Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Dog Ate Global Warming

Interpreting climate data can be hard enough. What if some key data have
been fiddled?

By Patrick J. Michaels

Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature.
Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific
basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical
footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session
talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen
in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the
gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some
discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and
they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy,
scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established
the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive
history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and
Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as
the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC
to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t
really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually
established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that
induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around
thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by
the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations
themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat
vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are
required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at
all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to
which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the
IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where
that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking
for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to
replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why
should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find
something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific
thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find
something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well
that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told
Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and
Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of
Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by
the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial
temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he
wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the
University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.

Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all,
saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data
between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers
then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful
turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very
vague language.

It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating
that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend
estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those
records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by
50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking
changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).

Enter the dog that ate global warming.

Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the
University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones

*Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing
series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within
a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely
available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not
able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series
after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the
original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and
homogenized) data.*

The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from
somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could
easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of
the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.

If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the
original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The
letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter
Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What
was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that
the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket
this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to
step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law,
which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there
are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer
to the question posed above.

— Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the
Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science
They Don’t Want You to Know.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Al Gore's threatening agenda

Here is an article that is very eye opening. Well worth reading. If you agree then go to the link at the bottom of the article and set up your own screening.

A link to the main website:

'Not Evil Just Wrong' exposes Al Gore's threatening agenda

September 21, 2009

Al Gore received a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for claiming that humans cause global warming and an "accelerated melting of the north polar ice cap." Given such mantras, many European children fear that polar bears and civilization will be wiped out by floods. Meanwhile, millions of Africans die from malaria because the insecticide DDT is banned in their nations. Now it seems that Gore and likeminded environmentalists think carbon dioxide (CO2), a byproduct of fossil fuels, is the new DDT.

So what does all that mean to Americans? A new documentary by the feisty Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney explains a lot. Not Evil Just Wrong examines the human toll of bad environmental policies with leaders such as Gore's scientific advisor, a Greenpeace founder, human rights activist Roy Innis and green celebrity Ed Begley, Jr., among others. Therefore, the husband-wife team is urging regular people and activists to think globally and act locally. Not Evil Just Wrong premiers on October 18 with a worldwide distribution plan for everyone who wants to host screenings.

In this film, Mr. Gore has his say in a series of catastrophic messages. Then we meet John Day, the attorney who represented a parent in suing the British Ministry of Education because it had decided to show all children Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth. Consequently, Britain's High Court of Justice found nine major errors. According to Day, the most egregious scientific error is Gore's exaggeration of reports by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He says, "Al Gore gives the impression that sea level is going rise by 20 feet in the very near future. The IPCC talks about 20 feet sea level rises over millennia — over thousands of years — thousands of thousands of years. ... Now that is a very disturbing misstatement of the science."

After that revelation, we hear from scientists who say that changes in arctic ice are a natural phenomenon, certain methods of forecasting climate change are based on false data, and CO2, the natural gas exhaled by humans and other creatures, is essential to all life. Yet there is so much more to this stunning documentary.

Ann McElhinney said, "We were very happy to have Al Gore in our film, but he refused to be interviewed. This is a very odd way to behave if you care about truth."

Phelim McAleer said, "If there's such an emergency, if the planet's going to die in five years, then get out there. Give press conferences. Talk to people. Debate with your opponents."

They interviewed one of Gore's top scientific advisors, climatologist Stephen Schneider of Stanford University and the IPCC. In the 1970s, Schneider warned of an immanent and devastating manmade ice age, but now he preaches immanent and devastating manmade global warming. After the interview, Schneider withdrew permission and Stanford University lawyers threatened the filmmakers not use their footage. However, they can legally reveal what he said, so they do.

Patrick Moore is a Greenpeace founder and former member (1971-86), plus an ecologist. In Not Evil Just Wrong, he guides viewers through the science and typical tactics of environmentalists. Like other scientists in this film, Moore comes to a conclusion about the motives behind popular strategies and it is quite shocking: not because the motives aren't obvious, but because he and others have the authority to expose them.

Donald Roberts, Ph.D., a tropical health specialist and professor emeritus of the Uniformed University of Health Sciences, discusses DDT, which is probably the best weapon against malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Carson released the book Silent Spring, her unproven thesis that DDT causes cancer or genetic mutation in various creatures. Subsequently, DDT was banned around the globe and Roberts says that estimates of malaria infections are as high as 800 million. McAleer said the estimates of casualties are as high as 50 million. According to BBC News, South Africa stopped using DDT in 1996 and malaria cases shot up to 65,000 in 2000, so it resumed DDT use in 2001. By 2006, the World Health Organization said South African data showed that DDT can reduce malaria transmission by 90%. Thus, the WHO enthusiastically recommended DDT for the 107 countries where malaria is endemic. But Ugandans and other Africans still plead for help. In Not Evil Just Wrong, Roberts concludes, "[T]he people who say that we don't need DDT, I would have to assume, have an agenda that is separate from the agenda of controlling malaria, reducing death and reducing disease in vulnerable populations."

"There's something going on right now with the scientific method — something that's not healthy," said McElhinney. "We look at the DDT story and it's very interesting what happened. The people who defended Rachel Carson, like Al Gore, continue to defend her despite the science."

McAleer added, "We showed our film to a group of African Americans in Atlanta and they went crazy when they saw the DDT section. They were angry that they didn't know about DDT and no one ever told them about it. They thought it was a conspiracy to keep the problem.

"The point of the DDT section is that the ban has cost the lives of 30 million-plus Africans," he said. "CO2 is the new DDT. We're going through the same cycle and we're going to affect the lives of hundreds of millions — billions — if you ban fossil fuels."

In the film, Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, stresses that the DDT bans in developing nations are a human rights issue because people have died and, furthermore, the risk of getting malaria harms the survivors' economies. He says, "I don't believe that the people who oppose DDT are evil people, but they're people who are wrong." Innis also says, "I cannot believe that Al Gore has regard for people — real people."

Then there's Ed Begley, Jr., who stars in "Living With Ed" on the Discovery Networks' Planet Green. In Not Evil Just Wrong, Begley claims that Fiji's poor "have nothing" and they are "very happy" to live without electricity. In reality, the squalor is heartwrenching. Furthermore, Begley would have no TV career without electricity, let alone basic necessities such as a refrigerator. Still, he gets teary-eyed over green schemes, but the filmmakers catch him admitting hypocrisy.

"I wanted to look behind the word 'ban,'" said McAleer. "I realized that when you ban something, somebody suffers. The environmental movement opposes building dams, but that deprives people of clean water.

"The most endangered species in Africa is not the lemur, not the lion. It's a five-year-old child in a village," he said. "You have all these people running around trying to cure AIDS in Africa with their red ribbons, but the biggest killer is diarrhea. Try having a benefit dinner to cure diarrhea. What color would the ribbon be? It's not very glamorous, but water treatment plants would save those people."

Of course, water purification plants require electricity, which is usually produced with hydro dams or fossil fuels.

"We have condemned the people of Africa and Asia to pre-industrial farming. Do you want that?" McAleer asked. He said many environmentalists have similar plans for America and it's explored in the film. In fact, the process has begun with congressional bills to burden citizens with high taxes on energy. Next, the government could ban fuels that are necessary for electricity and transportation. In other words, the wrong kind of environmentalism would kill the American way of life.

McAleer said, "There's a theme to the environmentalist push. The answer is always stop America from growing, stop big business. But America is the last hope because your people haven't bought the propaganda. They recognize the madness of driving jobs out of America during one of the biggest recessions."

Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney traveled the world in their three-year quest for answers. They said, "Not Evil Just Wrong has a very large carbon footprint — we are very proud of that."

The worldwide simultaneous screenings premier is Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 8 PM ET in homes, dorms, clubs , churches and so on. Everyone who wants to host a screening party can order the DVD, movie poster and a red carpet by clicking on the following link: Not Evil Just Wrong — the true cost of warming hysteria.

© Anita Crane

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Patrick Swayze dies of cancer at 57

Patrick Swayze

Born: 18 August 1952, USA
Died: 14 September 2009 (aged 57)

Rest in Peace - A great actor and an even greater man. He will be missed.

"In the words of Sam to Molly, 'It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.'

Patrick Swayze dies of cancer at 57

'Dirty Dancing' star was nominated for three Golden Globes

By Duane Byrge
Patrick Swayze, who soared to stardom as a heartthrob dancer in "Dirty Dancing" and ascended to romantic icon status as a deceased lover in "Ghost," died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist Annett Wolf.

The actor had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting "The Beast," an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran last winter, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze, whose work on "The Beast" was singled out as being particularly compelling, said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making the show because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

In fact, the actor was hospitalized with pneumonia in January while promoting "The Beast," which premiered Jan. 15. He had been scheduled to attend the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Los Angeles at the time to tubthump the show but was taken ill and couldn't attend.

It was first reported in March 2008 that the actor was being treated for inoperable Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In an ABC interview in January, Swayze said it "seemed likely" he would live for two more years.

A trained dancer and gymnast, the athletic Swayze was a swooner as a romantic lead, garnering his first of three Golden Globe nominations for his electrifying performance in "Dirty Dancing."

The 1987 movie showcased Swayze's dual abilities as a dancer and actor. He also composed and performed a song for the movie, "She's Like the Wind," which became a hit. And his line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" -- which he directed at Jennifer Grey character's father, played by Jerry Orbach -- became a classic movie one-liner.

Swayze turned down an offer of $6 million to appear in a sequel but 17 years later popped up in a cameo role in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights."

Swayze followed "Dirty Dancing" with two projects that capitalized on his sex appeal and athleticism: "Road House" and "Next of Kin," both released in 1989.

He soared further as a romantic lead the following year with Jerry Zucker's "Ghost." His robust and delicate performance as a dead man who didn't tell his girlfriend that he loved her while he was alive captivated audiences. Swayze and Demi Moore teamed for one of the most erotic scenes in mainstream movies when they sculpted clay to the Righteous Brothers' meltingly romantic 1965 love song "Unchained Melody."

Swayze earned his second Globe nomination for "Ghost" and became a poster boy, earning People's "Sexiest Man Alive" cover in 1991.

That same year, Swayze parlayed his buff stuff into a role as a bank robber/surfer guru in "Point Break."

While he was honored as ShoWest Male Star of the Year in 1992, Swayze's star aura dimmed by appearances in a number of lackluster films in the 1990s, including "City of Joy," "Father Hood," "Three Wishes" and Black Dog."

An intelligent and introspective performer, Swayze did on occasion play against his stud persona. He won acclaim, and his third Globe nom, as a drag queen in "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995). Swayze also mixed things up by playing an antiseptic self-help guru in the subversive indie comedy "Donnie Darko" and as a golf instructor in the offbeat British comedy "Keeping Mum."

Before his breakout turn in "Dirty Dancing," Swayze built his career in a number of solid projects.

Among his earlier films, Swayze was part of the star-studded lineup of up-and-comers in Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 adaptation of S.E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders," alongside Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Diane Lane. Swayze played Darrel "Dary" Curtis, the oldest of three wayward brothers -- and essentially the father figure -- in a poor family in small-town Oklahoma.

Other '80s films included "Red Dawn," "Grandview U.S.A." (for which he also provided choreography) and "Youngblood," again with Lowe, as Canadian hockey teammates. He co-starred in the popular ABC miniseries "North and South" (1985).

With his dancing prowess, he also took to the stage, starring on Broadway in "Chicago" in 2003 and as Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls" in London in 2006.

Swayze was born Aug. 18, 1952, in Houston. His father was a rodeo cowboy, and his mother was a dance instructor and choreographer. Combining his athletic and cultural heritage, Swayze studied dance, principally ballet, as a child.

It was at his mother's dance studio that he first met Lisa Niemi, a fellow dancer, whom he married in 1975.

Swayze, a Texas-raised boy, had to overcome the stigma of such pursuits, which he more than compensated for by his participation in sports. He excelled as a high school jock, winning letters in football, gymnastics and swimming. He won scholarship offers for both athletics and dance, choosing a gymnastics scholarship at San Jacinto College in Houston.

His skills were made to order for figure skating, and Swayze soon became a top-notch skater. In his first professional gig, he skated as Prince Charming in a Disney on Ice traveling company.

In 1972, Swayze headed to New York, intent on becoming a professional dancer. He studied at the Joffrey and Harkness Ballet companies and was hired to dance as the principal dancer at the Eliot Feld Ballet Company. However, an old football knee injury hampered him, and he veered from dancing to acting and musical comedy, soon landing Broadway roles in "Goodtime Charley," "West Side Story" and "Grease."

Buoyed by his successes on Broadway, Swayze moved to Los Angeles and studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. He soon garnered TV guest-star roles, including a noteworthy performance as a dying soldier on the hit series "M*A*S*H."

Swayze made his film debut in the 1979 rollerskating movie "Skatetown USA" in 1979.

Swayze his survived by his wife, Lisa Niemi, his mother, Patsy, and brother Don.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Patrick Swayze filmography:

"The Outsiders," 1983
"Red Dawn," 1984
"Grandview, U.S.A.," 1984
"Youngblood," 1986
"Dirty Dancing," 1987
"Road House," 1989
"Next of Kin," 1989
"Ghost," 1990
"Point Break," 1991
"City of Joy," 1992
"Father Hood," 1993
"To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," 1995
"Three Wishes," 1995
"Black Dog," 1998
"Donnie Darko," 2001
"Keeping Mum," 2005
"Powder Blue," 2008

Thankyou Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ADHD Solutions

Just found this over on SMARTPLANET and hope that they won't be too offended if I borrow for here. It's a great article and explains a lot of things that I had to learn about myself through personal experience. My son was ADHD to the extreme - he didn't make it. Glad research is finally yielding some results.

Now we know why Ritalin works

By Dana Blankenhorn | Sep 9, 2009 |

Why do stimulants like Ritalin turn ADHD kids normal but turn normal kids into hopped-up screaming meamies?

Turns out it’s all about the dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It passes signals between cells in your brain. Good signals.

Think of it as a chemical “attaboy.” It is well known as a precursor to adrenaline, and Arvid Carlsson won the 2000 Nobel Prize in medicine for finding this other role.

Recently scientists at the Brookhaven National Lab gave 53 ADHD people and 44 controls a radioactive tracer that would “light up” dopamine receptors and transporters under a PET scanner.

What they found was the ADHD people had fewer of these cells, meaning our brains are less capable of processing dopamine, the chemical “attaboy,” than other people. It’s all gone into the Journal of the American Medical Association.

If you don’t have many cells that process dopamine, the best way to get a healthy dose in your brain is to flood it with chemicals that produce dopamine. Stimulants. That’s why Ritalin and Adderall help ADHD kids. These same chemicals overstimulate a brain with a normal load of dopamine receptors, which is why your kid just gets high on them.

But the study also explains a lot more. Eating stimulates dopamine, so fat ADHDers are self-medicating in the same way as their cousins who try benzedrine or other drugs. So does exercise, which may be why Michael Phelps stays in the pool all day.

This may also be why ADHD “poster boy” Robin Williams reported that, when he used cocaine, he felt quiet, normal, and sane. Cocaine also stimulates dopamine. This may also be why he later became an alchoholic. Alcohol helps stimulate the natural release of dopamine.

This may also be part of what drove Williams to be a comic and actor. Loud applause stimulates dopamine. It may explain why so many other ADHDers are so ambitious, so driven to succeed at their passions. We need more real attaboys to stimulate our limited dopamine receptors.

As an ADHD kid myself, and father to two more, this may also explain something I have found troubling my whole life. I don’t react well to praise. Tell me you like this article and I may just shrug it off. Tell me you hate it and we can have a good argument — well an argument at any rate. Praise doesn’t give me the hit it gives you — I need a lot of it to feel it.

So while some are going to take this study as offering a simple chemical solution to ADHD (more dopamine) I believe therapy is still highly recommended. The real answer lies in self-awareness, using ADHD’s gifts to concentrate and create, while being aware of its downsides and treating yourself more gently as a result.

Word to my fellow ADHDers, of any age, wherever you are. You may not hear the applause, and you may not feel it, but it’s there if you work hard and listen closely.