melbourne amid severe thunderstorm

© Peter RisbeyHailstones piled up on a Melbourne street after a storm on March 6, 2010
Severe thunderstorms have hit Melbourne as parts of Victoria are lashed by strong winds and large hail stones. Hailstones the size of golf balls have hit the suburb of Melton, in Melbourne's west, as a line of storms moved through western Victoria.

Winds of more 100 kilometres an hour have been recorded at Melbourne Airport while nearly 40 millimetres of rain fell at Rockbank, west of Melbourne.

Streets across Melbourne's CBD have been flooded and police are warning people not to drive through the flooded areas after some motorists became trapped. Trains and trams have been disrupted by the weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the storms will continue through to the evening and heavy rain is likely.


Mysterious ailment is killing foxes

© NTAFoxes
An unidentified disease is making its way through the fox population of Tuolumne County, leading to an increase in sick foxes that have appeared in populated areas.

According to Jennifer Clarke, Tuolumne County Animal Control manager, agents responded to 12 to 14 cases of sick foxes in February alone.

"It's cyclical," she said. "Every seven or eight years a disease will make its way through a certain population of animals."

Animal Control only tests dead animals that have come into contact with humans and domestic pets. It also only tests for rabies.

Four foxes have met this criteria. One was touched by a person and the other three were attacked by pet dogs.


Mystery problem again hits bee colonies

© Fresno BeeHoneybees climb over each other entering and exiting a beehive near Woodlake. Colony collapse disorder is characterized by a sudden drop in a bee colony’s population and the inexplicable absence of dead bees. After several mild years, it has resurfaced in California.
A mysterious problem that causes bee colonies to decline is once again taking its toll on the state's beekeepers.

The problem known as colony collapse disorder is characterized by a sudden drop in a bee colony's population and the inexplicable absence of dead bees.

The disorder has no known cure and appears to be cyclical. After several mild years, it has resurfaced with a vengeance, said Eric Mussen, apiculturist with the University of California at Davis.

"It never went away, but this year a substantial number of beekeepers got walloped again," said Mussen, the state's leading bee expert. "And worse than they had been hit before."

Although Mussen said it is too early to tell exactly how many bees have been lost, a bee industry official said losses in the state vary from 30% to 80%.


Giant Panda Genome Reveals New Insights Into the Bear's Bamboo Diet

© iStockphoto/Bryan FaustA panda eats a large bamboo stalk
A Chinese-led team including international researchers with a scientist from Cardiff University, has shed new light on some of the giant panda's unusual biological traits, including its famously restricted diet.

The team has successfully sequenced the panda genome for the first time and now, the genetic insights gleaned from the work may aid conservation efforts for the endangered species.

Giant pandas are known for their bamboo diet but the researchers discovered that the animal actually lacks the genes necessary for compete digestion of this staple food source.

Professor Mike Bruford, Cardiff School of Biosciences, worked on the study as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Zoology, funded by the Royal Society.


Hormone Study Gives Scientists a Sense of How Animals Bond

© iStockphotoScientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognize others by their smell.
Scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognize others by their smell.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that the hormone vasopressin helps the brain differentiate between familiar and new scents.

The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that when the hormone fails to function, animals are unable to recognize other individuals from their scent.

The ability to recognize others by smell is crucial in helping animals to establish strong bonds with other animals.

The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), may offer clues about the way people make emotional connections with others through smell and deepen our understanding of the role scent plays in memory.

Bad Guys

Climate scientists to fight back at skeptics

Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to gut the credibility of skeptics.

In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of "being treated like political pawns" and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.

Comment: Such interesting times we live in. After spending the last ten years or so blocking dissent, stopping opposings views being published and fiddling the data to get the results their political masters want, (and thus guaranteeing their rich research funding), suddenly the shoe is on the other foot.

These scientists are upset that they have been outed, that their manipulations have been exposed, their cosy and privileged life has been disrupted and they can see their research incomes drying up in the very near future. So they resort to the classic manipulation tactics - ad hominum attacks, references to McCarthyesque tactics in a vain attempt to further besmirch their opponents, claims that the climate sceptics are funded by the huge multinational energy companies, claims of false science and claims of an unshakable belief system that won't be moved by the facts.

Now look at this last statement from the enraged George Woodwell - "We are dealing with an opposition that is not going to yield to facts or appeals from people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths," he wrote.

Is he really saying that his group are "people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths"? Or is this an example of the mask of sanity slipping and showing us his true nature?

Better Earth

Anthropogenic Global Warming, or just natural variation?

For the past 1.3 million years there have been 13 ice ages, average duration 90,000 years, and each followed by an interglacial period, average duration 10,000 years. During both ice ages and interglacial periods, there will be numerous briefer cycles of warming and cooling. A 65 million year review of climate and related information is available at JoNova.

If this one million+ year trend continues, we are now nearing the end of our current interglacial period. The actual duration will likely vary somewhat from the 10,000 year average. Even assuming that the ice age cycle again repeats, its start date will probably not be easy to recognize in real-time.

During our current interglacial period there have been several periods when it was warmer than now. The most recent prior warming, and hence best documented, was about 1,000 years ago, spanning the period from about 800 to 1300 AD, and is referred to as the Medieval Warming Period (MWP).


Flashback Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried?

Are we overlooking potential abrupt climate shifts?

Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. It ignores recent and rapidly advancing evidence that Earth's climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future.

Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earth's climate can shift gears within a decade, establishing new and different patterns that can persist for decades to centuries. In addition, these climate shifts do not necessarily have universal, global effects. They can generate a counterintuitive scenario: Even as the earth as a whole continues to warm gradually, large regions may experience a precipitous and disruptive shift into colder climates.

This new paradigm of abrupt climate change has been well established over the last decade by research of ocean, earth and atmosphere scientists at many institutions worldwide. But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.1