October 10, 2009

BBC Climate Correspondent Opens Eyes, Starts Walking Back Global Warming Baloney

EarthNASAHow well I remember it. In April 2006, when Bob Carter, in a UK Telegraph op-ed, observed that there had been no warming of the earth since 1998, global warming advocates screamed that Carter didn’t know what he was talking about; that he was only “a geologist at James Cook University, Queensland, engaged in paleoclimate research,” not a real climatologist; and that anyway, the science was settled, so he (and we) should shut up already.

3-1/2 years later, Paul Hudson, the climate correspondent (at least for now) at no less than the previously climate koolaid-poisoned BBC, without naming him, is acknowledging the correctness (HT Instapundit) of Carter’s observations. The Beeb reporter also concludes …. brace for it …. that “it seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over.” Imagine that.

As I’ve been writing for years, “Consensus, conschmensus.”

Here are selected paragraphs from Hudson’s report:

What happened to global warming?

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. (The contention about 1998 may be incorrect; it IS incorrect in regards to the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. — see Update below)

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man’s influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.

Recent research has ruled out solar influences on temperature increases.

…. But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

It doesn’t really seem to be much of a “revolution” to admit that Mr. Sun influences global temps, but there it is.

This spreadsheet shows that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions grew from 23.16 billion metric tons in 1998 to 29.20 billion in 2006 — a 26% increase. If manmade gases were causing warming, one would expect that we should have almost literally gone to Hades in a handbasket during that period, and to have burnt to a more serious crisp since then. Obviously, that has hasn’t happened. It hasn’t because the preponderance of the evidence, or at least of the evidence that hasn’t been conveniently lost, seems to support the notion that the idea of man-made global warming may be one of the biggest hoaxes associated with power-grabbing efforts by statists in human history.

Given the evidence, it’s truly frustrating to see this country’s president continue to act as if man-made global warming is an established, irrefutable fact, and, along with his party, continue to insist that draconian cuts in this country’s emissions must be made — even as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) chug merrily along.

When the globalarmists are starting to lose the BBC, you know that their foundations are beginning to crumble. Quick — better pass another bill that no one will have time to read or properly evaluate, and that the U.S. establishment media, still firmly in globaloney’s grip, will cheer.

UPDATE: Thanks to BizzyBlog commenter zf for reminding me that 1934 is the hottest year on record, not 1998, at least in regards to the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. I have revised my opening sentence accordingly. BBC’s opening-paragraph contention regarding temperatures in the entire world in 1998 may be incorrect.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Same Old Song and Dance: As Fan and Fred Losses Balloon, Here Comes the FHA

fha-home

As if the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Fan and Fred) crackups weren’t bad enough, IBDeditorials.com noted on Thursday evening that another bad-mortgage shoe is about to drop. This time it’s at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

First, let’s revisit Fan and Fred to remind readers just how complete the disaster has been at these decades in the making Democratic crony-controlled entities.

A little-noticed CNNMoney.com item by Chris Isidore in late July told us what the original announced loss estimate had been a year earlier (bolds are mine throughout this post):

When Congress was debating the bailout of Fannie and Freddie last July (of 2008), the official estimate from the Congressional Budget Office was that a bailout would most likely cost taxpayers $25 billion, with only a 5% chance of the price tag reaching $100 billion between them.

Isidiore then noted that just one year later the loss estimate had doubled:

…. Neither firm has given an estimate as to how high losses will reach. But the original limit of $100 billion in losses set in place when the government put Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship, essentially a form of bankruptcy, last September was quickly raised early this year to $200 billion each because of concerns about looming losses.

In return for pumping taxpayer dollars into the two firms, Treasury received preferred stock, which is designed to give the government a healthy 10% to 12% dividend. But few expect that Fannie or Freddie will be able to pay that dividend, let alone return the money handed to the firms to cover their losses.

Barely 45 days after Isidore’s item, John Ydstie at NPR noted that the supposed worst-case scenario had doubled yet again:

in its August update the CBO predicts the Treasury’s TARP program — which rescued banks, auto companies and homeowners — will lose more than $200 billion. It estimates the takeover of Fannie and Freddie could cost almost $400 billion.

That gets us back to IBD’s editorial on the FHA, a SO-SAD (Same Old Song And Dance) situation involving — you guessed it — even more lending to unqualified borrowers. What’s particularly galling is that FHA seems to have proactively and irresponsibly decided to be the conduit for bad loans once Fan and Fred stopped serving that purpose:

A huge, government-run housing agency shows massive losses and needs a bailout. Fannie Mae? Freddie Mac? No. It’s the Federal Housing Administration, in a bad case of financial-meltdown deja vu.

The FHA, which insures mortgages made by first-time buyers with low down payments, says it may need a bailout because it will have losses of — get this — $54 billion. And how did it lose all that? By backing home loans made to people who couldn’t pay them off.

Where have we heard this before?

At a time when we talk routinely of trillion dollar deficits, $54 billion may not seem like much. But it’s huge. Worse, it signals that the government, contrary to its repeated assertions of fiscal competence, is incapable of learning from its worst mistakes.

In the case of the FHA, as the Los Angeles Times notes, it doubled down on its bad bet. “This year alone,” the Times found, “the agency has backed nearly 2 million mortgages worth at least $328 billion.

Those who think that there are people inside our government who are bound and determined to take the economy down will consider adding FHA’s obviously deliberate move to take on new amounts of virtually guaranteed losses to their dossier.

Despite the LA Times work IBD refers to, the establishment media has been very slow to notice the deteriorating FHA situation. That has changed in the past 24-36 hours, which would appear to indicate that once again, an editorial in a conservative publication has shown the media where the story is. It should be the other way around.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

As If on Cue ….

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 9:42 am

…. “US forces leave isolated Afghan base after attack“:

Taliban fighters claimed Friday their flag was flying victoriously over an eastern Afghan village U.S. forces abandoned after suffering casualties in one of the war’s deadliest battles for American troops.

The withdrawal this week from mountainous Kamdesh, an isolated hamlet near the Pakistan border, was planned well before the intense Oct. 3 attack left a pair of outposts in ruins and eight American troops dead.

The NATO-led coalition said the move was part of a new strategy outlined months ago by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to shut down remote difficult-to-defend outposts and redirect forces toward larger population areas to protect more civilians.

The strategy has an inadvertent consequence, however: Every inch of ground the U.S. cedes, emboldened Taliban militants are likely to take and trumpet as a victory over another superpower.

The fourth paragraph is exactly what Lara Logan (and anyone else who understands human nature) predicted would happen — which is why what’s in the second and third paragraphs is nothing more than an poor effort at CYA.

When are all the lefties who said for years that “Afghanistan is the good war” going to get passionate about winning it? Oh, I forgot: “Victory” isn’t necessarily the goal. If victory isn’t the goal, losing is usually the result.

Positivity: Catholic sisters save over 300 children from deadly tsunami in Samoa

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:45 am

From Appia, Samoa:

Oct 7, 2009 / 06:10 am (CNA).- An Australian sister and her colleagues at a Samoan primary school saved the lives of 320 school children when she quickly moved them to higher ground after an earthquake triggered a tsunami warning.

The Queensland-born Sister Doris Barbero, a Salesian, was teaching at St. Joseph’s Primary School on the edge of the sea in a village in southwest Western Samoa. The school is sponsored by Catholic Mission in Australia.

On Sept. 29 Sr. Doris, two other sisters and 11 lay staff felt the violent rumbling of the earthquake. According to the Archdiocese of Sydney, she said her first reaction was relief that all the children and the school had come through unhurt.

Then came strong aftershocks and the tsunami warning.

“We realized we had a very short time to get the children away from the school and the sea and up to higher ground to the hills behind us,” Sister Doris said in a phone conversation with the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Sr. Doris and the staff scrambled up the hills with the children, who ranged in age from four to fifteen years old.

The older children helped the younger ones, who were very frightened.

The group remained huddled in the hills until the following day, the Archdiocese of Sydney reports. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.