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Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away

ICE is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap.

The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent's western coast.

The Australian, April 18

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Interesting piece on views of global warming among Christians in the USA. Disturbing to see the opinions of evangelicals.

This issue is fascinating to me, and highlights the problems of ferreting out truth in the midst of the information age glut. What is clear, even from a cursory Google search, is that both sides of this debate can marshal their statistics, can call upon an army of scientific experts, and can form convincing arguments to buttress their case. So who is right? And how do we know? And what are the possible consequences if we think we're right, and it turns out that we're wrong?

The religious component of the Pew poll is fascinating as well. Why is it that white evangelicals are disproportionally skewed in the direction of disbelieving in global warming? What might be behind such views? Is it because they have greater access to scientific data that is not available to other segments of the population? Is it because they tend to be Republican, and they can't stand the thought that the despised Al Gore might be right? I really don't know. But it's very curious.

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Andy Whitman wrote:

: The religious component of the Pew poll is fascinating as well. Why is it that white evangelicals are disproportionally skewed in the direction of disbelieving in global warming? What might be behind such views?

Or consider the "black Protestants" who apparently say "yes, there is global warming" more than any other segment of the population ... but almost half of the "yes"-sayers attribute global warming to "natural causes" rather than anything human in origin. (To look at this another way, 36% of "black Protestants" apparently said "yes, because of natural patterns", which is almost double the proportion of the second-highest group to give that answer, namely the 20% of "white non-Hispanic Catholics". And while 39% of "black Protestants" did say "yes, because of human activity", that was the second-lowest result, next to the 34% of "white evangelical Protestants".) What might be behind such views? Is the black community more fatalistic, more inclined to believe bad news but more resigned to the idea that "that's just the way the world is"? Etc., etc.

Just curious: why are blacks not divided into "mainline" and "evangelical" Protestants the way that whites are? And why are non-white Catholics left off this list altogether?

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I can't speak for all white Evangelicals, but as for myself, I saw "environmentalism" in the 1980s as a religion, and therefore tended to throw the baby out with the bathwater, rejecting everything environmentalists said because, I concluded, it was concluded in service to some other god.

Laugh if you want to, but my early Christian days were defined by this sort of polarity. I do think environmentalism is a religion for some, but lots of other things are religions for people. We all have idols, or temptations toward idol worship.

It took years for me to take environmentalism seriously. Even now, though, I remain a skeptic of much of the environmentalism cause.

Edited by Christian

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I can't speak for all white Evangelicals, but as for myself, I saw "environmentalism" in the 1980s as a religion, and therefore tended to throw the baby out with the bathwater, rejecting everything environmentalists said because, I concluded, it was concluded in service to some other god.

Laugh if you want to, but my early Christian days were defined by this sort of polarity. I do think environmentalism is a religion for some, but lots of other things are religions for people. We all have idols, or temptations toward idol worship.

It took years for me to take environmentalism seriously. Even now, though, I remain a skeptic of much of the environmentalism cause.

And yet, being good stewards of the planet is part of our calling as Christians, and not some hippy-dippy add-on concocted by liberals. Is there any question that the dwindling resources of the planet that we do not own have been exploited for profit, and that this is an issue that should concern every Christian? There are extremists everywhere, and, as always, it's difficult to discern the true state of affairs. For what it's worth, I am deeply suspicious of both sides of this debate, and I wonder what political and/or financial concerns are really behind the rhetoric. I also believe that we have to do something, and that the status quo simply means the ongoing devastation of planet Earth. Navigating these (increasingly polluted) waters is tricky.

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Andy Whitman wrote:

: Is there any question that the dwindling resources of the planet that we do not own have been exploited for profit, and that this is an issue that should concern every Christian?

Um, yes, sort of, there is. I don't see that it's the church's business one way or the other whether good or bad has been done "for profit". The question is whether good or bad have been done, period. Socialist exploitation is no better than capitalist exploitation.

: Navigating these (increasingly polluted) waters is tricky.

Increasingly polluted? We're not living in the early 1800s any more. Well, some "developing" parts of the world might be, but other parts are not. And let's not overlook the pollution that was possible -- and indeed, unavoidable -- in the pre-industrial era.

Sorry, but my time as a journalist has made me very skeptical whenever anyone throws the word "increasingly" around. And I just watched a David Lean film set in an industrial town, and listened to the audio-commentary people discuss how Lean had to dirty the place up because the town had gone to great lengths to clean things up in the half-century since the story was set. We could point to other initiatives that our governments have taken to minimize pollution, too, no doubt.

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I find it fascinating that the political conservatives who so enthusiastically took what Francis Schaeffer offered in terms of a pro-life position on abortion missed the boat on his concerns about ecology.

Personally, I think it has more to do with political conservatives co-opting the church rather than any serious position on this particular issue by thoughtful Christians (one way or another). American evangelicals LOVE to play off and demonize personalities; on a popular level, it's anti-Al Gore as much as anything else.

Sorry, but this is all too typical of the responses that characterize any skepticism about the global warming claims being made. Given the enormity of the claims, the breadth of the policy proposals based on those claims, and the massive financial burden those proposals will demand, is it too much to ask to at least let an opposing viewpoint be heard every once in a while? Instead there's an all out attempt to simply shame skeptics into silence. They're ignorant ("flat earthers"), gullible ("co-opting the church") and sinister ("love to demonize personalities"). When does Godwin's Law kick in? Can we stop using "skeptics" and start using "deniers". (Oh wait, already done.) Is it any wonder that those at the pointy end of that finger would rather dig their heels in all the more than bow their heads and give a hearty "Thank you sir may I have another!"?

Are liberals any less anti-Bush than conservatives are anti-Gore? Of course not, but that's not evidence of the fact that they're wrong about global warming, any more than conservatives being anti-Gore is evidence of them being wrong. There are many possible explanations for the observation that Andy is making - as an American evangelical myself, my personal reason has more to do with the environmental movement's propensity for erroneous gloom and doom predictions before; crying wolf so to speak. Yes, that makes me want to see more proof before I accept the current gloom and doom predictions. Or maybe that just makes me ignorant, gullible, and sinister.

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I've said before that glaciers covered the prairies 10,000 years ago, and have been in retreat ever since. I certainly appears to be a warming trend, broadly speaking.

I continue to be more concerned about water conservation than "warming", per se. I think we would do enormous good by slowing the rate that water races to the oceans after falling inland. Swamps and lakes offer tremendous conservation and filtering advantages, and provide habitat that permit greater bio-diversity. (Water can also moderate temperatures, given its thermal inertia.)

On a related note, I watched an intriguing show on Discovery channel in which the roofs of urban buildings arabout "green roofs", which feature rooftops covered with vegetation. These rooftops hold rainwater (so it doesn't contribute to flooding), filter it, and use it to cool the building and the urban environment. (rooftops cover 20-percent of cities, IIRC).

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On a related note, I watched an intriguing show on Discovery channel in which the roofs of urban buildings arabout "green roofs", which feature rooftops covered with vegetation. These rooftops hold rainwater (so it doesn't contribute to flooding), filter it, and use it to cool the building and the urban environment. (rooftops cover 20-percent of cities, IIRC).

There are a few houses around here (in the suburbs) that are basically built into a little mini-hill such that the back yard basically grows up over the back of the house and onto the roof. I'm not sure how utilitarian the construction is compared to what you're describing, but I was speculating to a friend recently that it's probably a good way to keep cooling needs and energy use down in the summers especially. My friend commented that he knew some people with experience with them (builders, owners? he didn't specify) and the overriding issue was that they were an absolute nightmare for upkeep. Apparently the moisture and mildew issues are really challenging. Cool idea though.

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And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, "climate change" is an easier sell than "global warming."

Yes, as far as it goes. It is safer because it includes the possibility of cooling. Or any change at all. Downside: climates are always in a state of flux over the long haul. One wonders what is the mean/default/normal.

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I found the following article from Watts Up With That to be very enlightening. Anthony Watts finds a great disparity between theoretical predictions and observed, empirical data. He spends quite a bit of time explaining the role of the earth's oceans in global temperatures.

Heat is not the same as temperature. Two liters of boiling water contain twice as much heat as one liter of boiling water even though the water in both vessels is the same temperature. The larger container has more thermal mass which means it takes longer to heat and cool.

Temperature measures the average kinetic energy of molecular motion at a specific point. But it does not measure the total kinetic energy of all the molecules in a substance. In the example above, there is twice as much heat in 2 liters of boiling water because there is twice as much kinetic energy. On average, the molecules in both vessels are moving at the same speed, but the larger container has twice as many molecules.

For any given area on the ocean

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Al Gore, Destroyed

I’ll have more to say later on about “Superfreakonomics,” the blockbuster followup to “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner that comes out in two weeks. For now, mull this over: From now on, wherever Al Gore goes, he is going to be asked about it. Because the book makes the case that global warming can be solved with an easy fix that would cost $250 million and was designed by people with airtight reputations as supergeniuses and environmentalists.

That’s million, with an m. Al Gore’s foundation is spending more than that on alerting people to the dangers of global warming. . . .

Kyle Smith, October 9

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Rod Dreher:

I don't see how the
is anything but a disaster for the global warming community. This thing really does make one doubt what one had accepted as scientifically true, because the consensus was reported as overwhelming. . . .

So much for disinterested science, and just-the-facts. I'm not ready to say that man-made climate change is a hoax, but I'd say those hackers did us all a great service by lifting the veil on those nasty sh**s in labcoats.

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WSJ: Global Warming With the Lid Off

'The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone. . . . We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind."

... we do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.

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So, help me out. I've been hearing this story bandied about on the radio for a couple of days, but I'm not sure why this particular cover-up destroys the fabric behind the climate-change debate. Is it that this group, whose correspondence was uncovered, is the core group from which all other climate-change studies and discussion flow? I'm afraid I need someone to spell this out for me.

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So, help me out. I've been hearing this story bandied about on the radio for a couple of days, but I'm not sure why this particular cover-up destroys the fabric behind the climate-change debate. Is it that this group, whose correspondence was uncovered, is the core group from which all other climate-change studies and discussion flow? I'm afraid I need someone to spell this out for me.

I'm with Christian. In addition, the quotes from these emails I've seen don't appear to me to be all that inflammatory. I've not read anything that appears to be a "smoking gun" that would make me cry conspiracy. But maybe I'm missing something...?

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Well, for one thing, Mark Steyn notes that it is "now safe to say [that there has been a global cooling trend for the past 10 years] in polite society." (Or as Steyn has put it elsewhere, if you are 29 or under, there has been no global warming during your adult lifetime -- quite the opposite, in fact.)

Meanwhile, "The New Zealand Government's chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn't there. The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain's CRU climate research centre."

Let's see just how big this snowball gets. (Um, no global-cooling pun intended. Honest.)

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Mark Steyn:

I think "
Hide the decline
" is a pretty hard phrase to "interpret" in any benign way, and a pretty easy way for anyone to get up to speed with what what's going on. It's already a song, and a T-shirt.

Lorne Gunter:

Stolen and then released were over 1,000 emails and 3,000 research files that appear to show that those at the CRU and other equally well-known
climate scientists around the world have been working together for years to “cook” the data about climate change
. The emails seem to suggest that much of what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims is “settled science” is based on data manipulated to confirm assertions that man is dangerously altering our climate. Recent decades may not have been exceptionally warm. The planet may not be warming as fast as these scientists have claimed publicly — and it looks as though they may have known it and tried to hide it.

If the emails are correct, CRU scientists also took glee in the death of a prominent skeptic and did their level best to keep those who disagreed with them from being published in peer-reviewed journals or invited to contribute to IPCC reports. There is even one exchange in which some of the CRU scientists and their colleagues elsewhere tried to have fired the editor of a peer-reviewed journal that dared publish contrary research. . . .

One of the most prominent environmental icons of the past decade has been the hockey-stick graph, which claims to show a thousand years of stable temperatures (the stick), followed by a sharp upward spike in the last 100 years of industrialization (the blade). Such a graph is essential to the environmentalists’ core contention that 20th century temperatures were unusual and one-directional — upwards.

Two different hockey-stick temperature records were devised by two prominent scientists in the late 1990s, Michael Mann of the U.S. and Brit Keith Briffa at Hadley.

The most frequently cited email so far released is from CRU head Phil Jones to Profs. Mann and Briffa, and others, saying that for an article in Nature magazine, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to
hide the decline
” in late-20th Century temperatures.

But this is not the only highly damaging one.

Just last month, Kevin Trenberth, an IPCC lead author, wrote to Mr. Mann, admitting “the fact is that
we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t
. ... Our observing system is inadequate.”

First, these scientists never admit publicly there has been no warming for years. And second, this is essentially blaming the instruments for the lack of data supporting the theory. The warming is happening, we just can’t detect it. It’s the thermometers’ fault. . . .

David Warren:

By releasing into the Internet about a thousand internal e-mails from the servers of the Climate Research Unit in the University of East Anglia -- in some respects the international clearing house for climate change "science" -- he has (or they have) put observers in a position to see that claims of conspiracy and fraud were not unreasonable.

More generally, we have been given the materials with which to obtain an insight into how all modern science works when vast amounts of public funding is at stake and when the vested interests associated with various "progressive" causes require a particular scientific result.

There is little doubt that the e-mails were real. Even so warmist a true-believer as George Monbiot led his column in the Guardian yesterday with: "It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow.
The e-mails extracted ... could scarcely be more damaging
. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them." . . .

Nigel Lawson (a.k.a. Baron Lawson of Blaby), the former British chancellor of the exchequer, who is among prominent persons demanding a full and open public inquiry, summarized the content of the e-mails in this way:

"Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (
B)
they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data
; © the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d)
they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals
. ...

"There may be a perfectly innocent explanation," he continues with that impartial aplomb for which we have always adored British lords, but then he reminds
just how much government spending and bureaucracy, in Britain and all over the world, has been mounted entirely upon this dubious research
; and thus how far-reaching the implications if the obvious turns out to be true. . . .

It is amusing to see mainstream media sources such as the New York Times, which thinks nothing of publishing purloined government documents that will endanger the lives of U.S. soldiers in the field, and compromise vital intelligence operations, suddenly become all jowly and uptight about publishing the e-mails in question because they were "illegally obtained."

Other media -- which have played a leading part for years in giving credibility to "global warming" claims -- are now maintaining the silence of Iago on the revelations. We will see how long this can be sustained.

Jim Manzi:

I have not read the full set of e-mails, nor have I seen authoritative evidence of their provenance, but for the sake of argument let’s assume the allegations are correct. None of this surprises me. I argued over two years ago that: 1) Long-term climate reconstruction was
one of the two key trouble spots in climate science
; 2) mathematically sophisticated critics had
debunked the methodology
used to reconstruct long-term climate evidence that is the basis for the famous “hockey stick” increase in global temperatures; and 3) excellent evidence had been presented to the U.S. Senate that,
in climate reconstruction, academic peer review meant, in effect, agreement among a tiny, self-selected group of experts
. The root problem here is not the eternal perfidy of human nature, but the fact that we can’t run experiments on history to adjudicate disputes, which makes this less like chemistry or physics than like economics or political science.

In human terms, the scandal is obviously a PR disaster for those who believe that climate reconstruction is “science” in the sense we normally use the term, but what it does not change is the basic physics of how CO2 molecules interact with radiation. As I have always argued, this is the real basis for rational concern about greenhouse-gas emissions, and is a key reason that all the major national scientific academies agree that the greenhouse effect is a real risk.
Recognizing this risk, however, does not entail accepting the political conclusion that we need laws to radically reduce emissions at enormous cost
.

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Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn:

HH: What’s the significance of the hackers’ foray?

MS: Well, it’s very significant. My colleague, Iain Murray, put it this way. He says that
the CRU is basically the Pentagon of the climate change business, and these are the Pentagon papers
. And that’s basically true. It’s the clearing house for a climate change orthodoxy. So everything from Kyoto, Copenhagen, the IPCC, as you mentioned, the cap and trade monstrosity in Congress, all depends on figures that have been run through the Climate Research Unit in East Anglia.
And as we now see, not so much from the e-mails, but from the actual code, the code, the computer code they’re using, it’s garbage
. I quote at random. For example, this is one example of the computer code there. “Specified period over which to compute the regressions. Stop in 1960 to avoid the decline that affects tree ring density records.” So in other words,
the computer code that they’re producing these numbers with is rigged and distorted, and what they want to do at Copenhagen is tax you up to the hilt to pay for this racket
.

HH: Is it fair to say, Mark Steyn, that
everything that the tobacco companies were ever accused of doing with data about cigarettes is now true about the CRU and its global warming data
?

MS: Yeah, that’s absolutely, that is actually a good way to put it. I mean, I think this idea…they’ve corrupted the very essence of science. They’ve corrupted peer review, they’ve had editors from journals fired who disagree with them, they’ve corrupted the data. They basically are the antithesis of science. They decide the result, and then figure out how you need to set up the computer model to get the result. This is disgraceful. And if Phil Jones at East Anglia, and his colleague, Michael Mann at Penn State University over here, if they survive this scandal, then there is no reason why anybody paying even a minimal bit of attention should take climate change seriously ever again. They need, if the climate change movement is serious, it will expel Phil Jones in East Anglia, and Michael Mann from Penn State University from their ranks. . . .

HH: No, it’s going to turn Copenhagen into one giant morgue, although it’s going to be fun to watch them put on the biggest, brave face we’ve ever seen, Mark Steyn.

MS: Yeah, and I can only hope so, because I think what Copenhagen is really about is about erecting a global bureaucracy that has no electoral accountability to people anywhere on the planet. I mean, it sounds nuts when you talk about it like that, but if you actually read what they’re proposing at Copenhagen, they want to create a kind of embryo bureaucracy in the interest of so-called saving the planet, that will have a vast, unlimited budget, and will suck, literally, trillions out of the developed world to so-called solve this entirely artificial problem based on all this bogus data from East Anglia.

And for one person's view of why this all might matter:

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UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters

THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough. . . .

The latest criticism of the IPCC comes a week after reports in The Sunday Times forced it to retract claims in its benchmark 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would be largely melted by 2035. It turned out that the bogus claim had been lifted from a news report published in 1999 by New Scientist magazine.

The new controversy also goes back to the IPCC's 2007 report in which a separate section warned that the world had "suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s".

It suggested a part of this increase was due to global warming and cited the unpublished report, saying: "One study has found that while the dominant signal remains that of the significant increases in the values of exposure at risk, once losses are normalised for exposure, there still remains an underlying rising trend."

The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.

When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."

Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored. . . .

Sunday Times, January 24

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Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn't been verified

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research. . . .

Dr Lal’s admission will only add to the mounting furore over the melting glaciers assertion, which the IPCC was last week forced to withdraw because it has no scientific foundation. . . .

Daily Mail, January 24

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India abandons IPCC, sets up own panel

The Indian government has moved to establish its own body to address and monitor science surrounding climate change, saying it "cannot rely" on the official United Nation panel.

The move is a severe blow to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) following the revelation parts of its 3000 page 2007 report on climate science was not subjected to peer review.

A primary claim of the report was the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, but the claim was not repeated in any peer-reviewed studies and rebuffed by scientists.

India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced that the Indian government will establish a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor climate change in the region.

"There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism," Ramesh said. "I am for climate science." . . .

The move also deals a blow India's own Dr. RK Pachauri, the current chairman of the UN's IPCC.

Pachauri has come under pressure to resign for his handling of the glacier mistake. Although he faces fierce criticism in the media, he continues to have the UN's backing.

International Business Times, February 5

Credibility is what’s really melting

India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says there was not “an iota of scientific evidence” to support the 2035 claim. Yet that proved no obstacle to its progress through the alarmist establishment. Dr. Murari Lal, the “scientist” who included the 2035 glacier apocalypse in the IPCC report, told Britain’s Mail on Sunday that he knew it wasn’t based on “peer-reviewed science” but “we thought we should put it in”—for political reasons.

I wonder what else is in that Nobel Peace Prize-winning report for no other reason than “we thought we should put it in.” Don’t forget, the IPCC’s sole source was the cuddly panda crowd over at the World Wildlife Fund. Donna Laframboise, a colleague of mine from the glory days at the National Post, did a simple search of the online version of the IPCC report and discovered dozens of citations of the WWF. It’s the sole source cited for doomsday predictions of glacier melt not only in the Himalayas but also the Andes and the Alps, as well as for a multitude of other topics, from coral reefs to avalanches. This would appear to be in breach of the IPCC’s own guidelines. The WWF is a pressure group. They’re not scientists. They’re not even numerate: one of their more startling glacier-melt claims derives entirely from an arithmetical miscalculation arising from a typing error. . . .

Mark Steyn, Maclean's, February 3

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The great global warming collapse

Despite widespread efforts to play down the Climategate e-mails, they were very damaging. An investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian – among the most aggressive advocates for action on climate change – has found that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed, and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

Meantime, the IPCC – the body widely regarded, until now, as the ultimate authority on climate science – is looking worse and worse. After it was forced to retract its claim about melting glaciers, Mr. Pachauri dismissed the error as a one-off. But other IPCC claims have turned out to be just as groundless.

For example, it warned that large tracts of the Amazon rain forest might be wiped out by global warming because they are extremely susceptible to even modest decreases in rainfall. The sole source for that claim, reports The Sunday Times of London, was a magazine article written by a pair of climate activists, one of whom worked for the WWF. One scientist contacted by the Times, a specialist in tropical forest ecology, called the article “a mess.”

Worse still, the Times has discovered that Mr. Pachauri's own Energy and Resources Unit, based in New Delhi, has collected millions in grants to study the effects of glacial melting – all on the strength of that bogus glacier claim, which happens to have been endorsed by the same scientist who now runs the unit that got the money. Even so, the IPCC chief is hanging tough. He insists the attacks on him are being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits.

Until now, anyone who questioned the credibility of the IPCC was labelled as a climate skeptic, or worse. But many climate scientists now sense a sinking ship, and they're bailing out. Among them is Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the University of Victoria who acknowledges that the climate body has crossed the line into advocacy. Even Britain's Greenpeace has called for Mr. Pachauri's resignation. India says it will establish its own body to monitor the effects of global warming because it “cannot rely” on the IPCC.

None of this is to say that global warming isn't real, or that human activity doesn't play a role, or that the IPCC is entirely wrong, or that measures to curb greenhouse-gas emissions aren't valid. But the strategy pursued by activists (including scientists who have crossed the line into advocacy) has turned out to be fatally flawed.

By exaggerating the certainties, papering over the gaps, demonizing the skeptics and peddling tales of imminent catastrophe, they've discredited the entire climate-change movement. The political damage will be severe. As Mr. Mead succinctly puts it: “Skeptics up, Obama down, cap-and-trade dead.” That also goes for Canada, whose climate policies are inevitably tied to those of the United States.

Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, February 5

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