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5.28.2005

Environmentalists slams leaked draft G8 statement on climate change

LONDON (AFP) May 28, 2005
The environmental group Friends of the Earth has criticized a leaked draft statement for the upcoming G8 summit for failing to set specific targets or timetables to reduce greenhouse gases from the highly industrialized countries.

"The alarm bells on climate change are ringing, but the world's richest nations aren't listening," Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International's climate campaigner, said in a statement Friday.

The British government, which is hosting the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, from July 6-8, played down the significance of the 14-page document, posted on the Internet Wednesday by a British environmentalist.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said the document was an old draft.

"No conclusions should be drawn prior to the summit," she told AFP.

The document states that "the world's developed economies have a responsibility" to tackle climate change.

"The G8 therefore pledge to take action to promote a fundamental ... change in the way we produce and use energy," the leaked document read.

Friends of the Earth charged that the statement lacked "specific targets and timetables for reducing greenhouse gases from G8 nations" and failed to recognize the "major impact that G8 countries have had" on climate change.

"Fine words are not enough," Pearce said, adding that "G8 countries represent just 13 percent of the world's population, but account for 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions."

The group demanded that the G8 countries -- Britain, the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Russia -- agree "for specific, substantial and timetabled cuts in their domestic emissions of greenhouse gasses."

Climate change means learning to live with floods, tsunamis

NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands (AFP) May 27, 2005
Dikes and dams will not be enough to stop the deluge. With climate change, people will have to learn to live with floods and tidal waves, scientists at an international conference said Friday.

"We have gone from the point of defending ourselves from flooding to managing floods and learning to live with them," said Eelco van Beek, who was among the 300 experts attending a conference in the Dutch city of Nijmegen.

During the past two years, more than 600 floods have been recorded in the world, causing the deaths of 19,000 people and damage valued at about 25 billion dollars (20 billion euros).

The figures do not include the deaths of some 273,000 people when a tsunami hit the countries bordering the Indian Ocean last December.

The conference in the Netherlands brought together scientists and humanitarian specialists to try to find ways of handling inundations, whether from the sea or rivers.

"It is time to say good-bye to the traditional approach of making ever higher dikes and ever stronger pumps," said Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Dutch state secretary for water management.

A purely defensive strategy is "untenable, especially because of the difficulty of defending against the consequences of climate change," she said.

Czech Republic registers record temperature for 113 years

PRAGUE (AFP) May 28, 2005
The Czech capital Prague on Saturday registered its hottest temperature for the day for 113 years, hitting 31.8 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), the local authorities said. The previous record for the day had been recorded in 1892 with 31.6 degrees Celsius.

5.24.2005

Mexico's 'Fire Volcano' erupts



MEXICO CITY, Mexico (Reuters) -- Mexico's so-called "Fire Volcano" has erupted, spewing lava and glowing rocks in its biggest explosion since 1999, a director of the country's civil protection agency has said.

A huge gray column of smoke billowed into the evening air from a crater of the 3,860 meter (12,540 foot) volcano in the western state of Colima, television images show.

The "Fire Volcano" is located in a sparsely populated rural area about 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the capital, Mexico City.

There were no immediate plans to evacuate any of the tiny villages that lie around the volcano, Luis Salazar, operations director of the Civil Protection agency in Colima, said.

"There was an explosion that sent up a column of smoke some 4 kilometers(2.5 miles) into the air," Salazar told Reuters.

"We are monitoring the situation but for the moment there is no need to evacuate."

Colima University's Volcano Observatory said on its Web site that: "At 1910 local (0110 GMT) there was the biggest explosion ever registered on our monitoring systems."

The observatory did not say when it began monitoring activity at the volcano.

Villagers were last evacuated in May 2002, after a series of small eruptions.

The last major explosion of the Fire Volcano was in 1913, but it has erupted intermittently in the last decade.

Originally posted at Signs of the Times

5.21.2005

Sunshine May Prevent Cancer

Scientists are excited about a vitamin again. But unlike fads that sizzled and fizzled, the evidence this time is strong and keeps growing. If it bears out, it will challenge one of medicine's most fundamental beliefs: that people need to coat themselves with sunscreen whenever they're in the sun. Doing that may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents, some researchers think.

The vitamin is D, nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen blocks its production, but dermatologists and health agencies have long preached that such lotions are needed to prevent skin cancer. Now some scientists are questioning that advice. The reason is that vitamin D increasingly seems important for preventing and even treating many types of cancer.

In the last three months alone, four separate studies found it helped protect against lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung and, ironically, the skin. The strongest evidence is for colon cancer
.

Many people aren't getting enough vitamin D. It's hard to do from food and fortified milk alone, and supplements are problematic.

So the thinking is this: Even if too much sun leads to skin cancer, which is rarely deadly, too little sun may be worse.

No one is suggesting that people fry on a beach. But many scientists believe that "safe sun" — 15 minutes or so a few times a week without sunscreen — is not only possible but helpful to health.

One is Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a Harvard University professor of medicine and nutrition who laid out his case in a keynote lecture at a recent American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

His research suggests that vitamin D might help prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer.

"I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D," Giovannucci told the cancer scientists. "The data are really quite remarkable."

The talk so impressed the American Cancer Society's chief epidemiologist, Dr. Michael Thun, that the society is reviewing its sun protection guidelines. "There is now intriguing evidence that vitamin D may have a role in the prevention as well as treatment of certain cancers," Thun said.

Even some dermatologists may be coming around. "I find the evidence to be mounting and increasingly compelling," said Dr. Allan Halpern, dermatology chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who advises several cancer groups.

The dilemma, he said, is a lack of consensus on how much vitamin D is needed or the best way to get it.

No source is ideal. Even if sunshine were to be recommended, the amount needed would depend on the season, time of day, where a person lives, skin color and other factors. Thun and others worry that folks might overdo it.

"People tend to go overboard with even a hint of encouragement to get more sun exposure," Thun said, adding that he'd prefer people get more of the nutrient from food or pills.

But this is difficult. Vitamin D occurs naturally in salmon, tuna and other oily fish, and is routinely added to milk. However, diet accounts for very little of the vitamin D circulating in blood, Giovannucci said.

Supplements contain the nutrient, but most use an old form — D-2 — that is far less potent than the more desirable D-3. Multivitamins typically contain only small amounts of D-2 and include vitamin A, which offsets many of D's benefits.

As a result, pills might not raise vitamin D levels much at all.

Government advisers can't even agree on an RDA, or recommended daily allowance for vitamin D. Instead, they say "adequate intake" is 200 international units a day up to age 50, 400 IUs for ages 50 to 70, and 600 IUs for people over 70.

Many scientists think adults need 1,000 IUs a day. Giovannucci's research suggests 1,500 IUs might be needed to significantly curb cancer.

How vitamin D may do this is still under study, but there are lots of reasons to think it can:

Several studies observing large groups of people found that those with higher vitamin D levels also had lower rates of cancer. For some of these studies, doctors had blood samples to measure vitamin D, making the findings particularly strong. Even so, these studies aren't the gold standard of medical research — a comparison over many years of a large group of people who were given the vitamin with a large group who didn't take it. In the past, the best research has deflated health claims involving other nutrients, including vitamin E and beta carotene.

Lab and animal studies show that vitamin D stifles abnormal cell growth, helps cells die when they are supposed to, and curbs formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.

Cancer is more common in the elderly, and the skin makes less vitamin D as people age.

Blacks have higher rates of cancer than whites and more pigment in their skin, which prevents them from making much vitamin D.

Vitamin D gets trapped in fat, so obese people have lower blood levels of D. They also have higher rates of cancer.

Diabetics, too, are prone to cancer, and their damaged kidneys have trouble converting vitamin D into a form the body can use.

People in the northeastern United States and northerly regions of the globe like Scandinavia have higher cancer rates than those who get more sunshine year-round.

During short winter days, the sun's rays come in at too oblique an angle to spur the skin

to make vitamin D. That is why nutrition experts think vitamin D-3 supplements may be especially helpful during winter, and for dark-skinned people all the time.

But too much of the pill variety can cause a dangerous buildup of calcium in the body. The government says 2,000 IUs is the upper daily limit for anyone over a year old.

On the other hand, D from sunshine has no such limit. It's almost impossible to overdose when getting it this way. However, it is possible to get skin cancer. And this is where the dermatology establishment and Dr. Michael Holick part company.

Thirty years ago, Holick helped make the landmark discovery of how vitamin D works. Until last year, he was chief of endocrinology, nutrition and diabetes and a professor of dermatology at Boston University. Then he published a book, "The UV Advantage," urging people to get enough sunlight to make vitamin D.

"I am advocating common sense," not prolonged sunbathing or tanning salons, Holick said.

Skin cancer is rarely fatal, he notes. The most deadly form, melanoma, accounts for only 7,770 of the 570,280 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States this year.

More than 1 million milder forms of skin cancer will occur, and these are the ones tied to chronic or prolonged suntanning.

Repeated sunburns — especially in childhood and among redheads and very fair-skinned people — have been linked to melanoma, but there is no credible scientific evidence that moderate sun exposure causes it, Holick contends.

"The problem has been that the American Academy of Dermatology has been unchallenged for 20 years," he says. "They have brainwashed the public at every level."

The head of Holick's department, Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, called his book an embarrassment and stripped him of his dermatology professorship, although he kept his other posts.

She also faulted his industry ties. Holick said the school has received $150,000 in grants from the Indoor Tanning Association for his research, far less than the consulting deals and grants that other scientists routinely take from drug companies.

In fact, industry has spent money attacking him. One such statement from the Sun Safety Alliance, funded in part by Coppertone and drug store chains, declared that "sunning to prevent vitamin D deficiency is like smoking to combat anxiety."

Earlier this month, the dermatology academy launched a "Don't Seek the Sun" campaign calling any advice to get sun "irresponsible." It quoted Dr. Vincent DeLeo, a Columbia University dermatologist, as saying: "Under no circumstances should anyone be misled into thinking that natural sunlight or tanning beds are better sources of vitamin D than foods or nutritional supplements."

That opinion is hardly unanimous, though, even among dermatologists.

"The statement that 'no sun exposure is good' I don't think is correct anymore," said Dr. Henry Lim, chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and an academy vice president.

Some wonder if vitamin D may turn out to be like another vitamin, folate. High intake of it was once thought to be important mostly for pregnant women, to prevent birth defects. However, since food makers began adding extra folate to flour in 1998, heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, colon cancer and osteoporosis have all fallen, suggesting the general public may have been folate-deficient after all.

With vitamin D, "some people believe that it is a partial deficiency that increases the cancer risk," said Hector DeLuca, a University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemist who did landmark studies on the nutrient.

About a dozen major studies are under way to test vitamin D's ability to ward off cancer, said Dr. Peter Greenwald, chief of cancer prevention for the
National Cancer Institute. Several others are testing its potential to treat the disease. Two recent studies reported encouraging signs in prostate and lung cancer.

As for sunshine, experts recommend moderation until more evidence is in hand.

"The skin can handle it, just like the liver can handle alcohol," said Dr. James Leyden, professor emeritus of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, who has consulted for sunscreen makers. "I like to have wine with dinner, but I don't think I should drink four bottles a day."

Original link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/sunshine___cancer

5.19.2005

China Warns of Danger of Melting Everest Glaciers

BEIJING- Global warming is shrinking glaciers on the Tibet side of Mount Everest faster than ever, putting world water supplies at risk, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.Chinese scientists researching the world's tallest peak, which China refers to by its Tibetan name, "Qomolangma", had found clear evidence of increasing glacial melting, Xinhua said.

"Global warming has resulted in glaciers melting fast in the Mount Qomolangma area ... threatening the balance of global water resources," it said.

Around 75 percent of the world's fresh water is stored in glacial ice, much of it in mountain areas, allowing for heavy winter rain and snowfall to be released gradually into river networks throughout the summer or dry months.

"The growing melting area means less fresh water reserves for the world in the future," Xinhua said.

The Chinese scientists had found the melting point of one Everest glacier had risen around 50 metres (165 ft) in just two years, more than twice as fast as normal, while a huge, high-altitude ice cliff seen in 2002 had apparently disappeared, it said.

Similar melting has been reported on Nepal's side of the mountain. The United Nations warned in 2002 that more than 40 Himalayan glacial lakes were dangerously close to bursting, endangering thousands of people, because of global warming.

Scientists say global warming could drive the average global temperature up by 1.4-5.8 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years, which would cause glaciers to retreat and oceans to rise and swamp low-lying areas around the world.

Original link -- http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/30845/story.htm

Britain faces big chill

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

CLIMATE change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing.

They have found that one of the “engines” driving the Gulf Stream — the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea — has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength.

The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big changes in the current over the next few years or decades. Paradoxically, it could lead to Britain and northwestern and Europe undergoing a sharp drop in temperatures.

Such a change has long been predicted by scientists but the new research is among the first to show clear experimental evidence of the phenomenon.

Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, hitched rides under the Arctic ice cap in Royal Navy submarines and used ships to take measurements across the Greenland Sea.

“Until recently we would find giant ‘chimneys’ in the sea where columns of cold, dense water were sinking from the surface to the seabed 3,000 metres below, but now they have almost disappeared,” he said.

“As the water sank it was replaced by warm water flowing in from the south, which kept the circulation going. If that mechanism is slowing, it will mean less heat reaching Europe.”

Such a change could have a severe impact on Britain, which lies on the same latitude as Siberia and ought to be much colder. The Gulf Stream transports 27,000 times more heat to British shores than all the nation’s power supplies could provide, warming Britain by 5-8C.

Wadhams and his colleagues believe, however, that just such changes could be well under way. They predict that the slowing of the Gulf Stream is likely to be accompanied by other effects, such as the complete summer melting of the Arctic ice cap by as early as 2020 and almost certainly by 2080. This would spell disaster for Arctic wildlife such as the polar bear, which could face extinction.

Wadhams’s submarine journeys took him under the North Polar ice cap, using sonar to survey the ice from underneath. He has measured how the ice has become 46% thinner over the past 20 years. The results from these surveys prompted him to focus on a feature called the Odden ice shelf, which should grow out into the Greenland Sea every winter and recede in summer.

The growth of this shelf should trigger the annual formation of the sinking water columns. As sea water freezes to form the shelf, the ice crystals expel their salt into the surrounding water, making it heavier than the water below.

However, the Odden ice shelf has stopped forming. It last appeared in full in 1997. “In the past we could see nine to 12 giant columns forming under the shelf each year. In our latest cruise, we found only two and they were so weak that the sinking water could not reach the seabed,” said Wadhams, who disclosed the findings at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.

The exact effect of such changes is hard to predict because currents and weather systems take years to respond and because there are two other areas around the north Atlantic where water sinks, helping to maintain circulation. Less is known about how climate change is affecting these.

However, Wadhams suggests the effect could be dramatic. “One of the frightening things in the film The Day After Tomorrow showed how the circulation in the Atlantic Ocean is upset because the sinking of cold water in the north Atlantic suddenly stops,” he said.

“The sinking is stopping, albeit much more slowly than in the film — over years rather than a few days. If it continues, the effect will be to cool the climate of northern Europe.”

One possibility is that Europe will freeze; another is that the slowing of the Gulf Stream may keep Europe cool as global warming heats the rest of the world — but with more extremes of weather.


Signs of the Times Comment:

Of course, if a mini ice age hits Eurasia, it is possible that the US will heat up temporarily.

Text from Feb 22 1997:

One change to occur in 21st Century is sudden glacial rebound, over Eurasia first, then North America. Ice ages develop much, much, much faster than thought. [Discussion of new scientific theory recently presented that the earth is expanding.]

Q: (T) Is the Earth expanding? That's just putting it bluntly, but, is the Earth expanding, how did you put that? (Ark) Yes, that's the theory: the idea is that the continents move away because the Earth is expanding, and this is much faster than you know, than geologists were thinking.
A: Continental "drift" is caused by the continual though variable,
propelling of gases from the interior to the surface, mainly at points
of magnetic significance.
Q: (J) What causes the change in the axis?
A: By slow down of rotation. Earth alternately heats up and cools
down in interior.
Q: (L) Why does it do that? What's the cause of this?
A: Part of cycle related to energy exerted upon surface by the
frequency resonance vibrational profile of humans and others.

5.17.2005

NOAA says to prepare for wild hurricane season

Hurrican Ivan


May 16, 2005 — NOAA hurricane forecasters are predicting another above-normal hurricane season on the heels of last year's destructive and historic hurricane season. "NOAA's prediction for the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season is for 12 to15 tropical storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator at a news conference today in Bay St. Louis, Miss. "Forecaster confidence that this will be an active hurricane season is very high."

5.15.2005

Gagged, but not dead

Gagged, But Not Dead

By Sibel Edmonds



The Appeal Court’s decision on Sibel Edmonds’ Case is out: ‘Case Dismissed;’ no opinion cited; no reason provided. The Court’s decision, issued on Friday, May 6, has generated a string of obituaries; “another major blow, maybe the last one, to Sibel Edmonds, a woman who has faced an unprecedented level of government secrecy, gag orders, and classification.” Well, dear friends and supporters, Sibel Edmonds may be gagged, but she’s not dead.



On October 18, 2002; three months after I filed my suit against the Department of Justice for unlawful termination of my employment caused by my reporting criminal activities committed by government officials and employees, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney General, invoked a rarely invoked privilege, the State Secrets Privilege. According to Ashcroft, everything involving my case and my allegations were considered state secrets, and whether or not I was right in my allegations, the United States District Court had to dismiss my entire case without any questions, hearings or oral argument; period. According to Ashcroft, the court had to grant his order and dismiss the entire case with no hearings solely based on the fact that he, Ashcroft, said so. After all, our government knew best. As of that day, my case came to be gagged; but I continued on.



In April 2004, after attorneys for a large group of 9/11 family members subpoenaed my deposition, the then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, made his next move: He invoked the state secrets privilege for the second time, and this time, he designated my place of birth, date of birth, my mother tongue, my father tongue, my university background, and my previous employments all State Secrets, Top Secret Classified, and matters of the highest level national security. Let’s see, based on this new ruling and designation by our ironically named Justice Department, my passport would be considered a ‘top secret’ document since it contains my place of birth, information considered state secrets. According to our government officials my Virginia driving license would be considered a ‘Top Secret’ document, since it contains my date of birth, information considered state secrets and classified. Well, heck, even my resume would be considered ‘Top Secret’ since it contains my linguistic credentials and my degrees. As of that day, I officially became a notoriously gagged whistleblower; but I continued on.



In May 2004, two years after two ranking senators (bipartisan) had publicly, and in public records and documents, announced me credible and my case and allegations confirmed and supported, the emboldened then Attorney General, struck again. This time, he, John Ashcroft, decided to gag the entire Congress on anything that had to with Sibel Edmonds and her case. He ordered two ranking senators to take everything referring to me off their websites; he ordered them to consider all documents and letters related to my case ‘Top Secret,’ and he commanded that they, the Congress, shut their mouth on any issue that in any way referred or related to me. Our senators obliged, disregarding the principles of the separation of powers, not honoring the United States Constitution, and not respecting their own prestige and status. As of that day, the United States Congress became officially gagged on Sibel Edmonds; but I continued on.



In June 2004, the United States District Court bowed to his highness, representative of our Executive Branch, John Ashcroft, and announced its decision to no longer honor the Constitution as it relates to citizens’ right to due process: it dismissed the case and excused itself from providing any real explanation, due to any possible explanation, or lack of explanation, being classified as ‘Top Secret,’ and ‘State Secrets.’ Our court system too was not willing to stand up for its authority and its separation from the executive branch. In other words, the District Court willingly allowed itself to be gagged; but I continued on.







In July 2004, after two years of unexplained foot dragging, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, announced its long over due investigation of Sibel Edmonds’ case complete and issued its report. The further empowered and emboldened then Attorney General stepped in on that same day and gagged his own Inspector General’s findings and report by classifying the entire report as secret. The so called independent investigatory entity, the Inspector General, wrapped and duct taped its report, bowed, and left the scene now that it was formally and officially gagged on my case; but I continued on.



On April 21, 2005, for the first time in these three gagged years, my attorneys and I finally had, or thought we had, our day in court for our hearing before Appellate Court Judges. Just hours before our hearing, these judges issued an unexpected ruling, barring all reporters and the public from the courtroom for the Edmonds’ Case hearing. Numerous media related entities tried to flex their lately weakened muscles and filed their motion to oppose this ruling. The judges denied their motion, and cited no reason; when asked for a reason they responded that they didn’t have to provide any reason. Everyone was kicked out of the courtroom; except for me, my attorneys, and the large troop of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All the doors to the courtroom were locked and guards were placed in front of each door to watch out for eavesdroppers. Then came the next shock: after bypassing our brief, asking a couple of puzzling and irrelevant questions, and allowing my attorneys 10 minutes or so of response, the Appellate judges asked my attorneys and me (the plaintiff) to leave the courtroom, so that the government attorneys could secretly answer questions and make their argument. The guards escorted us, the plaintiff, out, locked the doors, and stood there in front of the courtroom and watched us for about fifteen minutes. So much for finally having my day in court; here I was, with my attorneys, standing outside the courtroom and being guarded, while in there, three judges were having a cozy mingling session with a large troop of government attorneys. Then, it was over; that was it; we were told to leave. In other words, my attorneys and I were barred from being present in our own court hearing, and my case remained covered up and gagged; but I continued on.



On May 6, two weeks after the Kafkaesque court procedure, my attorneys and I were given the verdict: The lower court’s decision was upheld, meaning my entire case, whether or not we had an Inspector General’s Report that confirmed my allegations, whether or not we had several congressional letters confirming my case and my allegations, was prevented from proceeding in court due to some unspecified ‘State Secrets,’ and unexplained secrecy that applied to everything that had to do with me and my case; which were so secret that even the judges could not hear or see. In fact, the Appellate judges in my case did not cite any opinion or reason, because even the opinion itself would have been considered secret. Doesn’t this mean that the Appellate court and these three judges were in effect gagged? It appears so, but I will continue on.





In the past three years, I have been threatened; I have been gagged several times; I have continuously been prevented from pursuing my due process; all reports and investigations looking into my case have been classified; and every governmental or investigative authority dealing with my case has been shut up. According to legal experts familiar with my case, the level of secrecy and classification in my court case and the attitudes and handling of the court system in dealing with my case is unprecedented in the entire U.S. court history. According to other experts I am one of the most, if not the most, gagged woman anybody knows of or has heard of. Why?



Those of you who still think this case, my case, is about covering up some administrative blunder or bureaucratic mismanagement, please think again.



Those of you who may think that my Kafkaesque case, the unprecedented secrecy, is due to some justified and official higher reasons, please think again.



Those of you who may think that our government, our entrusted leaders, may have an ongoing investigation of criminals involved, please think again.



The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice, in its ‘unclassified report,’ has confirmed my core allegations. What were those core allegations, and who did they involve? Not only some low-level terrorist or terrorist organization; not only some ‘maybe’ critical foreign entities. No; trust me; they would not go to this length to protect some nobody criminal or terrorist.



It is way past time for a little bit of critical thinking. The Attorney General cites two reasons to justify the unconstitutional and panic driven assault on me and my case. Reason one: To protect certain diplomatic relations - not named since obviously our officials are ashamed of admitting to these relations. Reason two: To protect certain U.S. foreign business relations. Let’s take each one and dissect it (I have given up on our mass media to do that for us!). For reason one, since when is the Department of Justice, the FBI, in the business of protecting ‘US sensitive diplomatic relations?’ They appear to be acting as a mouthpiece for the Department of State. Now, that’s one entity that has strong reasons to cover up, for its own self, what will end up being a blunder of mammoth scale. Not internationally; not really; it is the American people and their outrage they must be worried about; they wouldn’t want to have a few of their widely recognized officials being held criminally liable; would they?



As for reason two, I can assure you that the U.S. foreign business relations they may be referring to are not among those that benefit the majority of the American people; a handful of MIC entities and their lobbying arms can by no means be considered that, can they? In fact, the American people, their national safety and security, and their best interests are being sacrificed for a handful of those with their foreign business interest. Also, since when are nuclear black market related underground activities considered official U.S. foreign business; one may wonder? If you want to have the answers to these questions, please approach your Congress and ask your representatives for hearings - not behind closed doors quasi hearings - but open, public hearings where these questions can be asked and answered.



And lastly, for those of you who may think that since I have been gagged and stopped by almost all available official channels, I must be ready to vaporize into thin air, please think again. I am gagged, but not dead; not yet.

Visit Sibel Edmond's website, Just a Citizen

5.12.2005

China facing "apocalyptic" summer of severe drought and floods



BEIJING - China is facing an "apocalyptic" summer of severe drought and floods, a leading weather expert has warned, with water supplies and grain production under threat.

"China may face a grim situation from seasonal floods or drought this year with potential damage worse than that of last year," said Qin Dahe, a top official at the China Meteorological Administration.

"There will be much fear of a bad harvest this year."

Qin was speaking during a national televised conference on summer weather forecasting and services, said the China Daily, which reported him as saying China faced an "apocalyptic" situation.

He warned the probabilities of weather-related disasters were high with the rainy season already underway in parts of south China while the national flood season was imminent.

Thousands of people die every year from floods, landslides and mudflows in China, with millions left homeless.

While some parts of the huge country suffer massive rainfall, other parts are ravaged by drought, with drinking water and grain yields hit.

Qin said most of western and northeast China as well as parts of south China are in the midst of their worst drought in 50 years and no end was in sight, while huge rain belts were forecast for other areas.

5.11.2005

Dotsero volcano may erupt

Came across this article at Signs of the Times

Four thousand years ago, a volcano erupted and left a mark that's barely visible today. But the Dotsero volcano, now a pile of ash and reddened soil on the east end of Glenwood Canyon north of Interstate 70 and the Eagle River, has appeared on the radar screen of the U.S. Geological Survey, which recently rated the threats of volcanoes across the country.

"This is the first comprehensive report on volcanoes since Mount St. Helens" erupted 25 years ago, said Clarice Ransom, spokesman for the USGS in Reston, Va.

Dotsero is rated as a moderate threat for its potential to spew volcanic ash into the air at such altitudes that it could disrupt airplane traffic. Sunset Crater in Arizona is also a moderate threat.

"Where you sit in Colorado, that part of the U.S. is heavily trafficked by jet airplanes," said Jim Quick, USGS program coordinator for volcanic hazards. "If Dotsero should erupt with an explosive event, it would put ash up to flight altitudes and threaten aircraft."

Quick explained that the USGS evaluated volcanoes in the United States as well as its territories, and scientists believe any volcano that has erupted in the last 10,000 years, during the geologic Holocene Era, could become active again.

The report identified a handful that are not well-monitored but could present a danger. Four are currently erupting: Mount St. Helens; Anatahan, in the Marianas Islands of the western Pacific; Mount Spurr, in Alaska; and Kilauea, in Hawaii. Thirteen were rated as very high threats, including nine in the Cascade Mountains and four in Alaska, and 19 were identified as having a high potential to disrupt airplane flights with volcanic ash, primarily in Alaska and the Marianas. Another 21 volcanoes need individual monitoring, including the Yellowstone caldera, which underlies most of Yellowstone National Park, the report said.

Dotsero is not one of those, however. The volcano is not likely to erupt in our lifetime.

"The probability of it happening in a human lifetime is pretty low," Quick said. "But at some time in future? That's harder to judge, especially in the absence of monitoring."

"In terms of your and children's lifetimes, I wouldn't worry too much" about Dotsero, Quick added.

Quick explained that Dotsero is a "maar," or explosive volcano.

"Because it's a maar it ended up with a moderate threat rating. Because it has erupted we feel it could happen again," he said.

Dotsero also produced "lahars," mudflows of water and volcanic ash that traveled about one and a half miles downstream of the volcano and diverted the flow of the Eagle River to the south side of the valley.

"(They) can be quite devastating downstream," Quick said. Such lahars, or mudflows, from the eruption of Mount St. Helens 25 years ago dammed a river and resulted in extensive damage to buildings.

"They have the density and viscosity of wet concrete," Quick said of the mudflows.

Volcanic flow from the Dotsero crater was cut by I-70 and is visible on the south side of the highway. The crater itself is north of the interstate, above the trailer park.

5.07.2005

Wisconsin Forest Fire Destroys 15 Homes

From Yahoo

Sat May 7, 9:11 AM ET

BIG FLATS, Wis. - A fast-moving forest fire destroyed 30 homes and forced dozens to flee as it spread to almost 4,000 acres before being contained overnight, officials said Friday.




No major injuries were reported.

The wind-whipped fire — described as the largest wildfire in Wisconsin in 25 years — swept across nearly 3,900 acres, destroying 30 permanent and seasonal homes, at least 30 camper trailers and about 60 sheds or similar structures, Big Flats Fire Chief Dick Meyers said. About 125 families were evacuated, and about two dozen spent the night at an elementary school.

The total loss will be in the millions of dollars, said David Weitz, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

5.06.2005

Sirens Not Just For Tornadoes Anymore

From NBC5

CHICAGO -- Chicago emergency officials said Tuesday that they are changing the way the city uses its sirens.

The city will now use the sirens as a hazard warning system, NBC5 reported. The sirens could mean anything from a tornado or chemical or biological hazards -- even a terrorist attack.

"As we've learned in this post-[Sept. 11] era, things can be unpredictable and we want a system that can warn the public to immediately tune into media outlets," said Ron Huberman, executive director of the city's emergency management and communications office.

The sirens are tested the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m.


Fear. Our society has been inundated with it via "the war on terror". So the same media outlets that spread fear want us to settle down and just listen to them when the next attack occurs. They do like to keep it simple, don't they? And their will be another attack. How else do we get the manpower to invade Syria/Iran/Venezuela and fight civil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Oh, but they will provide a nice salary in the Army, something that is going to hold some major weight once the economy goes. And some Ecstasy if the mood should strike you.

Our media loves to spread conflict. If their is some bad blood going on somewhere there's a good bet one can find the Big Media there too. So why doesn't the media spread the fear of global climate change? Surely this could ratchet enough fear and anxiety for the PTB. One recent article reports on this very topic...

Though global climate change is breaking out all around us, the U.S. news media has remained silent

WHEN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA was inundated by a foot of rain, several feet of snow, and lethal mudslides earlier this year, the news reports made no mention of climate change -- even though virtually all climate scientists agree that the first consequence of a warmer atmosphere is a marked increase in extreme weather events. When four hurricanes of extraordinary strength tore through Florida last fall, there was little media attention paid to the fact that hurricanes are made more intense by warming ocean surface waters. And when one storm dumped five feet of water on southern Haiti in 48 hours last spring, no coverage mentioned that an early manifestation of a warming atmosphere is a significant rise in severe downpours.

Though global climate change is breaking out all around us, the U.S. news media has remained silent. Not because climate change is a bad story -- to the contrary: Conflict is the lifeblood of journalism, and the climate issue is riven with conflict. Global warming policy pits the United States against most of the countries of the world. It's a source of tension between the Bush administration and 29 states, nearly 100 cities, and scores of activist groups working to reduce emissions. And it has generated significant and acrimonious splits within the oil, auto, and insurance industries. These stories are begging to be written.

And they are being written -- everywhere else in the world. One academic thesis completed in 2000 compared climate coverage in major U.S. and British newspapers and found that the issue received about three times as much play in the United Kingdom. Britain's Guardian, to pick an obviously liberal example, accorded three times more coverage to the climate story than the Washington Post, more than twice that of the New York Times, and nearly five times that of the Los Angeles Times. In this country, the only consistent reporting on this issue comes from the New York Times' Andrew Revkin, whose excellent stories are generally consigned to the paper's Science Times section, and the Weather Channel --which at the beginning of 2004 started including references to climate change in its projections, and even hired an on-air climate expert.

Why the lack of major media attention to one of the biggest stories of this century? The reasons have to do with the culture of newsrooms, the misguided application of journalistic balance, the very human tendency to deny the magnitude of so overwhelming a threat, and, last though not least, a decade-long campaign of deception, disinformation, and, at times, intimidation by the fossil fuel lobby to keep this issue off the public radar screen.

The carbon lobby's tactics can sometimes be heavy-handed; one television editor told me that his network had been threatened with a withdrawal of oil and automotive advertising after it ran a report suggesting a connection between a massive flood and climate change. But the most effective campaigns have been more subtly coercive. In the early 1990s, when climate scientists began to suspect that our burning of coal and oil was changing the earth's climate, Western Fuels, then a $400 million coal cooperative, declared in its annual report that it was enlisting several scientists who were skeptical about climate change -- Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling, and S. Fred Singer -- as spokesmen. The coal industry paid these and a handful of other skeptics some $1 million over a three-year period and sent them around the country to speak to the press and the public. According to internal strategy papers I obtained at the time, the purpose of the campaign was "to reposition global warming as theory (not fact)," with an emphasis on targeting "older, less educated males," and "younger, low-income women" in districts that received their electricity from coal, and who preferably had a representative on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Western Fuels campaign was extraordinarily successful. In a Newsweek poll conducted in 1991, before the spin began, 35 percent of respondents said they "worry a great deal" about global warming. By 1997 that figure had dropped by one-third, to 22 percent.

Then as now, a prime tactic of the fossil fuel lobby centered on a clever manipulation of the ethic of journalistic balance. Any time reporters wrote stories about global warming, industry-funded naysayers demanded equal time in the name of balance. As a result, the press accorded the same weight to the industry-funded skeptics as it did to mainstream scientists, creating an enduring confusion in the public mind. To this day, many people are unsure whether global warming is real.

Journalistic balance comes into play when a story involves opinion: Should gay marriage be legal? Should we invade Iraq? Should we promote bilingual education or English immersion? For such stories an ethical journalist is obligated to give each competing view its most articulate presentation and roughly equivalent space.

But when the subject is a matter of fact, the concept of balance is irrelevant. What we know about the climate comes from the largest and most rigorously peer-reviewed scientific collaboration in history -- the findings of more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC's conclusions, that the burning of fossil fuels is indeed causing significant shifts in the earth's climate, have been corroborated by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. D. James Baker, former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, echoed many scientists when he said, "There is a better scientific consensus on this than on any other issue I know -- except maybe Newton's second law of dynamics."

Granted, there are a few credentialed scientists who still claim climate change to be inconsequential. To give them their due, a reporter should learn where the weight of scientific opinion falls -- and reflect that balance in his or her reporting. That would give mainstream scientists 95 percent of the story, with the skeptics getting a paragraph or two at the end.

But because most reporters don't have the time, curiosity, or professionalism to check out the science, they write equivocal stories with counterposing quotes that play directly into the hands of the oil and coal industries by keeping the public confused.

Another major obstacle is the dominant culture of newsrooms. The fastest-rising journalists tend to make their bones covering politics, and so the lion's share of press coverage of climate change has focused on the political machinations surrounding global warming rather than its consequences. In 1997, when the Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, the vote was covered as a political setback for the Clinton administration at the hands of congressional Republicans. (Predictably, the press paid little attention to a $13 million industry-funded advertising blitz in the run-up to that vote.) When President Bush pulled out of the Kyoto negotiating process in 2001, the coverage again focused not on the harm that would befall the planet as a result but on the resulting diplomatic tensions between the United States and the European Union.

Prior to 2001, Bush had declared he would not accept the findings of the IPCC -- it was, after all, a U.N. body. "The jury's still out," he said, and called instead for a report from the National Academy of Sciences. That report, duly produced one month later, while professing uncertainty about exactly how much warming was attributable to one factor or another, affirmed that human activity was a major contributor. In covering Bush's call for an American climate report, few reporters bothered to check whether the academy had already taken a position; had they done so, they would have found that as early as 1992, it had recommended strong measures to minimize climate impacts.

Finally, coverage of the climate crisis is one of many casualties of media conglomeration. With most news outlets now owned by major corporations and faceless investors, marketing strategy is replacing news judgment; celebrity coverage is on the rise, even as newspapers cut staff and fail to provide their remaining reporters the time they need to research complex stories.

Ultimately, however, the responsibility for the failure of the press lies neither with the carbon lobby nor with newsroom culture or even the commercialization of the news. It lies in the indifference or laziness of hundreds of editors and thousands of reporters who are betraying their professional obligation to their readers and viewers. Climate change constitutes an immense drama of very uncertain outcome. It is as important and compelling a story as any reporter could hope to work on. Perversely, for so great an opportunity, it is threatening to become the shame of the American press.


Originally posted at: http://hartfordadvocate.com/gbase/News/content?oid=oid:110479

5.04.2005

'Smoking gun' on humans and global warming claimed

NASA-led scientists say ocean data ties manmade emissions to warmer Earth

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prepare to launch a "profiling float" in the tropical Pacific. The float is one of hundreds used around the world to monitor climate change and which were instrumental for a new report on warming and human greenhouse gas emissions.

Using ocean data collected by diving floats, U.S. climate scientists released a study Thursday that they said provides the "smoking gun" that ties manmade greenhouse gas emissions to global warming.

The researchers, some of them working for NASA and the Energy Department, went a step further, implicitly criticizing President Bush for not taking stronger action to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

They said the findings confirm that computer models of climate change are on target and that global temperatures will rise 1 degree Fahrenheit this century, even if greenhouse gases are capped tomorrow.

If emissions instead continue to grow, as expected, things could spin “out of our control,” especially as ocean levels rise from melting Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the NASA-led scientists said. "The climate system could reach a point where large sea level change is practically impossible to avoid."

The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, is the latest to report growing certainty about global warming projections.
[...]

Computer models, which are numerical simulations of climate change, factor in many influences on climate, including greenhouse emissions. Such gases, produced naturally but also by humans burning fossil fuels, trap heat as they accumulate in the atmosphere.

'Can no longer be genuine doubt'

Significantly, those emissions have increased at a rate consistent with the detected energy imbalance, the researchers said.

“There can no longer be genuine doubt that humanmade gases are the dominant cause of observed warming,” said Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “This energy imbalance is the ‘smoking gun’ that we have been looking for.”

Fourteen other specialists from NASA, Columbia University and the Department of Energy co-authored the study.

Scientists have found other possible “smoking guns” on global warming in recent years, but Klaus Hasselmann, a leading German climatologist, praised the new report for its innovative work on energy imbalance. “This is valuable additional supporting evidence” of manmade climate change, he told The Associated Press.

Credit to Signs of the Times posting this article

5.03.2005

USGS report stresses danger of park volcano

Article taken from Signs of the Times

By MIKE STARK
Of The Gazette Staff
Billings Gazette

Yellowstone National Park harbors a potentially dangerous volcanic system and more needs to be done to keep track of it, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Improving monitoring at Yellowstone is listed as a "high priority" along with watching volcanoes in Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.

The report, the first-ever comprehensive review of the 169 volcanoes in the United States, calls for a round-the-clock National Volcano Early Warning System that can help predict hazardous volcanic eruptions.

"We cannot afford to wait until a hazardous volcano begins to erupt before deploying a modern monitoring effort," Chip Groat, director of USGS, said in a statement. "The consequences put property and people at risk - including volcano scientists on site and pilots and passengers in the air."

'Basic level' monitoring

About half of the most threatening volcanoes are monitored at a "basic level" and a few are well-monitored with a suite of modern instruments, the report said. But in some places, the equipment is sparse, antiquated or nonexistent.

There are 24 seismic stations keeping track of volcanic activity at Yellowstone, including 19 inside the park's borders. There are also six global positioning system stations that watch the "huffing and puffing" of the Yellowstone caldera.

Henry Heasler, Yellowstone's lead geologist, said officials at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory are looking into upgrades for the seismic stations and an additional six GPS stations.

Those tools will help improve efforts to better understand the volcanic system and detect major activity.

"For volcanic eruptions, we're working hard to approach adequate," Heasler said.

But Heasler said there's a "major concern" that very little is being done to monitor for small hydrothermal explosions in geyser basins, events that are local but can be dangerous.

Heasler also said more work needs to be done to monitor the sometimes-poisonous gas emitted by Yellowstone's vast geothermal network. Last year, five bison dropped dead near Norris Geyser Basin after inhaling toxic gases that were trapped near the ground by unusually cold and windless weather.

"It gave fairly dramatic evidence that gases should be monitored in the park," Heasler said.

Officials are planning to put together a long-range plan for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory that will provide a future road map for monitoring and prioritize equipment and instrumentation.

"The ultimate goal is public safety whether that be volcanic eruptions or small hydrothermal explosions," Heasler said.

The USGS report said there have been 45 eruptions and 15 cases of "notable volcanic unrest" at 33 U.S. volcanoes since 1980, including activity at Yellowstone.

Volcanoes of the highest priority

The report highlighted several "highest priority" volcanoes that need better monitoring. Topping the list were Mount St. Helens and 36 others in the Cascades, Alaska and Hawaii.

Unlike many other natural hazards, volcanic eruptions can be anticipated in the days, or perhaps years, of unrest when magma rises toward the Earth's surface, the report said. With proper equipment and networks, enough warning can be given to forewarn communities at risk.

Failing to set up a "robust" monitoring network is "socially and scientifically unsatisfactory" and will leave scientists and communities to simply react to a dangerous situation rather than prepare for it, the report said.

At Yellowstone, monitoring volcanic activity comes with a few other points to consider, Heasler said. When deploying new equipment, scientists try to minimize the effects on the natural environment and the animals that live there, he said.

"It's an interesting balance between getting the necessary information versus preserving the wilderness," Heasler said.

New Madrid fault rumbling again

Another Warning - Another Arkansas Earthquake

Sam Penny

Sunday's moderate earthquake in northern Arkansas on the New Madrid Fault warns us that the fault will someday fracture like it did in 1811 and 1812. The US Geological Survey says the odds are one in ten that will happen in the next fifty years. When the earthquake happens, it could destroy 10% of the US GDP and kill or injure hundreds of thousands. More attention, planning, and preparation must be given to this worst natural disaster that could tear the heart out of our country.


(PRWEB) May 3, 2005 -- Sunday morning, May 1, at 7:37:32 am, yet another moderate earthquake struck on the New Madrid Fault. It measured magnitude 4.1, the same as the warning of just over two months ago on February 10. Once again seismic forces ripped a fracture the size of a 160-acre farm through the basement rock, this time 10 kilometers below the Little River drainage, 6 miles west-southwest of Dell, Arkansas. Residents of Keiser a few miles south reported the shaking intensity in their town as high as level VI, strong enough to cause some damage.

Residents in six states reported feeling the shaking – from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Nashville, Tennessee, and from Carbondale, Illinois, to Tupelo, Mississippi, and even folks in Alabama. Some in sophisticated Memphis, 50 miles away, wondered if the time for the Big One had come when the level IV shaking began.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, stretching from east central Arkansas to the southern tip of Illinois, is a major source of concern to the US Geological Survey and FEMA. The fault zone fractured in 1811 and 1812, producing a series of giant earthquakes felt across what is now the eastern half of the United States. The heaving of the land created ten new lakes in the Mississippi valley, tilted the land, and forced the Mississippi River to run backwards. It reportedly rang church bells in Boston, over a thousand miles away—the strongest earthquake to strike the contiguous 48 States in recorded history.

The USGS says there is a one in ten chance of another giant earthquake on the New Madrid Fault in the next fifty years. Most seismologists agree that a giant New Madrid earthquake is eventually inevitable. It is only a matter of time before an earthquake of magnitude 7.9, roughly the size of the first earthquake that struck December 16, 1811, once again fractures the New Madrid.

In the novel Memphis 7.9, the fictional Dr. Paul Kenton reported on the first fictional earthquake, “At 9:12 this morning a magnitude 4.4 earthquake occurred at a depth of 11.3 kilometers with an epicenter near Dell, Arkansas. While this temblor is stronger than usual, events like this are a common occurrence on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, and there is nothing to worry about.”

“There is nothing to worry about”—words to live in infamy, words some continue to use today.

How Bad Could It Be—What Is The Risk?

An estimated five thousand white settlers and black slaves could be found along the Mississippi River in 1811, and less than a million resided west of the Appalachian Mountains. These hardy frontiersmen and their families lived close to the earth in the forests and along the riverbanks in log cabins or on their boats. Eleven deaths were officially reported, but some historians estimate that as many as a thousand souls perished along the river during the two months of shaking. The fatality rate in the fracture zone could have been 10% or more.

The USGS and FEMA have published studies to estimate the expected shaking intensity from earthquakes of various magnitudes along the New Madrid Fault. When those estimates are cross-multiplied by the US census, the results are staggering. Today, an estimated 32,000,000 people live in the 300,000-square-mile area surrounding the fault that would be at risk of significant damage from a giant earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on the New Madrid.

In a worst-case scenario, the death toll would be 20,000 and grow to 80,000 if major flooding resulted from the shaking. Half a million people would be injured, and as many as 10,000,000 could be left homeless. And to make matters worse, the 99% who survive—and are faced with bringing about the recovery of the United States—could find that 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and 20% of its shipping capacity had been wiped out in the space of 13 minutes, the time it takes for the seismic waves to spread across the eastern half of our country from an epicenter on the New Madrid.

The seismic events of February and May in Arkansas tell us once again that the New Madrid Seismic Zone is a very active fault. It is only a matter of time before another giant earthquake will once again rip through the center of the United States. There is no way to stop the earthquake, but we can—and must—reduce the potential damage.

Preparation and Planning Make a Difference.

A lesson for our country to learn is that by becoming aware and preparing and planning, we can make a difference. Too often, local leaders and business interests downplay the danger, unwilling to invest in a safe future even when the risk is the destruction of our country’s way of life. The human race can significantly reduce the level of the tragedy associated with such a natural disaster, but not by sticking its collective head in the sand.

Pro-active leadership is required. Support of the seismological and structural research efforts of the Universities, the public education efforts of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, and the preparedness and mitigation efforts of the state and local Emergency Management Agencies is vital. More funding from the government and business is needed. Public awareness of what the future holds is essential.

Five years ago some scientists wondered, “What would happen if a giant tsunami should strike in the Indian Ocean?” Now they know. Had the governments been proactive at that time, the toll would have been much less than the 325,000 who have died so far.

Now is the time for everyone across the country to realize the stake they have in how well the people in the New Madrid damage zone plan and prepare for this inevitable event. True, it may not happen in our lifetime, but what if it does? Now is the time to become proactive in the central United States.

Mother Nature gives us only so many warnings. After May 1 we have two less than at the beginning of the year on the New Madrid.

5.02.2005

Haboob in Iraq


These pictures of a sandstorm descending on Al Asad at about 60mph are via Mr. Walter, a civilian contractor at Al Asad. More pics can be found at Blackfive

Scientific Journals Censoring Researchers

Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.

A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds. He disagrees with the pro-global warming line.

A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.

The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.

The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.

Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser.

However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line.

They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly.

Dr Peiser submitted his findings to Science in January, and was asked to edit his paper for publication - but has now been told that his results have been rejected on the grounds that the points he make had been "widely dispersed on the internet".

Dr Peiser insists that he has kept his findings strictly confidential. "It is simply not true that they have appeared elsewhere already," he said.

The article is in the UK's News Telegraph.

5.01.2005

David Ray Griffin speaks at Madison



If anyone missed the speech that David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, gave on C-Span2 Saturday morning, I encourage all to download his speech. The speech was excellent and very sound and reasonable. He did not get overly emotional either, which is something I myself have a hard time with when explaining the lies of Bush and Co.

I found a pretty good download at 911 blogger.com. Another article reviews his speech...

Griffin's electrifying talk was recorded Monday night, April 18th, in Madison, Wisconsin. If you missed this historic moment-- the biggest lecture hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus overflowing with over 450 people who gave Griffin a thunderous standing ovation for charging the Bush-Cheney regime with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks--you'll have to see the video to believe it!