If this isn’t a nail in the global-warming coffin, nothing is.

August 2, 2009

Global-warming alarmists and acolytes of the Goracle dismiss skeptics as “deniers,” asserting that the science is settled and that we have to take drastic action NOW before catastrophe strikes. They demand Congress pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, which would be a catastrophe in its own right, not the least for fostering a trade war during a recession. Those who stand in their way deserve to be placed on trial for treason against the planet, in their view.

Their shrill hostility arises, in part, from mounting frustration that the scientific evidence is more and more turning against them. The latest blow comes not from some mere blog or mass-market pop-science book, but from one of the most respected peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world, The Journal of Geophysical Research. In the July 23rd issue, in an article titled “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature,” researchers McLean, de Freitas, and Carter argue that the vast majority of observed temperature anomalies over the past 50 years are due to shifts in the Pacific Ocean’s temperature pattern, not greenhouse gases:

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958−2008 period. GTTA are represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period 1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño−Southern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20°S and 20°N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.

(Emphasis added)

I wonder when their heresy trial starts?

Meanwhile, scientists belonging to the American Chemical Society and American Physical Society are in open revolt against the leadership of their societies for trying to declare, a la Al Gore, that the fact of anthropogenic global warming is established beyond doubt and that skeptics are obstructionists.

That consensus is sure looking solid, isn’t it? Loser

Finally, reader Porkchop forwards a link to an editorial from an article yesterday’s Boston Globe. It may not be scientific, but it asks a good question: You call this summer?

LINKS: Climate Depot on the revolt at the ACS. Also, Watt’s Up With That.

Nanny is watching…

August 2, 2009

Almost all of us have experienced neighbors with dysfunctional families and their out-of-control kids, and we’ve wished someone would do something about it. Well, in Great Britain, someone is: the government plans to install 24-hour CCTV cameras in 20,000 homes to monitor families that can’t behave.

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

That’s right. Not only will the government be spying on the families in their own homes, but they’ll send guards around to check on them. Should mother now fear a knock at the door if she gives her child a Twinkie? And just how many rooms of the house are under surveillance? Are the bedrooms off-limits? The bathrooms?

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of families that need help and counseling, but to be placed under the all-seeing eye of government is an appalling step toward the Brave New World or Orwell’s Oceania, as are the Anti-Social Behavior Orders,the Food Police, the arrest of a Member of Parliament for daring to keep the public informed, or local councils paying people to dig through their neighbors’ trash bins in a “waste audit.”

It used to be a feature of English Common Law that a man’s home is his castle, that his (or her) privacy could not be subjected to unreasonable invasions. (See, for example, the discussion of the origin of the fourth amendment search and seizure provisions in Levy’s Origins of the Bill of Rights) If that principle isn’t altogether dead in Britain, they’ve at least scrubbed any meaning from the word “reasonable.”

And I don’t think it unreasonable to worry this may a vision of the future here if Obama and the progressives have their way. Worried

Another campaign promise expires?

August 2, 2009

Hey, wait a second. Didn’t Tax-Cheat Timmy’s boss say during the campaign there would be no new taxes on the middle class? That was then, and this is now:

To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, “We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”

Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.

“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”

But…but… The One said:

Of course, the Treasury Secretary’s remarks aren’t a thundering revelation; anyone who’s looked honestly at the amount of money committed under the stimulus bill and the current budget, and the amounts needed to pay for ObamaCare realizes he can pay for it only by borrowing, printing money, or raising taxes – probably some combination of all three. What’s clear is that it can’t be paid for by taxing the rich alone. That means he must raise taxes on the middle classes during a severe recession, one of the surest ways to choke a real recovery.

And Geithner’s remarks aren’t the first hint from this administration that the “no middle-class tax hike” pledge would go under the bus: Axelrod was crossing his fingers behind his back over a month ago, as was Obama’s Press Secretary. All this is just laying the groundwork for Obama himself to eventually break his promise, regretting the need to do so while blaming Bush.

Harry Truman once said that a platform is to run on, not to stand on, but I don’t think he meant “stomp it into little pieces,” either.

LINKS: Hot Air, and Hot Air again. Byron York. Sister Toldjah.