Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop criticises US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef. It is highly unusual for an Australian foreign minister to openly criticise a US president. Ms Bishop also said Australia currently had no intention of committing extra forces or resources to the mission against Islamic State, even though the White House had discussed it with the Abbott Government. --Radio Australia, 20 November 2014
Why did the Southern Beaufort polar bear population survey stop in 2010? It’s clear that the recently-published and widely-hyped new study stopped before the population rebound from a known decline was complete. The researchers of the recently-published paper knew before starting their mark-recapture study in 2007 that the population decline had taken place. They also knew why the numbers dropped and that previous declines, caused by similar conditions, had been followed by a full recovery. In fact, a US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) fall survey of Southern Beaufort polar bears in 2012 found numbers were higher than they had been in a decade. --Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 19 November 2014
Earlier this week, the Guardian newspaper ran a headline claiming that the ‘polar bear population in frozen sea north of Alaska falls 40% in 10 years’ – a claim repeated today by the AFP news agency.
Dr Susan Crockford, a Canadian zoologist and professor with more than 35 years experience, has been highly critical of these stories, claiming that they are misleading the public.
"I'm shocked. Shocked! Well, not that shocked."Senate Democrats filibustered the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, in a vote that reverberated from Louisiana, where a key senator's career is now likely doomed, to the broader national Democratic Party, where environmentalists have emerged triumphant in a divisive internal battle with labor unions.
The Keystone vote took on symbolism far beyond the small impact on American crude supplies and the slight effect expected on gas prices. Environmentalists drew lines and dared moderate and conservative Democrats to cross it. In the end, most were unwilling to defy the ascendant movement, and it marked a key moment in the climate change debate.
"It's time to make this turn. And there's no better moment to make this turn than on this pipeline that would bring the filthiest fuel in the planet into circulation," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat.
The vote fell one shy of the 60 needed to overcome the filibuster, with 14 Democrats joining all 45 Republicans in backing the project.
Elections have consequences. In 2014, that means the losing Obama administration decides to rule by fiat. Case in point: The White House now says Congress can't stop Obama's global warming agenda.
'I don't believe they can stop us," White House lawyer John Podesta said Monday in a media conference call, referring to President Obama's climate change agenda.
"I believe the president will complete actions," said Podesta. "It is a top priority of his."
Podesta accused Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become Senate majority leader in January, of making it "a top priority" "to leave the air dirtier," and outlined some of the stunts that the White House will pull without congressional oversight.
For some reason known only to the voodoo scientists at the U.N., a two-degree rise in temperatures will mean the end of the world as we know it. Well, not so fast. One has only to go back to the Cretaceous period (CO2 was 1700 ppm and the average global temperature was 4°C higher) and the Carboniferous period (CO2 was 800 ppm and the average global temperature was 0°C higher) to see that our planet is quite accustomed to higher CO2 levels (the other meaningless unit of measurement) and a warmer environment.
Let's go back even further to the Cambrian period (541–485.4 million years ago) where mean CO2 levels were 4500 ppm! And the mean surface temperature was a balmy 21°C (69.8°F). It was only during the Neogene period (which ended about 3 million years ago) did CO2 levels drop dramatically to 280 ppm and the mean surface temperature was 14°C (57.2°F).
It is truly surprising that so many "environmental" journalists refuse to do this basic "background" on earth's climatological history. If they did, it would put our current climate in proper perspective and invoke quite a few yawns.