Sunday, April 19, 2009

Awwwww - Criminals Being Spied On

Jeez. Its wrong to spy on criminal activity in the UK or EU. At least according to this eco apologist from the Guardian. In fact, this jerk offers tips to help the eco terrorists continue to break the law. Notice the sympathy expressed for the rabble that was going to trespass at a Land Rover factory, occupy the production line and generally take over. Is it wrong to protect the citizens from potential injury by these terrorists? Apparently so.

How do environmentalists spot a mole?

Environment groups know they are being spied on and the arrest of 114 activists this week looks like more of the same

Police offricers at the scene of raid to thwart power station protest

Police at the scene of a raid at the Iona independent school in Sneinton, Nottingham, where more than 100 protesters were arrested. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning in April 2005. At 6.30am the environmental group was just minutes away from its target – a Land Rover factory in the Midlands. The meticulously planned action involved people bursting through the perimeter gate, past drowsy guards and occupying the factory line. Little did they know that almost 50 policemen were already there, drinking cups of tea and waiting for them.

Fortunately for the activists, an advance guard spotted the helmets and the bus carrying the climate change protesters was turned round. It was obvious that someone had tipped off the police. There was simply no other explanation. The mole was identified and never allowed on another action.

This week it was almost certain that the 114 people arrested outside Nottingham were also shopped by an informer. Nearly a week before the action, police warned all power companies in the Midlands and the north that a major action against a coal-fired power station was likely and told them to increase security.

The police were also confident enough of their source to practically strip Nottingham of police and commit forward intelligence teams, get maps of the school and mobilise a helicopter. The operation involved some very senior officers. According to one person arrested, "this was not an ordinary police operation. We were set up. They knew where we were going and the resources used were immense."

Arresting officers openly said that they had known about the action for a week and that the operation was "intelligence-led". This could mean that the police relied on covert surveillance such as mobile-phone tapping, computer-hacking and vehicle tracking, but this is unlikely to have provided the authorities with reliable enough information. Much more likely, they used a traditional mole.

Environment groups know they are being effective when they are being spied on or infiltrated by the state or by corporations. Last year anti-aviation group Plane Stupid became aware that a man calling himself Ken Tobias was not a climate campaigner. He was set up, trapped and exposed as working for C2I security, possibly on behalf of the aviation industry.

Greenpeace UK has had a string of moles. Road protesters in the 1990s were spied on by a security firm employed by the government.

Last week EDF, the French nuclear company hoping to build several reactors in Britain, was charged with spying on Greenpeace in France. The McLibel 2 famously held one meeting where there were more moles working for McDonald's than there were activists.

But who tipped off the police about the Nottingham gathering? Precise information about the alleged action may only have been known by a few core people. It is just possible that they were infiltrated, but these people know each other well and have built the climate movement from nothing. Only a John le Carré mind could imagine such subterfuge.

Far more likely is that one of the 100 or more people "invited" to go to Nottingham was the mole. The climate movement welcomes new people and while seasoned campaigners went, for some volunteers it was their first action.

It was a dream for the police, corporates or anyone wanting to know what is going on. All a potential mole has to do is turn up to meetings, lie low for a year or so, fit in, show willing and gain trust and eventually someone will invite them on an action.

He or she probably had no idea which power station was actually being targeted, but all they had to do was nip out to the loo at a motorway service station and make a call or a text. By the time people had gathered at the school, the police would have known for certain which power station was the target. The clinching evidence of a low-level mole was that arrests were made not for "conspiracy to disrupt operations" at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station (the alleged target of the action), but at an unnamed station.

Police surveillance of environmental activists has intensified since the demise of the animal rights movement and parallels the rise of climate change as an international issue with vast sums of money at stake. People going to public meetings are now liable to be photographed or stopped and searched.

Established groups such as Greenpeace and Plane Stupid have had their premises watched, and forward intelligence teams follow some people for months at a time. Many activist groups have complained that their websites have been sabotaged.

Rule 1 is to assume you are known. Rule 2 is not to communicate by email or phone.

Rule 3 is to beware moles.

Is Our Message Getting Through?

It seems that the electorate might be hearing our message about AGW. Check out this latest survey by Rasmussen. The number of believers in AGW is down to 34%. Will this affect the Waxman bill going through the house? One can only hope.

Energy Update
Only 34% Now Blame Humans for Global Warming

Just one-out-of-three voters (34%) now believe global warming is caused by human activity, the lowest finding yet in Rasmussen Reports national surveying. However, a plurality (48%) of the Political Class believes humans are to blame.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, while seven percent (7%) blame some other reason. Eleven percent (11%) aren’t sure.

These numbers reflect a reversal from a year ago when 47% blamed human activity while 34% said long-term planetary trends.

Most Democrats (51%) still say humans are to blame for global warming, the position taken by former Vice President Al Gore and other climate change activists. But 66% of Republicans and 47% of adults not affiliated with either party disagree.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of all Americans believe global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem, with 33% who say it’s Very Serious. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it’s a not a serious problem. The overall numbers have remained largely the same for several months, but the number who say Very Serious has gone down.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Democrats say global warming is a Very Serious problem, compared to 19% of Republicans and 25% of unaffiliateds.

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President Obama has made global warming a priority for his administration. Half (49%) of Americans think the president believes climate change is caused primarily by human activity. This is the first time that belief has fallen below 50% since the president took office. Just 19% say Obama attributes global warming to long-term planetary trends.

Forty-eight percent (48%) rate the president good or excellent on energy issues. Thirty-two percent (32%) give him poor grades in this area.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of adults now say finding new sources of energy is more important that reducing the amount of energy Americans currently consume. However, 29% say energy conservation is the priority.

A growing number of Americans (58%) say the United States needs to build more nuclear plants. This is up five points from last month and the highest finding so far this year. Twenty-five percent (25%) oppose the building of nuclear plants.

While the economy remains the top issue for most Americans, 40% believe there is a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. Thirty-one percent 31% see no such conflict, while 29% are not sure.

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The Law of Un-intended Consequences - Global Warming Version

You gotta love this one. From the eco radical rag, the Guardian in the UK, a story on the downside of global warming policy. How did this one get in there? Some editor my have be asleep at the wheel. Anyway, this illustrates perfectly the law of un-intended consequences when idiot politicians attempt to make policy decisions based on emotion. Its a lesson we should observe here in the US as the Waxman bill makes its way through the House.

UK biofuels target creating more emissions, environmentalists claim

The government's scheme to introduce biofuels to cut CO2 on roads has actually increased carbon emissions through deforestation, study finds

The government's scheme to introduce biofuels as a way to cut carbon emissions from road transport has led to extra emissions equivalent to putting 500,000 more cars on UK roads, according to environmentalists.

A new study shows that producing the amount of biofuels required to meet the government's targets in the past year could have inadvertently doubled the overall emissions of CO2 compared with the standard fossil fuels they have replaced. The extra emissions come from forest destruction tied indirectly to growing energy crops.

Biofuels are, in theory, carbon neutral because they only release the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere by a plant as it grows. But many recent studies have suggested that the indirect effects of producing biofuels can have a negative overall impact.

In several parts of the world, for example, growing biofuel crops such as soy competes for land with food crops, which are then often displaced on to land that has been cleared of forests. A new analysis, carried out for Friends of the Earth (FoE) by environmental consultants Scott Wilson, has estimated the amount of CO2 emitted as a result of this deforestation.

The researchers calculated that the overall carbon cost of clearing forests for biofuels was equivalent to an extra 1.3m tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere since April last year. That was when the government's Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) was introduced, which mandated fuel suppliers to include at least 2.5% biofuel in their petrol or diesel. Today that requirement rises to 3.3%.

"Until ministers can do their sums properly and can prove that biofuels are actually saving emissions, they do need to put them on hold," said Nick Davies, a biofuels campaigner at FoE.

Soy crops from the US, Argentina and Brazil are used in the most common UK biodiesels and all contribute to the deforestation problem. The FoE study assumed that 10% of the food crops displaced by biofuels would be pushed on to land created by clearing forests.

The researchers allocated this additional land to various agricultural uses and calculated the resulting amount of extra emissions using established models. For example, clearing one hectare of the Amazonian rainforest can release up to 1,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The FoE's concerns were also raised in a government-sponsored review of biofuels published by Ed Gallagher last year. In the study, he recommended that the introduction of biofuels to the UK should be slowed until more effective controls were in place to prevent the inadvertent rise in greenhouse gas emissions caused if, for example, forests are cleared to make way for biofuel production.

Gallagher's report said that if these displacements are left unchecked, current targets for biofuel production could cause a global rise in greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in poverty in the poorest countries by 2020.

His main recommendation, accepted by the government at the time, was to slow down the introduction of the RTFO so that, starting from a base of 2.5% biofuel mixed into petrol and diesel in 2008-09, manufacturers had to increase the proportion by only 0.5% per year. He further added that anything beyond 5% biofuel after 2013-14 should only be agreed by governments if the fuels are demonstrated as sustainable, including avoiding indirect effects such as change in land use.

"Gallagher has slowed down the rate of increase but we don't think that's an adequate response," said Davies. "He raised some serious concerns and, at the moment, they're not being addressed."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport acknowledged that the evidence around biofuels was still evolving. "What is not in dispute is the need to develop new, cleaner fuels and break our dependence on oil if we are to tackle climate change," she said.

"Some biofuels have the potential to help us achieve this. So whilst there is no case for pushing forward indiscriminately on those that may do more harm than good, it would be foolish to ignore any potential they do have.

"We have always been clear that biofuels can only make a useful contribution to mitigating climate change if they are sustainably produced. That is why we commissioned an independent review and following its recommendation we agreed to continue to proceed but to do so more cautiously until we are clearer about their wider effects on the environment.

"We believe this strikes a balanced approach based on the best possible science and evidence as it currently stands."

Davies said that, instead of focusing on ramping up biofuels, the government should encourage more proven methods to reduce transport emissions. "They should be investing in first-class public transport systems and smarter cars that actually save on fuel, and more provision for cyclists and pedestrians.

"They are proven to work and don't have the negative side-effects in terms of raising food prices and chopping down the rainforest. We need to put the biofuels obligation on hold until they can show biofuels are actually saving emissions."

EPA to Sink the Economy - Waxman the New Barney Frank

Found this on Drudge with a link to Breitbart. The AP reports on the latest effort by the eco-facists to bankrupt the economy. Waxman has/will introduce a bill in the house to screw us all with a carbon tax and additional regulation of manufacturing and autos. This of course is madness but par for the course with radicals like Waxman and his mentor, Pelosi. Let's hope we can vote these insane asylum inmates out in 2010.

EPA takes first step toward climate change regs

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency concluded Friday that greenhouse gases linked to climate change "endanger public health and welfare," setting the stage for regulating them under federal clean air laws.

The EPA action marks the first step toward imposing limits on pollution linked to climate change, which would mean tighter rules for cars and power plants. Agency officials cautioned such regulations are expected to be part of a lengthy process and not issued anytime soon.

Limits on carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases would have widespread economic and social impact, from requiring better fuel efficiency for automobiles to limiting emissions from power plants and industrial sources, changing the way the nation produces energy.

In announcing the proposed finding, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said it "confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations." She reiterated that the Obama administration prefers that climate change be address by Congress through broad, economy-wide limits on climate-changing pollution. But the EPA finding of endangerment prepares for possible regulatory action if Congress fails to act.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., whose Environment and Public Works Committee is considering climate legislation, said the EPA finding—stalled by the Bush administration—is long overdue but that "the best and most flexible way" to deal with the problem is for Congress to take action on a broader approach.

Friday's action by the EPA triggered a 60-day comment period before the agency issues a final endangerment ruling.

The agency said in its finding that "in both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem" and that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases "that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act."

The EPA concluded that the science pointing to man-made pollution as a cause of global warming is "compelling and overwhelming." It also said tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles contribute to climate change.

The EPA action was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling two years ago that said greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and must be regulated if found to be a danger to human health or public welfare.

The Bush administration strongly opposed using the Clean Air Act to address climate change and stalled on producing the so-called "endangerment finding" demanded by the high court in its April 2007 ruling.

The court case, brought by Massachusetts, focused only on emissions from automobiles. But it is widely assumed that if the EPA must regulate emissions from cars and trucks, it will have no choice but to control identical pollution from power plants and industrial sources.

Congress is considering imposing an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions along with giving industry the ability to trade emission allowances to mitigate costs. Legislation could be considered by the House before the August congressional recess.

Drought in Africa - Not Caused by Global Warming?

Well, it seems that the severe drought in Africa was not caused by AGW. How can that be? Well the eggheads have determined that this is part of a long term climate cycle. Its happened before and will happen again. Think this will be widely reported? Not!

Africa trapped in mega-drought cycle

The infamous 1970s drought of the African Sahel region, which lasted several decades and killed more than 100,000 people, was actually a "minor" event, say researchers who have uncovered evidence that such droughts occur cyclically in the region and can be much more severe.

Timothy Shanahan and colleagues at the University of Texas, Austin, analysed the first rainfall dataset that spans several millennia. "What's disconcerting about this record is that it suggests the most recent drought was relatively minor in the context of the West African drought history," he told New Scientist.

The researchers analysed a sediment core pulled from the bottom of Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana's only natural lake. The lake is an ancient meteorite impact crater, making its levels very dependent on rainfall.

By studying the relative amounts of different oxygen isotopes in the sediment core, the team could reconstruct rainfall dating back 3000 years. Higher concentrations of the slightly heavier – and therefore harder to evaporate – 18O indicate periods of drought.

Dry for decades

They found that the region's history was punctuated by droughts lasting several decades, every 30 to 60 years. Each was comparable to the drought of the 1970s, which killed more than 100,000 people, according to UN estimates.

Alessandra Giannini of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University says that historical accounts of how centres of political power moved throughout the region over the millennia are consistent with periodic periods of drought.

But the sediment cores also revealed a more alarming pattern. As well as the periodic droughts lasting decades, there was evidence that the Sahel region has undergone several droughts lasting a century or more.

The most recent mega-drought was just 500 years ago, spanning 1400 to 1750 and coinciding with Europe's Little Ice Age. At the time, Lake Bosumtwi dropped so low for so long that a forest sprouted on the crater's edges. Those trees now stand in 15 to 20 metres of water (see images, right).

Close to the edge

"Clearly much of West Africa is already on the edge of sustainability," says Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona, Tuscon, who was Shanahan's doctoral supervisor while the Lake Bosumtwi study was carried out. He believes the situation could worsen with climate change.

Several studies have suggested that fluctuations in the surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean are partly responsible for shifts in the African monsoon. Shanahan and colleagues found more evidence in support of that when they compared sea temperature records with the patterns in their sediment samples and found a strong correlation.

Some models forecast that changes to North Atlantic temperatures caused by global warming will dry out the Sahel even more. "If we were to switch into one of these century-scale patterns of drought, it would be a lot more severe, and it would be very difficult for people to adjust to the change," says Shanahan.

But Reindert Haarsma, a meteorologist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, points out that there is still disagreement among climate scientists on whether the Sahel will become wetter or drier with climate change. African weather is among the least studied globally, so forecasts are extremely uncertain.

Journal reference: Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.1166352)

Oh Oh - Antarctic Ice Growing -

Don't look for this to be widely reported in the MSM. It goes against the meme that the earth is burning up and we are all gonna perish. Thanks to for the story.

Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away

The Australian

April 18, 2009 11:52am

Antarctic / Reuters
Cool down ... ice is expanding in much of the Antarctic, experts say / Reuters
  • Ice expanding in much of Antarctica
  • Eastern coast getting colder
  • Western section remains a concern

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

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

Antarctica has 90 per cent of the Earth's ice and 80 per cent of its fresh water, The Australian reports. Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, and ice is melting in parts of west Antarctica. The destabilisation of the Wilkins ice shelf generated international headlines this month.

However, the picture is very different in east Antarctica, which includes the territory claimed by Australia.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week's meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown "significant cooling in recent decades".

Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica.

"Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally," Dr Allison said.

The melting of sea ice - fast ice and pack ice - does not cause sea levels to rise because the ice is in the water. Sea levels may rise with losses from freshwater ice sheets on the polar caps. In Antarctica, these losses are in the form of icebergs calved from ice shelves formed by glacial movements on the mainland.

Last week, federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said experts predicted sea level rises of up to 6m from Antarctic melting by 2100, but the worst case scenario foreshadowed by the SCAR report was a 1.25m rise.

Mr Garrett insisted global warming was causing ice losses throughout Antarctica. "I don't think there's any doubt it is contributing to what we've seen both on the Wilkins shelf and more generally in Antarctica," he said.

Dr Allison said there was not any evidence of significant change in the mass of ice shelves in east Antarctica nor any indication that its ice cap was melting. "The only significant calvings in Antarctica have been in the west," he said. And he cautioned that calvings of the magnitude seen recently in west Antarctica might not be unusual.

"Ice shelves in general have episodic carvings and there can be large icebergs breaking off - I'm talking 100km or 200km long - every 10 or 20 or 50 years."

Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m.

A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.