Archive for January, 2010

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Where did global warming go?

January 20, 2010

According to a report on the BBC website today:

Climate body admits glacier error
A top UN panel gave the wrong date for Himalayan glacier melt, but says it does not change the picture of man-made climate change.

Wasn’t the original claim that these glaciers were melting as a result of global warming? “Climate change” is a different animal altogether, and can include a whole range of factors (radioactive particles in the air, deforestation, oceanic pollution etc.) that have nothing at all to do with the global temperature rising as a result of human-produced CO2 emissions.

In recent months, the term “global warming” seems to have fallen into disuse by most MMGW adherents – and by the media – and the much more ambiguous term “climate change” is increasingly being used instead.

“Climate change”, of course, covers just about every contingency. If the earth warms up, that would be climate change. If a new ice age arrives, that would be climate change too.

As the climate has been changing periodically since the beginning of the earth’s history, it’s a pretty safe bet that it will continue to change in the future. Predicting “climate change” is a bit like backing every horse in a race.

So what happened to global warming? Does the abandonment of this term by MMGW adherents signal a private acceptance on their part that the much-heralded warming might not actually happen? After a decade in which global temperatures have gone steadily down and global ice is still at normal levels; and particularly after one of the coldest winters on record – not to mention the revelation that senior members of the IPCC manipulated data and resorted to blackmail and threats to prevent MMGW sceptics from publishing their views – claims of an impending rise in the temperature are beginning to strain people’s credibility.

Perhaps it’s my imagination, but it looks to me as if the goalposts in this game are on the move, and that pretty soon they’ll be telling us that “it’s not just warming that’s the problem”, and accusing sceptics of putting too much emphasis on “one particular aspect of climate change”.

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Five days later, and still no air-drops to Haiti

January 18, 2010

Still no help for Haiti's earthquake victims

Five days after the Haiti earthquake struck, victims are still waiting for international help to arrive. People who were rescued from collapsed buildings are now dying from infections that could be easily treated with the antibiotic drugs stacked in crates just a hundred miles away.
The US military and air force have so far been unable to reach the earthquake zone to deliver these desperately needed medical supplies to the small island in what it likes to call its “own back yard”.
By contrast, the US Army and Air Force has no trouble at all dropping massive bombs and missiles with “surgical precision” on villages in Afghanistan and before that in Iraq – huge countries thousands of miles away from the US.
If only their medical aid delivery system was even half as efficient as their missile delivery system. But, of course, that would mean saving civilian lives instead of killing civilians, at which they’ve had so much more practice.
To make matters worse, the US military, which is in control of Port-au-Prince’s international airport, has been denying landing permission to relief flights from other countries. Brazil and France have lodged an official ­protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority, forcing non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic. The Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières have also complained about diverted flights.
It appears that the US wants the earthquake relief effort to be seen as a predominantly US initiative – even if this means preventing aid teams from other countries reaching those in need.
The assumption of control by the US military is also fueling suspicions that the US may be taking advantage of the disaster, and the chaos it has caused, to effectively take over Haiti. France’s cooperation minister, Alain Joyandet, criticised the US by saying that aid efforts were supposed to be about helping Haiti, not “occupying” it.

Update 19 Jan: Today, seven days after the earthquake struck, the US military finally began airdrops of food and water into Haiti.