The Week That Was
August 4 , 2007

Quotes of the Week:

Former German Chanellor (Social-Democrat) Helmut Schmidt:  “This World Climate Council (IPCC) is self-invented; no one has appointed them.  The designation as World Climate Council is a huge exaggeration.  The whole debate is hysterical, overheated, and mainly driven by the media.  Climate change has always existed, as long as there has been an Earth.”

Yale’s Divinity School is developing a kind of pantheism based on nature – so reports Dr Ernest Lefevre, a founding director of the Ethics & Public Policy Center.  He contributes this limerick:
I love all trees and buzzing bees
And great things like the Seven Seas.
Everything global
Makes me feel noble
But I still have a problem with fleas.

“Some models predict a wetter future; others, a drier one.  They cannot all be right.  One obvious problem is a lack of data.  Africa’s network of weather-watch stations, which provide real-time data and supply international climate archives, is just one-eighth the minimum density recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  Furthermore, the stations that do exist often fail to report. "Waiting for the Monsoon" Science, Vol. 313 4 Aug 2007

Renewable energy wrecks environment, scientist claims.   “Renewable does not mean green.”  That is the claim of Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University in New York.  Writing in Inderscience's International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, Ausubel explains that building enough wind farms, damming enough rivers, and growing enough biomass to meet global energy demands will wreck the environment.
Ramping up the use of renewable energy would lead to the "rape of nature", meaning nuclear power should be developed instead.”  Ausubel says the key renewable energy sources, including sun, wind, and biomass, would all require vast amounts of land if developed up to large scale production -- unlike nuclear power.  Ausubel thinks he represents a silent majority of scientists concerned about renewables. “I think Im saying what many of my colleagues know, but have felt it’s taboo to say.”     See also ITEM #4]

Chlorine as a potential national security problem [ITEM #1]

Global warming spawning tort suits – a replay of tobacco and asbestos? [ITEM #2]

Solar ‘double-cycle’ controlling floods and  droughts?  [ITEM #3]

More problems with biofuels [ITEM #4]

Don’t increase CAFE—abolish it and tax motor fuels [ITEM #5]

Hurricane hysteria [ITEM # 6]

Flooding blamed on CO2: Melanie hillips comments [ITEM #7]

BBC Aug 2:  Asia's brown clouds 'warm planet'
Clouds of pollution over the Indian Ocean appear to cause as much warming as greenhouse gases released by human activity, a study has suggested.  US researchers used unmanned aircraft to measure the effects of the "brown clouds" on the surrounding area.  Writing in Nature, they said the tiny particles increased the solar heating of the lower atmosphere by about 50%.  The warming could be enough to explain the retreat of glaciers in the Himalayas, the scientists proposed.  The main sources of the pollutants came from wood burning and fossil fuels, the team added.  See also:,2933,291906,00.html


Terrorist attacks involving chlorine in Iraq have led the Bush administration to urge 3,000 municipal treatment plants in this country to ensure that stocks of chlorine gas are "well protected" (Boston Globe article, July 24).  According to the article, with such bombs becoming "a high-profile weapon of choice for terrorists abroad, officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fear that terrorists might try to copy the tactic, making chlorine tanks at water plants, which range from 150-pound cylinders to 90-ton rail tankers, an obvious target for sabotage or theft."  There are about 1,700 drinking water facilities and 1,150 waste water plants use chlorine, and critics point to recent thefts of chlorine canisters from plants as proof that these may lack adequate security writes Boston Globe. 
   Prior to a July 25th Congressional hearing on security issues, Representative Edward J. Markey, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, is quoted in the Globe as saying, "In light of the use of chlorine as a weapon by terrorists in Iraq and the reported and attempted thefts of chlorine from California water facilities, it is utterly essential that Congress pass comprehensive legislation that requires that all chemical facilities undertake significant security upgrades.”  “No exemptions, no loopholes, and no further delays.” At the hearing he said, referring to the law passed by Congress last year, exempting water treatment facilities from regulation by the DHS: "(The law is) ... a regulatory black hole through which al Qaeda could drive a truckload with chlorine into a populated area of our country."


We wondered what trial lawyers would gun for next after smoking the tobacco industry.  Fast-food chains? Soft-drink bottlers? Gun makers?  How about companies that contribute to . . . global warming?  Alas, the last example isn't far from the truth. According to news reports, trial lawyers are setting their sights on companies and their carbon dioxide emissions.
Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank, was the first to sound the warning.  He predicted in the Toronto Star last April that "companies that generate significant carbon emissions face the threat of lawsuits similar to those common in the tobacco, pharmaceutical and asbestos industries."
Now, courtesy of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, comes word that "the legal world has been jumping on the bandwagon of those convinced the issues of global warming and climate change are here to stay — and could even prove to be a lucrative new field."  "These days," the Star said in its July 8 issue, "it seems everyone wants to get in on the act, from big law firms starting specialty practice groups, to solo lawyers working on projects, to law schools adding classes devoted to the subject."
Howard Latin, a law professor at Rutgers University, told the newspaper that global warming litigation is "going to be one of the biggest legal practices in the next 20 years."  He's even begun discussing global warming in the toxic torts and product liability classes he teaches.  "It's a whole new industry, so there's always a lot of legal work," agrees Edna Sussman, chairwoman of an American Bar Association committee on renewable energy resources.
Targets of global warming litigation could range from automakers and energy producers to airlines and home builders.  Any business, in other words, that puts out, or is thought to put out, large amounts of CO2 — and which of course has deep pockets.
The trial bar has already shaken down the tobacco industry for nearly $250 billion.  With a wide and deep pool of possible victims to choose from, how much sweeter does this racket promise to be?
We wish we were just engaging in fearful speculation.  But already, says Georgetown University Law Center fellow Justin Pidot, at least 15 climate-change lawsuits are under way or pending across the U.S.  That, we assume, includes litigation in Mississippi, where a class action has been filed against a dozen oil and coal companies, claiming they knew their emissions caused the climate change that generated Hurricane Katrina.
Never mind that there's no evidence, just conjecture, that man is warming the planet, or that climate change is causing stronger and more frequent storms.  Lawyers are on a roll — and they'll roll right through as many wallets as lenient judges and compliant juries allow.

Global Warming Water Experts Find Earth’s Warming, Rainfall Linked to Sun
By Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute.  Canada Freee Press, July 24, 2007

A team of water experts says the pattern of droughts and floods in South Africa shows our global warming was triggered by the variability of the sun’s irradiance rather than by human-emitted CO2.  They say variations in South African rainfall patterns are keyed to periodic reversals of the sun’s magnetic field—and to the constantly changing distance between the sun and the earth as both move through space.
   In South Africa, alternate 11-year sunspot cycles produce opposite rainfall results.  One complete “double sun cycle” occurs every 20.8 years: the “first” cycle brings a big flood, followed by a small drought; the next brings a big drought, followed by a small flood.
   Lead author Will Alexander used the double sunspot cycle to publicly predict the end of major South African droughts in both 1995 and 2006.  He notes that South African droughts have often been broken at 11-year intervals by severe floods associated with sunspot maxima—as in 1822, 1841, 1863, 1874 and 1885.  The research summary appears in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering.
   The South Africans’ conclusion is reinforced by Dr. Robert Baker of Australia, who told a recent meeting of the International Geographical Union that he has found the same 21-year cycle in Australian drought and rainfall.  Baker says “the sun is like a musical instrument, vibrating in complex patterns,” with all of the planets moving in similar relationships.
   H. N. Bhalme and D. A. Mooley published similar conclusions about India’s floods and droughts in the Journal of Applied Meteorology, September, 1981, based on an Indian flood index compiled from 1891 to 1979.  They reported that “a highly significant 22-year cycle in the flood area index was nearly in phase with the 22-year double sunspot cycle.”  Bhalme and Mooley also noted that the western U.S. has a similar relationship with the double sunspot cycle and severe flooding.
   Clearly, what these water experts are all describing is a global climate connection with the sun.  The number of sunspots on the sun, and their intensity, varies in a cycle averaging 11 years.  The distance between the sun and the earth keeps changing slightly and predictably because 1) they move on slightly varying paths through space; and 2) both bodies accelerate and decelerate constantly depending on the combined gravitational forces of the other big planets.  These factors apparently produce the moderate 1,500-year climate cycle on earth, which was discovered in the Greenland ice cores in 1980s and has since also been found globally in seabed and lake sediments, fossil pollen, tree rings and peat bogs.
   Earth’s recent global warming occurred too early—before 1940—to be blamed on human CO2 emissions. The net global warming since 1940 is only 0.2 degrees C, with none at all since 1998.  There’s little correlation between the earth’s recent temperatures and CO2 levels, but a strong correlation between the sunspot index and subsequent changes in our sea-surface temperatures.
   The 1,500-year climate cycle shifts temperatures about 2 degrees C above and then 2 degrees C below the long-term average at the latitude of Washington and Paris, with greater temperature changes near the poles.  Temperatures change little near the equator, but rainfall patterns can change greatly; for example, 5,000 years ago the Sahara was wet enough for grazing and hunting, while Kenya was very dry.
   The UN climate change panel has declared the solar variations “too small” to produce the climate warming of the past 30 years.  However, a recent Danish experiment showed that the solar variations may be amplified fourfold because they create significant changes in the earth’s cloud cover.  More clouds cool the earth by reflecting more of the sun’s heat back into outer space.  The evidence for a sun/climate connection keeps pouring in, while all we hear from the Kyoto crowd is “The computer models agree with each other.”
DENNIS T. AVERY was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement.  He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of the book “Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years,” available from Rowman & Littlefield. 

By Eric Holt-Giménez, International Herald Tribune, July 10, 2007

The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green, sustainable assurance about technology and progress.  This pure image allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel economy.
   But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing North-South food and energy imbalance.
   They obscure the political-economic relationships between land, people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and fuel systems.  "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the global South
   Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding ambitious renewable-fuel targets.  These fuels are to provide 5.75 percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.  The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.  These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial North.  Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel crops.  The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel.  Converting most arable land to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are looking to the South to meet demand.
   The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the biofuels industry is extreme.  Over the past three years, venture capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent.  Private investment is swamping public research institutions.  Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws, giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research, production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel systems under one industrial roof.
   Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable, they are environment-friendly, can reduce global warming, and will foster rural development.  But the tremendous market power of biofuel corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to regulate their activities, make this unlikely.  We need a public enquiry into the myths:

*Biofuels are clean and green.
   Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we are told they are green.  But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.  Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions - 10 times more than petroleum.  Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and use of the same amount of gasoline.

*Biofuels will not result in deforestation.
   Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.  Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.  In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people, subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches.  The introduction of agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation are well known.  Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels.  NASA has correlated their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest - currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.

*Biofuels will bring rural development.
   In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35 jobs.  Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.  Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional markets.  Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and farmer-owned.  With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.  Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their seed, inputs, services, processing and sale.  They are not likely to receive many benefits.  Small holders will be forced out of the market and off the land.  Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern Bolivia.

*Biofuels will not cause hunger.
   Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty.  The world's poorest already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food.  They suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices.  Now, because food and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price of land and water.  The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and 26 to 135 percent by 2020.  Caloric consumption declines as price rises by a ratio of 1:2.

Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry.  The North cannot shift the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have more sunlight, rain and arable land.  If biofuels are to be forest- and food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be regulated, and not piecemeal.  Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.  Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the centerpiece.  A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop regulatory structures and foster conservation and development alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better transition to food and fuel sovereignty.

By Jerry Taylor & Peter Van Doren, CATO Institute

Everybody in Washington wants to force the auto industry to make more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.  President Bush wants to require new vehicles to meet federal standards (to be determined) based on how heavy they are.  The Senate wants to mandate that every car, pick-up truck, and SUV sold in 2020 averages a fuel efficiency of at least 35 miles per gallon — far more aggressive than the 27.5 mile per gallon standard now in place for passenger vehicles.  The House could offer an amendment on fuel standards from the floor on Friday.  Either way, we’ll find out later this week what’s in store.
   Would the market produce “too little” conservation without corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards?  At first glance, no.  The “right” (that is, efficient) amount of gasoline consumption will occur naturally as long as fuel markets are free and gasoline prices reflect total costs.  In fact, a review of market data by Clemson University economist Molly Espey and Santosh Nair found that consumers actually overvalue fuel efficiency.  That is, they pay more up front in higher car prices than the present value of the fuel savings over the lifetimes of the cars.
  But driving imposes costs on others that aren’t reflected in fuel prices, like environmental degradation.  Because gasoline prices do not reflect total costs, consumption is higher than it ought to be.  Congress is therefore doing the economy a favor by mandating increased increments of energy conservation, right?  The argument is clever, but wrong.
   Increasing CAFE standards will not decrease the amount of pollution coming from the U.S. auto fleet.  That’s because we regulate emissions per mile traveled, not per gallon of gasoline burned.  Improvements in fuel efficiency reduce the cost of driving and thus increase vehicle miles traveled.  Moreover, automakers have an incentive to offset the costs associated with improving fuel efficiency by spending less complying with federal pollution standards with which they currently over-comply.
   Those two observations explain calculations from Pennsylvania State economist Andrew Kleit showing that a 50 percent increase in CAFE standards would increase total emissions of volatile organic compounds by 2.3 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by 3.8 percent, and carbon-monoxide emissions by 5 percent.
   Another rationale for CAFE standards is that gasoline purchases send money to foreign terrorists who kill and maim with our dollars.  Energy conservation, according to many, is our “ace in the hole” against al Qaeda and its ilk.
   If there were a relationship between our “energy addiction” and Islamic terrorism, one would expect to find a correlation between world crude oil prices and Islamic terror attacks or mortality from the same.  But there is no statistical relationship between the two.  Terrorism is a very low-cost endeavor and manpower, not money, is its necessary determinant.  That explains why even the lowest inflation-adjusted oil prices in history proved no obstacle to the rise of Islamic terror organizations in the 1990s.
   While it’s true that nasty regimes like Iran are getting rich off our driving habits, the extent to which oil profits fuel its nastiness is unclear.  After all, Pakistan is a poor country with no oil revenues, but it had no problem building a nuclear arsenal.  The same goes for North Korea.  Iran without oil revenues might look like Syria.  Venezuela without oil revenues might look like Cuba.  In short, while rich bad actors are probably more dangerous than poor ones, oil revenues don’t seem to make much difference at the margin.
   Finally, we’re told that CAFE helps secure our energy independence.  But the amount of oil we import is related to the difference between domestic and foreign crude oil prices.  Reducing oil demand may reduce the total amount of oil we consume, but it will not reduce the degree to which we rely on foreign oil to meet our needs.
   Regardless, tightening CAFE standards would have little impact on any of these alleged problems. If the Senate’s proposed CAFE standard of 35 mpg by 2020 were to become law, it would reduce oil consumption by, at most, about 1.2 million barrels a day.  Given that the Energy Information Administration thinks world crude oil production would be 103.8 million barrels a day by 2020, the reduction would be 1.2 percent of global demand and result in a 1.3 percent decline in price; nowhere near enough to defund terrorists, denude oil producers of wealth, or secure energy independence.
   Congress has no business dictating automotive fuel efficiency.  That’s a job for consumers, not vote-hustling politicians.  There are no problems for CAFE standards to solve.  Hence, they shouldn’t be tightened; they should be repealed.
— Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren are senior fellows at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Van Doren is also editor of Regulation magazine.

SEPP Comments:  We agree with most of above but would argue that a reduction in oil consumption would indeed reduce imports by a similar amount. Also: Instead of CAFE, tax motor fuels.

by Patrick J. Michaels  (in The American Spectator, July 2007)

Besides being darned good forecasters, the good people at the National Hurricane Center are also paragons of social sensitivity.  They give storms names reflective of the cultures through which they are likely to pass.  Hurricanes in the Atlantic basin are given anglicized names or ones that are roughly similar in both English and Spanish: Alberto, Bob, Gloria. In the Eastern Pacific, where storms frequently hit western Mexico, almost all the names are pure Spanish.
   In this vein, I'd like to vote that this year's "H" storm in the Atlantic be given the name Hysteria. As in, caused-by-global-warming-hysteria.  As in, the perception that there's been a tremendous increase in the damage done by these storms caused by global warming.  The name should be "Hysteria," because that's simply, flatly, untrue.
   Last month, Roger Pielke, Jr., director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, released the most comprehensive paper ever published on the subject of damage trends in Atlantic hurricanes.  The article will appear soon in the peer-reviewed journal Natural Hazards Review.
   Is the planet warmer than it was?  Yes.  Is there any trend in hurricane-related damages in the United States, where good records of damages exist?  After accounting simultaneously for inflation, population, and property values, no.
   The problem with these storms is that Americans have a peculiar proclivity to take money and bury it in a sand dune on a hurricane-prone beach, i.e. a beach house.  As a result, the number of beach homes is going up and up, and because the supply is limited (there's only so much beach), prices have risen astronomically.  And the costs and sizes of the homes have also risen, given that increases in real wealth have outpaced inflation.
   Pielke's very clever (and elegant) methodology, employing a simple algebraic equation, gives hurricane damages in 2005-dollar equivalents.  That year's Katrina, a monster by any standard, caused $81 billion worth of damage.  Applied Insurance Research, using a totally different method, estimated $82 billion.
   But Katrina pales in comparison to the Great Miami hurricane of 1926.  Pielke gives two estimates, averaging around $148 billion.  AIR pegs it at $160 billion.  Given the trajectory of property values and population in Florida, Pielke notes that a $500 billion hurricane (in today's dollars) should be quite likely by the 2020s.
   A little history.  After the Great Miami and Katrina, the remaining top ten storms (in descending order) occurred in 1900 (Galveston 1), 1915 (Galveston 2), 1992 (Andrew), 1983 (New England), 1944 (unnamed), 1928 (Lake Okeechobee 4), 1960 (Donna/Florida), and 1969 (Camille/Mississippi).  There is no obvious bias toward recent years.  In fact, the combination of the 1926 and 1928 hurricanes places the damages in 1926-35 nearly 15% higher than 1996-2005, the last decade Pielke studied.
   What's more interesting are the trends. After allowing only for inflation, hurricane damages are indeed increasing.  Rather, it's the other factors — the huge coastal population increases and the rapidly appreciating property values — that negate any trends.
   The silence associated with this important finding is deafening, and the results are consistent with other science that is being ignored in the current climate.  One of Pielke's co-authors, Chris Landsea, from the National Hurricane Center, has also found no trends in hurricane frequency or intensity when they strike the U.S.  Sure, as is known to anyone who has studied hurricane data, there has been an increase in the number of strong storms in the past decade, but there were also a similar number of major hurricanes in the 1940s and 1950s, long before such activity could be attributed to global warming.
   As Pielke writes, "The lack of trend in twentieth century normalized [inflation and wealth-adjusted] hurricane losses is consistent with what one would expect to find given the lack of trends in hurricane frequency or intensity at landfall."
   Hysteria begets cost, especially when politics gets involved. For years now, Europe's big reinsurance companies — the people who insure the insurers — has been raising rates, claiming that global warming is making hurricane damages worse.  Interestingly, the American companies, using the AIR data, are not as strident.  This works out to an interesting market competition. People will obviously tend towards the lower cost insurance, after adjusting for coverage differences.  Someone is going to go out of business.  Who will win here: Hurricane Hysteria, or the real world?

From Melanie Phillips’s Diary -  July 24

As inevitably as night follows day, the cause of the torrential rain and consequent flooding in Britain is being attributed to our old friend man-made global warming.  No matter that the reason for the flooding lies in man-made political and administrative incompetence — money-starved flood defences, badly maintained drainage systems, irreponsible over-building of houses so that the water cannot seep into the ground through its ever-spreading concrete overcoat.  No –according to newspaper stories, a paper being published in Nature this week fingers global warming as the culprit. The Times reports:
“Global warming is generating heavier rainfall over Britain of the sort that has triggered this week’s floods, scientists have confirmed for the first time. While it has long been suspected that climate change is contributing to increased precipitation over mid-latitude countries such as Britain, research has now conclusively linked greenhouse gases to heavier downpours.”
   But read on and you find that the paper is not saying that global warming is reponsible for the current deluge.  Indeed according to one of the paper’s authors, Dr Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the University of Reading: “It is currently impossible to say whether the current bad weather is a result of global warming, and more research is needed into the origins of such extreme events.”
   Confused already? Wait — it gets worse.  Because the researchers are saying that global warming is responsible for overall increases in rainfall, on which these researchers have found an unambiguously human fingerprint.  So our activities are the cause of the increase in rain in general… but not the increase in this particular rain.
   Uh-huh.   So what’s their evidence for saying that overall increases in rainfall are down to global warming?
   In the study, which is to be published in the journal Nature, the scientists compared recorded changes in rain and snowfall over land with changes that are predicted by climate models that account for global warming caused by greenhouse gases.  The actual pattern of changes, with increased precipitation in latitudes north of 50 degrees, corresponds remarkably closely with the patterns that emerged from 14 different models.  This suggests strongly that human-induced climate change has been responsible.
   So let’s get our heads round this.  They compared actual recorded rain and snowfall levels with computer predictions.  Those computer predictions, however, are themselves generated by highly dubious computer models drawing on selective and inadequate data.  They are in themselves no more than guesswork.  Yet these researchers found they correlate ‘remarkably closely’ with observable weather patterns (but only in latitudes north of 50 degrees).  That is the ‘unambiguously human fingerprint’.  Oh really?  The only unambiguous thing about it is the absurdity.
   Hang on, you murmur: in any event, aren’t we simultaneously being told that global warming will mean parched summers and winter deluges?  Sure — but global warming is a truly miraculous theory.  It means that, without a shadow of a doubt, we will have dry summers and wet winters, and wet summers and er, well, wet winters. As Dr Stott says:
‘In the UK wetter winters are expected which will lead to more extreme rainfall, whereas summers are expected to get drier.  However, it is possible under climate change that there could be an increase of extreme rainfall even under general drying.’
   As it gets dryer, it will get wetter. Truly, this global warming theory has some extraordinary properties.
   Bewildered? Wake up at the back there —haven’t you got it straight yet?  We’re going to be frying and freezing, drowning and dehydrating at the very same time.  And carbon emissions will be to blame for the planet getting hotter and getting colder, getting wetter and getting dryer.  Because global warming means that whatever happens to the weather, wet dry, hot, cold— it’s all our own fault.
   Those who still nurture an old-fashioned regard for facts as opposed to tendentious and indeed ridiculous hypothesis might like to bear in mind that these torrential downpours are not unprecedented in Britain at all.  Indeed, we have had worse in the past.  As Michael Hanlon reports in the Daily Mail:
“On May 29, 1912, nearly five inches of rain fell in three hours near the town of Louth in Lincolnshire. The flood-water practically razed the town and killed 22 people. Even more spectacular was the deluge that occurred three months later in Norfolk: Brundall, near Norwich, experienced more than eight inches of rain on one hellish August day — roughly double the total measured anywhere in the recent floods. Much of Norfolk was still under water six months later. And on August 15 that year, a depression moving up the Bristol Channel deposited nine inches of rain over Exmoor, spawning the lethal flood that was nearly to wash away the village of Lynmouth. More than 30 people were killed. The record for rainfall in one 24-hour period occurred on July 18, 1955, when nearly 12 inches of rain fell on parts of Dorset. So there is certainly nothing unprecedented about these floods, and similar deluges occurred long before we worried about global warming.”
   Back in la-la land, the new head of the Science Museum in London, Professor Chris Rapley, turns out to be a global warming zealot.  In an interview with the Telegraph, he not only asserts that that there is an ‘unequivocal’ link between mankind’s fossil fuel emissions and the global temperature rise seen over the past few decades, but he turns out to be an advocate of — guess what— population control.
   It is Rapley’s view that the ‘jury is still out’ on the prediction by Thomas Malthus, the 19th-century demographer, that the human race would exceed its food supply by having too many children.
   Hello?? The jury is not still out on Malthus.  It came in a long time ago. Malthus has been proved wrong.  Nevertheless, his highly unpleasant and dangerous philosophy – essentially, that mankind is the enemy of the good — which went underground in the wake of the eugenics and Nazi movements to which it contributed, has surfaced again in the apocalyptic green movement and man-made global warming theory.  The real target of the global warmers is not carbon dioxide; it is not even the internal combustion engine; it is the human race.  The Telegraph reports:
“Last year, Rapley wrote an article on the BBC website saying that ‘if we believe that the size of the human ‘footprint’ is a serious problem’ (and there is much evidence for this) then a rational view would be that, along with a raft of measures to reduce the footprint per person, the issue of population management must be addressed’…He says people are not listening to what he is saying, which is that if there were a billion fewer people in 2050 there would be a big reduction in carbon emissions.”
   Yup, that’s the real message of the global warmers: the only thing that’s wrong with the planet is the human race.  And the man who believes this is now running the Science Museum.