Archive for December, 2009

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More on Climate

December 31, 2009

This is a Macleans Article by Mark Steyn on Thursday, December 24, 2009 11:10am that I thought was very interesting.  I unfortunately do not have the link.

According to the CIA’s analysis, “detrimental global climatic change” threatens “the stability of most nations.” And, alas, for a global phenomenon, Canada will be hardest hit. The entire Dominion from the Arctic to the 49th parallel will be under 150 feet of ice.

Oh, wait. That was the last “scientific consensus” on “climate change,” early seventies version, as reflected in a CIA report from August 1974, which the enterprising author Maurizio Morabito stumbled upon in the British Library the other day. If only the impending ice age had struck as scheduled and Scandinavia was now under a solid block of ice. Instead, the streets of Copenhagen are filled with “activists” protesting global warming, some of whom torch automobiles in the traditional manner of concerned idealists. As long as it’s not my car, I can just about live with these chaps, preferring on balance thuggish street politics to the spaced-out cultish stupor in which many of their confreres wander glassy-eyed from event to event. On the Internet, there is a telling clip of Christopher Monckton interacting with a young Norwegian from Greenpeace who has come along to protest the former’s “denialism.” Monckton is a viscount—i.e., a lord, like his fellow denialist, the former British chancellor Lord Lawson. Now that’s what I call peer review! (House of Lords joke.) Lord Monckton has the faintly parodic mien of many aristocrats, whereas the Greenpeace gal was a Nordic blond. If there were empty stools adjoining both parties at the Climate Conference bar, you’d head for hers before some carbon-credit travelling salesman swiped it. Big mistake. Monckton was the soul of affability, gently suggesting places where she could check out the data. She, by contrast, seemed barely sentient, clinging to rote emotionalism and impervious to reason, data, facts, inquiry.

As I always say, if you’re 30 there has been no global warming for your entire adult life. If you’re graduating high school after a lifetime of eco-brainwashing, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. None. After the leaked data from East Anglia revealed that Dr. Phil Jones (privately) conceded this point, Tim Flannery, one of the A-list warm-mongers in Copenhagen, owned up to it on Aussie TV, too. Yet, when I reprised the line in this space a couple of weeks back, thinking it was now safe for polite society, I was besieged by the usual “YOU LIE!!!!!!!” emails angrily denouncing me for failing to explain that the cooling trend of the oughts is in fact merely a blip in the long-term warming trend of the nineties.

Well, maybe. Then again, perhaps the warming trend of the nineties is merely a blip in the long-term ice age trend of the early seventies. I doubt many of my caps-lock emailers are aware of the formerly imminent ice age. It was in Newsweek and the New York Times, and it produced the occasional bestseller. But, unlike today’s carbon panic, it wasn’t everywhere; it wasn’t, in every sense, the air that we breathe. Unlike Al Gore’s wretched movie, it wasn’t taught in schools. TV networks did not broadcast during children’s time apocalyptic public service announcements that in any other circumstance would constitute child abuse. Unlike today, where incoming mayors announce that as their first act in office they’re banning bottled water from council meetings, ostentatious displays of piety were not ubiquitous. It was not a universal pretext for recoiling from progress: back in the seventies, upscale municipalities that now obsess about emissions standards of hot-air dryers were busy banning garden clotheslines on aesthetic grounds. There were no fortunes to be made from government grants for bogus “renewable energy” projects. Unlike Al Gore, carbon billionaire, nobody got rich peddling ice offsets.

The man with the sandwich board announcing the end of the world on Jan. 7 is usually unfazed when he wakes up on the morning of Jan. 8. He realigns the runes, repaints the sign, and reschedules Armageddon for May 23. The rest of us, on the other hand, scoff.

But not with this crowd. First it was the new ice age. Then it became global warming. Now it’s “climate change.” If it’s hot, that’s climate change. If it’s cold, that’s climate change. If it’s 12° C and partly sunny with a 30 per cent chance of mild precipitation in the afternoon, you should probably pack emergency supplies and head for higher ground because global milding is rampaging out of control, and lack of climate change is, as every scientist knows, the defining proof of climate change.

Indeed, our response to climate change can itself cause climate change that manifests itself in lack of climate change. A couple of days back, the Guardian ran the following story:
“The hole in the earth’s ozone layer has shielded Antarctica from the worst effects of global warming until now.”

Remember the ozone layer? It was all the rage back in the old days. It was caused by spray-on deodorants, apparently. So we packed ’em in, and switched over to roll-on deodorants. And, because we forswore the sinful spraying of armpits, the hole began to heal. Which is tough on the Antarctic ice cap. Because the only reason it isn’t melting is because the ozone hole isn’t fully closed up. Once it is, more hot air will remain trapped and melt the ice. It may be time to start spraying your armpit hair again.

Why did “climate change” remain the boutique scare-story of a few specialists last time round, and gain global traction this time round? In the Spectator, Maurizio Morabito puts it this way:
“Is the problem with the general public, who cannot talk about climate except in doom-laden terms, and for whom the sky is the last animist god?”

That last part explains a lot. Forty years ago conventional religious belief was certainly in decline in what we once knew as Christendom, but the hole was not yet ozone-layer sized. Once the sea of faith had receded far from shore, the post-Christian West looked at what remained and found “Gaia.” Not long ago, in Burlington, Vt., I got into a somewhat heated discussion about global warming with a lady who accused me of ignoring “science.” She then drove away in a car with the bumper sticker “THE EARTH IS YOUR MOTHER.” In Quebec City for the Summit of the Americas in 2001, I sought a breather from the heady scent of Sûreté du Québec tear gas and idled away half an hour among a display of brassieres promoting “sustainable development.” One (a 54D, as I recall) read “THE EARTH IS MA MÈRE.” In flagrant breach of Quebec’s Bill 101, the francophone right cup was not twice the size of the anglophone left cup. If the earth is our mother, who are we to dictate to the goddess? As Lord Monckton pointed out to that Norwegian CO2-head, we’ve had climate change for four billion years. But now apparently there is an ideal state that Ma Mère has to be maintained in. A belief in a garden of Eden which man through sin has despoiled sounds familiar. But this time we get to pick. Not the Medieval Warm Period that causes the “scientific consensus” such problems, and not presumably the bucolic state the planet was in when Canada was 150 feet under, but some pristine condition somewhere in between.

When man was made in the image of God, he was fallen but redeemable. Gaia’s psychologically unhealthy progeny are merely irredeemable. Anti-humanism is everywhere, not least in the barely concealed admiration for China’s (demographically disastrous) “One Child” policy advanced by everyone from the National Post’s Diane Francis to Sir David Attenborough, the world’s leading telly naturalist but also a BBC exec who once long ago commissioned the great series The Ascent of Man. If Sir David’s any guide, the great thing about man’s ascent is it gives him a higher cliff to nosedive off.

Very few sciences could survive being embraced as a religion (and please note that environmentalism IS NOT a science.  It is an “ism” NOT an “ology” [look it up in the dictionary]).  Imagine the kind of engineering or math you’d get if it also had to function as a “faith tradition.” What’s also changed since the seventies is the nature of the UN and the transnational bureaucracies. Once it became obvious that “climate change” represents an almost boundless shakedown of functioning jurisdictions by dysfunctional basket cases, the die was cast. “Aid” is a discredited word these days and comes with too many strings attached. But eco-credits sluiced through an oil-for-food program on steroids offers splendid new opportunities for bulking up an ambitious dictator’s Swiss bank accounts.

And, because of this malign combination—corrupted science, ersatz religion, Third World opportunism—global warming took off in a way the old ice age never did. It would perhaps be too much to expect a generation of brainwashed schoolkids to shake off their brain-dead conformism. And so, between the anti-human left and an alliance of rapacious dictatorships, it now falls to a handful of economically expansive emerging nations—India, China, Brazil, a couple of others—to save the developed world from itself.

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The Botched Airline Bombing and Our National Nervous Breakdown

December 30, 2009

From Michael Economides, Editor-in-Chief of the Energy Tribune

Looking at the saturation press coverage, it is not hard to discern the objectives of the terrorists: cost us a lot of money and give us the equivalent of a national nervous breakdown.

As a nation, we should discipline ourselves to take the tough but rational decisions and resist knee-jerk reactions, not unlike what we as individuals do in our daily lives, admittedly with varying degrees of success.

The hapless Umar Faruk Abdulmutallab, the would-be airliner bomber, should be more the subject of bemused pity rather than a national mobilization. He literally and figuratively castrated himself and the movement he represents. The story of his father warning the US Embassy in Nigeria is not unlike the famous statement attributed to Georges Clemenceau, France’s prime minister during World War I who said “If my son is not a communist by age 20 I will disown him; if he is still a communist by age 40, I will again disown him.”

Today, among restless and disenfranchised Muslim youths, one can readily replace “communist” by “islamist” and the end result is one and the same. The movement, without a real aim and without any coherent and effective organization, is nothing more than a social trend which can lead to isolated tragedies but certainly does not warrant a trillion dollar response. We should declare an unmitigated victory that nothing major has happened since September 11, 2001. It should also show the powerlessness of our adversaries. Unfortunately, for many Umar wannabes, what we are doing now is by far the biggest encouragement to vent their social and physical predilections. Let’s stop now.

I hoped that what Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday — and, following a wide outcry quickly recanted on Monday — that the “system worked,” meant that our reaction would be measured and not panicked; that we would continue traveling and working normally. Unfortunately our propensity to exaggerate and the press’s ability to sensationalize again got the best of us.

It may sound crass and heartless for the people involved and their families, but had the operation not been botched, in itself a far-fetched chance for the naïve and incompetent Umar, and resulted in a brutal tragedy, the cost to our economy and the impact on our life would be tiny, compared to what any attempted reaction to seal off all chances for repetition will cost in both real money and anxiety. There is another huge by-product of the re-orientation of the press coverage: It has relegated truly important issues to the inside pages of newspapers and removed them entirely from TV news. Other than the healthcare issue, in my area of interest, energy, there have been two very important events recently that both warrant major national attention, potentially worth trillions.

The first was the recent bid for Iraqi oil fields in which, the Iraqi government, showing a marked independence from the expectations of the conspiracy and the war-for-oil theorists, shut out American oil companies. The Iraqi oilfields, languishing for years, first because of the draconian sanctions during the Saddam Hussein years and the ravages of war since then, are perhaps the most potentially prolific in the world. Over the next decade, Iraqi oil production is expected to top 11 million barrels per day, quadrupling the current production of 2.5 million barrels per day and vying to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer. In the process it will make a mockery of the constantly re-surfacing Peak Oil talk.

The second was the meeting in Copenhagen, which although it fell far short of the promises made by its promoters, it has legitimized what many thought was very sketchy science, the man-made link to climate change. The toothpaste is out of the tube and future legislation, any legislation, on cap-and-trade will have huge and lasting negative economic impact both in size and on the lifestyle as we know it.

These are the compounded effects of the Detroit airline incident, an event that rational human beings should have shrugged off and ignored so that we can focus on far weightier issues.

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Anybody out there????

December 29, 2009

If you stop by, leave a comment.

Thanks

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Clueless Napolitano Now Concedes System ‘Failed Miserably’

December 29, 2009

I don’t put a lot of faith in NBCs TODAY SHOW in being a “hard-hitting” news program, but Matt Lauer hits Napolitano with the obvious facts that the “system” failed no matter how much she tries to divert the blame.  When this overly soft news program sees the obvious failings, you know that the end is likely near.   Here’s to her and the others that should have known better to allow this known loose-cannon on any plane getting fired for incompetence.

By Mark Finkelstein
December 28, 2009 – 08:20 ET

It took a tough question from Matt Lauer, but after having laughably claimed that “the system worked,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has now conceded the obvious: that the security system that permitted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board NWA 253 with explosives “failed miserably.”

On Today and in other interviews this morning, Napolitano attempted to use her own ignorance as a shield. Each time she was hit with a hard question, her response was to the effect “yeah, we’re wondering about that ourselves.” She also continued to point the finger back at George Bush, repeatedly mentioning that the security procedures in place were formulated under the Bush administration. Whatever happened to “change you can believe in”?

But back to Today, where Lauer laudably asked Napolitano the necessary question: how could she possibly have claimed, as she did yesterday, that the “system worked”?

MATT LAUER: You made a comment over the weekend and I want to call attention to that because a lot of people are disagreeing with it this morning. You talked about this incident aboard this Northwest flight and you said “when it came right down to it, the system worked.” A lot of people don’t think the system worked at all, that the only thing that prevented outright disaster was luck. Can you respond to that?

JANET NAPOLITANO: Sure, I think the comment is being taken out of context. What I’m saying is that once the incident occurred, moving forward, we were immediately able to notify the 128 flights in the air of protective measures to take, immediately able to notify law enforcement on the ground, airports both domestically, internationally, all carriers, all of that happening within 60 to 90 minutes, so —

LAUER: So you’re only talking about what happened after this man tried to ignite this explosive device on the plane.

NAPOLITANO: Indeed.

LAUER: You would then concede that the system prior to that, the system that’s supposed to prevent something like this from happening, failed miserably?

NAPOLITANO: It did. And that’s why we are asking a lot of the same questions I heard you asking before this interview. How did this individual get on the plane? Why wasn’t the explosive material detected? What do we need to do to change perhaps the rules that have been in place since 2006 for moving somebody from the generic database to more elevated status. All of that under review right now.

LAUER: So many man-hours, so much money, Madam Secretary, has gone into securing fliers in this country and around the world, and so let’s talk about it: how does a guy who’s on this general terror list, who then buys a one-way, trans-Atlantic ticket with cash, checks no luggage, a man whose own father has written a letter to authorities both in his own country and U.S. embassy authorities, saying he’s worried that his son has become more radicalized and might attempt some kind of a suicide mission. How is this guy not the perfect candidate for a strip search or a full-body scan?

NAPOLITANO: I’ve asked the same questions.

We’ve got another question: what is Janet Napolitano, head of a department that she now admits “failed miserably,” still doing in office?

Note: As part of her “it’s Bush’s fault” defense, on Morning Joe Napolitano mentioned that young Umar had been issued his US visa “in June, 2008,” i.e., during the Bush administration. OK, but that would have been before his father was frantically trying to alert the Obama admin that his son had apparently turned into a terrorist.

—Mark Finkelstein is a NewsBusters contributing editor and host of Right Angle. Contact him at mark@gunhill.net.

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The Top Ten Energy Stories of 2009

December 29, 2009

Ed. note: This item originally ran in Robert Rapier’s R-Squared Energy Blog.

I don’t completely agree with all  of Mr. Rapier’s comments but feel the following discussions provide some actual facts and reality based information sorely lacking in the “main stream press” with regards to energy

Top ten energy stories of 2009

Here are my choices for the Top 10 energy related stories of 2009. Previously I listed how I voted in Platt’s Top 10 poll, but my list is a bit different from theirs. I have a couple of stories here that they didn’t list, and I combined some topics. And don’t get too hung up on the relative rankings. You can make arguments that some stories should be higher than others, but I gave less consideration to whether 6 should be ahead of 7 (for example) than just making sure the important stories were listed.

1. Volatility in the oil markets

My top choice for this year is the same as my top choice from last year. While not as dramatic as last year’s action when oil prices ran from $100 to $147 and then collapsed back to $30, oil prices still more than doubled from where they began 2009. That happened without the benefit of an economic recovery, so I continue to wonder how long it will take to come out of recession when oil prices are at recession-inducing levels. Further, coming out of recession will spur demand, which will keep upward pressure on oil prices. That’s why I say we may be in The Long Recession.

2. The year of natural gas

This could have easily been my top story, because there were so many natural gas-related stories this year. There were stories of shale gas in such abundance that it would make peak oil irrelevant, stories of shale gas skeptics, and stories of big companies making major investments into converting their fleets to natural gas.

Whether the abundance ultimately pans out, the appearance of abundance is certainly helping to keep a lid on natural gas prices. By failing to keep up with rising oil prices, an unprecedented oil price/natural gas price ratio developed. If you look at prices on the NYMEX in the years ahead, the markets are anticipating that this ratio will continue to be high. And as I write this, you can pick up a natural gas contract in 2019 for under $5/MMBtu. (The ratio he is mentioning is based on each MMCF [for this discussion we consider 1 MMBtu = MMCF] of natural gas having the value of 1/6th of 1 BBl of oil – that is if you take the price of 1 MMCF of natural gas times 6 it should approximate the price of 1 BBL of crude oil.  Currently NG is at approximately $4.50 per MMCF, so 6 times $4.50 would be $27 per BBL.. about 34% below the current price of $78.00 for a BBL of crude)

3. U.S. demand for oil continues to decline

As crude oil prices skyrocketed in 2008, demand for crude oil and petroleum products fell from 20.7 million barrels per day in 2007 to 19.5 million bpd in 2008 (Source: EIA). Through September 2009, year-to-date demand is averaging 18.6 million bpd – the lowest level since 1997. Globally, demand was on a downward trend as well, but at a less dramatic pace partially due to demand growth in both China and India. (Oil consumption in the US was on a decline prior to the unprecedented run-up of prices in 2008)

4. Shifting fortunes for refiners

The Jamnagar Refinery Complex in India became the biggest in the world, China brought several new refineries online, and several U.S. refiners shut down facilities. This is a trend that I expect to continue as refining moves closer to the source of the crude oil and to cheap labor. This does not bode well for a U.S. refining industry with a capacity to refine 17.7 million barrels per day when total North American production is only 10.5 million bpd (crude plus condensate). (More troubling is how much refined products the US gets from countries like Venezuela.)

5. China

China was everywhere in 2009. They were making deals to develop oil fields in Iraq, signing contracts with Hugo Chavez, and they got into a bidding war with ExxonMobil in Ghana. My own opinion is that China will be the single-biggest driver of oil prices over at least the next 5-10 years.

6. U.S. oil companies losing access to reserves

As China increases their global presence in the oil markets, one casualty has been U.S. access to reserves. Shut out of Iraq during the recent oil field auctions there, U.S. oil companies continue to lose ground against the major national oil companies. But no worries. Many of my friends e-mailed to tell me that the Bakken has enough crude to fuel the U.S. for the next 41 years… (Mr. Rapier is wise to end his statement with “…”  All encompasing statements or wishfull thinking about the Bakken as the country’s savior should be seen as what they are – whishfull)

7. EU slaps tariffs on U.S. biodiesel

With the aid of generous government subsidies, U.S. biodiesel producers had been able to put their product into the EU for cheaper than local producers could make it. The EU put the brakes on this practice by imposing five-year tariffs on U.S. biodiesel – a big blow to U.S. biodiesel producers.

8. Big Oil buys Big Ethanol

I find it amusing when people suggest that the ethanol industry is a threat to the oil industry. I don’t think those people appreciate the difference in the scale of the two industries.

As I have argued many times before, the oil industry could easily buy up all of the assets of ethanol producers if they thought the business outlook for ethanol was good. It would make sense that the first to take an interest would be the pure refiners, because they are the ones with the most to lose from ethanol mandates. They already have to buy their feedstock (oil), so if they make ethanol they just buy a different feedstock, corn, and they get to sell a mandated product.

In February, Valero became the first major refiner to buy up assets of an ethanol company; bankrupt ethanol producer Verasun. Following the Valero purchase, Sunoco picked up the assets of another bankrupt ethanol company. If ExxonMobil ever decides to get involved, they could buy out the entire industry.

9. The climate wars heat up

There were several big climate-related stories in the news this year, so I decided to lump them all into a single category. First was the EPA decision to declare CO2 a pollutant that endangers public health, opening the door for regulation of CO2 for the first time in the U.S.

Then came Climategate, which gave the skeptics even more reason to be skeptical. A number of people have suggested to me that this story will just fade away, but I don’t think so. This is one that the skeptics can rally around for years to come. The number of Americans who believe that humans are causing climate change was already on the decline, and the injection of Climategate into the issue will make it that much harder to get any meaningful legislation passed.

Closing out the year was the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. All I can say is that I expected a circus, and we got a circus. It just goes to show the difficulty of getting countries to agree on issues when the stakes are high and the issues complex. Just wait until they try to get together to figure out a plan for peak oil mitigation.

10. Exxon buys XTO for $41 billion

In a move that signaled ExxonMobil’s expectation that the future for shale gas is promising, XOM shelled out $41 billion for shale gas specialist XTO. The deal means XOM is picking up XTO’s proved reserves for around $3 per thousand cubic feet, which is less than half of what ConocoPhillips paid for the reserves of Burlington Resources in 2005.

Honorable Mention

There were a number of stories that I considered putting in my Top 10, and some of these stories will likely end up on other Top 10 lists. A few of the stories that almost made the final cut:

The IEA puts a date on peak oil production (God what stupidity!)

The statement they made was that barring any major new discoveries “the output of conventional oil will peak in 2020 if oil demand grows on a business-as-usual basis.”

AltaRock Energy Shuts Down

Turns out that deep geothermal, which the Obama administration had hoped “could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source” – triggers earthquakes. Who knew? I thought these were interesting comments from the story: “Some of these startup companies got out in front and convinced some venture capitalists that they were very close to commercial deployment” and “What we’ve discovered is that it’s harder to make those improvements than some people believed.” I am still waiting to see a bonafide success story from some of these VCs.

The biggest energy bill in history was passed

In total, $80 billion in the stimulus bill earmarked for energy was a big story, but I don’t know how much of that money was actually utilized.

The Pickens Plan derails

The web site is still there, but the hype of 2008 turned into a big disappointment in 2009 after oil prices failed to remain high enough to make the project economical. Pickens lost about 2/3rds of his net worth as oil prices unwound, he took a beating in the press, and he announced in July that we would probably abandon the plan.

So what did I miss? And what are early predictions for 2010’s top stories? I think China’s moves are going to continue to make waves, there will be more delays (and excuses) from those attempting to produce fuel from algae and cellulose, and there will be little relief from oil prices.

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Fact-based climate debate

December 28, 2009

Lee is an acquaintance of mine and truly is a voice-in-the-wilderness with regards to this climate nonsense.

Dec 17, 2009

By Lee C. Gerhard*, IPCC Expert Reviewer

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen.

Greenhouse gases and their effects are well-known. Here are some of things we know:

• The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor, comprising approximately 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect.

• Carbon dioxide concentration has been continually rising for nearly 100 years. It continues to rise, but carbon dioxide concentrations at present are near the lowest in geologic history.

• Temperature change correlation with carbon dioxide levels is not statistically significant.

• There are no data that definitively relate carbon dioxide levels to temperature changes.

• The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide logarithmically declines with increasing concentration. At present levels, any additional carbon dioxide can have very little effect.

We also know a lot about Earth temperature changes:

• Global temperature changes naturally all of the time, in both directions and at many scales of intensity.

• The warmest year in the U.S. in the last century was 1934, not 1998. The U.S. has the best and most extensive temperature records in the world.

• Global temperature peaked in 1998 on the current 60-80 year cycle, and has been episodically declining ever since. This cooling absolutely falsifies claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are a controlling factor in Earth temperature.

• Voluminous historic records demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum (MCO) was real and that the “hockey stick” graphic that attempted to deny that fact was at best bad science. The MCO was considerably warmer than the end of the 20th century.

• During the last 100 years, temperature has both risen and fallen, including the present cooling. All the changes in temperature of the last 100 years are in normal historic ranges, both in absolute value and, most importantly, rate of change.

Contrary to many public statements:

• Effects of temperature change are absolutely independent of the cause of the temperature change.

• Global hurricane, cyclonic and major storm activity is near 30-year lows. Any increase in cost of damages by storms is a product of increasing population density in vulnerable areas such as along the shores and property value inflation, not due to any increase in frequency or severity of storms.

• Polar bears have survived and thrived over periods of extreme cold and extreme warmth over hundreds of thousands of years – extremes far in excess of modern temperature changes.

• The 2009 minimum Arctic ice extent was significantly larger than the previous two years. The 2009 Antarctic maximum ice extent was significantly above the 30-year average. There are only 30 years of records.

• Rate and magnitude of sea level changes observed during the last 100 years are within normal historical ranges. Current sea level rise is tiny and, at most, justifies a prediction of perhaps ten centimeters rise in this century.

The present climate debate is a classic conflict between data and computer programs. The computer programs are the source of concern over climate change and global warming, not the data. Data are measurements. Computer programs are artificial constructs.

Public announcements use a great deal of hyperbole and inflammatory language. For instance, the word “ever” is misused by media and in public pronouncements alike. It does not mean “in the last 20 years,” or “the last 70 years.” “Ever” means the last 4.5 billion years.

For example, some argue that the Arctic is melting, with the warmest-ever temperatures. One should ask, “How long is ever?” The answer is since 1979. And then ask, “Is it still warming?” The answer is unequivocally “No.” Earth temperatures are cooling. Similarly, the word “unprecedented” cannot be legitimately used to describe any climate change in the last 8,000 years.

There is not an unlimited supply of liquid fuels. At some point, sooner or later, global oil production will decline, and transportation costs will become insurmountable if we do not develop alternative energy sources. However, those alternative energy sources do not now exist.

A legislated reduction in energy use or significant increase in cost will severely harm the global economy and force a reduction in the standard of living in the United States. It is time we spent the research dollars to invent an order-of-magnitude better solar converter and an order-of-magnitude better battery. Once we learn how to store electrical energy, we can electrify transportation. But these are separate issues. Energy conversion is not related to climate change science.

I have been a reviewer of the last two IPCC reports, one of the several thousand scientists who purportedly are supporters of the IPCC view that humans control global temperature. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of us try to bring better and more current science to the IPCC, but we usually fail. Recently we found out why. The whistleblower release of e-mails and files from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University has demonstrated scientific malfeasance and a sickening violation of scientific ethics.

If the game of Russian roulette with the environment that Adrian Melott contends is going on, is it how will we feed all the people when the cold of the inevitable Little Ice Age returns? It will return. We just don’t know when.

* – Principal geologist of the Kansas Geological Survey, Lee C. Gerhard received his B.S. in geology at Syracuse University and his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. He has combined academic, government and industry leadership and technical appointments, including petroleum exploration, management of exploration programs, oil and gas regulation, reservoir geology and management of research. His research interests are in carbonate sedimentology, petroleum geology and environmental public policy. He has been the state geologist of North Dakota, and led a marine laboratory. Prior to returning to Kansas, he was the Getty professor of geological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines

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Bradley Fikes writes in the NC times.com

December 23, 2009

A few years ago, I accepted global warming theory with few doubts. I wrote several columns for this paper condemning what I thought were unfair attacks by skeptics and defending the climate scientists.

Boy, was I naive.

Since the Climategate emails and documents revealed active collusion to thwart skeptics and even outright fraud, I’ve been trying to correct the record of my earlier foolishness. In one of those columns, I even wrote: “And see Real Climate (www.realclimate.org) for global warming science without the political spin.”

In fact, Real Climate was and is nothing more than the house organ of global warming activists, concerned more with politics than with science.

My mistake was assuming only the purest of motives of the global warming alarmists, while assuming the worst of the skeptics. In fact, the soi-disant moralists of the global warming movement can also exploit their agenda for profit.

Climategate jolted me into confronting the massive fraud and deception by top global warming scientists, who were in a position to twist the peer-review process in their favor, and did so shamelessly.

Yet still most media reports desperately minimize Climategate, saying that it doesn’t taint the massive research supporting global warming theory. To them I say, how do you know that? Have you investigated how much of that research was published due to the manipulation of these unethical and fraudulent scientists? Do you know how much research that goes against the global warming activist claims was unfairly suppressed?

Until all this is known, it’s not possible to say with any confidence how much of global warming theory will remain after all the fraud and deceit has been removed. And until climate science is cleaned up, it doesn’t deserve the worship so many in the media unthinkingly give its tainted practitioners.