Monday, March 31, 2008

Public Officials' Character is Important

“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men,” said Samuel Adams, one of the most important figures in the founding of our country.

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character...” --Noah Webster.

Recently the public has had another chance to evaluate the character of Hillary Clinton. She previously claimed she landed under fire at the Tuzla airport in war-torn Bosnia in 1996. “I remember landing under sniper fire,” she said. “There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Last week viewers of YouTube saw visual evidence to the contrary. Film of her arrival in Bosnia shows no evidence of anyone frightened or running with head down. People were smiling and waving, posing for pictures, and there was even time for a Muslim girl to read a poem to Hillary and receive a kiss from her.

That's not the first of Hillary's lies, nor is it likely to be the last. Her own book says she was on the soccer team in high school. But the school she attended had no soccer team when she attended.

She claimed daughter Chelsea went for a jog to the World Trade Towers on 9/11, saw the planes hit, and was nearly in danger. But Chelsea in a magazine article debunked her mother story, saying she was on the other side of New York and was awakened by a phone call on 9/11 telling her to watch the news.

Hillary also claims she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. But when she was born, he was a New Zealand beekeeper nobody had ever heard of. He didn't scale the mountain until 1953. She was born in 1947.

Recently Thomas Sowell wrote eloquently about character: “In this age, when it is considered the height of sophistication to be ‘non-judgmental,’ one of the corollaries is that ‘personal’ failings have no relevance to the performance of official duties. What that amounts to, ultimately, is that character doesn’t matter. In reality, character matters enormously, more so than most things that can be seen, measured or documented. Character is what we have to depend on when we entrust power over ourselves, our children, and our society to government officials... Currently, various facts are belatedly beginning to leak out that give us clues to the character of Barack Obama. But to report these facts is being characterized as a ‘personal’ attack. Barack Obama’s personal and financial association with a man under criminal indictment in Illinois is not just a ‘personal’ matter. Nor is his 20 years of going to a church whose pastor has praised Louis Farrakhan and condemned the United States in both sweeping terms and with obscene language.... Obama chose to be part of that church for 20 years. He was not born into it. His ‘personal’ character matters, just as Eliot Spitzer’s ‘personal’ character matters—and just as Hillary Clinton’s character would matter if she had any.”

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Global Warming: Science versus Fraud

We keep hearing that the threat of global warming is supported by an overwhelming consensus of scientists. Who are these scientists? The media never tells us. They talk about 2,500 scientists endorsing the warming claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) but never mention the fraud in those claims (See Nor do they mention the fraud in representing the IPCC reports as being produced by “climate experts.” The IPCC “Summary for Policymakers”, which is the only part ever read by the media or the public, is really a “Summary BY Policymakers” since it is crafted by politicians and bureaucrats rather than those who produced the climate science in the body of the report.

Who are the experts who wrote and reviewed the body of the latest IPCC report? They are listed in appendices of IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report. There were 380 contributors. An investigation of the 51 located in the United Kingdom shows 5 economists, 3 epidemiologists, 5 who were either zoologists, entomologists, or biologists, 5 working in civil engineering or risk management/insurance, 7 with specialisms in geography, and just 10 with specialisms in geophysics, climate science or modeling, or hydrology. And there are 15 social scientists. These are climate experts?

The UK contributors to the IPCC report included: Abigail Bristow, a professor of Transport Studies at Newcastle University; John Morton of the University of Greenwich, who specializes in "development anthropology"; Johanna Wolf of the University of East Anglia works in "development studies"; Maureen Agnew, a research associate at the same university, focuses her research not on climate science but on such things as “Public perceptions of unusually warm weather in the UK: impacts, responses and adaptations”, and “Potential impacts of climate change on international tourism.” Farhana Yamin is an international lawyer, based at the University of Sussex. Kate Studd, listed as an IPCC contributor, apparently is not an academic at all and works for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. The editors of the investigation ask: “What are these people doing on this list of the most expert climate specialists in the world?” (

A look at the U.S. contributors to the IPCC report reveals similar results: 7 economists, 13 social scientists, 3 epidemiologists, 10 biologists/ecologists, 5 engineers, 2 modelers/statisticians, 1 full-time activist (and 1 part time), 5 in public health and policy, 4 unknowns, and 17 working in earth/atmospheric sciences. Included as contributors to the IPCC report are Patricia Craig, Judith Cranage, Susan Mann, and Christopher Pfeiffer, all from Pennsylvania State University. Their jobs are (in order) website-designer, administrative assistant (2), and network administrator.

I then checked the list of reviewers. There were 1,300. Surely these were highly qualified climate scientists who evaluated the IPCC report. Wrong. The list includes Magnus Billberger of the Swedish Road Administration, two representatives of the National Veterinary Institute of Sweden, Henrik Eckersten of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Hillevi Erikssen of the Swedish Forest Agency. It includes Anthony Coleman of the Insurance Australia Group, Richard Hoy of the Electricity Supply Association of Australia, and three other Australians: John Garnham of the Department of Primary Industries, Kim Ritman of the Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Paul Marshall of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. These are climate experts?

Jon Fjeldsa is with the zoological museum in Denmark. Adriaan Perrels is from the Institute for Economic Research, in Finland. Kivisaari Esko is from the Federation of Finnish Insurance Companies. Harri Lammi's only credential is listed as “Greenpeace.” Apparently no other qualification is needed to be a reviewer of the IPCC report.

In Italy, Wulf Killmann is with the Food and Agriculture Organization, and Bruno Petriccione is with the National Forest Service. In Japan, reviewers of the IPCC global warming report included Hideyuki Kobayashi, Research Coordinator for Housing Information System; Atsushi Tsunekawa, Arid Land Research Center; Nobuyuke Tanaka, Regeneration Process Laboratory, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.

In the Netherland, Bas Clabbers is with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, while Jan Verhagen is with Plant Research International. There are others from such institutions as the International Fertilizer Development Center in Uruguay, the American Bird Conservancy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the International Livestock Research Institute. Surely these are not the best places to find climate scientists.

Of course, a handful of highly qualified climate scientists are included just to give the illusion of balance and representation of diverse views. But they are woefully outnumbered, and their views are routinely ignored. As one reviewer noted, “Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation, and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.” A similar comment was made by one of the most distinguished reviewers, Madhav Khandekar, who has 45 years experience in climatology, meteorology and oceanography: “To my dismay, IPCC authors ignored all my comments and suggestions for major changes in the FOD (First Order Draft) and sent me the SOD (Second Order Draft) with essentially the same text as the FOD. None of the authors of the chapter bothered to directly communicate with me (or with other expert reviewers with whom I communicate on a regular basis) on many issues that were raised in my review. This is not an acceptable scientific review process.” The seriously flawed IPCC process led some reviewers to withdraw from participation and even sign petitions against the IPCC report which they are alleged to have supported. (One highly qualified scientist was told he couldn't have his name removed from the IPCC report—until he threatened to sue the IPCC.) A U.S. Senate Report released December 20, 2007 and updated February 2, 2008, declares that over 400 prominent scientists disputed man-made global warming claims in 2007. And it states that “many” of these were “current and former participants in the UN IPCC [who] criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.”

Only one individual has been a reviewer of all of the reports issued by the IPCC. Dr. Vincent R. Gray has had a long career in scientific research in the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand and China. He has published many scientific papers in professional journals, founded the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and is author of the book The Greenhouse Delusion. He shares the 2007 Nobel Prize that went to the IPCC. But in October 2007, after 17 years as an expert reviewer for the IPCC, he stated: “I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organization from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only 'reform' I could envisage, would be its abolition....Yes, we have to face it. The whole process is a swindle, The IPCC from the beginning was given the license to use whatever methods would be necessary to provide 'evidence' that carbon dioxide increases are harming the climate, even if this involves manipulation of dubious data and using peoples' opinions instead of science to 'prove' their case.... The disappearance of the IPCC in disgrace is not only desirable but inevitable....Sooner or later all of us will come to realize that this organization, and the thinking behind it, is phony. Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens.”

For the first time, thanks to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, the IPCC revealed comments on its report by individual reviewers for its Working Group 1 because it is located in the U.S. The comments cover eleven chapters of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. 308 reviewers made comments, only 32 commented on more than three chapters, and only five commented on all eleven chapters. John McLean, an Australian climate analyst with more than 20 years experience, has written: “Chapter 9 is the most important chapter of the entire report because it is where the report states, 'it is very highly likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the last 50 years.' The IPCC leads us to believe this statement is supported by a large number of reviewers. We often hear reference to 2,500 scientists supporting the IPCC findings....In fact only 62 reviewers commented on this chapter...” and more than half of them had a vested interest in the chapter or were tainted in some other way. Furthermore, the IPCC editors rejected almost 60 % of the comments on this chapter. Thus there was very little support indeed for what was the principal conclusion of the report.

Because of the political nature of the IPCC, which has corrupted the scientific study of climate, many climate scientists showed up last week at a climate conference—in opposition to the IPCC! The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change was the first event by a new organization, the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.) The event was booked March 2-4 at the Marriott Times Square Hotel in New York, and the 500 available seats sold out in advance. The speakers included 100 distinguished climate scientists from all over the world. The principal sponsor of the conference was the Heartland Institute, with co-sponsors that included the International Climate Science Coalition, National Center for Policy Analysis, Science and Environmental Policy Project, Science and Public Policy Institute, Cascade Policy Institute, and more than forty similar organizations.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the Manhattan Declaration. This document clarifies common misconceptions about climate and concludes: “we recommend that world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as 'An Inconvenient Truth' [Al Gore's movie, and] that all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.”

Science is not about consensus but about discovering the truth. The claim that a consensus is “proof” of the validity of an idea is, in fact, a double fraud: it proclaims a fraudulent idea as true based upon a fraudulent standard.

The proponents of global warming fail even by their own standard, because there is a far larger consensus against their idea than in support of it. The Oregon Petition drive was undertaken to demonstrate this fact. Led by Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, and Dr. Arthur Robinson, president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, the Oregon Petition drive has collected more than 19,000 signatures from physical scientists—no social scientists—against the IPCC claim that global warming is occurring because of human activity and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. And more 10,000 of those scientists have advanced degrees.

Why is it that the media keeps reminding the public about the 2,500 scientists who endorse global warming but say nothing about the 19,000 on the other side of the argument? The bias of the media goes a long way to explaining the public's acceptance of the threat of global warming. According to a report by the the Business and Media Institute, only 20 percent of 205 network news stories about climate change between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007 even mentioned an alternative view to global warming alarmism. CBS scored the worst of the three networks, allowing only one "skeptic" to appear for every 38 alarmists. For examples of CBS' half-truths, outright lies, and other misleading information, see