Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What if Al Gore is Wrong??

I've been mulling that question ever since walking out of "An Inconvenient Truth." Certainly, the oil companies tell us, he could very well be wrong, and temperature change is only cyclical and the impact we perceive is false, our ability to measure such things being insufficient to come to any clear conclusion regarding the human industrial impact on the earth. (Let's forget that ExxonMobil announced quarterly profits of over $10 billion yesterday. That BP and PhilipsConoco booked $7 billion. And this on top of record profits in past quarters as well.)

I also remember Blair and Bush a few years ago explaining to the world the consequences of "doing nothing" against Saddam, creating now a remarkable comparison of "nothings." One of those "nothings" costs the United States about three billion dollars a week. The other "nothing" looks to be far, far more expensive.

If Gore is wrong and yet we listen, the worst consequence would be a slightly cleaner earth. Nothing too odious about that, huh?

And if Gore is right ....

And check out the following from the New York Times Op/Ed page:

Published: July 27, 2006

IN the debate on global warming, the data on the climate of Antarctica has been distorted, at different times, by both sides. As a polar researcher caught in the middle, I’d like to set the record straight.

In January 2002, a research paper about Antarctic temperatures, of which I was the lead author, appeared in the journal Nature. At the time, the Antarctic Peninsula was warming, and many people assumed that meant the climate on the entire continent was heating up, as the Arctic was. But the Antarctic Peninsula represents only about 15 percent of the continent’s land mass, so it could not tell the whole story of Antarctic climate. Our paper made the continental picture more clear.

My research colleagues and I found that from 1986 to 2000, one small, ice-free area of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled. Our report also analyzed temperatures for the mainland in such a way as to remove the influence of the peninsula warming and found that, from 1966 to 2000, more of the continent had cooled than had warmed. Our summary statement pointed out how the cooling trend posed challenges to models of Antarctic climate and ecosystem change.
Newspaper and television reports focused on this part of the paper. And many news and opinion writers linked our study with another bit of polar research published that month, in Science, showing that part of Antarctica’s ice sheet had been thickening — and erroneously concluded that the earth was not warming at all. “Scientific findings run counter to theory of global warming,” said a headline on an editorial in The San Diego Union-Tribune. One conservative commentator wrote, “It’s ironic that two studies suggesting that a new Ice Age may be under way may end the global warming debate.”

In a rebuttal in The Providence Journal, in Rhode Island, the lead author of the Science paper and I explained that our studies offered no evidence that the earth was cooling. But the misinterpretation had already become legend, and in the four and half years since, it has only grown.

Our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear” and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.” Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents — all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that “the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle.” I have never thought such a thing either.

Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000. But during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that as the ozone hole heals — thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals — all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet. An inconvenient truth?

Also missing from the skeptics’ arguments is the debate over our conclusions. Another group of researchers who took a different approach found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica. We still stand by our results for the period we analyzed, but unbiased reporting would acknowledge differences of scientific opinion.

The disappointing thing is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend.

In the meantime, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming. I know my coauthors would as well.

Peter Doran is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

United States Profits From Exporting Instruments of War and Death

The Commander In Chief has never been shy to reveal his spirituality, his devotion to God and Country. From identifying Jesus Christ as has favorite political philosopher to the many reminders that "all life is sacred," Bush has identified himself as a solid defender of the sanctity of Life. All this while the Simpleton ignores the complexities of his own creation that have caught up with him.

From today's New York Times: "The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said." Expedited shipments of massive armaments to Israel "threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah."

"Appearance"? (Sometimes I wonder what the editors at NYT are thinking.)

The Bush Administration repeatedly rejects any call for a cease fire from Israel, and no wonder: this little war is a very profitable one for the United States.

Ironically, the president seems to have appearances, and only those, going for him right now and he's working them hard as he can. Consider this only-slightly edited quote from a life-defending appearance by the president a few days ago:

“I felt like crossing this line would be a mistake, and once crossed we would find it almost impossible to turn back,’’ Mr. Bush said. “Crossing the line would needlessly encourage a conflict ... that can only do damage...."

Omissions: "between science and ethics" and "to our nation." Topic: stem cell research.

If only the president worried as much about the line crossed to go to war in Iraq. Or the line crossed to arrest American citizens without bringing charges. Or the line crossed to destroy the environment and favor industry interests over the long-term health of the planet. Or the line crossed to ignore the destruction in New Orleans. The list could go on for pages.

This murdering beast of a man will go down in history as a destroyer, a killer, an aggressor of the worst and most dangerous kind, wrapped in the polished language of sanctity, enough to fool the idiots who continue to believe his lethal and bloody lies.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How About This Quote?
You have to visit DubyaSpeak.com routinely to get your fill of Bush's misquotes. Here's a great one:

REPORTER: Is the tide turning in Iraq?
DUBYA: I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?

--White House, Jun. 14, 2006

...or how about this one?

I am willing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court.
--Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
...which, of course is very magnanimous of him, since the President sorta has to!

Remember when we thought Dan Quayle was King of Misquotes?

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