The Unbalance Sheet Print E-mail
Written by John Brignell   
Thursday, 22 November 2012 13:22

The concept of the balance sheet is important to the provision of information over a wide range of human activities, particularly in science and finance.

The weasel words Off Balance Sheet have historically been used by shady businesses to hide items that represent hidden liabilities and risks[1]. They were a significant factor in the build up to the great financial crisis that still stalks the world economy. The technique is also used by politicians: notoriously, for example, by Britain’s New Labour Administration in the form of the Private Finance Initiative. The alarming scale of the liabilities only emerged after the departure from office of the instigator, Gordon Brown. It is still in use, however, in the form of stealth taxes: the outrageous cost of ineffectual wind-turbines and their deleterious effect on the National Grid, for example, is cynically loaded onto the energy bills to suffering customers and does not appear in the (allegedly now more open) taxation and expenditure figures. It is a cruel regressive tax that is responsible for a substantial and continuous increase in the miseries of real poverty.



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Droughts in Africa Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:31

One of the many dangers of global warming, according to the world's climate alarmists, is the predicted propensity for rising temperatures to produce more frequent, more severe, and longer-lasting droughts almost everywhere on Earth. But just how realistic are the climate models upon which these claims are based? And what does real-world climatic history have to say about the subject? In this brief summary, we discuss the findings of several scientific papers that broach these questions as they pertain to Africa.



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Nutrient Acquisition in a C02 Enriched World Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 00:00

On a per-unit-biomass basis, Smart et al. (1998) noted there were no differences in the total amounts of nitrogen within CO2-enriched and ambiently-grown wheat seedlings after three weeks of exposure to atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 360 and 1,000 ppm. Nevertheless, the CO2-enriched seedlings exhibited greater rates of soil nitrate extraction than did the ambient-grown plants.



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Climate Predictability Print E-mail
Written by W.J.R. Alexander   
Friday, 26 October 2012 00:00

This well at Kom Umbu on the banks of the Nile River was built in Roman times. It was connected to the river. The relationship could be calculated between the number of steps inundated each year and the extent of the area that was inundated by beneficial flood water, and was therefore taxable,. This was the world’s first prediction model!

Today in some Western nations, taxes are levied to control greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere that are claimed to result in undesirable climate change.



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Interaction of C02 and Light on Plant Growth Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 18 October 2012 11:39

Granados and Korner (2002)1 grew three tropical understory vines (Gonolobus cteniophorus, Ceratophytum tetragonolobum and Thinouia tomocarpa) for seven months in controlled environment chambers maintained at atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 280, 420, 560 and 700 ppm in combination with low and high light intensities to study the interactive effects of the two parameters on the vines' growth. On average, they found that plant biomass was 61% greater at high light than it was at low light. However, the greatest CO2-induced growth response in each species occurred in the low light environment. Increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 to 420 ppm, for example, increased Gonolobus biomass by 86 and 32% in low and high light environments, respectively, Ceratophytum biomass by 249 and 24% in low and high light environments, respectively, and Thinouia biomass by 65% in low light, while it actually decreased plant biomass by 1% in the high light environment.



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Heavy Metal Soil Toxicity in a C02-Enriched World Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 18 October 2012 11:33

Noting that copper (Cu) is "an essential micronutrient [that] plays a vital role in maintaining normal metabolism in higher plants," but that it "is toxic to plant cells at higher concentrations and causes the inhibition of plant growth or even death," Jia et al. (2007)1 grew a Japonica rice cultivar in control and Cu-contaminated soil for one full season at ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (370 vs. 570 ppm), while measuring leaf Cu concentrations at the tillering, jointing, heading and ripening stages of the crop.



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Sea Ice: An Open Letter to Jeremy Paxman of the BBC Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley   
Monday, 15 October 2012 13:27

Your Newsnight segment on Arctic sea ice (BBC2 TV, 8 September 2012) featured a “scientist” who said ice loss since a high point in 1979 would cut the Earth’s albedo and, by this feedback, cause warming equivalent to 20 years’ global CO2 emissions.

On the IPCC’s current central climate-sensitivity estimates, 20 years’ CO2 emissions would only warm the Earth by ¼ C°. But since the IPCC’s first projections in 1990, temperature has risen only half as fast as predicted: so make that just ? C°.

The glaciologist the programme relied on got the math wrong. Ignoring the growth in Antarctic sea ice since 1979, as the programme unwisely did, the loss of 2.5 million km2 of Arctic sea ice (measured as the linear trend on the NSIDC data) will warm the Earth by only 1/20 C°, and only then if the ice loss is permanent. Halve that to allow for the compensating effect of record Antarctic sea-ice growth: say, 1/40 C° of global warming, equivalent to just 2 years’ CO2 emissions on the IPCC’s current projections, not 20 years’ emissions. The math is below.



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Vegetative Storage Proteins: Response to Atmospheric C02 Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 08:55

In a paper published in Tree Physiology, Maier et al. (2008)[1] describe how a soil nitrogen fertilizer application affected upper-canopy needle morphology and gas exchange in approximately 20-meter-tall loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees previously exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (200 ppm above ambient) for nine years at the Duke Forest FACE facility in Orange County, North Carolina, USA. This work revealed that during the tenth year of exposure to elevated CO2, there was a strong enhancement (greater than 50%) of light-saturated net photosynthesis across all age classes of needles, but that the stimulation was 28% greater in current-year foliage than in one-year-old foliage. In addition, they report that current-year foliage incorporated the added nitrogen into photosynthetic components that increased the photosynthetic capacity of the current-year foliage, but that the one-year-old foliage tended to simply store extra nitrogen, which subsequently served as "an important source of nitrogen for the development of current-year foliage" via "efficient retranslocation of nitrogen from senescing one-year-old foliage to developing foliage."



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Papers for Three Quarters of the Year Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 09:00

Catalog of SPPI papers for the first three quarters of 2012.



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Extreme Temperatures in Europe Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:50

One of the projected negative consequences of global warming is a concomitant increase in climatic variability, including more frequent hot weather events. It is a relatively easy matter to either substantiate or refute such claims by examining trends in extreme temperatures over the past century or so; because if global warming has truly been occurring at an unprecedented rate over the past hundred years, as climate alarmists claim it has, temperature variability and extreme temperature events should be increasing, according to them. Therefore, this review investigates this issue as it pertains to locations in Europe.



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Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide on Soil Bacteria Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:45

Nearly all of Earth's plant life responds favorably to increases in the air's CO2 content by exhibiting enhanced rates of photosynthesis and biomass production. Consequently, these phenomena tend to increase soil carbon contents by increasing root exudation of organic compounds and the amount of plant litter returned to the soil. Thus, one might expect CO2-mediated increases in soil carbon content to impact soil bacterial communities; and this summary explores the findings of several scientists who have studied the effects of elevated CO2 on bacteria.



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C02-Induced Starch Accumulation in Plants Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 27 September 2012 12:50

It is therefore likely that rising atmospheric CO2 levels will significantly boost starch production in plants, thereby increasing the availability of an important raw material that can be metabolized to help sustain enhanced growth under a variety of stressful situations.



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Interactive Effects of C02 and UV-B Radiation on Terrestrial Ecosystems Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:42

Zhao et al. (2004)[1] report that "as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV-B radiation (280-320 nm) levels are still high at the Earth's surface and are projected to increase in the near future (Madronich et al., 1998; McKenzie et al., 2003)," and in reference to this potential development, they note that "increased levels of UV-B radiation are known to affect plant growth, development and physiological processes (Dai et al., 1992; Nouges et al., 1999)," stating that high UV-B levels often result in "inhibition of photosynthesis, degradation of protein and DNA, and increased oxidative stress (Jordan et al., 1992; Stapleton, 1992)." In light of these observations, therefore, it is only natural to wonder how the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content might impact the deleterious effects of UV-B radiation on Earth's vegetation.



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Historical Trends of African Glacier Dynamics Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:54

Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, was long renowned for its summit glaciers, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his famous short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Over the first few years of the current century, its disappearing summit ice fields were once again made famous, this time by political luminaries such as Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who cited them as unmistakable evidence of the deleterious consequences of human-induced global warming. On the floor of the U.S. Senate during debate on Senate Bill 139 back in 2004, for example, Arizona Senator John McCain called this attribution not only a fact, but a fact "that cannot be refuted by any scientist." Then in subsequent debate on the same bill, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton echoed Senator McCain's sentiments. Displaying a set of photos taken from the same vantage point in 1970 and 1999 - the first depicting "a 20-foot-high glacier" and the second "only a trace of ice" - she said that in those pictures "we have evidence in the most dramatic way possible of the effects of 29 years of global warming." Nevertheless, and in spite of the absolute certitude with which the two senators expressed their views on the subject - which allowed for no "wiggle room" whatsoever - scientific analyses have shown both of them to be as wrong as they could possibly be.



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An Independent Constraint on Climate Sensitivity Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley   
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 09:59

Global CO2 emissions per unit annual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration show no significant trend over the 49 year timescale of the available data (1960-2008). The mean emissions/concentration-growth ratio over the period was 15.5 Gte CO2 ppmv–1. Current central estimates are that CO2 concentration will rise by 345 ppmv over the 21st century, during which CO2-driven warming is projected to be 1.56 K, suggesting that, on a centennial scale, CO2 concentration must rise by 223 ppmv, or 3450 Gte CO2, to cause 1 K of warming. Since total global CO2 emissions from 1960-2008 were 975 Gte CO2, the CO2-driven contribution to the 0.66 K measured global warming over the period was 0.28 K. However, on currently-accepted central estimates, the CO2-driven warming over the period was almost two-thirds higher, at 0.46 K. The ratio of CO2 emissions to concentration change – useful as an independent constraint on climate sensitivity – suggests that CO2-driven warming in the 21st century may be little more than 1 K. In the short term and perhaps also in the long, climate sensitivity may lie below the values found in the general-circulation models.



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Effects of Atmospheric C02 Enrichment on Plant Hormones Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 10:39

With respect to the significance of these findings, the six Chinese researchers write that plant hormones "can enhance plant growth and development by stimulating cell division, cell elongation and protein synthesis (Yong et al., 2000), whereas ABA is considered an inhibitor of leaf growth (Zhang and Davies, 1990)." In addition, they note that "plant hormone metabolism is dependent on the supply of carbohydrates (Taiz and Zeiger, 1998)." Therefore, based on what they learned from their experiment, they concluded that "higher carbohydrate production," such as that induced by atmospheric CO2 enrichment, "may result in higher hormone concentrations, which in turn may enhance plant growth," a phenomenon that has also been observed by Jitla et al. (1997) and Li et al. (2002), the latter of whom reported that elevated CO2 increased the concentrations of several plant hormones in leaf and aerial root tips of an epiphytic CAM orchid by as much as 21-fold.



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Effects of Atmospheric C02 Enrichment on Fluctuating Asymetry Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 10:29

Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is the terminology used to describe small variations from perfect symmetry in otherwise bilaterally-symmetrical characters in an organism (Moller and Swaddle, 1997). It is believed to arise in consequence of developmental instability experienced during ontogeny that is caused by various stresses, including both genetic and environmental factors (Martel et al., 1999; Cornelissen and Stiling, 2005); and it has been studied extensively in animals but less so in plants (Moller and Shykoff, 1999).

In the first study to address the effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on leaf asymmetry and how herbivores respond to these effects, Cornelissen et al. (2004)1 opened up a whole new window through which to view the world of the future in terms of the potential effects of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content on the plant and animal components of the biosphere. The Cornelissen et al. study was conducted on a native scrub-oak community at the Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, Florida, USA, which is dominated by myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia) and sand live oak (Quercus geminata) under atmospheric CO2 concentrations of approximately 370 and 700 ppm.



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Global Warming Opinion Polls: Americans Are Clear - No Energy Taxes Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 13:14

The public opinion of Americans, as captured by various polling organizations over the past few years, can generally and concisely be summed up as:

  • ü The earth is warming
  • ü Human activities probably have something to do with this ? (although the impacts are being exaggerated)
  • ü We have many more important concerns (jobs, economy, etc.) that we think Congress and the President ought to focus on, and
  • ü Any action that is aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions should not cost us much, if anything at all ? (and direct taxes on gasoline or electricity are out).


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Is C02 Mitigation Cost-Effective? Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley   
Monday, 27 August 2012 15:49

This note, prepared for distinguished scientific delegates at the 2012 annual seminars on planetary emergencies of the World Federation of Scientists, demonstrates the application of a much-simplified method of climate-mitigation investment appraisal to the recently-introduced Australian carbon dioxide tax. For the first time, mainstream climatological and economic-appraisal approaches are combined in a simple but robust appraisal method. The $130 bn cost of the Australian carbon tax (Parliament of Australia, 2011) over the intended ten-year term is compared with its benefit in the cost of warming-related damage avoided by successful implementation and the consequent intended 5% cut in Australia’s emissions. A zero inter-temporal discount rate is assumed. The minimum market rate would be 5% (Murphy et al., 2008). The calculations are made explicit.



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Samples of U.S. Government Grants to the Global Warming Industry Print E-mail
Written by Dennis Ambler   
Friday, 24 August 2012 12:48

$1.9 million in environmental justice grants 10th May 2010 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.9 million in environmental justice grants to 76 non-profit organizations and local governments working on environmental justice issues nationwide. The grant program supports Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priority to expand the conversation on environmentalism and work for environmental justice.



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