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  1. #46
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    It's a Spanish branded car in the market range of VW Golf/Passat and Audi types. As a matter of fact they use Audi engines. They used to be a rather insignificant brand on our market but in the last several years they have become increasingly popular. I think that is because they are a bit cheaper than a VW or Audi but perform similarly. They do lack a few comfort options, but I do have airco. I'm covered for GW j/k

    But I can sure imagine the difference in car types in the States and around here. There's a Caddilac set out on sale in my street and I have to say, it sure stands out from all the other cars standing around it

    I think it's one of these types, meant as a generalization of the one as I don't know the slightest bit about them. So I might be way off. This is what it *looks* like ^^

    http://www.valenticlassics.com/image...20CADILLAC.JPG
    Last edited by Wolf2000me; 03-16-2007 at 12:27 PM.
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  2. #47
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    ^^^ Dang, that's nice. I might be off by a year or so, but that looks to be a 1956 Cadillac Fleetwod convertible that should fetch a cool $50,000 or more, if its in as good a condition as it looks to be. That's what I would consider to be an "awesome" car and worth keeping in the family for another hundred years or more...

    About cars in the states... they even vary by region. For example, around these parts, the most common type of vehicle is probably a late model, full sized, extended cab, four wheel drive pick-up truck. Or Subarus. Nothing against your Seat, but you'd have to park it for three months out of the year, because it wouldn't make it in the Winter.

  3. #48
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    I've only had my Seat for 4 months and we haven't had a serious winter this year so I wouldn't know but so far it starts every time without a single hiccup. My previous car was a VW Golf 1 built in 1980. Getting that one to just to talk to me in the winter took at least 25 minutes
    I replaced its battery because I know it wouldn't have lasted one winternight. It was one hell of car though. Nice oldschool engine sound and a classic car all the way in these parts

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...x-DSC02676.JPG

    I drove it for more than 4 years and it was my first car. I can tell you, when I sold it, it felt like selling my soul
    Last edited by Wolf2000me; 03-16-2007 at 01:16 PM.
    Whisper Performance setup:
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    Asus Geforce EN8800GT
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    Eheim 1048 // Apogee GT // Black Ice GT Stealth 240 XFlow
    TT Mozart Tx

  4. #49
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf2000me View Post
    US gas tax is laughable. Ours is a lot higher and motivates the people to leave the car more often at home and use public transportation. Which has been made a lot cheaper.
    And I'll say it again. Exxon --> Lobby ---> $$$ ---> influence.
    Our taxes from petrol are very high, they go into the national treasury, big difference than ones own pocket. The oil companies don't have our government on strings. And we did sign and ratify the Kyoto protocol in case you missed that.
    What all the British and other Europeans miss is that our country is laid out far differently from yours... compared to Great Britain, we have ~42 times the land, yet only 5 times the population. You do the math. We're spread out...my school is 35 miles from my house, and my two jobs are each about 15-20 miles away. Public transport just isn't an option for most Americans, except for those that live and work in the heart of the city (New York, Atlanta, etc), and for places where it does work, look how many people use it, even though we have cheap gas. The reason we don't have it everywhere is because it just wouldn't work for the majority of us.

    Gas taxes are a good thing? I'd rather have my $2.50 going to Exxon or BP to (directly or indirectly) create more jobs for Americans (especially if they drill in Alaska) than my $6 to go to the government to piss it away on welfare and public education (a money pit that is doing nothing for our kids). The funny thing is that the British (and other Europeans) pay exorbitant amounts of money in gas taxes, yet you still have VAT and you still have a much higher income tax than we do. Paying extra gas tax isn't resulting in tax cuts elsewhere. So where's all that tax money going? You probably have more social programs than we do, but are you getting your money's worth?

    I won't get started on Kyoto Protocol, but you're very misguided if you think it's a responsible energy policy.
    Last edited by JungleMan; 03-16-2007 at 01:24 PM.
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  5. #50
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    More news you will not hear about in the MSM....


    Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate


    Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate
    March 16, 2007

    Posted By Marc Morano – 8:45 AM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.gov

    Just days before former Vice President Al Gore’s scheduled visit to testify about global warming before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, a high profile climate debate between prominent scientists Wednesday evening ended with global warming skeptics being voted the clear winner by a tough New York City before an audience of hundreds of people.

    Before the start of the nearly two hour debate the audience polled 57.3% to 29.9% in favor of believing that Global Warming was a “crisis”, but following the debate the numbers completely flipped to 46.2% to 42.2% in favor of the skeptical point of view. The audience also found humor at the expense of former Vice President Gore’s reportedly excessive home energy use.

    After the stunning victory, one of the scientists on the side promoting the belief in a climate "crisis" appeared to concede defeat by noting his debate team was ‘pretty dull" and at "a sharp disadvantage" against the skeptics. ScientificAmerican.com’s blog agreed, saying the believers in a man-made climate catastrophe “seemed underarmed for the debate and, not surprising, it swung against them."

    The New York City audience laughed as Gore became the butt of humor during the debate.

    "What we see in this is an enormous danger for politicians in terms of their hypocrisy. I’m not going to say anything about Al Gore and his house. But it is a very serious point," quipped University of London emeritus professor Philip Stott to laughter from the audience.

    The audience also applauded a call by novelist Michael Crichton to stop the hypocrisy of environmentalists and Hollywood liberals by enacting a ban on private jet travel.

    "Let’s have the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the Sierra Club and Greenpeace make it a rule that all of their members, cannot fly on private jets. They must get their houses off the [power] grid. They must live in the way that they’re telling everyone else to live. And if they won’t do that, why should we? And why should we take them seriously?" Crichton said to applause audience. (For more debate quotes see bottom of article)

    The debate was sponsored by the Oxford-style debating group Intelligence Squared and featured such prominent man-made global warming skeptics as MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, the University of London emeritus professor of biogeography Philip Stott and Physician turned Novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton on one side.

    The scientists arguing for a climate ‘crisis’ were NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, meteorologist Richard C.J. Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The event, which was moderated by New York Public Radio’s Brian Lehrer, debated the proposition: "Global warming is not a crisis.”

    Skeptics Dramatically Convinced Audience

    The skeptics achieved the vote victory despite facing an audience that had voted 57% in favor of the belief that mankind has created a climate "crisis" moments before the debate began.

    But by the end of the debate, the audience dramatically reversed themselves and became convinced by the arguments presented by the skeptical scientists. At the conclusion, the audience voted for the views of the skeptics by a margin of 46.2% to 42.2%. Skeptical audience members grew from a pre-debate low of 29.9% to a post debate high of 46.2% -- a jump of nearly 17 percentage points. [Link to official audience voting results]

    [Link to full debate pdf transcript]

    Scientist Concedes Debate To Skeptics

    NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, one of the scientists debating for the notion of a man-made global warming "crisis" conceded after the debate that his side was ‘pretty dull’ and was at "a sharp disadvantage." Schmidt made the comments in a March 15 blog posting at RealCilmate.org.

    "…I'm afraid the actual audience (who by temperament I'd say were split roughly half/half on the question) were apparently more convinced by the entertaining narratives from [Novelist Michael] Crichton and [UK’s Philip] Stott (not so sure about Lindzen) than they were by our drier fare. Entertainment-wise it's hard to blame them. Crichton is extremely polished and Stott has a touch of the revivalist preacher about him. Comparatively, we were pretty dull," Schmidt wrote.

    ‘Advantage: Climate Contrarians’

    The ScientificAmerican.com’s blog also declared the global warming skeptics the clear winner of the debate in a March 15 post titled: "Debate Skills? Advantage: Climate Contrarians."

    "The proponents [of a climate crisis] seemed underarmed for the debate and, not surprisingly, it swung against them, particularly when Schmidt made the fatal debating error of dismissing the ability of the audience to judge the scientific nuances," ScientificAmerican.com’s David Biello wrote.

    The advocates of climate alarmism "were faced with the folksy anecdotes of Crichton and the oratorical fire of Stott," Biello wrote at ScientificAmerican.com.

    Biello concluded, "…the audience responded to Crichton's satirical call for a ban on private jets more than Ekwurzel's vague we need to throw ‘everything we can at the climate crisis.’ By the final vote, 46 percent of the audience had been convinced that global warming was indeed not a crisis, while just 42 percent persisted in their opinion that it was."

    Biello also criticized climate "crisis" advocate Richard Somerville as "perplexed" and "hardly inspiring."

    Skeptic’s ‘Very Popular’

    Debate participant Schmidt lamented that the evening turned into one of futility for believers in a man-made global warming catastrophe.

    "Crichton went with the crowd-pleasing condemnation of private jet-flying liberals - very popular, even among the private jet-flying Eastsiders present and the apparent hypocrisy of people who think that global warming is a problem using any energy at all."

    Schmidt continued, "Stott is a bit of a force of nature and essentially accused anyone who thinks global warming is a problem of explicitly rooting for misery and poverty in the third world. He also brought up the whole cosmic ray issue as the next big thing in climate science."

    Schmidt appeared so demoralized that he mused that debates equally split between believers of a climate ‘crisis’ and scientific skeptics are probably not “worthwhile” to ever agree to again.

    Selected Quotes from the climate debate from transcript: [Link to full debate pdf transcript]

    Skeptical quotes from Novelist Michael Crichton:

    "I would like to suggest a few symbolic actions that right—might really mean something. One of them, which is very simple, 99% of the American population doesn’t care, is ban private jets. Nobody needs to fly in them, ban them now. And, and in addition, [APPLAUSE] "Let’s have the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the Sierra Club and Greenpeace make it a rule that all of their members, cannot fly on private jets. They must get their houses off the [electrical] grid. They must live in the way that they’re telling everyone else to live. And if they won’t do that, why should we? And why should we take them seriously? [APPLAUSE]"

    "I suddenly think about my friends, you know, getting on their private jets. And I think, well, you know, maybe they have the right idea. Maybe all that we have to do is mouth a few platitudes, show a good, expression of concern on our faces, buy a Prius, drive it around for a while and give it to the maid, attend a few fundraisers and you’re done. Because, actually, all anybody really wants to do is talk about it."

    "I mean, haven’t we actually raised temperatures so much that we, as stewards of the planet, have to act? These are the questions that friends of mine ask as they are getting on board their private jets to fly to their second and third homes. [LAUGHTER]"

    "Everyday 30,000 people on this planet die of the diseases of poverty. There are, a third of the planet doesn’t have electricity. We have a billion people with no clean water. We have half a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Do we care about this? It seems that we don’t. It seems that we would rather look a hundred years into the future than pay attention to what’s going on now. I think that's unacceptable. I think that’s really a disgrace."
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  6. #51
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Cont...

    Skeptical quotes of University of London’s emeritus professor of biogeography Philip Stott:

    "What we see in this is an enormous danger for politicians in terms of their hypocrisy. I’m not going to say anything about Al Gore and his house. [LAUGHTER] But it is a very serious point."

    "In the early 20th century, 95% of scientists believe in eugenics. [LAUGHTER] Science does not progress by consensus, it progresses by falsification and by what we call paradigm shifts."

    "The first Earth Day in America claimed the following, that because of global cooling, the population of America would have collapsed to 22 million by the year 2000. And of the average calorie intake of the average American would be wait for this, 2,400 calories, would good it were. [LAUGHTER] It’s nonsense and very dangerous. And what we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes."

    "Angela Merkel the German chancellor, my own good prime minister (Tony Blair) for whom I voted -- let me emphasize, arguing in public two weeks ago as to who in Annie get the gun style could produce the best temperature. ‘I could do two degrees C said Angela.’ ‘No, I could only do three said Tony.’ [LAUGHTER] Stand back a minute, those are politicians, telling you that they can control climate to a degree Celsius.”

    “And can I remind everybody that IPCC that we keep talking about, very honestly admits that we know very little about 80% of the factors behind climate change. Well let’s use an engineer; I don’t think I’d want to cross Brooklyn Bridge if it were built by an engineer who only understood 80% of the forces on that bridge. [LAUGHTER]”


    Skeptical quotes of MIT’s Professor of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen:

    "Now, much of the current alarm, I would suggest, is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate."

    "The impact on temperature per unit carbon dioxide actually goes down, not up, with increasing CO2. The role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases is not directly related to the emissions rate or even CO2 levels, which is what the legislation is hitting on, but rather to the impact of these gases on the greenhouse effect."

    "The real signature of greenhouse warming is not surface temperature but temperature in the middle of the troposphere, about five kilometers. And that is going up even slower than the temperature at the surface."

    # # #
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  7. #52
    Joined
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

  8. #53
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangutan View Post
    I'll say. I never thought scientific studies would be the topic of partisan politics until I checked out scooter's link to the minority blog of Senator Inhofe (US Senate EPW committee).

    After reading Senator Inhofe's "A Skeptic’s Guide to Debunking Global Warming Alarmism" the following article that the dastardly MSM did report on took on a new meaning for me (and not the way Inhofe intended):
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/sto...2963660&page=1

    Climate Scientist Says Government Censorship Has Confused Public

    Hansen Says Political PR Appointees Corrupted Science, but Critics Say Climate Warnings Seeped Through Anyhow


    Jim Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    By CLAYTON SANDELL



    WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 — A top government climate scientist told Congress today that political appointees without scientific backgrounds are corrupting the scientific process and confusing the public by censoring scientists and improperly editing their research on global warming.

    "I believe that the nature of these edits is a good part of the reason for why there is a substantial gap between the understanding of global warming by the relevant scientific community and the knowledge of the public and policymakers," said James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "There has been so much doubt cast on our understanding that they think it's still completely up in the air."

    Also sitting at the witness table were two former Bush administration political appointees — Phillip Cooney and George Deutsch — who have found themselves at the center of separate recent climate science controversies.

    In January 2006, Hansen complained that NASA officials, including Deutsch, were insisting that his lectures, media interviews and papers be approved in advance by public affairs staff at NASA headquarters. Deutsch, a former intern for George W. Bush's re-election campaign, had no scientific training.

    'Forcing Scientists to Parrot Propaganda'
    "Why are public affairs offices staffed by political appointees?" asked Hansen, who said he testified today as a private citizen. "Their job should be to help scientists present results in a language that the public can understand. They should not be forcing scientists to parrot propaganda."


    Deutsch testified that high-ranking NASA officials were unhappy with Hansen after seeing a report on ABC's "Good Morning America" by correspondent Bill Blakemore in December 2005. Blakemore, citing information from Hansen, reported that 2005 was tied to become the hottest year on record.

    "Senior NASA officials conveyed to me that they were unaware of the release of this information being coordinated with headquarters or peer review," Deutsch said. "The same senior NASA officials were, to say the least, upset by this procedural breach."

    Following news reports in which Hansen claimed he was censored, Deutsch resigned from NASA and the agency issued a new communications policy that emphasized openness among scientists and the news media.

    Republicans Say Message Still Getting Out
    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., pointed out that Hansen — who is in Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" — is one of the most frequently quoted scientists on the topic of global warming.

    "You're one of the most easily Google-able human beings on the face of the earth," Issa said. "The message is getting out, wouldn't you say?"

    Hansen acknowledged the message is getting attention but insisted the public is still confused about the level of scientific understanding on global warming.

    Cooney resigned from his post at the White House Council on Environmental Quality in 2005 after The New York Times revealed the former oil industry lobbyist had edited government climate reports to downplay links between human greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

    Cooney also has no scientific training but testified today that he relied on information from the National Academy of Sciences and other sources.

    "The comments and recommendations that I offered in reviewing executive branch policy documents on climate change were consistent with the views and exploration of scientific knowledge that many others in all three branches of our government were undertaking," he told the committee. "I offered my comments in good-faith reliance on what I understood to be authoritative and current use of the state of scientific knowledge, and for no other purpose."

    The hearing was the latest of several to explore government censorship of climate scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. It's an issue that has received more attention from Democrats in Congress who accuse the Bush administration of clouding the accepted scientific consensus regarding climate change.

    Today's hearing was held by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.



  9. #54
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by otoc View Post
    I'll say. I never thought scientific studies would be the topic of partisan politics, but since it should be, here's the left wing spin... with "Bush" mentioned the proper amount of times...
    Isn't that better?

  10. #55
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchcedar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by otoc according to how Dutch imagined it
    I'll say. I never thought scientific studies would be the topic of partisan politics, but since it should be, here's the left wing spin... with "Bush" mentioned the proper amount of times...
    Isn't that better?
    I guess it is for you.

    You should work for the administration, Dutch.

    You seem well fitted for the job of making things up to fit your view of the world.

  11. #56
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by otoc View Post
    I guess it is for you.

    You should work for the administration, Dutch.

    You seem well fitted for the job of making things up to fit your view of the world.
    Nah, I'm not too keen on temporary careers.

    In the same vien, Daily Kos would be a great fit for you...

  12. #57
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    ^^^ This same guy OTOC.... Ya... I cannot see why he'd say such things.. seeing as you are attached to BOLDFACE I'll point you to the relative passages:


    Climate scientist sees cover-up

    A NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he'd done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.
    James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who argues global warming could be catastrophic, said NASA staffers denied his request to do a National Public Radio interview because they didn't want his message to get out.
    But Republicans told him the hundreds of other interviews he did belie his broad claim he was being silenced.
    "We have over 1,400 opportunities that you've availed yourself to, and yet you call it, you know, being stifled," said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.
    Mr. Hansen responded: "For the sake of the taxpayers, they should be availed of my expertise. I shouldn't be required to parrot some company line."
    In a bitter hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating whether there was political interference into climate science, Republicans and Democrats accused each other of "smearing" the other's witnesses.
    High-profile global warming hearings this week will include appearances by former Vice President Al Gore before House and Senate committees.
    Mr. Hansen yesterday said the Bush administration threatened him and his office over his stance on global warming.
    "It was an oral threat made to a public affairs person in New York and relayed to me," said Mr. Hansen, who is listed as a senior adviser to Mr. Gore and consulted on Mr. Gore's global warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth."
    Citing what he called a "growth of political interference," Mr. Hansen said he was forced by NASA officials to deny an interview request from NPR because press officials believed the network to have a liberal bias.
    But Mr. Issa noted that Mr. Hansen conducted 15 interviews in the month after accusing the Bush administration of censorship.
    During the hearing, former NASA spokesman George Deutsch said he made an error in judgment by sending an e-mail to his superiors suggesting that several of Mr. Hansen's colleagues should grant the NPR interview instead of him.
    Mr. Deutsch, who was 23 at the time, said Mr. Hansen was prohibited from doing the interview because of his prior refusal to notify NASA officials when he was granting interviews, not for political reasons.
    Citing what he called his "constitutional right" to give interviews, Mr. Hansen admitted violating NASA's press policy but defended his actions.
    "It's a very rare case of where you got it on paper," Mr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch's e-mail, claiming the blocked interview was not an exception. "This thing was going on all the time."
    Mr. Hansen refused to denounce earlier comments he made referring to the White House as a "propaganda office," and saying, "It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States."
    "I was referring to the constraints of speaking to the media," Mr. Hansen said, when asked about his comments.
    Mr. Hansen also claimed his department was put on a "going out of business budget," by the White House as payback from his global warming views and that press releases were routinely sent to the White House for approval before going public.
    Republicans questioned him about his ties to prominent Democrats.
    Mr. Hansen received a $250,000 grant from the Heinz foundation, which is controlled by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat. Mr. Hansen was a vocal supporter of Mr. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
    "As far as I know, there's no political connection to this award," said Mr. Hansen, who has donated several thousand dollars to past presidential campaigns for Mr. Kerry and Mr. Gore. "It's an environmental award."
    Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, accused Republicans of "smearing" the witness after Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, asked Mr. Hansen about the Heinz foundation grant.
    In response, Republicans accused Democrats on the committee of unfairly criticizing Philip Cooney, former chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
    Mr. Cooney said he and several other administration colleagues were responsible for editing documents that were produced by scientists including Mr. Hansen.
    Mr. Cooney, who was previously employed by the Petroleum Institute, which lobbies on behalf of the gas and oil industries, denied that any of his changes were designed to conceal scientific research on global warming.
    For his part, Mr. Hansen explained that he has not always disagreed with the administration's environmental positions, offering approval for increased research into nuclear power and praising the White House's support for a methane gas program.
    "It is a success story, and the administration should be given credit for it," Mr. Hansen said.

    Yup... just a fine upstanding young scientist. Not to be mistaken with an agenda pushing partisan hack on the global warming payroll in any way shape or form.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  13. #58
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchcedar View Post
    Nah, I'm not too keen on debating and instead like to try to poke fun at you.
    No big deal Dutch, you can do what ever you like here. I find it very entertaining.

    To go back on topic, since scooter's original post was pretty much discounted, I'd like to rebut that last epic he posted from Inhofe's blog.
    Quote Originally Posted by AMDScooter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AMDScooter View Post
    Cont...
    A contrary view of Sen. Inhofe has been around for years as found by a google search:

    http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?...articleId=7603
    Earth Last
    James Inhofe proves "flat Earth" doesn't refer to Oklahoma.
    By Chris Mooney
    Issue Date: 05.04.04
    At a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Republican chairman, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, confronted Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Mike Leavitt with a serious complaint. Leavitt had come to the Hill to defend President Bush's 2005 budget, which proposes to slash the EPA's various science programs by nearly $100 million. A staunch conservative, Inhofe once famously dubbed the EPA a "Gestapo bureaucracy" -- but in this case, he stood up for the agency's research-and-development funding. "I'm an advocate of sound science," Inhofe proclaimed.

    Inhofe has been stressing this theme ever since he took over the committee following the November 2002 elections. He's pledged that on his watch, the committee will "improve the way in which science is used." Last summer he even delivered a 12,000-word Senate floor speech titled "The Science of Climate Change," outlining conclusions he said he'd reached after several years of studying the issue.

    The trouble is, Inhofe's views are way out of whack with the scientific mainstream. He argues that natural variability, rather than human influence, is the "overwhelming factor influencing climate." This contradicts both the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which have emphasized the central role of human activities in explaining recent global warming. Asked in writing whether Inhofe agrees that he's at odds with the scientific mainstream, his committee staff retorted, "How do you define 'mainstream'? Scientists who accept the so-called 'consensus' about global warming? Galileo was not mainstream."

    But Inhofe is hardly Galileo. In fact, his involvement in a lawsuit seeking to suppress a groundbreaking scientific report on possible effects of climate change in the United States -- such as biodiversity losses and threats to coastal areas due to higher sea levels -- arguably puts him more on the side of Galileo's oppressors.

    If Inhofe is out of step with science, though, he's right in line with his conservative and pro-business constituency. Since 1999, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Inhofe has received almost $300,000 in campaign donations from oil and gas interests and nearly $180,000 from electric utilities. In the 2002 election cycle, he received more oil and gas contributions than any senator except Texas' John Cornyn.

    Meanwhile, Inhofe's "sound science" mantra -- a watchword of the business community and favorite refrain of Bush himself -- appears several times in a recent Republican strategy memo providing talking points on the environment. On global warming, the memo, drafted by pollster Frank Luntz, cynically advises, "The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science." Challenging the science is precisely what Inhofe has done -- vigorously. (Inhofe's staff confirmed that he'd read the Luntz memo.)

    In February, 20 U.S. Nobel laureates denounced the Bush administration's political manipulations of science. But if Bush is bad, Inhofe is a kind of scientific Attila the Hun -- and nowhere more than on the issue of climate. That he now controls the Senate's environment committee suggests that today's GOP, run by dyed-in-the-wool conservatives instead of moderates like John McCain, has developed a dangerous relationship with scientific knowledge itself.

    Fealty to "Sound" Science
    A former Tulsa mayor and small-business man, Inhofe has consistently received goose eggs on the environment from the League of Conservation Voters (though he recently improved his rating to 5 percent). He became Environment and Public Works chairman in January 2003, following the relatively brief tenure of Vermont Independent Jim Jeffords. As debate intensified last summer over legislation by Senators McCain and Joe Lieberman to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, Inhofe quickly opted for the Luntz strategy on climate. He presided over a fur-flying hearing pitting two climate-science contrarians against a lone representative of the global scientific consensus on the issue.

    Inhofe opened the hearing by swearing fealty to "sound science." He then lavished praise on a highly controversial paper, authored by two scholars at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, that has been denounced by mainstream climate scientists. "In many important ways," Inhofe declared, the study "shifts the paradigm" away from the accepted view that the late 20th century saw unprecedented global temperature spikes.

    Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon, one of the paper's authors, then spoke, claiming his work showed that 20th-century temperatures were not, in fact, anomalous. He didn't note, however, that his research had been partly funded by the American Petroleum Institute. Soon -- who did not respond to written questions submitted for this article -- was backed by David Legates of the University of Delaware, another contrarian and co-author of a later version of the paper. Both scientists have collaborated in the past with the George C. Marshall Institute, an organization skeptical of much climate-change science that received $90,000 from ExxonMobil in 2002, the last year for which records are currently available. Until recently, Soon was a senior scientist with the institute and received a small stipend for his work, according to President William O'Keefe, and Legates has written a paper and book chapter for the group. O'Keefe himself has previously chaired the (anti-Kyoto Protocol) Global Climate Coalition and served as chief operating officer of the American Petroleum Institute. In addition, he's a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil, though he comments, "I keep my Exxon work and my Marshall work separate."

    Inhofe and others question whether fossil-fuel connections bias climate science. "It's not the politics of the scientists that counts or who funds them," says O'Keefe. "It's the immersion of the hypothesis in the acid bath of truth." But, in fact, there's ample reason to pay close attention to the connections between energy interests and those taking contrarian stances on climate. In 1998, The New York Times reported on an American Petroleum Institute memo outlining a strategy to invest millions to "maximize the impact of scientific views consistent with ours with Congress, the media and other key audiences." According to the memo, a representative of the Marshall Institute helped develop the plan. O'Keefe says the agenda outlined in the memo was never pursued, but its very existence justifies close scrutiny of industry ties to individual climate-science contrarians.

    Moreover, since its publication in 2003, the work of Soon and Legates has been embroiled in controversy over its scientific legitimacy. After Soon's original paper -- co-authored with fellow Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas, who did not return calls for this article -- appeared in a small journal called Climate Research, several editors, including Editor in Chief Hans von Storch, resigned to protest deficiencies in the review process leading up to the paper's publication. In a subsequent statement, journal founder Otto Kinne agreed with critics that Soon and company's published conclusions "cannot be concluded convincingly from the evidence provided in the paper" -- hardly an auspicious start for Inhofe's "paradigm shift."

    Inhofe's hearing pitted Soon and Legates against a single representative of the consensus view among climate scientists, the University of Virginia's Michael Mann. Using "proxies" such as tree rings, ice cores, and corals, Mann and other scientists have reconstructed climate records showing that recent temperatures represent an anomaly in the context of the past 1,000 years. This conclusion has been embodied in an iconic "hockey stick" graph showing relatively moderate oscillations until temperatures spiked upward at the end of the 20th century. Though multiple studies confirm the basic thrust of his work, Mann's association with the hockey stick has made him a target of various climate-science skeptics.

  14. #59
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Part 2
    At Inhofe's hearing, Mann defended the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body whose rigorously peer-reviewed work -- a kind of gold standard of climate science -- relies on the contributions of some 2,000 global scientists. But for those keeping count, the scientific scoreboard in the Senate that day showed a margin of 2 to 1, not a handful versus 2,000. Asked whether the hearing was truly "balanced," Inhofe's committee staff responded that the question "assumes that every scientist that contributed to the IPCC agrees with the theory of catastrophic global warming." They then cited a single IPCC contributor -- the well-known contrarian Richard Lindzen, an MIT professor and hero of global-warming skeptics -- who has challenged the panel's conclusions.


    But even if the work of Soon, Baliunas, and Legates has a dim scientific future, Inhofe's decision to highlight it feeds into a clear political strategy: Challenge the science at all costs. Inhofe isn't the only one pursuing this approach. Not long before his hearing last year, according to an exposé in The New York Times, the White House pressured EPA scientists to delete a hockey-stick diagram and instead include a reference to the Soon and Baliunas work in a forthcoming EPA report. The EPA ultimately opted to cut the section on climate almost entirely rather than misrepresent the scientific consensus.


    "The Greatest Hoax"

    Inhofe has made a virtual hobby out of using questionable science to support his agenda on climate change. Last December in Milan, Italy, at an annual UN meeting of parties to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, Inhofe distributed a brochure titled "The Facts and Science of Climate Change," which plugged the Soon and Baliunas study. Inhofe's document largely rehashed a July 2003 Senate floor speech he delivered, which concluded with a stunning line. "With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science," Inhofe said, "could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it."


    Inhofe's Milan appearance triggered considerable controversy, as well as some fun at the senator's expense. The National Environmental Trust (NET) whipped up posters showing Inhofe's picture and his famous quotation, displaying them for the delegates present. "The reaction in the halls was -- well, they just believed it was lampoonable," notes one Democratic Senate staffer. Inhofe apparently loved the poster, though. "He had a sense of humor about it," says NET's Mark Wenzler, adding that Inhofe "actually signed a copy of the poster for us."


    If Inhofe's rhetoric has been over the top, he's also used some questionable strategies to back it up. In his Senate speech on climate change, and on a poster board displayed in Milan, Inhofe listed a slew of authorities -- including a number of mainstream scientists -- who supposedly back his view of climate science. But some of these scientists have protested that they were misrepresented. In response to questions from the Prospect, Inhofe's committee staff insisted that Inhofe would not apologize because his representations of the scientists' work were accurate.


    But few of the defenses from the senator's staff withstand scrutiny. For instance, in his Senate speech, Inhofe described the distinguished Stanford climatologist Stephen Schneider as a critic of the IPCC, claiming that calculations published by Schneider in the journal Nature "cast serious doubt" on the IPCC's upper-end projection of 5.8 degrees (Celsius) of warming by 2100. In a lengthy rebuttal submitted in response to questions from Senator McCain, however, Schneider wrote, "It is misrepresenting my views to characterize them as even implying that IPCC has exaggerated or failed to describe the state of the science fairly." McCain quoted this line to Inhofe on the Senate floor on October 29, 2003. Yet in response to the Prospect, Inhofe's staff made no mention of Schneider's thorough critique.

  15. #60
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    Re: The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Part 3
    Inhofe also cited the work of Tom Wigley, a distinguished meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, in arguing that the Kyoto Protocol would only have a small temperature-reduction effect by 2050. But in a letter to Senators Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, Wigley protested that the whole point of the paper in question was to show that the protocol would only be "the first step in a long and complex process of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels." In response to the Prospect, Inhofe's staff maintained that the senator had "quoted Wigley correctly." Yet that misses the point: Inhofe used Wigley to suggest that the Kyoto Protocol would have a miniscule long-term impact, but as Wigley puts it, "there's no possibility of doing Kyoto and then doing nothing else" because the treaty would set in motion other mitigation policies.


    The most striking thing about Inhofe's climate-science speech, however, is not the scientists it misrepresents but the science it ignores. Nowhere does Inhofe even mention a high-profile 2001 report by the National Academy of Sciences, commissioned by the Bush administration, which confirmed the reliability of the IPCC's work. In its opening sentences, that report stated point-blank, "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising." Inhofe's staff complains that this passage has been "tirelessly paraded by climate alarmists," but if so, there's good reason: It succinctly presents the current scientific consensus.


    In ducking this statement by the United States' leading scientific body, Inhofe isn't alone. Even though the Bush administration commissioned the NAS report, it, too, has run away from it. White House edits to the aforementioned EPA report, for example, sought to remove references to the academy's findings. Inhofe may be more abrasive than the president, and he may make the White House's policy on climate change -- focused on "more research" to reduce remaining uncertainties rather than action -- seem moderate by comparison. But, practically speaking, the two aren't so far apart.


    Who's Afraid of a Little Mercury?
    Climate change isn't the only issue on which Inhofe has highlighted scientific outliers in order to make the case for lax regulation. Consider the issue of mercury pollution. A heavy metal released into the air largely by electric utilities, and especially coal-fired power plants, mercury falls to the earth in rain and makes its way into bodies of water. There, bacteria change it into methylmercury, which can cause brain damage and developmental problems in fetuses and children. Methylmercury filters up the aquatic food chain, reaching its highest concentrations in large fish like tuna, which when eaten by humans can cause serious problems, especially for pregnant women. According to the EPA, 630,000 newborn children in the United States had dangerous blood mercury levels in 1999-2000.

    Mercury from power plants has never been regulated in the United States, but the Clinton administration took steps toward issuing tough new rules requiring that power plants use the "maximum achievable technology" to cut pollution. In late 2003, however, Bush's EPA proposed far weaker regulations: a 70-percent reduction of mercury emissions from power plants by 2018, achieved through a market-based "cap and trade" system. Scientifically, the lax approach -- which has opened up the administration to a barrage of criticism -- takes part of its justification from the testimony provided before Inhofe's committee last July. Not unlike the climate-change hearing, the event selectively highlighted the only epidemiological study suggesting that chronic exposure of pregnant mothers to mercury doesn't pose risks to fetuses -- even though two other major studies, and a comprehensive assessment of the existing literature by the National Academy of Sciences, say it does.


    Inhofe's hearing once again presented the testimony of three scientists. The first, from the industry-sponsored Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), argued that much of the mercury deposited in the United States comes from overseas and that emissions reductions would thus have little effect. No counterpoint was offered on this controversial question. The rest of the hearing then pitted Dr. Deborah Rice, a former EPA toxicologist defending the mainstream view of mercury's health risks, against Dr. Gary Myers of the University of Rochester, lead author of the only significant study that does not find harmful effects from fish consumption (conducted in the Seychelles Islands off the coast of Africa, where the population consumes large amounts of fish).


    Calling the Seychelles work "anomalous," Rice explained that "at least eight studies based on populations around the globe" -- two of them large epidemiological studies -- supported the conclusion that mercury exposure is dangerous to fetuses. The NAS panel therefore considered the weight of the existing evidence and concluded that it could hardly rely upon the one study, from the Seychelles, that reached a different conclusion than all the others. Myers, however, implicitly disparaged all the other studies, as well as the NAS, in his testimony. "We do not believe that there is presently good scientific evidence that moderate fish consumption is harmful to the fetus," he said.

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