Wednesday, August 13, 2008

APS, A thought-free zone

Below is the substance of a communication received from The Right Honourable The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

The American Physical Society ceased to be a scientific body and became a mere pressure-group when, in 2007, it adopted "National Policy 07.1" on climate change, reproduced in full below. The "policy" cites not a single scientific authority: it is a purely political manifesto whose tendentious conclusions are materially at odds with scientific theory and with observed reality.
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

"The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

"Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases."

A scientifically accurate revision of the APS' "National Policy" on "Climate Change" is below
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities have increased the proportion of the atmosphere occupied by carbon dioxide by one-ten-thousandth part since 1750 (Keeling & Whorf, 2004, updated). This minuscule perturbation may cause a small, harmless, and beneficial warming (Monckton, 2008). Greenhouse gases also include water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas because of its volume, and methane, of which the atmospheric concentration ceased to increase in 2000 and is now declining (IPCC, 2007). Greenhouse gases are not pollutants, but occur naturally in quantities greater than those emitted from fossil fuel combustion and industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: global cooling is occurring (GISStemp, HadCRU, RSS, UAH, NCDC). Though a natural warming trend of ~0.5 øC per century began in 1700, long before humankind could possibly have had any significant effect on global temperature (Akasofu, 2008), there has been no new record year for global temperature since 1998 and, since late 2001, there has been a downtrend. The cooling between January 2007 and January 2008 was the sharpest since records began in 1880.

Therefore no action need be taken to mitigate "global warming", for there is no evidence in the instrumental record that humankind has caused any significant increase in the 300-year-long natural warming rate, and no theoretical reason why future greenhouse-gas emissions should prove harmful. In any event, mitigating actions would be orders of magnitude less cost-effective than adaptation as, and if, necessary (all economists except Stern, 2006). The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was ~18 times today's in the Cambrian era (IPCC, 2001). Humankind was not responsible - we were not there. The planet came to no harm. Significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are unlikely to occur.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate long-run prediction impossible (Lorenz, 1963), the APS urges caution in relying upon computer models when making long-term climate predictions. There is no basis for the oft-repeated contention that the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate are likely to be great enough to influence the future climate. The APS therefore urges governments and peoples to provide the technological options for meeting real short-term and long-term environmental challenges, of which "global warming" from greenhouse-gas enrichment is not one. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the current official misinformation and unscientific alarmism about emission of greenhouse gases.

Plastic flowers banned from British cemetery for posing a 'health and safety risk'

Only in Britain. Watch out for that dangerous plastic flower!

Grieving families have been told not to put plastic flowers in a garden of remembrance because they pose a health and safety risk. Council officials have banned plastic memorials in case they get caught in mowers. Workmen removed several displays from a cemetery in Keynsham, near Bristol, and moved them to the chapel of rest for collection by loved ones.

Retired school teacher Graham Lees, 60, regularly visits the Garden of Remembrance in Keynsham Cemetery, near Bristol, to pay his respects to his late father Ernest. He said Keynsham Town Council's plan had been 'very upsetting' for his entire family and is now demanding the decision is overturned. 'In the 42 years since I started visiting my father's final resting place I have always seen artificial flowers placed on graves throughout the cemetery, so to say it is unsafe now is total rubbish,' he said.

'Their sudden removal was very upsetting for my mother, who is in her 80s and has placed flowers, both real and artificial, in memorial vases continuously since my father died in 1966 and my stepfather in 1996. 'My mother hates the idea of leaving an empty vase as it seems the loved one is forgotten and the thought of the dead flowers left, smelling of putrid water, is very upsetting. 'The council really needs to rethink this decision as it is upsetting for all concerned.'

Mr Lees added that many elderly people were being forced to buy artificial flowers as they were looking at ways to save cash during the effects of the credit crunch. 'Most artificial flowers are left because financially the elderly can't afford to continually buy real ones, and since the bus stop outside the cemetery has been removed it makes it even harder for them to visit frequently,' he said. 'Many of the artificial flowers that people place are very new, life-like and obviously bought at some expense,' he added. 'They could be no way called unsightly.'

The ban applies only to the cemetery's Garden of Remembrance where ashes and memorial plaques are placed - not to the main graveyard where the plots provide enough room for flowers so they do not get in the way of mowers. The council says it has always had a ban on plastic flowers in the garden but had not enforced it fully until staff complained that cutting the grass was becoming difficult. Warning signs went up in June and the plastic floral displays were removed last month.

A spokeswoman said: 'It became more of a problem over time with more people leaving more and more mementoes, which makes it difficult for staff to carry out maintenance. 'We also have heath-and-safety reasons to consider: if the flowers get caught up in the lawnmower the bits of plastic flying around could be very dangerous.' In June Croydon Council banned plastic flowers from an elderly accommodation block because they were also deemed to be a health-and-safety risk.


No comments: