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Sun, 2006-01-08 20:18Jim Hoggan
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All Hail Elizabeth Kolbert

The New Yorker contributor Elizabeth Kolbert, whose three-part series was the smartest and scariest thing written about climate change in 2005, has started 2006 with another installment, an article entitled “Butterfly Lessons” (which, woefully, the magazine has failed to make available online).

Kolbert follows a trail of butterflies, mosquitoes and frogs to show how much our climate has changed already and how dramatic the coming change may yet be. Her writing style is brisk and informative, devoid of hysterical language but filled with anxiety inducing facts. She also allows herself the odd twist, just to keep you alert (and entertained).

Fri, 2006-01-06 14:36Jim Hoggan
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Lies, Damned Lies and "Sound Science"

Let's get up a great big hand for one of the best European climate change dissemblers, the previously unremarked Scientific Alliance.

The Alliance appears to be one of those “intellectual” sweatshops that industry cobbles together in the guise of a think tank. In these vacuous vessels, said intellectuals-for-hire produce dogma on demand – questionable “scientific” material designed to excuse their industrial financiers from taking any responsibility for the environmental costs they are dumping on society.

Fri, 2006-01-06 11:03Jim Hoggan
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Hot (Down) Under the Collar

The Melbourne Age reports that Australia's Bureau of Meteorology shows the average national temperature in 2005 was 22.89, 1.09 degrees hotter than the average between 1961 and 1990 – and the hottest year on record. The Bureau further reported that:

Fri, 2006-01-06 10:51Jim Hoggan
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Planet Earth: A Resource that is Oversubscribed

An Independent Online article quotes a Professor Chris Rapley, the director of the British Antarctic Survey, who says that the rise in human population may be a more pressing issue even than climate change. Rapley estimated that the earth can sustain around 2-3 billion people at a good standard of living over the long term – a pessimistic view when you consider that the current population is 6.5 billion and that it is expected to rise to 8 billion by mid-century.

Fri, 2006-01-06 10:26Jim Hoggan
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Climate Change: A Cycle Not a Trend?

Those who deny the reality of climate change like to point out that dramatic weather events have occurred in the past; they argue that we may be in the midst of a cycle we don't understand, rather than a trend caused by human activity.

New research from the U.S. National Science Foundation looks at a previous “cycle” – one that occurred 55 million years ago and that resulted in warming-induced changes in sea circulation that appear similar to what are currently occurring in the northern hemisphere.

For those who would take comfort in the cyclical argument, consider that on the earlier occasion, the “cycle” took 20,000 years to reverse itself – a little beyond our current planning horizon.

Thu, 2006-01-05 10:35Jim Hoggan
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Outing the Federal Funding Conspiracy

In the midst of a radio interview the other day, on Vancouver’s CFAX, a thoughtful caller phoned in to suggest that I was being taken in by a conspiracy of scientists, all of whom are promoting the notion of climate change because it’s a fertile area of research. The caller suggested that the “consensus” in climate science is limited to researchers who take money from government; he said they’re all touting a climate crisis because that’s the best way to keep the research funds flowing.

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