News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goldman Sachs owns at least 19% of Chicago Climate Exchange

"Goldman Sachs purchased a 10.1 percent stake in the UK-listed Climate Exchange, the parent company of the European Climate Exchange (ECX), in September 2006. The investment formed part of the Climate Exchange's merger with the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), strategically positioning the company—and by extension Goldman Sachs—in two significant markets. Goldman liked this position enough to double its stake in the deal to 19 percent last week, fueling a five percent surge in Climate Exchange stock on January 19, 2007."...from Ecosystem Marketplace, "For Goldman Sachs, long term greed means going green," by Christopher Wright

Monday, April 26, 2010

Organized crime throughout climate industry as predicted

"La CO2a Nostra," "Although I am still quite concerned about the effect of underworld connections* (inserted next paragraph) on the Oxburgh inquiry into Climategate, a bigger problem has obviously surfaced in the illegal use and exploitation of funds intended to finance green initiatives. (BTW, during research for this article I discovered many reports of theft of solar panels--if you've got 'em, keep an eye on 'em.)"....
  • "1. The Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University has published science that was integral to the decision of the EU and the UK to immediately implement programs subsidizing the installation of green energy generation systems.

2. Those subsidies amounted to approximately $50 billion U.S. dollars in 2008 alone.

3. Organised crime has already moved to profit from these subsidies, which appear to lack adequate controls to prevent misuse.

4. When the authorised leak of emails and documents resulted in the Climategate scandal of November 2009, it caused considerable havoc in stock market prices of green energy companies, especially when it was followed by Copenhagen, a cold winter, and scandal in carbon certificate trading.

5. East Anglia University commissioned an investigation into the practices of its research unit and asked Lord Oxburgh to chair the panel.

6. Lord Oxburgh is chairman of Falck Renewables, a manufacturer of windfarms and the UK subsidiary of The Falck Group, a Milan-based manufacturer.

7. A sister company of Oxburgh’s Falck Renewables, Actelios, is publicly traded and had suffered serious falls in its stock price during the period of Climategate, etc.

8. Lord Oxburgh’s company, its parent and more than one of its sister companies have had organised crime activities surrounding their acquisition of property and installation of green energy systems.

9. The green energy industry, organised crime investors, Falck Renewables and its parent and sister companies stood to benefit from an investigation the results of which did not overturn the science findings of CRU.

10. The investigation by Lord Oxburgh was perfunctory. The report was 5 pages. It interviewed no-one who was not employed by the University. It reviewed 11 papers that were not part of the Climategate controversy. Those papers were selected either by the University itself or a committee of the Royal Society on which Phil Jones, director of CRU, was a member."...via WUWT

*****

(resuming, examiner): "Some of it is organised crime, as we reported yesterday and Friday. Some of it is just local initiative, taking advantage of lax monitoring procedures. Some of it is by indigenous people who consider it money being tossed around for no good reason that they are just as entitled to as the next person.

From Indonesia: (Reuters) NUSA DUA - "Organised crime syndicates are eyeing the nascent forest carbon credit industry as a potentially lucrative new opportunity for fraud, an Interpol environmental crime official said on Friday.

  • Peter Younger, an environmental crimes specialist at the world's largest international police agency, was referring to a UN-backed scheme called reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation."

From Italy: (Financial Times) "Italian finance police, mounting an operation codenamed “Gone with the wind”, said on Wednesday they had arrested two of the country’s most prominent businessmen in the wind energy sector on charges of fraud and are investigating their sales of wind farms to foreign companies.

Oreste Vigorito, head of the IVPC energy company and president of Italy’s National Association of Wind Energy, was arrested on Tuesday in Naples. Vito Nicastri, a Sicilian business associate, was arrested in Alcamo, Sicily. Two other men were arrested in Sicily and the Naples area, while 11 others were charged but not arrested. Police said the charges related to fraud involved in obtaining public subsidies to construct wind farm."

From the Canary Islands: (NY Times) With their blades whirling, the 55 turbines that stand beyond the gray pebble beach of Pozo Izquierdo are stark, white symbols of a growing industry and the potential for abundant clean energy — and corruption.

The town of Santa Lucía Tirajana, host to the annual Grand Slam windsurfing championships, was struck this year with gale force. A yearlong investigation by the Guardia Civil — the Spanish gendarmerie — turned up irregularities in a plan to build a new wind park. Now the mayor, five town officials and two wind park developers are fighting criminal charges that include influence peddling, misuse of public office, misappropriation of land and bribery. The motivation? Up to €40 million in European Union subsidies.

...Police investigators have been busy across the Continent in recent months. This year five Corsican nationalists were jailed and fined for skimming €1.54 million in European subsidies for wind farms.

UK (Daily Telegraph): Officers from HM Revenue & Customs searched both residential properties and offices in both Gravesend and London targeting an alleged network of organised crime.
Members are believed to have been trading large volumes of high-value carbon credits from overseas sources free of VAT. The amount was £38 million.

Brussels (NY Times): "The latest bump came last month, when swindlers used faked e-mail messages to obtain access codes for individual accounts on national registries that make up the bloc’s Emission Trading System. Traders and companies who fell for the ploy on Jan. 28 were directed to a rogue Web site and invited to enter their security codes — a practice known as “phishing” in the jargon of the Internet.

The swindlers used the stolen codes to gain access to electronic certificates that represent quantities of greenhouse gases. They then sold the certificates through trading accounts registered in Denmark and Britain. The attack on the German national registry, which appears to have been among the hardest hit, could have netted the swindlers as much as $4 million."

These of course are all anecdotes. Nobody appears to be keeping track of any systematic approach to defrauding governments of subsidy money or gaming the system.

But then, sometimes it's the government (Euractiv): "Hungary's sale of 'used' carbon credits - or 'hot air' as environmentalists call them - had harmed the reputation of cap and trade, an industry lobby said on Friday (20 March), but analysts expected little price impact."

The question of how long green initiatives can retain credibility is actually quite serious. I am a strong champion of solar and other renewable energy sources, and I think that incentives should be used to encourage their adoption.

Which obviously means that governments need to do more to regulate themselves in terms of handing out money to anyone who asks.

About the headline: I shamelessly stole the title 'La CO2a Nostra from a commenter at Watt's Up With That with the pseudonym 'Al Gore's Holy Hologram' which I doubt is meant as a tribute to the former vice president." by Thomas Fuller, examiner.com via Tom Nelson 4/26

Al Gore group sends 40 belching planes belching fumes to save his carbon trading fortune

"Maggie Fox, head of the Alliance for Climate Protection, founded in 2006 by former Vice President Al Gore, said last weekend's developments were a "dramatic bump in the road." Still, she said there has been a positive effect....Her group is flying 40 people from several states to Washington to put pressure on senators to act...media events set for Monday will be rescheduled to roll out a climate change bill in a dramatic way."...Reuters, via Tom Nelson, 4/27, "US global warming bill shows signs of life"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NSF has no ability to moniter grant fraud, overwhelmed with porn surfing

9/29/2009, "Porn Surfing rampant at US science foundation," Washington Times, by Jim McElhatton

""To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud," the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request.
  • "We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions
  • in coming years
  • as a direct result."

The budget request doesn't state the nature or number of the misconduct cases, but records obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.

  • For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer
  • and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.
When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women....
is tasked with handing out scientific grants to colleges, universities and research institutions nationwide. ...It has a total of 1,200 career employees.
  • Recent budget documents for the inspector general cite a "6-fold increase in employee misconduct cases and associated proactive management implication report activities." ...
Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for the nonpartisan watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste, called the situation "inexcusable."

"What kind of oversight is there when they have to shift people from looking at grant fraud to watch for people looking at pornography?" she said....

The foundation's inspector general uncovers scientific misconduct that can force the return of misused grant money to the government but told Congress

it was diverted from that mission by the porn cases.

The office was unable to immediately provide an estimate of how much money the projected decline in investigative recoveries

will cost taxpayers. According to congressional reports,

overall investigative recoveries by the watchdog agency totaled more than $2 million for the year ending March 31.

The pornography problem came to light earlier this year, when the inspector general's office published short summaries of several recent cases in a semiannual report to Congress....

The newly obtained documents provide fresh evidence that the problem wasn't just an embarrassment: It was expensive and often went undetected for long periods of time.

The names of all of the employees targeted in the pornography cases were redacted from the more than 120 pages of investigative documents released to The Times. Names were withheld because

none of the employees was subject to criminal prosecution, recent civil court action or debarment.

The documents don't include cases that the foundation examined internally

without the inspector general's involvement.

"The employees who were investigated were disciplined in one way or another," Ms. Topousis said, adding that she could not comment on individual disciplinary actions.

One foundation employee paid an unspecified sum last year after investigators found that during a three-week period in June 2008, the worker perused hundreds of pornographic Web sites during work hours. That employee received a 10-day suspension.

In an official notice of the decision, the foundation called the conduct "unprofessional and unacceptable," but also noted the employee's work history and lack of any previous disciplinary actions.

As for the unnamed "senior executive" who spent at least 331 days looking at pornography at work, investigators said his proclivity for pornography was

common knowledge among several co-workers....

"At the same time, employees were generally reluctant to make any official report or complaint because the misconduct involved a senior staff member and employees feared that they would suffer in some form of complaining," the investigators later wrote in a summary of the case.

Another employee in a different case was caught with hundreds of pictures, videos and even PowerPoint slide shows containing pornography. Asked by an investigator whether he had completed any government work on a day when a significant amount of pornography was downloaded, the employee responded,

  • "Um, I can't remember," according to records.

The employee also said that friends sent him the pornographic files, that he never planned on viewing them and that he never got around to deleting the files, a claim one official later called "simply not believable."

Suspended for 10 days, the employee unsuccessfully appealed the decision after arguing that it was too harsh. Other employees were terminated.

Another employee who stored nude images of herself on her computer told investigators she mistakenly had downloaded the pictures. She received counseling and was told to adhere to the foundation's policies on computer use.

The foundation is hardly the only government agency to be embarrassed by disclosures about employees looking at pornography at work.

The inspector general for the Securities and Exchange Commission noted in a report last fall that it had recently conducted three investigations into employees who misused government computers to view pornography."...

from Washington Times, "Porn Surfing rampant at US science foundation," 9/29/09, by Jim McElhatton


National Science Foundation employees used taxpayer money for travel to pursue intimate relationships with subordinates, view live porn-NY Times

"Two senior (NSF) agency employees used
government travel money to pursue intimate relationships with subordinates."...

4/7/09, "Senators fault science agency over lax handling of pornography case," NY Times, by Gardiner Harris

"The National Science Foundation has failed to respond adequately to a government investigation that found that more than a dozen agency employees viewed or shared sexually explicit materials, two senators contend in a letter sent to the agency on Monday.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, asked the National Science Foundation to explain
  • how the agency could have failed to detect the use of pornography that eventually involved
  • more than 30 employees

In one case, a senior staff member used his agency computer to view live sexual performances and engage in sex-oriented online “chatting” with performers.

  • “I am trying to learn how to use cam2cam capability on your asianbabes.com site,” he wrote in an e-mail message to the site from his agency computer. “I do not seem to be able to do that.”

Jeff Nesbit, an agency spokesman, responded that the employee was no longer with the agency and that other agency employees had been disciplined or dismissed. The agency is conducting a comprehensive review of the issue, Mr. Nesbit said.

had failed to notify its inspector general of any action taken

  • or had failed to investigate the cases itself.

The foundation has not disciplined one 20-year employee who has acknowledged visiting pornography Web sites on his agency computer, the letter said. The agency has said it had been “unable to substantiate allegations sufficiently enough to support disciplinary action”

The senators wrote that they did not understand “how or why N.S.F. failed to take action.”

Their letter also noted that two senior agency employees used

And it said that all of the employees investigated for viewing sexually explicit material had been through the agency’s mandatory security awareness training.

  • Clearly, N.S.F.’s current polices and their implementation are apparently insufficient to deter, among other things, inappropriate Web access for the purpose of viewing sexually explicit material,” the senators wrote."



.

Friday, April 23, 2010

US Rep: Global warming a national security threat--(even though it does not exist)

CNSNews.com – "Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said that climate change, "pure" oceans and the reduction of carbon emissions are national security issues because they affect our military and the enemies we "fight" around the globe.
  • “Our intelligence analysts and our military folks tell us that environment factors, exactly --
where we’re going to fighting them, whether we’re going to be fighting them,” said Israel. “And so for me, for my colleagues,
  • climate change is a national security issue.”
Israel, who serves on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Department of Energy and Army Corps of Engineers, made his remarks at a Capitol Hill screening of “Acid Test,” a documentary about ocean acidification. Actress Sigourney Weaver narrates the documentary and she also spoke at the event, which was sponsored by the
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a liberal environmental group, on April 22, Earth Day.
Clean air and water is a national security issue,” said Israel. “Reducing carbon is a national security issue. Pure oceans is a national security issue.
And the best way to secure defense is to make sure you’re living on a planet that is stable and secure and that provides what people need everyday in their lives.”

According to its Web site, the NRDC’s mission is to “safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.”"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

US taxpayers should not fund NASA. It can fund itself if it wants to pass moral judgements on those who pay its salaries.

2010, "World of Change," NASA

"Earth is constantly changing. Some changes are a natural part of the climate system, such as the seasonal expansion and contraction of the Arctic sea ice pack. The responsibility for other changes,

  • such as the Antarctic ozone hole,
  • falls squarely on humanity’s shoulders.

Our World of Change series documents how our planet’s land, oceans, atmosphere, and Sun are changing over time."...

from EarthObservatory.NASA.gov



.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wind Turbine fraud is what happens when they, like, sink


  • By all means, strive to be 'like Europe.'
"Wind turbines around the UK are sinking into the sea because their foundations are suffering from subsidence, according to Dong Energy, a Danish wind turbine owner – relayed via Yachting News.

A wind farm off Essex and another in Liverpool Bay have been found to have the flaw and checks are to be made of turbines at Blyth, Northumberland and Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth. Up to 336 of the UK's turbines are at risk and
But hey! What's a mere £50 million between friends, when the bill can just be passed on to electricity consumers? Certainly, not enough to dissuade the Conservatives from reaffirming their commitment to 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, to meet the EU target agreed by Blair.
  • Interestingly, the Labour Manifesto puts the cost of this extravaganza at about £150 billion.
  • That is roughly the same as our annual public spending deficit, which gives some idea of the
  • scale of the waste involved.

And the only difference between the two parties is that the Tories complain that Labour has failed to come up with the policies to deliver on the targets. There's a difference for which it's worth going to the barricades ... Aux armes, citoyens!
  • The Tories have found a faster way of wasting money."
  • by EUReferendum, "That Sinking Feeling," 4/13 photo from EUReferendum

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Karl Rove, a duplicitous failure, is one reason we have Obama. Limbaugh and Hannity insist on bringing this pathetic clown back.

  • Et tu, Rush?
Thanks to Rush Limbaugh--stunningly for his listeners--and Sean Hannity giving Rove so much publicity, we have a failed, puffy, Rockefeller phony hogging the airwaves. Karl Rove is a dangerous clown and has-been. Limbaugh's support of Rove shows that Limbaugh is quite different from what his radio listeners thought he was. Too bad.
  • "Why in the hell is Karl Rove on my TV? Why is Karl Rove on my radio? Why is Karl Rove on anywhere? Unless he’s on trial or being interrogated, I can’t imagine of what possible use
this George W. Bush relic could be to conservatives and yet he’s everywhere, hocking his book “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,” a title as credibly right-wing as Stephen Colbert and as historically accurate as the movie “Titanic.” Craig Shirley and former Reagan official Donald Devine summed up Rove’s duplicity well in this week’s Washington Post:
  • “From William F. Buckley Jr. to Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan, the creators of the modern conservative movement always taught that excessive concentration of power in government leads inevitably to corruption and the diminution of personal freedoms.
  • But while Rove credits these leaders for shaping his early political views — “at the age of thirteen, I was wild for Barry Goldwater,” he writes —
  • he did not pursue their values while in the White House. To the contrary, as the chief political architect of the Bush presidency, Rove was instrumental in directing an administration
  • most notable for its enormous expansion of national government.”

Given his big government record, you’d think Rove might be treated as a Republican Judas by conservatives, and yet Rush Limbaugh-who rarely has guests-gave the former Bush adviser a full hour to promote his book, and

Are these conservatives kidding?"

  • from The American Conservative by Jack Hunter, 4/8/10, via Free Republic

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The climate racket makes the mafia look like romper room

"The arrest of an environmental activist who demanded money to withdraw his opposition to real estate projects has lifted the veil on a new type of blackmail, which writer Ivan Brezina maintains pales in comparison with the stock and trade of major public figures in the environmental movement.
  • A few days before Christmas, Lubomír Studnička, a member of a conservation group in the town of Litoměřice in the Czech Republic was arrested for blackmail. According to police,

the self-proclaimed "environmentalist" employed a simple method to extract money from his victims. Studnička filed court actions against large private building projects, alleging that they were damaging to the natural environment — in one instance, successfully torpedoing a plan to build a new bridge over the Elbe, and delaying the completion of work on the D8 Prague to Litoměřice motorway in another. In exchange for dropping proceedings, he demanded "sponsorship donations,"

  • and investors worried about the scheduling of their projects were often tempted to pay him off.

But his scheme began to unravel when a group of entrepreneurs lost patience with his demands, and decided to trap him. The group pretended to agree to the terms of a deal, and then informed police shortly after they had handed Studnička a suitcase filled with counterfeit notes.

  • It was the first case of environmental racketeering to make headlines in the Czech Republic, but the practice it revealed is not new among
  • environmental NGOs, who take advantage of the fact that the law grants "professional project killers" the means to exert considerable pressure on investors.

Studnička's case is only the tip of the iceberg. How many other similar cases have simply not been reported? The South-Korean carmaker Hyundai wanted to set up a factory in the Nošovice industry park in eastern Czech Republic. A group of activists moved to block the project with a court action

  • claiming that it was a threat to the environment, and retained the services of a legal firm specializing "in environmental law,"

with a mastery of all the different strategies necessary to hold off any construction work for several years. Naturally, the Koreans were worried that the factory would be delayed, but a solution was at hand — they only had to approach the activists with an offer "to come to an agreement between reasonable people." The upshot of this process was that the Koreans happily handed over 750,000 euros to finance a "fund for citizen initiatives" to be managed by the activists. The official statement explained that this money would be used for "projects to raise awareness of environmental and conservation issues."

A myriad of lucrative links

Whereas common or garden environmental blackmailers need to be discreet with their demands for cash, larger global players can be much more vocal.

  • And small fish, like local investors, are really of no interest to big-time environmental blackmailers,

the rewards will be counted in billions and not millions of euros. Their method of operation does not depend on threats,

  • but aims to engender a universal sense of guilt.

Take for example, the evangelical author of "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore.

  • Mr. Gore piously recommends that we adopt "carbon neutral lifestyles" to forestall the effects global warming, and he does not say so for the good of his health.

One of the most successful beneficiaries of the "crusade against carbon" is the London company Generation Investment Management (GIM). And who founded GIM? The very same former vice-president of the United States: Al Gore.

Here is another example. In late December, around the time that Lubomír Studnička was arrested, the British broadsheet, The Daily Telegraph published a detailed account of the business interests of Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Environmentalists and the media like to present the IPCC as "the world's most important group of independent climate experts," but it turns out that Pachauri has no qualifications in climate science — he is in fact a railway engineer. However, he has more than made up for this lack by establishing a

— working as a consultant for numerous "green" companies and investment funds specializing in sustainable technologies. At the same time, he also serves on the advisory board of the Chicago Climate Exchange, which organizes the trading of carbon credits"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

US climate official at NOAA shredded documents

  • It's not known if the perpetrator has been fired. As a criminal, he's now in a protected class.
New Bedford: "The chief of law enforcement for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been removed from his job after allegations of document shredding during an investigation by the Commerce Department’s inspector general, according to an aide to U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
  • The NOAA official, Dale Jones, has been under fire since the shredding revelations surfaced in mid-winter during sworn testimony in Gloucester over the handling of law enforcement cases in the Northeast regional fishery.

According to the aide, Jones is being replaced for now by Alan Risenhoover, director of the NOAA Office of Sustainable Fisheries.

  • “While this not a cause for celebration, it is clearly an improvement,” said Frank in a prepared statement. “I express my gratitude to Dr. Lubchenco for this positive step, and I expect NOAA to undertake a careful and thorough selection process as they select a new director of law enforcement.”

It is not known whether Jones has been dismissed, demoted or transferred, because of the federal Privacy Act. Lubchenco has been reluctant to discuss the case for the same reason.

  • NOAA came under severe criticism in the inspector general’s report for uneven, harsh and occasionally vindictive manner of enforcing fishery management regulations. Northeast fishermen were fined far heavier than in other parts of the country, and the enforcement office had a poor reputation for good reason, the report concluded.

Jones’ fate has been awaiting an addendum to that report specifically looking at the shredding of documents during an official investigation. The Frank aide said the report cannot be released by NOAA but can be made public upon congressional request, which is pending."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Arctic Ice cap has sharply increased as of March 2010 to levels not seen since 2001, Leake, UK Times



4/4/10, "Jonathan Leake in The Sunday Times picks up on the news that the size of the Arctic ice cap has increased sharply to levels not seen since 2001, putting the ice extent two days ago almost at the average level for 1979-2000.
  • it is significant that his is the only such report in today's batch of newspapers – although The Daily Mail covered it briefly yesterday.
But what is especially significant about the Leake report is his interview with Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado. He is said to be "surprised" by the Arctic’s recovery from the great melt of 2007 when summer ice shrank to its smallest recorded extent. "In retrospect," he says, "the reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated. The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event."
  • In making this declaration, Serreze is getting away extraordinarily lightly. It was he, after all, who was pre-eminent in stoking up the alarm over the Arctic ice melt, providing fuel for the warmists and driving much of the global warming scare as the ice extent became a poster child for the activists.
It is therefore, appropriate to revisit some if Serreze's earlier pronouncements, in the broader context of the scare as it developed, to see how this now cautious scientist treated the subject. That is the theme of this post.
  • The baseline, of course, is 2007 when the ice extent dropped to a record low, as measured over the relatively short time period since continuous satellite monitoring had been started in 1979. And it was then, on 16 March 2007, that the Science Daily ran the headline, "Arctic sea ice decline may trigger climate change cascade".
It was recording the views of the same Mark Serreze, then a senior research scientist at NSIDC. The Arctic sea ice extent had been dwindling for several decades and Serreze thought it might have reached a "tipping point" that could trigger a cascade of climate change reaching into Earth's temperate regions. He and his team attributed the loss of ice, about 38,000 square miles annually as measured each September, to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases and strong natural variability in Arctic sea ice.
  • "When the ice thins to a vulnerable state, the bottom will drop out and we may quickly move into a new, seasonally ice-free state of the Arctic," Serreze said. "I think there is some evidence that we may have reached that tipping point, and the impacts will not be confined to the Arctic region."
Serreze had not always been so certain. As late as 1992, after a 30-year study relying on more than one million measurements recorded in the Arctic between 1957 and 1986, he and his team had declared that they had found no evidence of global warming.
  • Mark Serreze, was unequivocal. His team had found no evidence that Earth was suffering from the greenhouse effect. But, offering a caution which he himself could well have heeded, he noted that a 30-year period of study might not be sufficient to determine a trend.
In 1995, however, Serreze had been looking at findings from the year 1990 and reporting that the volume of Arctic sea ice and snow cover had dropped to a record low.
  • Already, he was beginning to change his tune, saying that he thought this might be an indication of global warming. Nevertheless, he obviously was not prepared to commit himself, stopping short of saying the Earth was showing signs of human-caused climate change on a planetary scale.
Five years later, though, in August 2000, Serreze was firming up his view, conveyed in the pages of Science Daily again. He was reporting that Arctic temperatures in the late 20th century had been "the warmest in four centuries," and had been accompanied by a variety of other environmental changes.
  • Well short of the 30-year period he had earlier declared to be insufficient to determine a trend, he was now of the opinion that the changes appeared to be "at least partly a result of human activity". This was on the basis of a review completed by himself and nine other co-authors. "Our study validates climate-model results that predict the Arctic will be among the first regions on Earth to respond to a global warming trend," he said.
This was dutifully reported by the BBC, which told us that US researchers were saying they had found evidence of rapid warming in parts of the Arctic over the last 30 years. The researchers were reported to have found that temperatures had risen significantly in a very short time in parts of the Arctic. Parts of Alaska and northern Eurasia, for example, had warmed by nearly six degrees Celsius in the winter months since the early 1970s.
  • Nevertheless, at the end of August, Serreze was warning that the North Pole could be ice-free that summer. Be he was also telling The New York Times that his team was "still not sure" if the diminishing polar ice reflected some short-term natural cycle or was "a wake-up call of possibly drastic climatic consequences of an industrial civilization's release of heat-trapping gases."
"There seems to be a pretty coherent picture of change going on now in the Arctic," Serreze remarked. "But there's nothing to be necessarily alarmed about. There's been open water at the pole before.
  • We have no clear evidence at this point that this is related to global climate change."
Just over two years later, though, in December 2002, the BBC was reporting "Record ice loss in Arctic". This was based on the work of Serreze and his team, but they were still being cautious. They attributed the increased melt to an unusual low-pressure system that "came earlier and stayed longer", to create unseasonable warm temperatures.

Serreze agreed that such a low-pressure system was characteristic of the Arctic Oscillation, an "atmospheric sea-sawing" that produces warm weather. But he was veering into the warmist camp. He calculated that warming had produced roughly 20 percent loss in Arctic sea ice since 1978. But not all warming he said, was due to natural variability.
  • "The Arctic Oscillation can't explain everything," said Serreze. "To what extent these may be human-induced changes is very difficult to say, and Arctic Oscillation itself is subject to human influence," he said. But despite that, he remained suspicious that an aberrant Arctic Oscillation was behind the unusual circulation patterns that had weakened sea ice the previous winter.
After the summer melt in October 2003 – following another significant loss of ice - Serreze was firmly in the warmist camp. He told the New Scientist: "Climate is changing, the Arctic is changing rapidly, and it has significant effects on lower latitudes."...
  • "However, the most reasonable view is that the sea ice decline represents a combination of both natural variability and the greenhouse effect, with the latter becoming more evident in coming decades," he continued.
By now, various commentators were predicting a complete loss of ice over various timescales, and Serreze was nodding his head in that direction. "Some indicate complete disappearance of the summer sea ice cover by 2070," he said. But the vestiges of the scientist remained. He believed natural climate variability played some part in the changes.
  • In September 2005, The New York Times was reporting that "sea ice on the Arctic Ocean had shrank that summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century of record keeping."
Serreze was once again to the fore with his analysis. It had been the fourth year in a row that the ice area had fallen sharply below the long-term average and this once-cautious scientist had abandoned any idea of natural variability as a significant factor.
  • While the Arctic Oscillation had contributed to the reduction in Arctic ice in the past, he stated, it "did not appear to be a factor in the past several years." The role of accumulating greenhouse gas emissions had become increasingly apparent with rising air and sea temperatures.
He said that more variability could lie ahead and that the area of sea ice could actually increase some years. He and his team had found "few hints" that other factors, like more Arctic cloudiness in a warming world, would reverse the trend. "With all that dark open water, you start to see an increase in Arctic Ocean heat storage," said Serreze.
  • "Come autumn and winter that makes it a lot harder to grow ice, and the next spring you're left with less and thinner ice. And it's easier to lose even more the next year. "The result, he said, is that the Arctic is "becoming a profoundly different place than we grew up thinking about."
In March 2006, the National Geographic was picking up on the winter maximum ice extent, noting that for the second year in a row a large amount of Arctic sea ice did not refreeze.
  • Relying in Serreze and his team, it reported that this "trend" may indicate an overall shrinking of Arctic ice cover due to rapid global climate change. And the man was more willing to nail his mast to the predictions of disaster. "Some calculations say that by 2070 we will have no sea ice left," he said. "It's always dangerous to make predictions, but we are right on schedule for this to occur."
In September 2006, Serreze was telling The Washington Post that only five years ago he had been "a fence-sitter" on the issue of whether man-made global warming was happening and a threat. But he said recent evidence in the Arctic had him convinced. The summer sea ice had set a record low the previous year and, although that year's measurements had not been as bad, they would be close to the record.
  • This brings us to the year of 2007, the year of the IPCC report, and the year when – as we have already seen – ice extent dipped substantially. Serreze, the former scientist, threw caution to the wind. In the Canadian press under the headline, "Climate change causing Arctic ice meltdown", he was seen to be commenting on the "unlocking" of the fabled Northwest Passage.
Describing the phenomenon as clear proof that global climate change was under way, the NSIDC said on its website that "analysts at the Canadian Ice Service and the US National Ice Center confirm that the passage is almost completely clear and that the region is more open than it has ever been since the advent of routine monitoring in 1972."
  • And Serreze, "concerned at the accelerated annual loss of Arctic ice", was predicting that the entire polar region, including the North Pole, could witness a total summer melt by 2030. But it was to get worse.
He must have been even more "concerned" by December 2007 as he was being distinctly upstaged. As recorded by the BBC, Professor Wieslaw Maslowskiv from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, had presented "one of the most dramatic forecasts yet" for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.
  • He and his team were offering "modelling studies"
that indicated northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years, putting the complete disappearance of summer ice at 2013. Remarkably, the then current "stunning low point"
  • was not even incorporated into the model runs of Maslowski and his team, which had used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to make their projections.
"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," Maslowskiv explained to the BBC. "So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."
  • Not to be outdone, Serreze was back in the fray in June 2008, offering 50-50 odds that the North Pole would be ice-free that summer, "a first in recorded history", he claimed. And, even if it didn't happen that year, it was "just a matter of time". The explanation was a warming climate and a weather phenomenon, "scientists said."
With predictions mounting that the 2008 melt could surpass the "extraordinary 2007 record low", in the August, Serreze was talking to Reuters, telling them that last year's record was blamed squarely on human-spurred climate change. "No matter where we stand at the end of the melt season it's just reinforcing this notion that Arctic ice is in its death spiral," said Serreze. The Arctic could be free of summer ice by 2030.
  • Despite the doomsayers' predictions, there was a very slight recovery in the summer minimum. Nevertheless, by October, WWF was getting in on the act, claiming that climate change was "faster and more extreme" than feared.
Echoing Serreze, it stated that the first "tipping point" may have already been reached in the Arctic, where sea ice was disappearing up to 30 years ahead of IPCC predictions. It may be gone completely within five years - something that hasn't occurred for a million years – the group warned.
  • Even as the recovery continued, in April 2009 the NSIDC, this time in the form of Walt Meier, a research scientist, was saying that the Arctic Ocean "will" be effectively ice free sometime between 2020 and 2040, although it is possible it could happen as early as 2013.
Nasa figures were showing an increase in winter sea ice to 5.85 million square miles, 282,000 square miles above the record low of 2007. However, we were told, this was still the fifth lowest "on record" and 278,000 square miles less than the average extent for 1979 to 2000. Crucially, much of it was one-year ice and more prone to summer melting.
  • "Most people would agree it is not a matter of if we lose the summer sea ice but when," said Meier. "Temperatures are still warming because of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect. Even if we stopped that temperatures will continue rising and we will see 'positive feedback' where the ocean absorbs more energy therefore increasing the melting effect."
Meanwhile, another study was claiming that: "virtually all the sea ice in the Arctic will have melted during the summer months by 2037, and that it may even disappear as soon as the summer of 2020." The survey was carried out by scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington in Seattle "using the six most sensitive computer models of the Arctic region."
  • In an interview in June 2009, Serreze, who had then recently been made director of NSIDC, dismissed the "breathtaking ignorance" of blogs like Watts up with that?, amplifying the reasons for his "death spiral" claim.
Spring, he said, is increasingly dominated by thin, first-year ice prone to melting out in summer. As the thin ice now starts to melt out earlier in summer, the albedo feedback is stronger meaning even more summer melt. Then, the Arctic was warming in all seasons, meaning that recovery through a series of cold years was becoming less and less likely. Take these three together, and you are probably looking at ice-free summers by 2030. "I'd call that a death spiral", he concluded.

Irritatingly though, the Arctic ice refused to conform with the warmist script, leading Christopher Booker to note in the September that it was proving to be "slippery stuff". The extent of the sea-ice was half a million square kilometres more than it had been at the same time the previous year.
  • BBC viewers had by then been treated to the bizarre spectacle of (United Nations') Mr Ban Ki-moon standing on an Arctic ice-floe making a series of statements so laughable that it was hard to believe such a man could be Secretary-General of the UN.
Thanks to global warming, he had claimed, "100 billion tons" of polar ice are melting each year, so that within 30 years the Arctic could be "ice-free".
  • This was supported by a WWF claim that the ice was melting so fast that, by 2100, sea-levels could rise by 1.2 metres (four feet), which would lead to "floods affecting a quarter of the world".
This did not stop the National Geographic posing the question in October: "Arctic largely ice free in summer within ten years?" But there was a note of uncertainty as it recorded: "The Arctic Ocean could be largely ice free in summer within a decade, scientists announced today - the latest in a stream of wildly varying predictions."
  • Predictions were now ranging from ten years, to the view presented by the Catlin Arctic Survey and WWF, which put it at 20 years, to the NSIDC considered view that the Arctic's summer sea ice would fully melt around 2030. Other groups had put the ice-free date as late as 2100. Asked to explain why there were so many "seemingly wild guesses", Serreze said, "When we lose the ice really depends on the natural variability in the system."
However, the summers of 2008 and 2009 had seen some recovery of Arctic ice. The long-term trend is still for shrinking ice, Serreze insisted. "Will the slow, steady trend be the norm? Or will another year like 2007 come along and wipe out the Arctic ice?" he was asked. "These are the unknowns," Serreze said. "We simply don't know."
  • The Globe and Mail broke the news of the increased ice extent on 1 April 2010. "It is not the end of global warming," said Mark Serreze. "This is weather," he added. "Don't conflate this with climate."
Three years of ice recovery, of course, is not long enough to establish a trend – not when the egregious Serreze had nearly twenty years ago warned that even 30 years was not long enough. But, had Serreze stuck to his guns, and held with the thesis of climate variability, he could have called in aid The New York Times of 20 February 1969 (10 years before the satellite record began), which recorded massive thinning of the polar ice, with predictions that "the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two".

Similarly, he might have relied on a report, courtesy of WUWT, on 10 October 1922, which recorded: "The Arctic seems to be warming up". Ice conditions were "exceptional" – so little ice had "never before been noted".

This ties in admirably with the remarkable book published in 1943 by the Russian professor of geographical science, N N Zubov (p.470 et seq). He records in the same time period, considerable glacier melting, increased temperatures and in 1935 a positive anomaly in Spitzbergen of 10°C. The ice area in the Greenland Sea from April to August for the period 1921 to 1938 was 15-20 percent less than for the period 1898 to 1920. The ice abundance for the same months in the Barents Sea from 1922 to 1933 was 12 percent less than the period 1900 to 1919.

Coming right up to date, we have Hiroshi L Tanaka of the University of the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He tells us, that the arctic warming before 1989 especially in winter was explained by the positive trend of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Moreover the intensified Beaufort High and the drastic decrease of the sea ice concentrations in September after 1989 were associated with the recent negative trend of the AO.

Since the decadal variation of the AO is recognized as the natural variability of the global atmosphere, Tanaka adds, "it is shown that both of decadal variabilities before and after 1989 in the Arctic can be mostly explained by the natural variability of the AO not by the external response due to the human activity."
  • So much for Serreze's "death spiral". The only such "spiral" we can reliably observe is in the warmist creed, which is currently in free-fall. "
by Richard North from EUReferendum, "A 'Death Spiral' for Warmists" 4/4/10 via Tom Nelson

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Greenpeace issues threat- "We know where you live."

"We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more.

…The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

If you’re one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are.

We know where you live.

We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few."...

  • A typical violent wacked out leftist who probably sees himself as a flower child. (ed).

from Greenpeace.org, 4/1/10, "Will the real Climategate please stand up?" via WUWT

Friday, April 2, 2010

The 5-4 case that must be reversed: Massachusetts v EPA , 2007

"“It has been three years since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007). But the significance of this case requires that it be exposed and discussed. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in this case that the EPA “abdicated its responsibility under the Clean Air Act to regulate the emissions of four greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.”

This is a ruling of profound significance for America. The Supreme Court by a slim majority leaped forward to conclude that man-made C02 emissions (a) cause global warming, (b) are increasing too rapidly, and (c) that America will suffer catastrophic damages if the EPA does not do something to stop these increases.

  • The problems with the Massachusetts v. EPA opinion are fundamental and far-reaching.

This opinion stands with Lawrence v. Texas and Boumediene v. Bush as examples of a slim majority of five Justices who

The legal processes and analysis of the majority represents a departure from intellectual honesty and disciplined analysis, and stands as a blatant example of judicial activism.” Continue reading here: “Supreme Court “Global Warming” Ruling — A Monument to Bad Science and Judicial Activism“"

No public figure in early 2007 had access to correct information about CO2. Even if you view corporately funded climate scientists near the center of the carbon trading industry as saints, it is clear they withheld certain information as did the only scientific journals with influence. The average person still does not know the extent to which information was and is still withheld from public consciousness. Major media in the US will not report it.
  • Many in US government have long despised the middle class in this country (private sector, especially), and have no intention at this late date of telling them the truth. Billions of dollars and decades of work had gone into supporting one side in the Supreme Court case, the made-up CO2 catastrophe United Nations carbon trading Goldman Sachs side. No other side was represented (I refer to the people, I do not consider "the oil companies" a side). ed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

George Soros stock scandals

  • Following articles about some of George Soros' stock scandals. First from Budapest Times, second from UK Guardian, others mild discussion on Belarus
3.30.09 Budapest Times: (I copied the article when it came out. Other accounts have been scrubbed. Now even the Budapest Times has been blocked). "Budapest Times: "Hungary's financial supervisory watchdog announced Friday it had slapped a 1.6-million-euro fine on an investment fund founded by US billionaire George Soros, for manipulating the market.
  • The PSzAF said it had fined Soros Fund Management LLC for transactions on the Budapest stock exchange on October 9 that led to a "significant loss in value" of
  • Hungarian OTP bank stocks, which fell in days from 4,000 forint (13.2 euros, 17.86 dollars) to 2,500 forint.

The PSzAF "is imposing a 489-million-forint fine on Soros Fund Management LLC... for violating the rules regarding the

the supervisory authority said in a statement on its Internet site.

  • The Soros Fund has 30 days to pay this record fine.

The PSzAF said the fund started putting OTP shares up for sale at 4:27 pm on October 9, just minutes before closing.

  • "The timing, the number and the effects of these transactions on the market point

OTP, Hungary's biggest bank, was already hit hard by the financial crisis, like many other banks, but then saw its share value crumble in a few days after October 9.

In a statement Friday, Hungarian-born Soros responded he had been informed of the fine but insisted that he was not involved in the transactions."...Budapest Times, 3/30/09, "Soros Sorry over Decimation of OTP's Share Price" ********

12.20.02, guardian uk, "A French court today convicted US billionaire investor George Soros of insider trading and fined him 2.2m euros.

The fine by the court is the same amount the Hungarian-born magnate was accused of having made from buying stocks at French bank Société Générale with insider knowledge 14 years ago. The fine was in line with the request by prosecutors.

Mr Soros, 72, the president of Soros Fund Management, denies having privileged information. He was not in court today.

In court testimony in November, Mr Soros said: "I have been in business all my life, and I think I know what is insider trading and what isn't."

Société Générale was privatised in 1987. A year later, its stock price went up during an unsuccessful takeover bid. Mr Soros was accused of having obtained insider information

before the abortive corporate raid pushed up the stock price.

Mr Soros went on trial with two other men, Jean-Charles Naouri, a former top aide to France's then-finance minister Pierre Beregovoy, and Lebanese businessman Samir Traboulsi. The court cleared both men of any wrongdoing. Prosecutors had sought fines of 290,000 euros for Mr Naouri and 1.98m euros for Mr Traboulsi.

Mr Soros has said he was interested in Société Générale based on information he claims was widely known: France's leftist government of the time favoured takeovers to change the leadership at recently privatised companies. Mr Soros said he was buying stock in many companies and had no reason not to include Société Générale.

Afterward, he sold the stock, saying he felt the takeover attempt was politically motivated and was not going to benefit the company.

Mr Soros was reportedly the first American to earn a billion dollars in a single year. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930, he emigrated to the United States in 1956 and became a citizen five years later. He made his fortune managing investment funds.

Forbes magazine ranked him this year as the 37th richest person in the world, with an estimated $6.9bn fortune.

Prosecutors said the case dragged on because Swiss authorities took years to respond to requests for information. Defence lawyers argued unsuccessfully that the case should be thrown out because it took so long to bring to court." "French court convicts soros of insider trading" *******

UPDATE from Budapest Times, 7/19/2009,: "Soros fighting HUF 489m fine

Sunday, 19 July 2009
The Budapest Municipal Court will hear in December the appeal of New York-based Soros Fund Management against a record HUF 489 million (EUR 1.79 million) fine handed down by the Hungarian financial regulator PSZÁF in March.


PSZÁF said the transaction led to the price of shares in Hungary’s largest domestic bank plummeting by over 14 per cent, and it went on to lose over half of its value. Soros Fund Management was set up by the Hungarian-born billionaire financier George Soros, although he no longer plays an active part in its running. The fine imposed on Soros Fund Management is the largest that the Hungarian financial regulator has ever imposed for a deal of this type. PSZÁF set the penalty at four times the profit it estimated that the firm had made from the deal."*******

*****************
5.9.97, Times higher education, Belarus turns on Soros" "In the central Asian republic of Kirghizstan the foundation has also been accused in the government press of interfering in the internal affairs of the country by financing only opposition newspapers. "...

5/2/97, NY Times, Judith Miller

"Belarus has imposed a $3 million fine on the Soros Foundation for what the Government said were

currency exchange violations, apparently in an effort to shut down the country's largest independent nongovernmental organization, spokesmen for the foundation said yesterday.

The fine follows what foundation officials in New York called a monthlong campaign of harassment against the foundation, which supports educational, ecological and medical programs as well as civic groups and individuals critical of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko's efforts to suppress opposition in the former Soviet republic of 10 million people.

Belarussian tax officials issued the fine after a monthlong audit concluded that the foundation had violated its status as a charitable organization by supporting unsanctioned opposition rallies and taken other actions that Belarus state television had earlier called ''an intervention in Belarus's domestic affairs.''

In an interview yesterday, George Soros, the American financier and a philanthropist whose money supports the foundation, called the Government's charges ''totally without merit'' and said the fine was a ''blatant attempt to close the foundation by imposing an exorbitant penalty for nonexisting infractions.''

While the foundation has appealed the Government's decision, Mr. Soros added, the fine will not be paid.

''It is not meant to be paid,'' he said. ''It is meant to close us down. And it is part of a concerted campaign by Lukashenko to consolidate his power by suppressing the independent sector in Belarus.''

The United States has been increasingly concerned about the growing authoritarianism of the Belarus President, a flamboyant former collective-farm boss who has spoken admiringly of Stalin and the virtues of dictatorship.

Last month, Mr. Lukashenko and President Boris N. Yeltsin of Russia initialed a watered-down version of a charter that paves the way for the union of the two ex-Soviet republics.

Mr. Soros, whose Open Society Institute in Moscow spent some $44 million on diverse charitable, scientific, education and democratic programs in Russia last year,

has called upon Russia to protest Mr. Lukashenko's efforts to close down his foundation in Belarus.

Mr. Lukashenko's crackdown on the Belarus Soros Foundation began in earnest in March when he ordered an investigation of all nongovernmental organizations in the country. Two other nongovernmental groups -- the United States-based City of Hope, which distributes food and clothing in Belarus, and the German-financed Chernobyl Children's Fund -- were forced to close after Belarus charged them with financial irregularities, which they, too, have denied.

Later that month,

the American executive director of the Soros Foundation was expelled after the Government charged him with interfering in domestic affairs for attending an opposition rally.

On April 23, Belarus tax inspectors concluded that 19 grants made by the Soros Foundation, including one supporting a documentary film about a small Belarussian town and another to create an archive on the 1986 Chernobyl disaster,

were not covered by the foundation's tax-exempt status.

On Wednesday, inspectors also accused the foundation of failing to comply with a Government decree requiring licensed groups to sell all hard currency holdings to the Government at the official exchange rate.

Since its creation in Minsk four years ago, the Belarus Soros Foundation has spent more than $13 million supporting the development of education, science and civic groups in Belarus."

"Belarus Fines Soros Foundation $3 million in apparent crackdown"

Wind power rejected by Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission-stunning and welcome loss for RGGI cap and trade pressure group

(CNSNews.com) - "The R.I. Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday rejected a contract that would have allowed Rhode Island’s largest electric utility to buy power from a wind farm that's planned for the waters off the R.I. coast. It would have been the first project of its kind in the United States, the Providence Journal reported.
  • The three-member commission voted unanimously against the power-purchase agreement, saying the price of power agreed to by the two sides was too high and that the overall deal was not “commercially reasonable.”
According to the Providence Journal, "The crux of the proposed agreement was a sale price of 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour, nearly three times the price National Grid pays for energy from fossil-fuel fired power plants and nuclear facilities. Over the 20-year contract, the price would have escalated by 3.5 percent annually,
  • so, by the final year, it would have been 48.6 cents per kilowatt hour. Combined with a 2.75-percent markup on clean energy that National Grid was allowed by Rhode Island law, it would have meant hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs to the state’s 480,000 ratepayers over two decades."
Read report from Providence Journal and see Newspaper Roundup
  • UPDATE: From this entry, it would have been a big guaranteed payday for Deep Water investors, and an 'uncaring' robbery of ratepayers. The kind 'environmentalists' assumed citizens and their reps would fall for it. ed.

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