The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On . . . The Amazon Rainforest?

Spain is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. Climate experts warn that the country is suffering badly from the impact of climate change and that the Sahara is slowly creeping north - into the Spanish mainland.

It's the Sun's Fault? Hansen says: No It Isn't

In another section of his recent “trip report ” (see “westling” post below), James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, answers in careful but fairly accessible detail, the question of whether the sun can reasonably be blamed for recent global warming.

His conclusion:

Speculation that we may have entered a solar-driven long-term cooling trend must be dismissed as a pipe-dream.

Oz to Lose Most Beach Nesting Birds This Century

Migratory birds are the “canary in the mine” for the Australia’s coastal zones, Eric Woehler from Birds Australia has told the House of Representatives Climate Change, the Environment and Arts Committee.

“I’ve been involved in coastal research and coastal management in Tasmania now for 30 years, working both on shore birds and sea birds and in the 30 years that I’ve been involved in I’ve seen at a state level average a loss of 50 per cent of the numbers of birds and the mix of birds,” he said.

The Case for NOT Wrestling with Pigs

James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, offers this as a reason for scientists to decline public debates about climate change:

… public discussion of global warming is befogged by contrarians, whose opinions are given a megaphone by special interests that benefit by keeping the public confused. Some of the contrarians were once scientists, but now they behave, at least on the topic of global warming, as lawyers defending a client. Their aim is to present a case as effectively as possible, citing only evidence that supports their client, and making the story appear as favorable as possible to their client. The best, the most articulate, are sought out by special interests, and even by much of the media, because the media likes to have “balance” in its coverage of most topics – and especially this topic because special interests have influence on the media.
The barrage of e-mails that I have received from the public highlights another aspect of the global warming story: it is now very political. The people sending these messages are not generally scientists, even though in many cases they parrot “scientific” statements of contrarians. In their opinion these matters should be discussed in you-tube “debates” between scientists and contrarians. My guess is that scientists may not fare very well in such a format.

Monckton vs. Littlemore: To Think I Could Have Been Doing Something Useful

As might have been anticipated, the radio “debate” today (click here for full annotated transcript) twixt me and the tireless Christopher Walter (Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) descended quickly into name calling and then further into pointlessness - an argument about science that neither of us is qualified to pursue.

In hindsight, I played perfectly into the hands of Monckton and his happy radio host, Roy Green, who share the same goal - not to win an argument about global warming science, but merely to show that there still IS an argument. Of course there's not. But while we danced angels around the head of a pin, I can imagine Green's listeners thinking, “Oh my. This is very confusing. No wonder the government says it's too early to take action.”

Score one for Monckton.

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