20070905 Marc Morano’s Round Up – September 5, 2007
Global warming "consensus" continues to melt away
– Op-Ed By Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) Ranking Member EPW
Excerpt: According to the Associated Press, during the IPCC Summary for Policymakers meeting in April 2007, only 52 scientists were present. Many of the so-called "hundreds" of scientists who have been affiliated with the UN as "expert reviewers" are in fact climate skeptics. Skeptics like Virginia State Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels, Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy, New Zealand paleoclimatologist Dr. Vincent Gray, and former head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, Tom V. Segalstad, have served as IPCC "expert reviewers" but were not involved in writing the alarmist Summary for Policymakers. In addition, we often hear how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) have issued statements endorsing the so-called "consensus" view that man is driving global warming. But what you don't hear is that both the NAS and AMS never allowed member scientists to vote on these climate statements. Essentially, only two dozen or so members on the governing boards of these institutions produced the "consensus" statements. It appears that the governing boards of these organizations buckled to pressure from those promoting the politically correct view of UN and Gore-inspired science. Rank-and-file scientists are now openly rebelling. James Spann, a certified meteorologist with the AMS, openly defied the organization when he said in January that he does "not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype." In February a panel of meteorologists expressed unanimous climate skepticism, and one panelist estimated that 95% of his profession rejects global warming fears.
'An Inconvenient Truth' challenged on its carbon-neutral claim
Excerpt: A budding industry sells 'offsets' of carbon emissions, investing in environmental projects. But there are doubts about whether it works. The Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" touted itself as the world's first carbon-neutral documentary. The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production -- from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks -- was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else in the world. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn't contribute to the problem. Co-producer Lesley Chilcott used an online calculator to estimate that shooting the film used 41.4 tons of carbon dioxide and paid a middleman, a company called Native Energy, $12 a ton, or $496.80, to broker a deal to cut greenhouse gases elsewhere. The film's distributors later made a similar payment to neutralize carbon dioxide from the marketing of the movie. It was a ridiculously good deal with one problem: So far, it has not led to any additional emissions reductions. Beneath the feel-good simplicity of buying your way to carbon neutrality is a growing concern that the idea is more hype than solution.
Global warming could mean more heart problems, doctors warn
Excerpt: VIENNA, Austria: Global warming may be forcing polar bears southward and melting glaciers, but it could also have an impact on your heart. Doctors warn that the warmer weather expected with climate change might also produce more heart problems. "If it really is a few degrees warmer in the next 50 years, we could definitely have more cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, of the department of cardiology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute. On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said that the issue deserved more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot. During the European heat wave in 2003, there were an estimated 35,000 deaths above expected levels in the first two weeks of August. In France alone, nearly 15,000 extra people died when temperatures soared. Experts say that much of that was due to heart problems in the elderly worsened by the extreme heat. The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures, and so does atherosclerosis," said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University and program chair at the American Heart Association. In higher temperatures, we sweat to get rid of heat. During that process, blood is sent to the skin where temperatures are cooler, which opens up the blood vessels. In turn, the heart rate rises and blood pressure drops. That combination can be dangerous for older people and those with weakened cardiovascular systems. Extreme events like the recent devastating fires in Greece may complicate the problem. The increasing number of forest fires that have swept through Southeast Asia in the last decade have also brought a spike in heart disease, experts say. < > "Skiers aren't going to like it, but warmer weather could encourage some people to exercise more and actually improve their health," said Dr. John Cleland, a heart failure specialist at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.
Former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr slams the politicization of UN global warming Science
(Note: We will miss this excellent website)
Excerpt: Climate Science has discussed the shortcomings, bias and errors with the 2007 IPCC Report (e.g. http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/06/25/additional-evidence-on-the-bias-in-the-ipcc-wg1-report-on-the-assessment-of-near-surface-air-temperature-trends/
My final Climate Science posting summarizes the fundamental problem with this assessment. If instead of evaluating research in climate, suppose a group of scientists introduced a new cancer drug that they claimed could save many lives. There were side effects, of course, but they claimed that the benefit far out weighed these risks. The government than asked these scientist to form an assessment Committee to evaluate this claim. Colleagues of the group of scientists who introduced the drug are then asked to serve on this Committee, along with the developers. If this occurred, of course, there would be an uproar of protest! This is a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process! The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the assessment! There should be an outcry on this obvious conflict of interest, but to date either few recognize this conflict, or see that since the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda, they chose to ignore this conflict. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow. < > We need recognition among the scientific community, the media, and policymakers that the IPCC process is obviously a real conflict of interest, and this has resulted in a significantly flawed report.
Report: California emission regulations run Wonder Bread out of state
Excerpt: Gov. Schwarzenegger’s drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions got a major boost this week when the makers of Wonder Bread announced the total withdrawal of their bread products from Southern California. Interstate Bakeries, the makers of Wonder Bread, Roman Meal, Home Pride and Baker’s Inn breads announced the closure of four bakeries, 17 distribution centers and 19 outlet stores, leaving 1,300 Californians out of work. The iconic breads – that had been staples of Southern California grocery stores since the 1940s – will completely disappear from shelves starting October 20th. The parent company, Interstate Bakeries, blamed the high cost of doing business in California. The company has been losing money in California for some time, hit by a number of concerns including declining demand and non-union competitors, but their principal problem was simply California’s growing hostility to human enterprise. Not mentioned by the company was this grim reality: Gov. Schwarzenegger’s AB 32 mandates a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. A principal byproduct of baking bread is – you guessed it – carbon dioxide. Indeed, without carbon dioxide, there’s no such thing as bread as we know it. Bread gets its spongy texture from yeast converting glucose into equal parts of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. The familiar smell of bread baking is the oxidation of the ethyl alcohol as these gases are released during heating. But not any more. No Wonder.
Over-population fears reborn:
'Unmitigated sex is marching us toward privation, scarcity and civil disorder'
Excerpt: “…if the human race fails to address the urgency of climate change, we're screwed. This isn't science fiction. The planet is sweating out the equivalent of a hormonal hot flash ... and we're the hormones! One fix requires addressing our limits. It means some rain is gonna fall on the parade of our militaristic and materialistic glories. We can't go on consuming the planet like a custard-filled éclair or we'll meet a fate that only lemmings can appreciate. Thanks to the human race, species are dying faster than brain cells at a frat house kegger. We are exercising our "dominion" over the earth with the same sensitivity and generosity as an Aspen landlord. < > The big fix is population, the control of which is key to the health of the natural world. unmitigated sex is marching us toward privation, scarcity and civil disorder in a bizarre genocidal suicide. < > Simply stated, there are too many homosapiens on this beleaguered planet, too many mouths to feed with the latest junk food. Traditionalists and many religious faiths don't get that yet because they're conditioned by dogma instead of intelligence. Denying population pressure through institutionalized conformity is a pernicious behavioral mindset that violates the laws of nature. It's not just the developing world that needs to rein in birth rates, but the First World, where per capita consumption and CO2 footprints are many magnitudes larger. If material parity between First and Third Worlds is ever achieved, it will be the death knell for the biosystems that sustain us. An added tier of First World consumers will require an additional planet, but we don't have another planet, so human population must decline, ideally by choice instead of by the foibles of man and the triumphs of nature. < > Without addressing - seriously and honestly - the runaway growth of homosapiens, all other environmental fixes pale. We either control our reproductive addiction with birth control and quotas or this planet will be consumed like a worm-ridden apple.
Global warming causes inflation in China
Excerpt: Global warming has caused the hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Rita, Dean, and Felix as well as the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, as the boss of the United Nations taught us. Another problem was created by global warming: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39144
At least this is the conclusion of Ma Kai, the central planner of China. According to common sense, that's a very entertaining conclusion. There are also scientific papers that show that such a supernatural mechanism is unlikely: http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V10/N36/B1.jsp
The authors collect evidence that implies that the CO2 fertilization would compensate (or overcompensate) possible adverse effects of higher temperatures. At any rate, the Chinese communist officials show that they're "hip", indeed.
California Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow
Excerpt: The debate over global warming has taken a pretty odd twist in Northern California. Up on Mount Shasta, the glaciers are not behaving like you'd expect. Big mountains often produce their own weather patterns. Mount Shasta, at 14,162 feet seems to have a mind of its own these days. Shasta has seven glaciers. The biggest is the one on the middle, Whitney Glacier. What has surprised scientists about the glacier is that if the theories about global warming are true, the glacier ought to be shrinking, but it's not. < > For now, the growing glaciers are good news to the town of Mount Shasta which hosts the thousands of tourists who come to here to experience the thrill of ice climbing. You can climb mountain Shasta all the way to the glaciers to see for yourself, but, you'd better have good hiking equipment and be in good shape too!
Climate Scientist Dr. Fred Singer debunks man-made global warming
Excerpt: In identifying the burning of fossil fuels as the chief cause of warming today, many politicians and environmental activists simply appeal to a so-called “scientific consensus.” There are two things wrong with this. First, there is no such consensus: An increasing number of climate scientists are raising serious questions about the political rush to judgment on this issue. For example, the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scientific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report. < > For instance, theoretically, greenhouse warming in the tropics should register at increasingly high rates as one moves from the surface of the earth up into the atmosphere, peaking at about six miles above the earth’s surface. At that point, the level should be greater than at the surface by about a factor of three and quite pronounced, according to all the computer models. In reality, however, there is no increase at all. In fact, the data from balloon-borne radiosondes show the very opposite: a slight decrease in warming over the equator. The fact that the observed and predicted patterns of warming don’t match indicates that the man-made greenhouse contribution to current temperature change is insignificant. This fact emerges from data and graphs collected in the Climate Change Science Program Report 1.1, published by the federal government in April 2006 (see www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm
It is remarkable and puzzling that few have noticed this disparity between observed and predicted patterns of warming and drawn the obvious scientific conclusion.
Leonardo DiCaprio's Eco Movie Bombs
EXCERPT: It's a good thing Leonardo DiCaprio made so much money from "Titanic" a decade ago. His environmental documentary, "The 11th Hour," has been a total bust at the box office. After 18 days in release, the film has grossed only $417,913 from ticket sales: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295768,00.html
The 90-minute snore-fest is playing on 111 screens this week, but that number is likely to be reduced this Friday. The film will be sent to DVD heaven after that. By comparison, Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim's similar but far more engaging “An Inconvenient Truth" http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295768,00.html
had already made $3.5 million by its 18th day of release. I hesitated to say before "11th Hour" actually opened how mind-numbingly dull it was for fear that I would ruin it for A Russian filmmaker told us afterward that she was the only person in the room who was awake at one point.
World's dams are 'contributing to global warming'
Excerpt: The world's dams are contributing millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases and spurring on global warming, according to a US environmental agency. International Rivers Network executive director Patrick McCully today told Brisbane's River symposium rotting vegetation and fish found in dams produced surprising amounts of methane - 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. "Often it's accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs around the world emit greenhouse gases and some of them, especially some of the ones in the tropics, emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than, fossil fuels like coal and gas," Mr McCully said.
The Endangered Species Act Out of Control
Excerpt: Is a salmon born in a hatchery a different species from the same salmon born in the wild? It is hard to believe, but recent Federal court rulings are claiming that otherwise genetically identical fish are separate species, forcing an appeal being announced recently to the 9th Circuit Court. Two court decisions in the last two months show how much is at stake in these questions. In mid-June, Judge John C. Coughenour, of the Western District of Washington, ruled that "human interference" and the "unnatural" way that hatcheries maintain salmon populations was unlawful. The judge then ordered that the Upper Columbia River steelhead remain on the endangered species list. Just this month, Judge Michael Hogan in Eugene reached a similar conclusion. After Hogan's decision, an attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice said "The debate over hatchery fish should be considered [in counting the number of salmon is] conclusively over." These decisions will dramatically affect a lot of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Protecting the salmon will make water much more difficult to obtain, and, without irrigation permits, many farmers and ranchers will have to stop watering their crops and livestock. Large areas of private property will have to be set aside for any species listed as threatened or endangered. The commercial and recreational fishing industries in the Northwest, which generate more than $2 billion annually, will also be affected.
UK sailor who counted on global warming to cross Arctic, trapped by heavy ice
Excerpt: A BRITISH yachtsman attempting the first solo Arctic sea passage across northern Russia was examining his options after heavier than expected ice blocked his route, his manager said. < > He had hoped that his 11m reinforced yacht would be able to get all the way to Europe due to lighter ice conditions observed in recent years, thought to be a result of global warming.
But after making his way through the Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas, Flanagan has been forced to a halt by heavy ice at the most difficult point in the route, the Vilkitsky Strait.
The voyage, part of a circumnavigation of the globe that he is undertaking, comes amid a dash by world powers to claim economic rights in the Arctic. Flanagan is now anchored by an island just east of the Vilkitsky Strait, still hoping for the ice to clear but working on the backup plan, his manager said. She described the yachtsman's mood as “pretty fed-up”.
Greenpeace protesters are 'terrorists,' says union
Excerpt: Greenpeace protesters who illegally boarded a ship carrying coal are "terrorists" and should be charged with committing an act of piracy, says the union representing crew members on the vessel. "This isn't a small incident. They put the lives of 16 guys in danger. They didn't know why they were there," James Given, vice-president of the Seafarers' International Union, said Friday afternoon. Protesters from the greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise boarded Algomarine Thursday morning in Lake Erie as it hauled coal to the Nanticoke plant. Five activists initially boarded the ship in a bid to delay the delivery of nearly 30,000 tonnes of coal and draw attention to the issue of global warming, a greenpeace spokeswoman said. Two protesters chained themselves to the ship's discharge boom, which is used to unload coal. A third suspended herself from the vessel's stern, where she dangled precariously close to the rudder, making movement of the ship impossible. The trio was eventually cut down and taken away by Ontario Provincial Police to a detachment in Cayuga, Ont., where they were each charged with two counts of mischief. But Given contends the protesters should have been charged with terrorism or piracy. "It is piracy. You're still a pirate. You're still boarding a ship illegally," he said in a phone interview from the union's Thorold office. Given said the 16 crew members aboard the Algomarine - some from Niagara, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland - had already been dealing with stressful circumstances before the protest. A crew member from Nova Scotia died during an accident aboard the ship two weeks earlier when it was at a port in Quebec, he said. The protest unnecessarily targeted the Algomarine crew, Given said. Given has written a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of the union demanding to know why the protesters are not facing more serious charges. The union also wants the federal government to call a public inquiry into why no preventative measures were taken by authorities to stop the protesters from boarding the ship.
Draft Gore group boasts 1,000 NH signatures
Excerpt: A New Hampshire based "Draft Gore" group claims to have 1,000 signatures from New Hampshire voters who want Al Gore to enter the presidential race. Draft Gore New Hampshire, based in Littleton, said in a press release that organizers have collected the names in a petition drive at picnics, campaign events, fairs, and parades this summer. They plan to continue the effort this fall. "The results of our petition drive indicate that there is a strong undercurrent of support for Al Gore in New Hampshire which is not reflected accurately in polls or in the opinions of visiting out-of-state media pundits," according to Farrell Seiler, statewide coordinator of the organization.
Poll: Brits believe environmental fears being used as excuse to raise taxes
Excerpt: Nearly two-thirds of the public believe ministers are using environmental fears as an excuse to raise tax revenue, according to a poll. And research suggests their cynicism is justified - with green taxes raking in £10 billion more for the Treasury than it would cost to offset the entire UK's carbon footprint. The figures are contained in a dossier compiled by pressure group the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA). The document is likely to provide grim reading for politicians of all colours - including Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron - who are committed to making individuals pay for habits which damage the environment. A survey carried out by YouGov for the TPA found that only a fifth of people thought politicians were genuinely trying to change behaviours using the tax system. In contrast, 63% believed they were using the issue as an excuse to pull in more cash. Nearly four-fifths voiced opposition to the so-called "pay as you throw" schemes floated by the Government to encourage recycling - despite previous surveys indicating a majority backed the idea.
Global warming credited for creating booming summer movie box office
Excerpt: Is global warming good for Hollywood? Extreme heat and heavy rain across large swaths of the U.S. sent more people to theaters, looking for relief. The onset of the extreme weather -- record-breaking temperatures in the western U.S., rain up and down the Eastern seaboard, the Midwest and Texas -- started at the end of June, just as the box office was starting to see a bump. "You went from dreadful heat to downpours," Snyder says. "Historically, we've seen a bounce in grosses when the weather is bad. Also, when kids can't go outside, and make their parents nuts, they send them to the movies."
Celebrity eco-activists grapple with 'living in jaw-dropping decadence'
Excerpt: NO, it's not easy being green, least of all for Hollywood A-listers living in jaw-dropping decadence. Solar panels on a 50,000-square-foot manse in Malibu just don't scream "Live simply!" Ditto hopping onto a private plane to get to the Live Earth concert. Of course, celebrities don't let their lavish lifestyles stop them from preaching to the rest of us about temperance. Eco-friendly living isn't about great sacrifice, they contend, it's about making small but powerful changes. It's about voting green. It's about buying green. Besides, they say, they're doing their part by using their fame to broadcast a pro-Earth message that reaches millions of people. Isn't that enough? It might have been, a few years back. But then, rather quickly, the green movement became part of the mainstream. For the rich and famous, the competition to stand out, to out-green the next guy, got so fierce that the next logical place to take the Greening of Hollywood was the exposé: sussing out the hypocrites. Every media outlet and website (green or otherwise) has upped its scrutiny of green-speaking stars. As a cause, environmentalism is now all about personal choices -- your teeth-brushing ritual is tied directly to our dwindling water supply, for example -- so the lives of green stars are expected to be especially transparent. Even passive support of the cause -- say performing at a pro-Earth event -- is reason enough for a celebrity's carbon footprint to be inspected. Laurie David, once a green beacon for the glitterati, is now a media target whose every perceived indiscretion is somehow undermining the veracity of her activism. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can adopt three children from impoverished nations, travel the world to promote humanitarian aid, and still have to answer for a helicopter ride they took last weekend from Manhattan to a Hamptons fundraiser for Pitt's green-home-building project in New Orleans.
Priest offers 'eco-confessions' for environmental sinners
Excerpt: Forgotten to recycle any newspapers or tin cans recently? Feeling guilty because you neglected to carbon offset your flight to somewhere, anywhere, outside England this summer? The Roman Catholic Church is at hand with a new line in “green confessions” to help eco-sinners to find forgiveness. Dom Anthony Sutch, the Benedictine monk who resigned as head of Downside School to become a parish priest in Suffolk, will be at the county’s Waveney Greenpeace festival this weekend to hear eco-confessions in what is thought to be the first dedicated confessional booth of its kind. Vested in a green chasuble-style garment made from recycled curtains, and in a booth constructed of recycled doors, he will hear the sins of those who have not recycled the things they ought to have done and who have consumed the things they ought not to have done. Related Links• Like it or not, thou shalt recycle thy rotting food
Global-warming believers fear an honest debate
Excerpt: As for the overwhelming majority of scientists believing that man is behind global warming, former NASA scientist Roy Spencer, now at the University of Alabama, told me: "It's like an urban legend. There has never been any kind of vote on this issue." e referred me to a 2003 survey in which two German environmental scientists asked more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries if they thought humans caused climate change: Fifty-six percent answered yes, 30 percent said no. What really frosts me about the Newsweek story is that it concentrates on industry funding for skeptics while ignoring the money that pours into pro-global-warming coffers. That focus ignores where the big grant money goes: to pay for crisis-mongering research. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070905/A_OPINION0619/709050305/-1/A_OPINION06
Pope sounds new warning on global warming
Excerpt: Pope Benedict XVI voiced renewed anxiety Wednesday about global warming and hailed greater awareness of the problem, in remarks at his weekly audience.
"Water resources and climate change are subjects of great importance for the whole human family," the pope said, calling for people to "pray and work for greater respect for the marvels of divine creation."
Benedict was addressing his remarks to participants at an international conference on the protection of the environment in the Arctic, which is to open in Greenland on Thursday.
It is to be chaired by the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, the Istanbul-based Bartholomew I.
Flip-Flop: From Global Cooling to Warming
Excerpt: The extremists committed to the man-made global warming theory—that humans are causing the world to get hotter and that we have to drastically raise taxes and/or ration energy in response—are on the run. How else does one explain the sensational Newsweek cover story with the provocative headline, "Global Warming is a Hoax,*" over a photo of a boiling sun? Newsweek, a Washington Post property, claims to be telling us "The Truth About Denial," and to make sure everyone gets the point, it uses some form of the word "denial" 20 times, including "denial machine" 14 times. The article, which is the worst kind of advocacy journalism, is a shoddy attempt to suggest that those opposed to the theory are like holocaust deniers. < > Morano revealed that Newsweek reporter Eve Conant, who contributed to the piece and interviewed Senator Inhofe, "was given all the latest data proving conclusively that it is the proponents of man-made global warming fears that enjoy a monumental funding advantage over the skeptics." But Newsweek didn't and won't report that. The facts have taken a back seat to propaganda. Morano commented, "Journalism students across the world can read this week's cover story to learn how reporting should not be done. Hopefully, that will be Newsweek's legacy— serving as a shining example of the failure of modern journalism to adhere to balance, objectivity and fairness."
Study: No Scientific Consensus on Global Warming Claims
Excerpt: Robert Giegengack, a professor in the earth and environmental science department at the University of Pennsylvania, said it's important to consider the big picture. “Less than 10 percent of the Earth’s history has been characterized by ice sheets at the poles," he explained. "We’re in the middle of a global ice age right now, when the earth is much, much colder than it has been during much of its history.”
Three court cases for climate change
Excerpt: Several individuals and environmental groups are using laws already on the books in an attempt to force polluters to change their ways. "There are laws in place now that can address this," reads the home page of Climatelaw.org, a web site devoted to tracking global warming cases worldwide. "It is illegal under international law for one State to cause harm to another State. "It is illegal under domestic law in many countries for polluters to cause nuisances to the public and to market defective products, and damages must be paid," the site says. In the U.S., plaintiffs are trying three general tactics: Seek monetary compensation for damages caused by global warming, force polluters to clean up by saying they are a public nuisance, and redesign projects currently on the drawing board by applying local laws requiring carbon emissions to be considered in any new development.
The Return of Toilet Man – By John Stossel
Excerpt: The fact that it took years for manufacturers to solve the flushing problem, at great expense to consumers, and that during that period many people had to flush several times, wasting lots of water, and that the one-size-fits-all rule applied to all of America, forcing flushing embarrassment and lousy showers on people in Vermont and other places that have plenty of water and don't need to conserve, and the water savings were less than 6 percent of what farms use every day for irrigation -- none of that bothers Romm. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/the_return_of_toilet_man.html
Bjorn Lomborg is back
Excerpt: If The Skeptical Environmentalist gave eco-pessimists epileptic fits, Lomborg’s new book could provoke outright seizures. http://www.nationalreview.com/redirect/amazon.p?j=0307266923
“Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming” is Lomborg’s take on the number one environmental issue of the day. Lomborg remains stubbornly optimistic about humanity’s future as he argues we must “cool our conversation, rein in the exaggerations, and start focusing where we can do the most good.” For Lomborg, this also means cooling the push for binding limits on greenhouse-gas emissions.
Half-price Big Mac to fight global warming proves big hit in Japan
Excerpt: A Japanese government website crashed Wednesday as people raced to take up an offer of a half-price McDonald's hamburger in exchange for pledging to fight global warming. The Japanese unit of the US burger giant Tuesday offered a Big Mac for 150 yen (1.3 dollars), about half the normal price, to anyone demonstrating a commitment to preventing climate change. People were asked to check up to 39 boxes on a form they could download from the environment ministry's website, each listing a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. "We started seeing a rise in access yesterday and it surged this morning. We are now trying to restore the system," said Kenji Someno, who heads the ministry's Lifestyle Policy Office. It was the ministry's first system crash following a corporate offer related to environmental efforts. "McDonald's is such a familiar name with people and they eat there often. The Big Mac discount gives them the strong impression that it's a bargain," Someno said.
BBC switches off climate special
Excerpt: The BBC has scrapped plans for Planet Relief, a TV special on climate change, the BBC News website has learned. The decision comes after some senior executives expressed concern that the programme concept might breach impartiality guidelines. Celebrities such as Ricky Gervais were said to be interested in presenting the show, which would have involved viewers in a mass "switch-off" to save energy. Environmental campaigners slammed the decision as "cowardice". < > But against the backdrop of intense internal debates about impartiality, senior news editors expressed misgivings that Planet Relief was too "campaigning" in nature and would have left the Corporation open to the charge of bias. "It is absolutely not the BBC's job to save the planet," warned Newsnight editor Peter Barron at the Edinburgh Festival last month. Head of TV news Peter Horrocks, writing in the BBC News website's editors' blog, commented: "It is not the BBC's job to lead opinion or proselytise on this or any other subject." A number of right-wing commentators such as the Daily Mail's Keith Waterhouse also criticised the idea.
Doctor Warns Consumers of Popcorn Fumes – Dangers of ‘Popcorn Lung’
Excerpt: Consumers, not just factory workers, may be in danger from fumes from buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital. A pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal agencies to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years. "We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation." The July letter, made public Tuesday by a public health policy blog, refers to a potentially fatal disease commonly called popcorn lung that has been the subject of lawsuits by hundreds of workers at food factories exposed to chemicals used for flavoring. In response to Rose's finding, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association issued a statement Tuesday recommending that its members reduce "to the extent possible" the amount of diacetyl in butter flavorings they make. It noted that diacetyl is approved for use in flavors by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One national popcorn manufacturer, Weaver Popcorn Co. of Indianapolis, said last week it would replace the butter flavoring ingredient because of consumer concern. Congress has also been debating new safety measures for workers in food processing plants exposed to diacetyl. The FDA said in an e-mail it is evaluating Rose's letter and "carefully considering the safety and regulatory issues it raises."