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James Hanson's “Storms of My Grandchildren”

The other day I found myself outside a newly-discovered library, and so naturally a few seconds later I was walking in. Aha! Book shelves! Walked up, pulled out the very first book on the shelf, and it was James Hanson's “Storms of My Grandchildren”. Hanson is, for those who came late, an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is one of the key promoters of catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming (CAGW), and his testimonies and activism have done much to promote the theory.

The reason I rejected CAGW in 2008 when I first looked at the global warming dispute was that I easily found evidence that contradicted the theory, but, having looked long and hard for solid science backing the CAGW claims, I never found any. So, with Hanson's book in my hand, I wondered if this might be a serendipitous moment; perhaps this book contained what I had been looking for? So I found a comfy chair.

Unfortunately, for a book written by a scientist, it was harder than I expected to find the science. It seemed to me mainly an account of how a plucky and socially conscious scientist (Hansen, of course) with an important message overcame indifference, hostility, and the opposition of the evil fossil fuel industry to finally triumph and alert the world to the evils of carbon dioxide (that's plant food to you and me and all other sane people). Chapters started, continued, and ended with the personal story of his struggle (mixed in with lots of photos of his grandchildren) and, once in a while, a bit of science.

In short, it took less time to read than I thought because all I looked for and read was the science. What I found didn't impress me, but it sure was written in an impressive style, and I could easily imagine non-scientists getting swept up by it. That's a problem, because our political rulers are non-scientists, almost to the last person.

Cause and Effect?

My first issue with Hanson's presentation was centred on the embarrassing fact for the CAGW theory that ice core samples that show how temperature changes precedes carbon dixode changes by about 800 years - a fact that is close, in itself, to disproof of the theory. An effect cannot come before its cause. Amazon.com won't post me a book yesterday because I decide to purchase it today; how clear could a simple fact of life in this universe be? Every philosopher, every scientist, indeed, every sane person for 2,500 years has understood why. On page 38 Hanson talks about these ice cores. He honestly points out this embarrassing fact, but then makes this remarkable statement:

Primary school forced to turn off wind turbine after bird deaths

Critics have disputed my previous analysis about the rate of bird deaths due to wind turbines. However, we have a story now from Britain about what is a small to moderately sized turbine killing at a rate of about thirty times greater than the estimates in my post. Since the only special thing about this wind turbine is that it is erected where lots of people see the results, I think it can be safely said that I vastly underestimated the assault upon wildlife by these monstrosities.

Sea level rise? Global warming? I don't think so...

I created this website to explore options for peace, so why do I find myself writing so much about global warming? Well, if there's disharmony in the home and you want the family to talk it through, if you find the house is on fire, you have to do something about the fire first. And the loss of truth in science to push a very bad political 'solution' to a non-problem is a worldwide fire threatening civilisation itself.

Case in point: the lost island in the Bay of Bengal. Here's the BBC, covering itself in inglory pushing political antiscience instead of truth:

Map showing location of "disappeared island" in Bay of BengalA tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.

Beneath the waves

The BBC's Chris Morris in Delhi says there has never been a permanent settlement on the now-vanished island, which even in its heyday was never more than two metres (about six feet) above sea level.

In the past, however, the territorial dispute led to visits by Indian naval vessels and the temporary deployment of a contingent from the country's Border Security Force.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Very tragic, the loss of that island. Let's see, the sea rose, how much? They were two metres above sea level and now require a visit by submarine? Would that be at the very least, say, three metres, would you think? And in how long a time? India didn't have a navy until after independence in 1947, which is 62 years, or a rise of about five metres per century, which is drivel pure and simple. So much for sea level rise, and so much for the BBC's journalistic skills and/or integrity in reprinting the drivel. But we can actually do much better then this. Here's The Independent's almost as uncritical take on the same story:

World votes to continue trading in species on verge of extinction

From The Times we have this shocking news:

Proposals to ban trade in bluefin tuna and polar bears were overwhelmingly rejected yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), meeting in Doha, Qatar.

A plan for a 20-year ban on ivory sales, to protect African elephants, is also likely to fail in the coming days — partly because Britain and other members of the EU are refusing to support it. Delegates are instead expected to approve a weak compromise, which would encourage poaching by allowing the sale of ivory being stored by several African nations.

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