Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anthro-centric global scare-mongering, XVII

Where do they dig up guys like this? I was temporarily relieved that the guy is in favor of atomic power, but the rest!
James Lovelock, who angered climate scientists with his Gaia theory of a living planet and then alienated environmentalists by backing nuclear power, said a traumatized earth might only be able to support less than a tenth of it's 6 billion people.

"We are not all doomed. An awful lot of people will die, but I don't see the species dying out," he told a news conference. "A hot earth couldn't support much over 500 million."

"Almost all of the systems that have been looked at are in positive feedback ... and soon those effects will be larger than any of the effects of carbon dioxide emissions from industry and so on around the world," he added.

Scientists say that global warming due to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport could boost average temperatures by up to 6C by the end of the century causing floods, famines and violent storms.

But they also say that tough action now to cut carbon emissions could stop atmospheric concentrations of CO2 hitting 450 parts per million -- equivalent to a temperature rise of 2C from pre-industrial levels -- and save the planet.

Lovelock said temperature rises of up to 8C were already built in and while efforts to curb it were morally commendable, they were wasted.

"It is a bit like if your kidneys fail you can go on dialysis -- and who would refuse dialysis if death is the alternative. We should think of it in that context," he said.

And you thought erstwhile Vice President Gore was out there! Temperature rises of up to 8 degress Celsius are "already built in"? Unbelievable.

Why do I think that? Because his predictions are based on computer models. I don't mind computer models at all, but it would make a lot of sense to me if those models could, as Michael Crichton has suggested, predict global temperatures for a couple of decades straight. What good is a model if you have no way of knowing whether it's accurate?

If somebody could create a climate model that would accurately model the past I'd be happy. Say from the time of the settlement of Greenland by the Vikings through the mid 1750s -- the so-called Little Ice Age. I'd feel a lot better about those climate models if they'd just do that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What will our erstwhile Veep say?

This headline says it all:

Hurricane Predictions Off Track As Tranquil Season Wafts Away

...and here's the story. I think I'll turn on all the lights in the house, turn up the thermostat to 75, throw the next milk jug into the regular garbage, spray a little extra aerosol into the air, make a big fire in both fireplaces, and, for good measure, light a big pile of charcoal in the Weber. Maybe all of that will help make Mr. Gore's predictions of a devastating hurricane season come true. Clearly global warming didn't do it this season. Then when the Neenah library gets a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth" I'll borrow it. (Buy it? Are you nuts?) I'll settle back to watch it and smile and smile.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I love stories like this, LXXVII

Right in my own backyard, too! Fond du Lac is only (quick check of Google Maps) about 35 miles south of here. Concerned Parents Confront School Board Over Book by Maya Angelou:
Fond du Lac parents want controversial book out of class

Angelou account of rape stirs objections

The Associated Press

FOND DU LAC — Some Fond du Lac parents have asked school officials to remove former U.S. poet laureate Maya Angelou's autobiography from the high school curriculum.

Students at Fond du Lac High School read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in sophomore advanced English classes.

But some parents have objected to passages that describe Angelou's rape and subsequent unwanted pregnancy. About 80 people attended a meeting Tuesday at the school this week to discuss the book and the request to remove it.

School Superintendent Gregory Maass said the initial complaint came from one family. "We had a mother and father and student who questioned the book," he said. "The high school provided the student with an alternative book."

The parents were not satisfied and asked for the book to be removed from the curriculum, Maass said.

Fond du Lac High School Principal Mary Fran Merwin said parents, teachers, principals and at least two ministers spoke at the meeting, where no decision was made. She said the school has used the book for a decade.

"It is Angelou's own account of growing up," Merwin said. "It has a number of attributes, and it's a historically relevant story about a black woman growing up in the United States."

School board president Gary Sharpe said the request was the first to remove a book in his eight years on the board. A school committee will make a decision on the book, and if parents remain unhappy, they can appeal to the superintendent and school board, he said.

Well, a good old-fashioned book-banning! But in classic, reserved Wisconsin style.

The question, as always, with Government-Funded Compulsory Matriculation Centers is this: if parents are unhappy with the curriculum at the GFCMC's, where can they turn without additional financial hardship?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Recent commentary: Time's Person of the Year

Who should be Time magazine's Person of the Year?

(published 27-Nov-2006, Appleton Post-Crescent)

Adolph Hitler was Time's "Man of the Year" in 1938. Joseph Stalin was MotY twice. Brrrr! Time has recognized multiple people half a dozen times including last year. (Remember the unlikely duo of Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr in 1998?) How about a multi-maniac award? I nominate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Both of these worthies have bulled their way onto the international stage by making nuclear threats. In my humble yet deadly accurate opinion, nuclear diplomacy hasn't advanced much beyond the _____ or go blind stage. Thus, both leaders are betting that a nuclear first-strike by us is not in the offing. So both of them threaten their neighbors -- and us -- at every opportunity. An H-bomb kinda focuses one's attention, don't you think? Maybe Kim will get something more than a basketball signed by Michael Jordan in the next round of bribes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Now this is cool

One can be forgiven for suspecting that this story is about another form of cold fusion, but no! A 17-year-old high school student has actually built a device that fuses deuterium atoms. He is the 18th amateur scientist in the world to create nuclear fusion:
Pointing to the steel chamber where all the magic happens, Thiago Olson said on Friday that this piece of the puzzle serves as a vacuum. The air is sucked out and into a filter.

Then, deuterium gas -- a form of hydrogen -- is injected into the vacuum. About 40,000 volts of electricity are charged into the chamber from a piece of equipment taken from an old mammogram machine. As the machine runs, the atoms in the chamber are attracted to the center and soon -- ta da -- nuclear fusion.

Thiago said when that happens, a small intense ball of energy forms.

He first achieved fusion in September and has been perfecting the machine he built in his parents' garage ever since.

This year, Thiago was a semifinalist for the Siemens Foundation's National Research Competition. He plans to enter the Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit, which is in March, in hopes of qualifying to be in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in New Mexico in May.

I just think this is marvelous. I'm eager to see the "October Sky"-type movie about this.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It isn't possible to parody this

This CBS/AP story out of, where else?, San Francisco, tells of a new method for yearning for global peace:
Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter. But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."

The couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. Sheehan, no relation to anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, brought together nearly 50 women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word "Peace."

The stunt spawned a mini-movement called Baring Witness that led to similar unclothed demonstrations worldwide.

The couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of "my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it.

By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.

The couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their Web site, www.globalorgasm.org.

"The dream is to have everyone in the world (take part)," Reffell said. "And if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all the better."

Oh, all right! Some of this can be parodied, but it's too easy!

For instance, "mass meditations have been shown to make a change". Yes, grass grows 0.0426% faster during mass meditations.

Or how about "By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive." Because otherwise global warming would skyrocket from all of those cigarettes being lit two minutes after the global O!

I suppose the logic behind this is the same as that used by professional football coaches when they enforce curfew before the big game: sexual release decreases drive and agression, right? I just don't see the U. S. military commanders in Iraq buying into this, you know? I'm sure they could get all military personnel to co-ordinate schedules and bring off a divisional O like clockwork ... but, I'll tell you what, them insurgents ain't a gonna lie down on the job and let an opportunity slip away to hit the pig satan devil Americans with their pants down, eh?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Downsize DC on the passing of Milton Friedman

The man who most defined free-market economics in the United States, Milton Friedman, has died. This obituary was published today by DownsizeDC.org:

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h

Milton Friedman, RIP

by Jim Babka

For those who have not yet heard the news, Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman has died. He was 94.

In many ways, Milton Friedman is an inspiration to us at Downsize DC. Perhaps you could even say he was an original DC Downsizer, of sorts.

Friedman was a great American and was considered by most to be the leading proponent for free market theory, and is the key figure in the "Chicago School theory" of economics.

The New York Times has written, "Mr. Friedman advocated legalizing drugs and generally opposed public education and the state’s power to license doctors, automobile drivers and others. He was criticized for those views, but he stood by them, arguing that prohibiting, regulating or licensing human behavior either does not work or creates inefficient bureaucracies."

He even had tremendous influence in the Republican Party -- at least for a spell. As Jacob Sullum wrote for Reason, "He has played a leading role in eliminating the draft, discrediting wage and price controls, and popularizing reforms, such as ... private retirement accounts, that shrink the realm of politics and broaden the domain of individual choice."

Friedman had much to say and write about the Great Depression. He blamed it on the Federal Reserve Bank. In his memoir he concluded, "The Fed was largely responsible for converting what might have been a garden-variety recession, although perhaps a fairly severe one, into a major catastrophe. Instead of using its powers to offset the depression, it presided over a decline in the quantity of money by one-third from 1929 to 1933 ... Far from the depression being a failure of the free-enterprise system, it was a tragic failure of government." On Friedman's 90th birthday, no less a figure than current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke responded, "Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry."

Friedman also played a role in what he termed the Miracle of Chile. Military dictator Augusto Pinochet, for all his unforgivable flaws, rescued the people of Chile from the hideous and destructive impact of Marxist President Allende, by allowing the "Chicago Boys" -- a group of economists influenced by Friedman and his Chicago School colleagues -- to help set economic policy in the country. Friedman himself gave a lecture in Chile during that time period.

And what advice did the Chicago Boys give? Wikipedia reports, "They abolished the minimum wage, rescinded trade union rights, privatized the pension system, state industries, and banks, and abolished taxes on wealth and profits. Pinochet justified such reforms by promising to 'make Chile not a nation of proletarians, but a nation of entrepreneurs.' "

The "miracle," according to Friedman, was that a military dictatorship would adopt such policies. Friedman was proud of the result even though vindication wouldn't even begin to arrive for more than 15 years. He believed that sound economic policy would lead to political liberation and prosperity. Chile became a democracy in 1990. Chile's economy has outgrown those of its Latin American neighbors, and the 1990s saw a boom.

It took time, but Friedman was proven right.

But Friedman wasn't perfect.

He disrespected gold as a storehouse of value and endorsed the use of a central bank issuing paper money. He clung to the modern notion that a government can manage money properly. His theories had great influence over past Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and current Fed Chair Bernanke. The cycle of boom and bust continues. The dollar is a shadow of its former self.

Friedman was also responsible for one of the worst Big Government innovations of the 20th century: income tax withholding. Friedman worked for the Treasury Department during World War II. He defended withholding as a short-term tool to help the government build the credit it needed to fight the war. Previously, only the well-off paid the tax with a check written every March 15.

Friedman's withholding plan was supposed to be temporary. Obviously, it wasn't.

And one would have little difficulty arguing that, more than any other policy, withholding made it possible for the income tax to become both widely accepted and widespread.

It took only 20 or so years for the income tax to become the primary tool of social engineering. And only the issuance of currency (as determined by the Federal Reserve) exceeds the income tax as a tool for financing the seemingly unlimited growth of government. End the income tax and return to a gold standard and the burden of government would shrink dramatically.

Withholding shielded us from the true cost of government. It helped democracy along to its worst excess: the belief that we could appropriate the wallets and earnings of others. And amazingly, we all know some dolt who thinks they're getting free money from the government after they file their returns. Previous to withholding, very, very few Americans thought that way.

Friedman and his wife Rose have devoted their final years, as well as their legacy and their estate to promoting school choice. Every parent should have a choice. States shouldn't be able to indoctrinate children and fail them in their education, while squandering so much money. This is a noble project and a fine instinct.

Unfortunately, like withholding and the Federal Reserve, Friedman believed that government will have to finance this change. Over the years Friedman has been approached by friends and admirers, reminding him that the piper calls the tune and he who has the gold rules. If government finances schools, government will run schools by regulation -- even if they're called "private." Friedman was never deterred.

But a tremendous American has died today. His contributions to economics and public policy have touched all of our lives, whether we realize it or not. His legacy is a positive one.

But his legacy should also include his words. Friedman was, after all, a teacher at heart. Perhaps that's why he cared so much about the issue of education.

As Jacob Sullum also reported, Friedman once said "the war on drugs and the harm which it does are simply manifestations of a much broader problem: the substitution of political mechanisms for market mechanisms in a wide variety of areas ... the problem is not the kind of people who run our governmental institutions versus those who run our private institutions. The trouble, as the Marxists used to say, is in the system."

Friedman wanted everyone to understand that the ability to spend other people's money at will means that government programs do not face the discipline that private businesses do. "When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down," he noted. "When a government enterprise fails, it is expanded."

Now that's a Downsize DC concept!

Jim Babka is the President of the Downsize DC Foundation and DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He hosts a weekly radio show on the Genesis Communications Network and is a commentator for the Free Market News Network.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

If Condi won't run, how about Rudy?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has formed an exploratory committee to investigate the possibility of the notion that he might consider looking at maybe testing the waters for the right combination of factors that would tend to support the suggestion that he would likely be in favor of making a run for the Presidency in 2008:
Under federal election law, an exploratory committee allows an individual to travel and gauge the level of support for a candidacy without formally declaring themselves a candidate and adhering to all the federal rules of fundraising. An individual who spends money only to test the waters - but not to campaign for office - does not have to register as a candidate under the election law.

So it ain't in the bag yet, but we can hope. Hey! Maybe Condi could be his Vice President!

I love stories like this, LXXVI

What is the "mission of public education"? This is a question that needs to be answered by the San Francisco school board. The board will consider dropping the 90-year-old Junior ROTC program at seven San Francisco high schools next year:
Ray Smith, an Army Vietnam War veteran who runs the JROTC program at Mission High School, said that he and other former soldiers believe that the military cannot abandon the mission in Iraq.

"Rumsfeld never should have been in charge, but now we can either run like cowards or we can stay until we get the job done," Smith said. "Even though it was a bad idea in the first place, we have to try to get back our credibility in the world ... all we can do is try."

The other issue troubling Smith was the strong possibility that the San Francisco school board will decide Tuesday to discontinue the JROTC program at Mission High and six other San Francisco high schools at the end of the school year.

A majority of board members say the benefits of the 90-year-old program are not worth the association with the U.S. military, an institution they consider discriminatory, homophobic and at odds with the mission of public education.

The only indictments missing from that litany are that the military is anti-multicultural and ignores the plight of endangered species. I guess teaching the concepts of duty, loyalty, honor, love of country, teamwork, personal responsibility, and self-respect is just outré and passé, as the French say.

As usual, James Taranto of Best of the Web Today has an acerbic comment:
When John Kerry suggested that U.S. servicemen were uneducated losers, he was not just speaking for himself.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I love stories like this, LXXV

The parents of Laguna Beach High School students are complaining that the MTV reality TV show, "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County", portrays their kids as "rich brats" and opens the door to all sorts of sexual predators ... and they want the school board to do something about it!
On election eve when much of the country was transfixed by the nation's political races, a hastily assembled panel of school board candidates sat uneasily on stage at the Laguna Beach Women's Club.

Facing them was an audience of parents looking for answers. Not answers about academic standards, curriculum or school funding, but answers on where candidates stood on something far more divisive: MTV.

One after another, the candidates savaged the television network and its gauzy reality show "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County," blaming it for everything from presenting local youths as rich brats to making the city a potential target for sex predators.

Laguna Beach High School, where many of the students on the series attend class, recently ranked No. 1 for alcohol and drug abuse in Orange County, according to the California Healthy Kids Survey.


"It seems obvious to me that this ranking is the direct result of the image MTV has set for some of our kids," said candidate Jeff Elghanayan.

Some don't seem to mind the MTV show:
"When it was so hot this summer and people asked why, I said, 'It must be MTV.' That's how ridiculous it has become," said Candace Hurley, whose two sons have appeared on "Laguna Beach." "People now blame MTV for everything. They blame the crowds on MTV. It's not like there are bands of kids coming in. It's families taking photos in front of the Laguna Beach High School sign. Why is that such a negative?"

Hurley said disdain for MTV was approaching hysteria.

"I painted my house this summer and the rumor in the neighborhood was that MTV sent a stylist to pick out the colors. Some parents have called me a bad mother and no longer speak to me," she said. "Anywhere else, people seem to think of it as a show about high school kids for high school kids."

Her son Kelan became a cast member to promote his band. He now has a record contract with Sony, she said. "My son set out to not embarrass our family and show off his band," she said. "We feel lucky the show did what we hoped for."

Jim Conrad's daughter Lauren starred in the first season and later got her own spin-off series, "The Hills." His younger daughter, Breanna, is a cast member of this season's "Laguna Beach."

He said the school board's decision to bar MTV from the high school campus backfired.

"We wanted them to show school activities and present our kids in the best light. So without that, what is left? Parties, going out," he said. "I would say 80% of people here couldn't care less. They don't watch the show, they don't like it or hate it. I'm no rah-rah cheerleader for MTV, but it hasn't ruined our town."

Fine articles on TCS Daily

Haven't posted much here lately. On November 1st, I was elected by the Neenah City Council members to fill out the term of the late Kip Kitzerow. I won from among a field of seven worthy candidates, and I mean that sincerely. I told one of them, an Air National Guard member and student at UW-Oshkosh earning four bachelor's degrees that he'd be President some day.

I've still managed to get in a bit of reading besides Council minutes. There are two articles in particular from TCS Daily, formerly known as TechCentralStation.com. The first is on one of my favorite topics, anthro-centric global warming:
The Stern Review is out and now that people have had a couple of days to digest the 600 or so pages of heavy verbiage and math, we're starting to see some commentary on how well it's been done. Leave aside the screaming newspaper headlines that shout that we all drowned yesterday and will boil tomorrow and the general reaction from those who know the subject is 'Hunh?'

The author of the TCS Daily piece, Tim Worstall, quotes and comments on an evaluation of the accuracy of the Stern Review by a man named William Connelly who is one of those johnnies who create mathematical global warming models. Mr. Connelly starts with a quote from the Review:
"If the Greenland or West Antarctic Ice Sheets began to melt irreversibly, the rate of sea level rise could more than double, committing the world to an eventual sea level rise of 5 - 12 m over several centuries." Errrm... centuries? Current SRL is 2-3 mm/yr, ie 20-30 cm/century. Double that to 40-60 and you're a fair few centuries into the future before you hit 5m, let alone 12. SRL is the "great white hope" of impacts, since its unequivocally bad (at least I've never seen anyone assert it to be a good). 5m is SRL in a millennium might well cause problems, true, but I'm not really happy looking that far ahead - tech could do anything by then.

Even climate researchers aren't all that impressed with trying to predict out that far into the future. As an analogy, think back into history. Should the Northern Europeans not have started to use the horse collar, thus allowing them to plough the heavy soils, because 1,000 years later there's so many of us that CO2 levels are rising?

As you can see people aren't arguing about what should be done if the Review's predictions are correct. They're actually arguing about whether the Review is correct or not which is really a much larger problem for its supporters. Because I really don't think that the Review is indeed correct, either in its predictions for future temperature rises nor in the logic that it uses to urge us into mitigating actions.

My kind of guy!

The second takes an interesting look at the verdict in the trial of former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. The author, Austin Bay, is a retired colonel in the Army Reserve who served on active duty in Iraq in 2004. He compares what is happening in Iraq to the U. S. military occupations of Germany and Japan and how they differ from post-war Russia:
Contemporary Russia still suffers from the long-term effects of Stalin's evil depredations. Unlike Germany and Japan, two other nations once run by mass-murdering cliques, Russia didn't benefit from a postwar American military occupation. Check the empirical record: Those history-breaking American endeavors demonstrably hasten a country's rise from the hell of sociopathic tyranny.

And now the "hell of sociopathic tyranny" in Iraq is on display in Iraq's courts, and Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to hang:
A history-breaking, tyranny-shattering event -- but few in the sensationalist media have noticed it. Since the verdict, we've already heard a few talking heads sob about "Saddam as victim" and the court exacting "victors' vengeance." Though Iraqis ran the trial, the "Western judicial imperialism" charge is circulating among the usual media and academia suspects.

But this grand story is about belated justice, a justice once thought impossible to reach by the Iraqi people, who were Saddam's real victims. It's also about the slow, difficult birth of a democratic society in a region caught in the terrible ying-yang of tyrants and terrorists -- a nation moving from the whim of the Big Man and the fear of terrorist bombs to the rule of law and democratic polity.

I know, The New York Times and John Kerry have told us Iraq is a disaster. Not true. There's a democratically elected government in the potentially most powerful (predominantly) Arab Muslim nation, a government trying to learn to govern and administer under the most trying conditions. It's a government that is learning by doing -- and learning often by failure. However, as long as the United States and coalition remain around to coach, train and respond to crises, Iraqi failures will be controlled failures.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WIth all the election noise, there's this

Big, bad Dan Rather still thinks the George Bush National Guard service story he broadcast in '04 is "true":
Rather narrated the September 2004 report, which alleged that President Bush skirted some of his duties during his National Guard service and that a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush's record.

"The story was true," Rather, 75, told radio station WPTF-AM on Tuesday. "We were vulnerable on taking responsibility for it."

Can't quite figure out what he means by "We were vulnerable on taking responsibility for it." Does he think that he and CBS should not have been questioned on it? Or that he wasn't really responsible for the story airing that fateful fall Wednesday? His statement / excuse is semantically null.

Of course he isn't null when it comes to those nifty documents he found:
Pressed further on the authenticity of the report, Rather lashed out at radio host Donna Martinez, saying she had a political agenda.

Oh, dear! It just isn't right that people should question him about those document things. "We were vulnerable", all right! They were fake as hell!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stuk n Irak

A photo worth preserving: Vice President, Dick Cheney, signs a poster bearing the famous photo of the National Guard unit that protested Senator John Kerry's recent remarks about how young people should watch out or else they'll be sent to Iraq.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Anthro-centric global scare-mongering, XVI

He "sold his soul to the devil to get (global warming) research funding." There's hardly a more devastating charge that one weather scientist can level at another, is there? But that's exactly what Colorado State University's William Gray had to say about Boulder, CO, climate researcher Kevin Trenberth.

Why all the hubbub? Well, that's what goes on these days at normally polite scientific conferences. The 31st annual Climate Diagnostics & Prediction Workshop is no different:
The planet may be warming, but what started out as a polite discussion about hurricane trends turned plain hot here Wednesday.

At issue was the role - if any - that global warming plays in fueling monster storms.

But illustrating the volatile nature of the debate, the scientific conference descended into name calling.

Colorado State University's William Gray, one of the nation's preeminent hurricane forecasters, called noted Boulder climate researcher Kevin Trenberth an opportunist and a Svengali who "sold his soul to the devil to get (global warming) research funding."

Trenberth countered that Gray is not a credible scientist.

"Not any more. He was at one time, but he's not any more," Trenberth said of Gray, one of a handful of prominent U.S. scientists who question whether humans play a significant role in warming the planet by burning fossil fuels that release heat-trapping gases.

"He's one of the contrarians, some of whom get money to spread lies about global warming," Trenberth said during a break following his presentation at the 31st annual Climate Diagnostics & Prediction Workshop. About 150 scientists from more than 10 countries are attending the weeklong meeting.

Trenberth and Gray traded barbs during Trenberth's presentation to the group.