The real deal? — Against the grain: Some scientists deny global warming exists

The real deal?

Against the grain: Some scientists deny global warming exists

Lawrence Solomon, National Post

Published: Friday, February 02, 2007

Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel’s top young scientists, describes the logic that led him — and most everyone else — to conclude that SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming.

Step One Scientists for decades have postulated that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases could lead to a greenhouse effect.

Step Two As if on cue, the temperature rose over the course of the 20th century while greenhouse gases proliferated due to human activities.

ice

ice

No other mechanism explains the warming. Without another candidate, greenhouses gases necessarily became the cause.

The series

Statistics needed — The Deniers Part I
Warming is real — and has benefits — The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science — The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice — The Deniers Part IV

The original denier: into the cold — The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change — The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? — The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability — The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming — The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 — the Deniers Part X

Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views. He has recanted: “Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.

“In fact, there is much more than meets the eye.”

Dr. Shariv’s digging led him to the surprising discovery that there is no concrete evidence — only speculation — that man-made greenhouse gases cause global warming. Even research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change– the United Nations agency that heads the worldwide effort to combat global warming — is bereft of anything here inspiring confidence. In fact, according to the IPCC’s own findings, man’s role is so uncertain that there is a strong possibility that we have been cooling, not warming, the Earth. Unfortunately, our tools are too crude to reveal what man’s effect has been in the past, let alone predict how much warming or cooling we might cause in the future.

All we have on which to pin the blame on greenhouse gases, says Dr. Shaviv, is “incriminating circumstantial evidence,” which explains why climate scientists speak in terms of finding “evidence of fingerprints.” Circumstantial evidence might be a fine basis on which to justify reducing greenhouse gases, he adds, “without other ‘suspects.’ ” However, Dr. Shaviv not only believes there are credible “other suspects,” he believes that at least one provides a superior explanation for the 20th century’s warming.

“Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming,” he states, particularly because of the evidence that has been accumulating over the past decade of the strong relationship that cosmic- ray flux has on our atmosphere. So much evidence has by now been amassed, in fact, that “it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist.”

The sun’s strong role indicates that greenhouse gases can’t have much of an influence on the climate — that C02 et al. don’t dominate through some kind of leveraging effect that makes them especially potent drivers of climate change. The upshot of the Earth not being unduly sensitive to greenhouse gases is that neither increases nor cutbacks in future C02 emissions will matter much in terms of the climate.

Even doubling the amount of CO2 by 2100, for example, “will not dramatically increase the global temperature,” Dr. Shaviv states. Put another way: “Even if we halved the CO2 output, and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50% increase relative to today instead of a doubled amount, the expected reduction in the rise of global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant.”

The evidence from astrophysicists and cosmologists in laboratories around the world, on the other hand, could well be significant. In his study of meteorites, published in the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, Dr. Shaviv found that the meteorites that Earth collected during its passage through the arms of the Milky Way sustained up to 10% more cosmic ray damage than others. That kind of cosmic ray variation, Dr. Shaviv believes, could alter global temperatures by as much as 15% –sufficient to turn the ice ages on or off and evidence of the extent to which cosmic forces influence Earth’s climate.

In another study, directly relevant to today’s climate controversy, Dr. Shaviv reconstructed the temperature on Earth over the past 550 million years to find that cosmic ray flux variations explain more than two-thirds of Earth’s temperature variance, making it the most dominant climate driver over geological time scales. The study also found that an upper limit can be placed on the relative role of CO2 as a climate driver, meaning that a large fraction of the global warming witnessed over the past century could not be due to CO2 — instead it is attributable to the increased solar activity.

CO2 does play a role in climate, Dr. Shaviv believes, but a secondary role, one too small to preoccupy policymakers. Yet Dr. Shaviv also believes fossil fuels should be controlled, not because of their adverse affects on climate but to curb pollution.

“I am therefore in favour of developing cheap alternatives such as solar power, wind, and of course fusion reactors (converting Deuterium into Helium), which we should have in a few decades, but this is an altogether different issue.” His conclusion: “I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go.”

Lawrence Solomon@nextcity.com

Cruellest cut in the name of Islam

Cruellest cut in the name of Islam

A selection from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s forthcoming memoir, Infidel, from The Australian, with thanks to all who sent this in:

KORAN school was a shed down the road. The other pupils were from the neighbourhood. At first I liked it. I learned to mix ink from charcoal, water, and a little milk, and to write the Arabic alphabet on long wooden boards. I began learning the Koran, line by line, by heart. It was uplifting to be engaged in such an adult task. But the kids at madrassah (Islamic religious school) were tough. They fought. One girl, who was about eight years old, they called kintirleey, “she with the clitoris”.I had no idea what a clitoris was, but the kids didn’t even want to be seen with this girl. They spat on her and pinched her; they rubbed sand in her eyes, and once they caught her and tried to bury her in the sand behind the school.

The madrassah teacher didn’t help. Once in a while he called her dammin, dunce, and kintirleey, too. My teenage cousin Sanyar used to pick me up after madrassah. One day she arrived just as a girl hit me in the face. Sanyar took me home and told the story. “Ayaan didn’t even defend herself,” she said in horror. “Coward!” my family jeered.

The next day Sanyar waited for me outside the madrassah with another teenager, the older sister of the girl who had hit me the day before. They caught hold of the two of us and tugged us over to an open space, then ordered us to fight. “Scratch her eyes out. Bite her,” Sanyar hissed at me. “Come on, coward, think of your honour.”

The other girl got the same encouragement. We flew at each other, fists tight, hitting, wrestling, pulling each other’s hair, biting. “Ayaan, never cry!” Sanyar called out. The other children cheered us on. When they let us stop, our dresses were torn and my lip was bleeding, but Sanyar was delighted. “I don’t want you to ever let another child hit you or make you cry,” she said. “Fight. If you don’t fight for your honour, you’re a slave.”

Then, as we walked away, the other girl shouted after me, “Kintirleey!” Sanyar winced. I looked at her, horror dawning on me. I was like that other girl? I, too, had that filthy thing, a kintir? In Somalia, like many countries across Africa and the Middle East, little girls are made “pure” by having their genitals cut out. There is no other way to describe this procedure, which typically occurs around the age of five.

After the child’s clitoris and labia are carved out, scraped off, or, in more compassionate areas, merely cut or pricked, the whole area is often sewn up, so that a thick band of tissue forms a chastity belt made of the girl’s own scarred flesh. A small hole is situated to permit a thin flow of pee. Only great force can tear the scar tissue wider, for sex.

Female genital mutilation predates Islam. Not all Muslims do this, and a few of the peoples who do are not Islamic. But in Somalia, where virtually every girl is excised, the practice is always justified in the name of Islam. Uncircumcised girls will be possessed by devils, fall into vice and perdition, and become whores. Imams never discourage the practice: it keeps girls pure.

Read it all, if you have the stomach.

IRAN’S PROXY WAR

IRAN’S PROXY WAR

IransProxyWar-X.gif

This cartoon was originally posted on April 6, 2004, and in our second book (not the latest one) Black & White World II, which can be ordered via Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.

From Detriot Free Press: Cleric tells militia not to attack U.S. troops.

Radical Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his militia not to confront U.S. forces and has endorsed negotiations aimed at easing the deployment of American troops in his strongholds, according to Shi’ite and Sadr officials.Ahead of a planned surge of 21,500 U.S. troops intended to secure Baghdad, the cleric has instructed his Mahdi Army, recently described by the Pentagon as the single biggest threat to a stable Iraq, to keep a low profile and stay off the streets, Sadr officials said.

A deal with the supporters of the fiercely anti-American cleric would temper U.S. military commanders’ concern that any attempt to secure Baghdad will inevitably lead to a showdown with Iraq’s biggest private army.

The Sadrist movement has given its blessing to an initiative led by one of two mayors of Sadr City to negotiate terms under which U.S. forces will be able to deploy freely there.

If the negotiations succeed, U.S. forces would be welcome in Sadr City, said Rahim al-Daraji, the mayor of the area’s southern half. He said he has been authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Mahdi Army and other Shi’ite factions.

From CNN: Al-Maliki: Iraq won’t be battleground for U.S., Iran.

Iraq’s prime minister said Wednesday he’s sure Iran is behind some attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and he won’t allow his country to be a battleground for the two nations.”We have told the Iranians and the Americans, ‘We know that you have a problem with each other, but we are asking you, please solve your problems outside Iraq,’ ” Nuri al-Maliki told CNN.

“We will not accept Iran to use Iraq to attack the American forces,” al-Maliki said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with CNN. (Read more of al-Maliki interview)

“We don’t want the American forces to take Iraq as a field to attack Iran or Syria,” he added.

Asked about the role of Iran in Iraq, al-Maliki said he was confident that Iranian influence was behind attacks on U.S. forces. “It exists, and I assure you it exists,” he said.

Iranian-U.S. tensions have been ratcheted up recently, with two U.S. officials theorizing about the possibility that Iran was involved in a January 20 attack that killed five U.S. soldiers.

Two officials from separate U.S. government agencies said Tuesday the Pentagon is investigating whether the attack on a military compound in Karbala was carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives.  Wednesday, January 31, 2007

www.coxandforkum.com

LAST RESORT

 LAST RESORTBy Mike Lester

www.caglecartoons.com

U.S. believes Somali jihadists regrouping in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Yemen

U.S. believes Somali jihadists regrouping in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Yemen

“US in warning on Somali militants,” by William Wallis for the Financial Times:

The US believes militant Islamists from the ousted coalition that held sway over parts of southern Somalia may be regrouping in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and also Yemen, Jendayi Frazer, US assistant secretary of state for Africa, said yesterday.

Speaking to the Financial Times in Addis Ababa, Ms Frazer said it was too early to tell who among the Islamist leadership had survived Ethiopia’s invasion last month and subsequent US air strikes on alleged affiliates of al-Qaeda.

“It is going to take some time for the fog of war to clear up and we have an ability to see who is still operating and how they are operating,” she said.

But she was “very concerned” that extremist elements from among the defeated Islamists were “trying to reconstitute themselves either out of Saudi Arabia or Eritrea”, and that international jihadist networks would see this as an opportunity.

“We have to engage with the Saudi government and their services to try to prevent that from happening as well as engage regionally.”

Ms Frazer described Eritrea, with whom the US has deteriorating relations, asa “source of regional instability”.

This had been “very clearly exposed” during recent events in Somalia.

Ethiopia, the US’s principle ally in the Horn of Africa, alleges that Eritrea supported hardline elements within the ousted Islamists by supplying arms, fighters and military advice.

“Eventually Eritrea will see the limits of its actions to destabilise the Horn,” said Ms Frazer.

Ms Frazer said the key to ensuring Somalia did not provide a haven for international terrorist networks now lay with the Transitional Federal Government, which emerged from peace talks in Kenya in 2004.

“They have to do it by reaching out. They have to do it through inclusive dialogue,” she said.

“Engaging” the Saudis. “Reaching out,” apparently, to the Somali jihadists. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Suicide bomber kills 121 in Baghdad now 135

 Update 

Truck bomber kills 135 in deadliest Iraq blast  

Suicide bomber kills 121 in Baghdad

Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update. Don’t these people listen to Condoleeza Rice? By Kim Gamel for Associated Press:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A suicide truck bomber struck a market in a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 121 people and wounding scores among the crowd buying food for evening meals, the most devastating strike in the capital in more than two months.The attacker was driving a truck carrying food when he detonated his explosives, destroying stores and stalls that had been set up in the busy outdoor Sadriyah market, police said.

The late-afternoon explosion was the latest in a series of attacks against mainly Shiite commercial targets in the capital. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but it appeared to be part of a bid by Sunni insurgents to provoke retaliatory violence and kill as many people as possible ahead of a planned U.S.-Iraqi security sweep.

Mortars reportedly struck predominantly Sunni areas hours after the attack.

Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament passes bill granting immunity for “jihad” war crimes

Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament passes bill granting immunity for “jihad” war crimes

The bill would enshrine in law a double standard for war crimes committed in a “jihad” setting. If it passes in both houses of parliament, will Karzai sign it? “Jirga grants immunity for war crimes,” from AFP:

KABUL: Afghanistan’s warlord-filled parliament has approved a bill ruling out judicial proceedings against men accused of rights abuses in the past 25 years of conflict, a spokesman said yesterday.

The lower house, or Wolesi Jirga, approved the legislation on Wednesday saying it was in the interests of peace and reconciliation, parliament secretariat spokesman Haseeb Noori said. It has to be passed by the upper house before being sent to President Hamid Karzai for signing into law.

The move is controversial in Afghanistan where commanders of the Soviet resistance of the 1980s have been accused of war crimes and abuses including murder during the country’s 1992-1996 civil war.

It was criticised by the country’s top rights body and by outspoken legislator Malalai Joya, one of the few MPs that did not approve the bill, who said unity would not be brought about by “forgiving national traitors.”

International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) called last month for a truth and reconciliation court to deal with war crimes and human rights abuses, including by some who still “hold high office”.

The National Reconciliation Bill says the “defenders” of the jihad “must be treated with respect and be defended against any kind of offence,” Noori said.

“In a move to reconcile different communities, the law states that no political party or groups involved in the past two and a half decades of war will be pursued by the judiciary,” he said.

A translation of the first article reads: “Jihad, resistance and our people’s rightful wars for defending their country and religion are counted as vital national pride and must be honoured… and appreciated by suitable privileges.”

The bill also calls on people who oppose Karzai’s government, including the extremist Taliban movement waging a bloody insurgency, to join a process to bring peace to the war-battered country.

Joya, known for standing up to the jihadi commanders who occupy many of the seats in parliament, said the draft was unjust and went “against the will of the people.”

“National unity cannot be achieved through forgiving national traitors,” she said.

“They must be tried. In fact, they have already been tried in the minds and hearts of people and they should be tried officially,” she said.

Only victims of abuse could choose to forgive the perpetrators, said Nader Nadery from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

The commission “welcomes efforts for promoting reconciliation. At the same time we believe granting blanket amnesty will only permit impunity,” the commissioner said.

The commission has been pushing for a national reconciliation process that delves into what happened and results in measures to remove human rights abusers from positions of power.

HRW said in December Afghan and international judges would hear cases relating to the 1979-1992 communist regime which included the Soviet occupation, the 1992-1996 civil war and the 1996-2001 Taliban regime.

“Several highly placed members of the current Afghan government and legislature were implicated in war crimes,” it said.

The watchdog named former minister Mohamed Qasim Fahim, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, energy minister Ismail Khan and vice president Karim Khalili as meriting human rights charges.

Drop The Gloves “We must declare war on jihad”

Drop The Gloves

Global Jihad: The ghastly plot by Muslim terrorists in Britain to kidnap and behead a British soldier to blackmail the U.K. into leaving Iraq is a grim reminder of the enemy we’re fighting. And sadly, we need reminding.


    While the bare-knuckled British press condemned the “evil Muslim terrorists,” our media by and large shrugged, preoccupied as they’ve been with more important news, such as the sandbox spat between Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump. You’d never know we were at war with a barbarian culture bent on destroying our way of life.
    Though we’ve so far avoided another attack here in America, there’s been no shortage of terrorism around the world. You might say there’s been a silent rampage. The thwarted British plot coincides with no fewer than 655 Islamic terror attacks across the globe in just the past three months. The full list appears on the Web site thereligionofpeace.com.
    We can’t vouch for the list’s accuracy, but based on a quick survey, the data seem correct. We commend the list to your attention because it puts the war on terror in the proper light.
    That is, this war is truly a worldwide clash of civilizations and not, as the cut-and-run crowd keeps telling us, simply a “situation” that requires “managing.”
    Following is a sample of atrocities from the list, showing how peace-loving and tolerant Muslims are. They:
    Blew up three Israelis at a bakery.
    Slashed the throat of a non-Muslim teenager in Thailand.
    Butchered a Buddhist man in Thailand as he drove his 7-yearold son home from school.
Murdered a teacher on her way to a girl’s school in Baghdad. Gunned down an “infidel” advocate for the victims of Armenian genocide in Turkey. Slaughtered at least 70 students at a mostly women’s university in Baghdad, using a car bomb followed by a suicide bomber on foot to kill survivors. Murdered a married couple in Thailand, pinning a note to the beheaded body of the husband reading, “We kill all Buddhists.” Beat to death an Indonesian police officer at a funeral for a fellow terrorist. Beheaded a newspaper journalist in Pakistan. Beat to death a Christian with a metal bar in Ethiopia. Shot and set on fire two Buddhist teachers in Thailand. Killed three Afghan police officers with a bomb. Decapitated 26 Afghan men and strung their bodies from trees. Killed 15 civilians in Chad, including a man who was disemboweled and a woman set on fire. Hacked to death a Hindu leader in India.
    Blew up a passer-by outside the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, using a bicycle bomb.
    Blew up two dozen innocents at a Shia wedding in Baghdad.
    As we say, reading the full list (our download of the data filled 47 computer-screen pages) puts this war into cold perspective.
    We are at war with an enemy that is driven by a religion that is far from peaceful. And the battlefront is worldwide, in what looks more and more like a clash of civilizations — the “mujahedeen” of pan-Islam vs. the “infidels” of the West. We don’t divide the war that way, but they do. And that’s the problem.
    For us, this is a technical war, one from which we hope to quickly extract ourselves so we can go about our business. For them, it’s a perpetual holy war, led by fanatics who are patient, counting on us tiring of the fight as it becomes too savage and costly.
    The 2004 work, “Management of Barbarism,” by Abu Bakr Naji, a rising star in the jihadi movement, is instructive for anyone who doubts their commitment and ruthlessness.
    “O people! The viciousness of the Russian soldier is twice that of the American soldier. If the Americans suffer one-tenth of the casualties the Russians suffered in Afghanistan and Chechnya, they will flee and never look back,” Naji rallied fellow jihadists in his Internet-posted screed. “They have reached a stage of effeminacy that makes them unable to sustain battles for a long period of time, a weakness they compensate for with a deceptive media halo.”
    Our troops are tough as nails, hardly effeminate. But our leaders — those who set the rules of engagement, and targets and strategies — often hold them back and tie their hands.

    Meanwhile, politically correct politicians and media don’t do anyone any good by downplaying the Islamic threat we face. They may be costing us victory.
    “We are losing in Iraq and Afghanistan,” asserts former senior CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, “because the political leaders of both parties — and their politically correct acolytes in the media, the academy and the general officer corps — refuse to square with the American people about the enemy’s motivation.”
    That motivation is their 1,400-year-old faith, said Scheuer, who closely tracked Muslim terrorists like Osama bin Laden over the last decade.
    Indeed, the biggest myth going is that Islam has been “hijacked” by the terrorists. No, the only thing that’s been hijacked is the truth about fundamentalist, radical Islam, which makes holy war against infidels a sacred duty for Muslims.
    The terrorists are getting all their violent ideas — the jihad, the martyrdom for virgins, even the beheadings — right out of their holy book. To pretend otherwise, to brainwash soldiers and cops on the home front into thinking the enemy is simply a ragtag network of random thugs and not part of a larger movement — is to set them, and us all, up for failure.

The almost endless stream of terrorists we’ve seen committing almost unspeakable acts of violence all over the world aren’t the irrational fanatics they’ve been portrayed to be. Hard as it is to believe, they have a calculated worldview based on religious and historical assumptions. They don’t act willy-nilly. These aren’t common street hoods who will mug their own mother for drug money. They are disciplined soldiers in a holy war. While their bloodshed may seem random, they have a purpose, a religious purpose, sick as it may be. And they are relentless. Denying this unpleasant truth so we can feel nice and tolerant is politically correct suicide. We need an honest assessment of our enemy. Wishful thinking is not going to win this war. Jihadists have declared war on America and the West, yet we are reluctant to even identify them with the religion in whose name they kill us. It’s time to take off the gloves. We must declare war on jihad — and all its participants and supporters — before they can make even deeper inroads.

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