NEWS OF: 8/23/2006

Global Warming Wednesday: Warming Up to the Truth

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A poll of over 1,000 voters in the United States released this week showed over the past two years Americans have become more convinced that global warming is happening, many linking events like hurricane Katrina with global warming. Zogby International took the poll and has the results. It’s not just Americans who don’t understand the causes of global warming, Canadians are also in the dark.

NEWS OF: 8/21/2006

Global Warming: Patrick J. Michaels: State Crapologist

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Patrick J. Michaels, another global warming science skeptic who senses no ethical dilemma despite receiving a steady supply of cash from power companies, loves to refer to himself as the “state climatologist” of Virginia.
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There are a couple of problems. First, there is no “State Climatologist” position, and second, the State of Virginia would like Patrick to cut it out. The governor’s office has sent a letter to the University of Virginia requesting that Patrick J. Michaels not use the title since Michael’s views do not reflect the state’s views.

Then there’s the $2.5 million dollars of taxpayer money paid over the past 26 years… to a person appointed by neither the government nor the University of Virginia.

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NEWS OF: 8/16/2006

Global Warming Wednesday: Denial is a Dried Up River Bed in Egypt

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Forget the fact that concern over global warming has dropped 40%+ since the Clinton years thanks to a concerted effort by polluters to promote it as “theory” and not fact. And forget all the fake organizations with Earth-friendly names created by multi-billion dollar oil companies who spread misinformation daily.

The question remains, how come I never hear any of these guys add the “but…” part. Like, “global warming is a crock, but of course we should stop pouring pollution into the atmosphere.”

Are they pro-filth? Don’t trust air that they can’t slice with a spoon? Smog-loving?

Deroy Murdock wonders why the Earth-loving environmentalists don’t embrace nuclear technology, which is “cleaner” aside from the radioactive waste that hangs around for eons. Oh, and the whole Chernobyl thing.

“Nuclear power is the answer…but of course we should stop polluting the atmosphere… that’s a no-brainer.”

Donald J. Boudreaux, another Exxon-backed analyst, wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune called “The case for neglecting global warming” arguing that capitalism is responsible for the wonderful advancements we have, and therefore we should ignore global warming because it might impede capitalism. Boudreaux is an economics professor, not a climatologist.

“Capitalism is the answer, but, yes, of course we should clean up the environment. What are you, nuts?”

This issue won’t be solved by filling our cars with kryptonite. Or screaming that it’s a “natural phenomenon” as we tip-toe across the searing pavement in our asbestos Tevas to get that 80 sunblock out of the car.

The Union of Concerned Scientists have an excellent Global Warming FAQ for those just beginning their research.

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NEWS OF: 8/14/2006

Dead Shark Attack

“Unusually” high water temperatures are believed responsible for drawing sharks to Wells Beach, Maine, where the beach remains closed following several shark sightings. A dead mako shark, about 3-to-4 feet long, washed ashore Sunday and two other sharks were spotted in the same area.

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NEWS OF: 8/11/2006

Spinach-Powered Yaris?

MIT scientists are addressing the “urgent challenge of our time” - alternatives to greenhouse gases. MIT’s Energy Research Council is leading a university-wide push to develop sustainable fuels, and the ideas are radical. Our favorite? Spinach solar power: Tapping the secrets of photosynthesis — engineering proteins from spinach — to make organic solar cells whose efficiency could outstrip the best silicon photovoltaic arrays today.

Great reading and infinitely smarter approach than a study offered by Kurt Z. House, a Harvard University scientist, suggesting that one-third to one-half of carbon dioxide could be liquefied and pumped deep under the sea into the Earth’s crust at a cost of only billions.

Because given the option of conserving energy or drilling holes into the Earth’s core to store our pollution, we would, of course, choose the latter.

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NEWS OF: 8/9/2006

Baldacci’s Fuel-Wise Driver Campaign

Governor Baldacci unveiled the Fuel-Wise driver statewide campaign this week to help reduce driving costs, and carbon emissions associated with global warming and unhealthy air.

“Gas prices are now predicted to hit the levels we saw last fall following Hurricane Katrina,” said Governor Baldacci’s Energy Director, Beth Nagusky. “We know that these high prices create hardship for the people of Maine. Simple vehicle maintenance and driving tips can reduce gas bills significantly.”

The campaign features radio public service announcements by Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson and Maine humorist Gary Crocker. The 30- and 60-second spots offer tips to drivers that will cut their fuel costs, including: keeping cars tuned up (3% to 20% savings); carpooling (50% savings ); driving the speed limit (7% to 23% savings); and, avoiding sudden stops and starts and other smart driving measures that can double a vehicle’s gas mileage.

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Global Warming Wednesday: Goodbye Glaciers, It’s Been Nice…

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If we all lived in the Arctic? There’d be no question about global warming. Microsized glaciers, thawing tundra, and polar bear drownings would be driving even the most ardent Nascar fans away from a sport that’s biggest by-product is excessive carbon emissions and noise pollution.

As Alaska changes into a warmer environment, some species will adapt and some, like the polar bear, could face extinction. As the chilly ends of the Earth warm up, the deep undersea currents will no longer cool as they pass by them. Some species will adapt and some, like man? Could face extinction…

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NEWS OF: 8/2/2006

Global Warming Wednesday: Clinton Climate Initiative

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The debate over global warming has been raging for years, with Republicans and big oil interests arguing the “poppycock” position, while the pro-planet people (a.k.a. “everyone else”) point to scientific data and the sweltering heat wave killing Americans from Maine to California.

Facts like:

  • The Earth is warming, by 1.4-degrees Fahrenheit since 1920
  • The ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising
  • 10 of the last 12 years were the warmest since 1850
  • The first six months of 2006 were the hottest since they started keeping records in 1890.

So far, we’ve had about 80 daily high temperature records broken and in the month of July there were about 50 all-time records for the month of July broken — that’s phenomenal for any air mass, any heat wave that’s going on right now,” says Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But there is hope. Tuesday afternoon at UCLA, former President Clinton announced a new three-part initiative to help cities combat global warming: use a consortium of large cities to leverage their purchasing power for energy-saving products; offer expert technical assistance to cities trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; and create better measurement tools to ensure that progress is being made. The Clinton Climate Initiative is financed by the Clinton Foundation.


Twenty-two of the world’s largest cities announced they will join the initiative
to work together to limit their contributions to global warming.

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NEWS OF: 7/27/2006

Snakes on a Flame

California’s heat wave has taken a coil for the worse. Seeking relief from the heat, snakes are slithering their way indoors seeking cooler temperatures. The Weather Channel reports several snake calls to animal control in Castaic, California, from completely freaked out residents.

The heat wave is into day 11. 83 deaths are attributed to the heat. Animals are dying in the fields and crops are withering. The only good news is that the stress on California’s electric grid has eased slightly.

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NEWS OF: 7/26/2006

Global Warming Wednesday: Inhofe, Axis of Environmental Evil

The Holocaust never happened. The moon landing was filmed on a Hollywood Set. And there’s no such thing as “global warming.”

You can always find a scientist, a scholar, a politician or a religious leader to dispute any claim if you pay him enough.

Enter Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
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Born Nov. 17,1934 in Des Moines, Iowa, he served a year in the Army (55-56 or 57-58) - never rising above the level of “private” and never leaving American shores. He has a degree in economics and no formal scientific training. He’s pro-life, anti-gay, and was “outraged by the outrage” over prisoner torture in Abu Ghraib. The initial crime being of such a scale as to overshadow getting upset over a little torture. He’s also been labeled anti-environment for labeling global warming a “hoax.”

Proving the logic behind the Upton Sinclair quote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” Inhofe’s major campaign contributors are oil companies and energy companies. Since 1999, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Inhofe has received almost $300,000 in campaign donations from oil and gas interests and nearly $180,000 from electric utilities. In the 2002 election cycle, he received more oil and gas contributions than any senator except Texas’ John Cornyn.

Hoax?

If global warming is a hoax, as Inhofe claims, then why did he file a lawsuit along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (which received $405,000 from ExxonMobil in 2002) to suppress the Clinton-era report: The National Assessment, which analyzed potential impacts of climate change on the U.S.?

A 2001 report by the National Academy of Sciences, commissioned by the Bush administration, confirmed the reliability of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s work, stating in its opening sentences, “Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising.”

Currently, Inhofe is claiming Al Gore is “full of crap,” but the most inconvenient truth is that Inhofe owes his livelihood to big oil, big gas and electric utilities. Sort of an Ace of Clubs in the Environmental Axis of Evil deck of cards.

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NEWS OF: 7/25/2006

Global Warming: Got Scalded Milk?

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Thousands of dairy cattle and upwards of three dozen, mostly elderly, individuals have died as a result of over a week of 100°+ heat in California. This marks the first time in 57 years that both Northern and Southern California have experienced extended heat waves simultaneously.

Some of the nation’s top climate experts believe the heat wave is caused in part by global warming. “Others,” however, disagree saying they’d rather wait until it’s too late to save our collective asses.

Just for the record, the first six months of 2006 were the warmest of any year in the United States since record keeping began in 1895, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

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NEWS OF: 7/23/2006

Global Warming: Junk Politics

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From the Canada Free Press:
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Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: “Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.” …Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change.
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Who is Bob Carter? Bought and paid for by ExxonMobil. Bob’s the former Director, Australian Secretariat for the Ocean Drilling Program and a contributing Writer to Tech Central Station.

Bob is just one of the ExxonMobil-funded climate change skeptics hired to spread doubt under the umbrella term Climate Change Support in return for $95,000 from ExxonMobil.

Tech Central Station is a coalition of industry-backed conservatives and lobbyists masquerading as a science and technology think-tank. TCS is pro-intelligent design. Their scientific reviews are offered by contributors with no formal scientific training. Other financial backers of TCS include AT&T and General Motors Corporation.

Why do people like this get air time? When the news went from an hour a day to a 24:7 channel, the first casualty was research. There wasn’t time.

Add to that blast faxing reports like this - junk news - to thousands of journalists simultaneously and an unapologetically right-wing biased media (Fox News Channel) and it all adds up.

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NEWS OF: 7/22/2006

If NASA Won’t Protect Our Home Planet, Who Will?

From the New York Times:

From 2002 until this year, NASA’s mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: “To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can.”

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase “to understand and protect our home planet” deleted. In this year’s budget and planning documents, the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

Why the removal? You can thank President G. W. Bush. “G.W.” stands for many things, but Global Warming isn’t one of them.

NASA scientists are not happy with the shift which they feel removes the incentive to tackle issues like global warming. The mission to “protect our home planet” was viewed by many NASA scientists as a real mandate, not meaningless jingoism.

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NEWS OF: 7/7/2006

Global Warming: It’s Not Nice to Sue Mother Nature

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According to California scientists, climate changes are causing bigger and badder wildfires to break out in the Western United States.

An analysis of large wildfires since 1970 has revealed that, on average, there are nearly four times the annual number of large wildfires today than there were in the 1970s, and that the area charred by the fires each year is more than 6 1/2 times previous levels. The length of the average wildfire season has also increased — by 78 days.

Anthony Westerling, is the lead author of a new study on weather and wildfire activity that appears in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science. He’s also an assistant professor at the University of California-Merced.

Debating those credentials are Fox News, which routinely heckles global warming under the heading “junk science.”

But if it’s junk, then how come a group of political leaders wants to prosecute Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth)? Officials claim that revelations in Gore’s documentary have compromised the nation’s war on global warming.

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