Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alarmists Deliberately Target Children

Just recently there has been an upturn (not in the global temperature but) in the activities of both Government and Non- Government bodies deliberately targeting Climate Change propaganda directly at children. They justify this tactic by claiming that this is the generation that will have to deal with these terrifying consequences and thus there is no moral impediment to using them to get at their parents, teachers, etc. No avenue is seen as taboo by these activists and no tactic too unjustifiable as they seek to lock in the next generation before they are able to fully discern fact from hype. As can be seen in these articles:

Hot Air Hits The Schools

Guilt trips for driving gas-powered vehicles, eating hamburgers and powering gadgets are the order of the day. Then teens are to go home and tell mom and dad about their sins too.

Global warming is proving more dubious by the day, but the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is not shy about recruiting Boston’s next generation to promote their alarmism.

The nonprofit group launched months ago and wants to inspire 140,000 teenagers to join its climate-change activism by the end of this year.

They’ve hired educators with flair for the theatrical to deliver their one-sided message via high school assemblies, captivating hundreds at a clip.

Rappers, actors, athletes, ministers and other dynamic personalities sync their talks with amusing PowerPoint presentations and slick animation to pump up the fear.

The idea is to motivate teenagers, and subsequently everyone in their spheres of influence, to modify their behaviors so as to stop global warming. This is achieved by cutbacks in their energy use, which ACE believes produces too many greenhouse gases (from fossil-fuel combustion like coal and oil) that warm the planet.

So guilt trips for driving gasoline-powered vehicles (carbon dioxide), eating hamburgers (methane from cow flatulence) and powering gadgets (more carbon dioxide) are the order of the day. Then teens are to go home and tell mom and dad about their sins too.

ACE is based in Oakland, Calif., and was created by wealthy wind-energy entrepreneur Michael Haas. The organization has targeted five metropolitan areas besides Boston: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and Houston.

Haas, who donated $24,600 to President Barack Obama’s campaign and victory funds last year, stands to reap millions of dollars in government subsidies that climate change-driven renewable energy policies would bring. ACE looks like an effort to assure the growth of his business into future generations.

ACE lobbies school boards and administrators for permission to give its presentations, ensuring delivery of its propaganda to hundreds of potential foot soldiers for the cause.

But ACE’s talks are infected with falsehoods, like telling the students they’ve lived through the 10 hottest years on record (1934 was really the hottest) and that greenhouse gas emissions are jacking up the global thermostat way too high.

Scientific studies that counter these fibs and exaggerations are left out of the presentations.

For example, many solar physicists believe we may be entering a prolonged cooling period due to diminished sunspot activity.

Atmospheric scientists, who observe actual data rather than depend on dubious climate models, have seen no recent temperature increase (on average) in the oceans or on the surface of the earth during the last decade.

Unfortunately many teachers and administrators don’t do their homework and let the Alliance for Climate Education pull students from classrooms to be taught rewritten history and biased forecasting.

Boston parents might wonder why their kids are coming home with so much passion for a controversial cause.

Or this one:

Preschool 'greenwash' scaring children

PARENTS have accused early childhood centres of "greenwashing" their children by burdening them with the responsibility of saving the world.

Tots as young as three have sent letters to Kevin Rudd about their passion for green living and asked companies to reduce their packaging.

Others are growing their own food, repairing toys and walking to preschool in an effort to reduce their toll on the environment.

But experts have called for caution in teaching children about climate change because of the potential for fear, anxiety, frustration, anger and despair at catastrophic events.

...."This generation, their great worry is green. It is drummed into them everywhere."

Schoolchildren raised running out of drinking water, rising sea levels and the extinction of polar bears in a survey on their views last year.

"Children of that age should not be thinking the world is coming to an end," Sydney father-of-three Andrew Potter, 35, said.

"It is a form of propaganda."

Youngsters also put the environment at the top of their worry list - along with crime and terrorism - in research for the Australian Childhood Foundation.

"It is the adult world impinging on childhood," chief executive officer Dr Joe Tucci said.

Ideally, children's strongest concerns should be about their friendships or toys, he said.

He suggested that adults had to deal with the fact that children were exposed to bigger issues by helping them to understand them.

Australian Psychological Society guidelines advise caregivers to avoid strong reactions about green issues in front of preschoolers.

In severe cases, climate change worries could escalate into anxiety disorders or depression, said psychologist Dr Susie Burke.

"These issues are frightening and upsetting for adults and even more so for children."

Read more of that article here.

Or perhaps the ACT ON CO2 campaign launch of its Bedtime Stories TV advert fully supported by the British Government.

The add shows a father reading a bedtime story to his daughter.

In the book, puppies drown and rabbits are left without water to drink because of rising CO2 levels.

The male character reads: "There once was a land where the weather was very, very strange...

"Scientists said it was being caused by too much CO2, and it was the children of the land who'd have to live with the horrible consequences."

The young daughter asks if there is a "happy ending" before a voice over tells the viewer it is up to them to change how the story ends.

The consequences of this campaign were further highlighted in this article:

Shameful Exploit Of UK Children In Climate Propaganda

The British government is using the NLP directed on children in order to persuade their parents to accept the Goreism and the believe that we dangerously influence the global climate through CO2 and that we can do something about it by saving energy. They intend to persuade children to label their parents as irresponsible and bad, if they don't adhere to the will of the UK government.

It is not the first time in resent history, we have seen governments using children as a means to achieve their political goals. My parents told me about how the ruling party in Germany used teenagers, Hitlerjugend, to change the mind of their parents. Like today's UK, they back then misused the unconditional love of the parents to force an agenda.

By misusing the children in this way, you reverse the normal system in which the parents provide guiding examples, moral support and wisdom for the children, and where the parents view is guided by independent critical diagnostics of the society they live in. In this UK Hitlerjugend style, the guiding role is taken away from the parents and transferred to the government and their propaganda departments.

This is the most powerful propaganda method imaginable, but also a very inhumane form. It is inhumane for several reasons. Unless you, as a parent, is extremely well informed, you have no way of promoting your own interest to the child as you will find it difficult to protect your child from the massive, intrusive media called TV and Internet.

This one-sided immoral propaganda through children was in principle banned by the High Court in UK.The judge ruled that you are not supposed to provide disputed one-sided information without also providing adequate information about the other side of the coin.

The issue of the one-sidedness, is what makes this children-propaganda so immoral. It's like having the ruling party in the government making gigantic propaganda with the taxpayer's money, directed towards the children, in order to force the parents to vote for them by the next general election.

More on that article here.

How then did the Department of Energy and Climate Change of the British Government justify running such an advert? The article UK Government Ignorant To Shameful Exploit Of Children explains:

"It's consistent with Government policy on the issue, which is informed by the latest science and assessments of peer-reviewed, scientific literature made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other international bodies,"

...In view of this apparent solely political use of the global climate system, it is shameless to convince innocent children that what the IPCC forecasts is the inescapable truth. We should teach our children basic facts, which they can later use in other areas than politicized climate science. We should tech them logarithm so they know how little CO2 can heat at current levels. We should teach them physics, so they know about thermodynamics. We should teach our children to be analytic and always question even the most obvious facts. We should teach our children never to accept any science, anywhere, at any time, to be settled.

What has been the consequences of this targeting of children by green groups and governments? This article entitled Panic, little ones, it's the Carbon Monster demonstrates:

In place of grown-up, adult debate about the future, environmentalists continually use scaremongering - conjuring up horrid, squalid future scenarios based more on their fantastic imaginations than scientific fact - to try to force people to lower their horizons and change their behaviour.

And this green politics of fear is starting to have a detrimental effect on children.

As popular culture bombards kids with messages about a fiery, bunny-hostile future, and as many schools in Britain and elsewhere rebrand themselves as "eco schools", devoted to reducing children's carbon footprints as much as expanding their minds, so children are becoming paralysed by fear.

In 2007, a survey of 1150 seven to 11-year-olds in Britain found that more than half had lost sleep as a result of worrying about climate change.

"It's making me and my friends go mad," said a 12-year-old girl.

The children were most likely to be kept awake thinking about "the possible submergence of entire countries" and the "welfare of animals", indicating that hysterical, fact-lite, The Day After Tomorrow-style scare stories about worldwide flooding or the wiping out of polar bears have hit children where it hurts.

Worryingly, the survey also found that one in seven children blamed their own parents for the coming climate doom. This suggests that environmentalists' emphasis on the destructiveness of people's everyday behaviour - their driving habits, their food choices, their holidays - has successfully convinced kids that all adults, even mummy and daddy, are dirty and dangerous.

Indeed, environmentalist activists now cynically exploit children's fears to try to get them to snitch on their parents. A book called How To Turn Your Parents Green, by James Russell, encourages children to "nag, pester, bug, torment and punish the people who are merrily wrecking our world", that is, grown-ups, or "Groans".

It tells kids to become "Guardians of a Glorious Green Future" and to get their parents to sign up to a "Glorious Green Charter". Traditionally, it has only been the most authoritarian regimes on Earth - think Mao's China or Stalin's Soviet Union - that encouraged children to spy on and squeal on their parents. Now environmentalists do it, too, though with a Little Green Book rather than a little red one.

This targeting of our children has become widespread and insidious, with my own family recently being exposed when a third party was invited to my children's primary school to give a Aboriginal culture talk. They turned it into an opportunity to promote green propaganda at the children who attended the event (unbeknown to the school's Principal at the time). Targeting adults is one thing, but the deliberate targeting of children (who are incapable of deciphering the truth from the hype) must be resisted in my view.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quiz Time

Maybe it is the inner teacher in me but here are a series of quizzes (both sceptical and alarmist) taken from the Internet and collated here. I have done this so you can test your recall and see how much misinformation and hyperbole is used to convince people that Anthropogenic Global Warming (aka: Climate Change) will be the doom of us all. The one I found most disturbing was the level of green propaganda being leveled at school children by the US EPA in the bottom one aimed at children. They are of course not compulsory, merely informative and possibly for some of you a bit of fun.

Sceptical Quizzes:

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Quiz 3

Quiz 4

Alarmist Quizzes:

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Quiz 3

Quiz 4

Alarmist quiz aimed at children:

Quiz 1

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High

In a follow up to my previous section on Cosmic Rays is this report by Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA:
According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high.

"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," (seen above) says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."

The cause of the surge is solar minimum, a deep lull in solar activity that began around 2007 and continues today. Researchers have long known that cosmic rays go up when solar activity goes down. Right now solar activity is as weak as it has been in modern times, setting the stage for what Mewaldt calls "a perfect storm of cosmic rays."

"We're experiencing the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, "so it is no surprise that cosmic rays are at record levels for the Space Age."

Galactic cosmic rays come from outside the solar system. They are subatomic particles--mainly protons but also some heavy nuclei--accelerated to almost light speed by distant supernova explosions. Cosmic rays cause "air showers" of secondary particles when they hit Earth's atmosphere; they pose a health hazard to astronauts; and a single cosmic ray can disable a satellite if it hits an unlucky integrated circuit.

The sun's magnetic field is our first line of defense against these highly-charged, energetic particles. The entire solar system from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is surrounded by a bubble of solar magnetism called "the heliosphere"(seen above). It springs from the sun's inner magnetic dynamo and is inflated to gargantuan proportions by the solar wind. When a cosmic ray tries to enter the solar system, it must fight through the heliosphere's outer layers; and if it makes it inside, there is a thicket of magnetic fields waiting to scatter and deflect the intruder.

"At times of low solar activity, this natural shielding is weakened, and more cosmic rays are able to reach the inner solar system," explains Pesnell.

Mewaldt lists three aspects of the current solar minimum that are combining to create the perfect storm:

1. The sun's magnetic field is weak. "There has been a sharp decline in the sun's interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) down to only 4 nanoTesla (nT) from typical values of 6 to 8 nT," he says. "This record-low IMF undoubtedly contributes to the record-high cosmic ray fluxes."

2. The solar wind is flagging. "Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft show that solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low," he continues, "so the magnetic bubble that protects the solar system is not being inflated as much as usual." A smaller bubble gives cosmic rays a shorter-shot into the solar system. Once a cosmic ray enters the solar system, it must "swim upstream" against the solar wind. Solar wind speeds have dropped to very low levels in 2008 and 2009, making it easier than usual for a cosmic ray to proceed.

3. The current sheet is flattening. Imagine the sun wearing a ballerina's skirt (seen above) as wide as the entire solar system with an electrical current flowing along the wavy folds. That is the "heliospheric current sheet," a vast transition zone where the polarity of the sun's magnetic field changes from plus (north) to minus (south). The current sheet is important because cosmic rays tend to be guided by its folds. Lately, the current sheet has been flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system.

"If the flattening continues as it has in previous solar minima, we could see cosmic ray fluxes jump all the way to 30% above previous Space Age highs," predicts Mewaldt.

Earth is in no great peril from the extra cosmic rays. The planet's atmosphere and magnetic field combine to form a formidable shield against space radiation, protecting humans on the surface. Indeed, we've weathered storms much worse than this. Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% higher than they are now. Researchers know this because when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, they produce an isotope of beryllium, 10Be, which is preserved in polar ice. By examining ice cores, it is possible to estimate cosmic ray fluxes more than a thousand years into the past. Even with the recent surge, cosmic rays today are much weaker than they have been at times in the past millennium.

"The space era has so far experienced a time of relatively low cosmic ray activity," says Mewaldt. "We may now be returning to levels typical of past centuries."

For those of you that would like some further reading on this topic of Cosmic Rays, reader BF recommends the following two sites:
Site 1: Biology Cabinet blog

Site 2: American Astronomical Society

I thank him for his input.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Antarctic Not Melting During Summer

In an update on my series on the poles of which part 1 can be seen here, part 2 here, part 3 here and finally part 4 here, in early October 2009 there was a report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters by Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, cooperatively managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; and Andrew Monaghan, National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist. In this report it stated:

"A 30-year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008–2009 according to spaceborne microwave observations for 1980-2009."

"Strong positive phases of both the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) were recorded during the months leading up to and including the 2008–2009 melt season."

This is supported by a couple of diagrams:

The first is from The World Climate Report (seen above) showing the Standardized values of the Antarctic snow melt index (October-January) from 1980-2009 (adapted from Tedesco and Monaghan, 2009). The scale on the left indicates the amount of melt experienced each year. The higher the number the more the melt. As can be clearly seen the Summer 08-09 is at a very small number, which means that very little melting took place.

The second is from the Cryosphere Today (seen above) showing the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly for the period 1978-2009. When compared to the mean sea ice (1979 - 2000) it can be clearly seen that the minimum during this period was well above that level.

Of course if the sea ice didn't melt much during the Summer time then how is it travelling during the peak of its freeze season?

As can be seen from the NSIDC figure above it is well above the average and well above even that experienced in 2008.

It woulsd also appear that the UN is now having difficulty telling one pole from the other as this article shows:

Things get stranger and stranger with the United Nations’ climate change science compendium published two weeks back.

First, it was learned that the graph indicating temperature for the past 1,000 years had been taken from Wikipedia, where it had been deposited by a non-climatologist. (Not long after this that graph was removed and replace with another one that was also inaccurate, as can be seen here.)...Now, it comes to light that the report features a photograph purporting to show Arctic icebergs melting, when the actual image is of Antarctica.

As I looked through the updated report yesterday, in which the Wikipedia graph has been removed, I noticed that an image looked to have been misidentified. Fortunately for me, the UN had purchased the image on, where about an hour’s worth of sleuthing revealed that indeed this was not a picture from the top of the world, but rather from the bottom.

Some will say that it doesn’t matter. I think it does. The United Nations claims to be the steward of the best science on the planet. Wouldn’t one hope that it would have staff capable of differentiating between Antarctica and the Arctic? Of course, global warming alarmists, including those employed at the United Nations, have been using both polar ice caps’ supposed melt as evidence of runaway global warming for years now. Meanwhile, though, Antarctic sea ice has continued to
increase in extent throughout the satellite era, and temperatures at the South Pole have slowly fallen.

Nonetheless, the fear-mongers in the media and at the United Nations strive to frighten the credulous into believing that Earth’s southernmost continent is on the verge of catastrophic melt. As for the Arctic misrepresented by the UN’s photograph, how many of the report’s editors even know that sea ice increased in 2009 in the Arctic for the second year in a row? At the United Nations Environment Program, the answer is evidently: none. A map with a list of “climate anomalies” from the last year indicates that 2009 was the second most significant melt in the Arctic. In fact, it was the third lowest melt and may very well represent a turnaround. Only time will tell. Even The New York Times has an
article today addressing the seeming good news.

As for that list of “Significant Climate Anomalies from 2008/2009,” the great majority of items listed are weather, rather than climate. An example: the four passages of Tropical Storm Fay across Florida’s coastline. While interesting, Fay’s behavior does not have an apparent, or hidden, relationship to rising co2 levels according to any reputable scientist, nor does it cloak 2008’s quiet Atlantic tropical cyclone season. (For those keeping track at home, 2009’s has been quieter still.)

The recovery from 2007's record sea extent minimum in the Arctic has continued for a second straight year. Only time will tell whether it marks the beginning of a meaningful, long-term recovery.

The last mistake in the UN report that I will delve into for now features a photo of the Hawaiian Islands with a menacing caption about sea levels – trouble in paradise! Here is the text from the caption: “In Hawaii, as the ocean continues to rise, flooding occurs in low-lying regions during rains because storm sewers back up with saltwater and coastal erosion accelerates on beaches. Source: L. Carey.”

There are a few problems here. One: “L. Carey” does not exist, at least not according to the author of the caption. That would be Chip Fletcher, director of the Coastal Geography Group at the University of Hawaii. Reached for comment, Fletcher said that he was flattered that the United Nations report had found his statement in an internal department
newsletter to be useful. Two: Fletcher also acknowledged that all of the flooding described by his statement takes place in areas of landfill that are subsiding.

Did Fletcher think that it might be a good thing for the United Nations to note the landfill subsidence when using a single image, and a single statement, to convey the reality of “climate change” in the islands? “Listen, the world is a big place,” Fletcher said. “I have other things to worry about than that.” Were there other locations in the islands that saw such flooding?

“Parts of Waikiki have,” Fletcher said. Aren’t those parts of Waikiki also landfill, though?

“Actually, they are.”

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Hockey Stick Graph Controversy

In an earlier post I discussed the infamous Mann's Hockey Stick graph that wiped out the medieval warm period and was the basis of the IPCC's third assessment report. After being famously debunked by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick it was removed from the IPCC's 4th and most recent assessment report. Mann tried to reintroduce it in a modified form, but this too was debunked by Steve McIntyre. Still the Hockey stick controversy continued as Dr. Mann and the supporters of climate change claimed the McIntyre had debunked nothing.

In late September of 2009 this controversy has again flared after Steve McIntyre was finally able to access the tree ring data sets used by Professor Kieth Briffa (of the Climate Research Unit - East Anglia and one of Dr. Mann's co authors) to formulate his hockey stick temperature graphs. McIntyre released a blog post on his Climate Audit blog, showing that he believed that Professor Briffa had selected a limited number of trees to base his hockey stick evidence on(a selection which proved to be far from random). When the other trees (the rejected ones) from the same area (Yamal in northern Russia) were included the hockey stick shape, disappears (as seen below - the red is the original, the black is the other trees and the green is the combined).

Naturally, claim and counter claim is being made by both sides of the divide (along party lines as it were) since the release of this information. A good summary of the current situation (showing both sides opinion) is contained on Joe D'Aleo's ICECAP blog entitled Can’t See the Forest for the Trees. So, just in case you have missed it on ther blogs - here it is :

At issue is the use of tree rings as a temperature proxy, or dendrochronology. Using statistical techniques, researchers take the ring data to create a “reconstruction” of historical temperature anomalies. But trees are a highly controversial indicator of temperature, since the rings principally record CO2, and also record humidity, rainfall, nutrient intake and other local factors. Picking a temperature signal out of all this noise is problematic, and a dendrochronology can differ significantly from instrumented data. In dendro jargon, this disparity is called “divergence”. The process of creating a raw data set also involves a selective use of samples - a choice open to a scientist’s biases.—by Andrew Orlowski, UK Register, September 29, 2009

Media reaction to the Yamal story has been rather limited so far. I’m not sure whether this is because people are trying to digest what it means or whether it’s “too hot to handle”. None of the global warming supporters in the mainstream media have gone near it. The reaction of the Guardian - to delete any mention of the affair from their comment threads - has been extraordinary. --Bishop Hill, 1 October 2009

Read all the details of the Yamal issue from both sides in these links:

Yamal, A Divergence Problem by Steve McIntyre

YAD06 - the Most Influential Tree in the World by Steve McIntyre

Keith Briffa Responds by Steve McIntyre

Response from Briffa on the Yamal Tree Ring Affair Plus Rebuttal by Anthony Watts

Watts responds in part: “As McIntyre points out: “YAD061 reaches 8 sigma and is the most influential tree in the world.” Seems like an outlier to me when you have one tree that can skew the entire climate record. Explain yourself on why you failed to catch this. Why the hell did you wait 10 years to release the data? You did yourself no favors by deferring reasonable requests to archive data to enable replication. It was only when you became backed into a corner by The Royal Society that you made the data available. Your delays and roadblocks (such as providing an antique data format of the punched card era), plus refusing to provide metadata says more about your integrity than the data itself. Your actions make it appear that you did not want to release the data at all. Your actions are not consistent with the actions of the vast majority of scientists worldwide when asked for data for replication purposes. Making data available on paper publication for replication is the basis of proper science, which is why The Royal Society called you to task.”

Defects in Key Climate Data Detected by Ross McKitrick

The Yamal Implosion By Bishop Hill

Yamal, The Debate Continues by Bishop Hill

Treemometers by Andrew Orlowski, the UK Register

Mann Made Global Warming Confirmed by Chris Horner

Cherry Picking of Historic Proportions by Joanne Nova

Then there is this typically sneering post by the team at Real Climate blog trying once again to defend one of their team and their hockey stick graph from any criticism.

Hey Ya Mal by Real Climate.

I addition, here is a rebuttle of the Real Climate post:

Hockey Stick Gets Personal: Lies from Real Climate by Roger Pielke, Jr.