Monday, May 07, 2007

Anthro-centric global scare-mongering, XXXVI

Another round-up of recent anthropogenic global warming stories...

First, "These things are fact, not hypothesis." That's what Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd's America, said about her company's report on the awful things that are going to might happen:
Floods and drought: Lloyd's assesses climate change

Mon May 7, 2007 7:06PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes.

"These things are fact, not hypothesis," said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd's America in an interview on Monday. "You don't have to be a believer in global warming to recognize the climate is changing. The industry has to get ready for the changes that are coming."

In a report on catastrophe trends Lloyd's is disseminating to the insurance industry, a bevy of British climate experts, including Sir David King, chief scientist to the British government, warn of increased flooding in coastal areas and a rapid rise in sea level as ice caps melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

Northern European coastal levels could rise more than a meter (3 feet) in a few decades, particularly if the Gulf Stream currents change, the report says.

Floods, which now account for about half of all deaths from natural disasters, could multiply and become more destructive, with annual flood damages in England and Wales reaching 10 times today's level, according to some studies.

At the same time, drought patterns that are already forming in some parts of the world are going to get worse, particularly in southern Africa.

Even the lush Amazon may dry up, and with less vegetation, more carbon dioxide will leak into the atmosphere, making the global warming problem even worse, the Lloyd's study says.

Note the qualifiers: "could", "may", "impending", "according to some studies". So Ms. Baker feels justified in declaring all of these events – which may never happen – "facts".

But wait a minute! Here's the true cause of Lloyd's alarm:

Baker said Lloyd's has formed a partnership with American International Group, the world's biggest insurer, Harvard University's Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Insurance Information Institute, a research group.

The four will hold a forum in the fall of 2007 to look at the severity and consequences of future natural catastrophes.

"The property casualty industry had an easy year in 2006, when there were no U.S. hurricanes," Baker said. "But the next one may make Katrina look inexpensive."

There's your "catastrophe" for you: the destruction of the insurance industry from a global deluge of ... wait for it! ... insurance claims!

Because of the diligence of environmentalists of all stripes, but particularly the global warming johnnies, we've all been told ad infinitum, ad nauseum, that lots of things we do are bad for the planet. Now it's human children that are "bad for the planet":
Children 'bad for planet'

By Sarah-Kate Templeton in London

May 07, 2007 12:00am

HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.

The paper by the Optimum Population Trust will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family's carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.

John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: "The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights.

"The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child."

It's curious, though: Britain and pretty much all of the western European countries aren't producing enough children to replace themselves. In the United States the birth rate per child-bearing woman is only a skosh above 2, barely replacement level. In Spain the birth rate is below 1.3 children per woman. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that, barring other factors, Spain will just fade away after a while.

No mention that the poplulation is only growing in most western countries because of immigration. This thesis is bogus.

Next, now we get to the real heart of the matter: mankind itself is an evil virus:
Species work interdependently to develop mutually beneficial strategies that maintain and strengthen ecosystems. Every species removed diminishes the system and weakens the collective body of the biosphere.

Humans are presently acting upon this body in the same manner as an invasive virus with the result that we are eroding the ecological immune system.

A virus kills its host and that is exactly what we are doing with our planet’s life support system. We are killing our host the planet Earth.

I was once severely criticized for describing human beings as being the “AIDS of the Earth.” I make no apologies for that statement. Our viral like behaviour can be terminal both to the present biosphere and ourselves. We are both the pathogen and the vector. But we also have the capability of being the anti-virus if only we can recognize the symptoms and address the disease with effective measures of control.

Those are the words of Paul Watson, founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Here's what he recommends:
We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings. And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings. This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe.

In this case, I have to agree with Ann Coulter:
"Global warming" is the left's pagan rage against mankind. If we can't produce industrial waste, then we can't produce. Some of us — not the ones with mansions in Malibu and Nashville is my guess — are going to have to die. ... If we have to live in a pure "natural" environment like the Indians, then our entire transcontinental nation can only support about 1 million human beings. Sorry, fellas — 299 million of you are going to have to go.

Next ... oh, gawd! Something else is killing the planet!
Travel: the new tobacco

The founder of Rough Guides now believes that our addiction to 'binge flying' is killing the planet

Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides and the man who encouraged a generation of travellers to pack a rucksack and explore the world, has compared the damage done by tourism to the impact of the tobacco industry.

Ellingham now says travelling is so environmentally destructive that there is no such thing as a genuinely ethical holiday. He wants the industry to educate travellers about the damage their holidays do to the environment. The development he regrets most is the public's appetite for what he calls 'binge-flying'.

"The tobacco industry fouled up the world while denying [it] as much as possible for as long as they could," said Ellingham. "If the travel industry rosily goes ahead as it is doing, ignoring the effect that carbon emissions from flying are having on climate change, we are putting ourselves in a very similar position to the tobacco industry."

Doesn't it strike you as very difficult to feel guilty about any of this?

One more, one more, from Al Gore:
Gore sees 'spiritual crisis' in warming

05/05/2007 11:12 PM CDT

Anton Caputo

Playing equal parts visionary, cheerleader and comedian, Al Gore brought his message of how to fight global warming to a capacity crowd of receptive architects Saturday in San Antonio.

The former vice president referred continually to a "new way of thinking" that is emerging in the country and offered hope in the battle to control the effects global warming will have on the planet.

"It's in part a spiritual crisis," Gore told the crowd in the Convention Center at the American Institute of Architects national convention. "It's a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are. Are we creatures destined to destroy our own species? Clearly not."

His speech was often interrupted by thunderous applause and explosive laughter from the several thousand architects who packed the Convention Center's ballroom.

"I used to be the next president of the United States," Gore deadpanned to the laughing crowd as he introduced himself. "I don't find that funny. Put yourself in my position. I flew in Air Force Two for eight years. Now I have to take off my shoes to get on an airplane."

In between jokes, Gore called for a change in thinking about climate issues and the pollution that causes global warming. He was especially critical of the business community's current focus on quarterly profits at the expense of sustainable business practices.

"That's functionally insane, but that is the dominant reality in the world today," Gore said.

The only one insane is...well, Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic said it best:
Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person hardly.

Finally, sanity. The dean of American meterologists, Wisconsin's own Reid Bryson, Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology, has a lot to say to the global warmists:
Bryson is a believer in climate change, in that he’s as quick as anyone to acknowledge that Earth’s climate has done nothing but change throughout the planet’s existence. In fact, he took that knowledge a big step further, earlier than probably anyone else. Almost 40 years ago, Bryson stood before the American Association for the Advancement of Science and presented a paper saying human activity could alter climate.

“I was laughed off the platform for saying that,” he told Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News.

In the 1960s, Bryson’s idea was widely considered a radical proposition. But nowadays things have turned almost in the opposite direction: Hardly a day passes without some authority figure claiming that whatever the climate happens to be doing, human activity must be part of the explanation. And once again, Bryson is challenging the conventional wisdom.

“Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?”

“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”

And the air is suddenly clearer. Don't let the global warmists grind you down!

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