Monday, May 31, 2010

Death of an Exceptional Resister: Vassili B. Nesterenko

The late nuclear physicist Vassili B. Nesterenko (2 December 1934--25 August 2008) was hounded and persecuted by the KGB because he published inconvenient truths: research about the consequences of Chernobyl. Here is a short article about his achievements and here is his Wikipedia entry.

Today, dedicated climate scientists like Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Phil Jones are being hounded and persecuted by well-financed global warming denialist politicians and their media mouthpieces because the scientists are telling us about the consequences of global warming.

When I watch the live-feed of the BP oil billowing out of the well, I remember watching Chernobyl burn in 1986. Check out "The Chernobyl Disaster Incident" Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Mikhail Gorbachev narrates part of the film.

Brave men worked desperately to contain the radiation in Chernobyl's nuclear reactor just like the oil engineers are trying to plug up the BP oil well. The very complicated and heroic operation to seal the reactor finally succeeded; but the Chernobyl catastrophe would have been much, much worse if it hadn't been for the sacrifices of hundreds of doomed heroes. One of these heroes was Dr. Nestorenko, who "suffered massive damage to internal organs through irradiation received at the site of the burning reactor."

In Part 2 of the film, the famous nuclear physicist Vassili Nesterenko explains that the nuclear core might have exploded like a giant atomic bomb. Minsk would have been obliterated and Europe rendered uninhabitable. Many lives were sacrificed so that this would not happen.

India's Daily Latest News (4-27-10) reports:

A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences [See "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment"] showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

According to a press statement released by the New York Academy of Sciences (4-28-10):

[T]he 327-page volume is an English translation of a 2007 publication by the same authors. The earlier volume, “Chernobyl,” published in Russian, presented an analysis of the scientific literature, including more than 1,000 titles and more than 5,000 printed and Internet publications mainly in Slavic languages, on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

For more information about the life and work of Dr. Vassili Nesterenko read "Death of an exceptional resister: Vassili B. Nesterenko."

"Denialists" in the the Belarus State Security reportedly did not like all this research being published about the consequences of Chernobyl. According to "Death of an exceptional resister" and as noted below in Dr. Vassili Nesterenko's Wikipedia:

Because of his activities, [Vassili Nesterenko] lost his job and got problems with the State Security Agency of Belarus, which threatened him with internment in a psychiatric asylum. Later, however, the Belarusian government tried to soften him proposing him to get back a job in a state institute, "at the condition that he would not work on Chernobyl anymore." He escaped two assassination attempts.

As the world runs out of oil, I think that more of these energy-related catastrophies are probably inevitable. Well-financed global warming denialists such as Oklahoma Senator Inhofe, his mouthpiece Marc Morano, and Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are persecuting heroic global warming scientists such as the American Michael Mann and the Englishman Phil Jones. These brilliant scientists can offer our children and grandchildren solutions to our addiction to fossil fuels instead of only the poisonous lies of greedly denialists.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the Beach: BP's "Top Kill" Effort Fails to Staunch the Leak

Now BP must fall back on a containment strategy in the near term, hoping to capture as much oil as possible.

Sitting on the sea floor and awaiting deployment is a new containment dome, what the company calls the Lower Marine Riser Package cap. With robotic submarines, the company will sever the leaking, kinked riser pipe that emerges from the top of the blowout preventer, the five-story-tall contraption on top of the wellhead. Then engineers will guide the LMRP cap onto the pipe. The cap is fitted with a grommet designed to keep out seawater and prevent the formation of slushy methane hydrates that bedeviled an earlier containment dome effort. The cap procedure will take four to seven days, officials say.

"This operation should be able to capture most of the oil," Suttles said. "I want to stress the word 'most,' because it's not a tight, mechanical seal."---The Washington Post (5-30-10)

Today, The Washington Post reports the heartbreaking news: The "top kill" effort to staunch the oil gushing out of the BP well and into the Gulf of Mexico has failed, and the well is pumping "at least half a million gallons of crude a day into the gulf." The story of the BP oil spill reads like an allegory about the dangers of mankind's addiction to fossil fuels.

Waiting for the poisonous crude to arrive on the gulf beaches reminds me a bit of that post-apocalyptic 1957 novel and 1959 film On the Beach. In that film, most of the people in the northern hemisphere are killed in a nuclear war; however, in the southern hemisphere, the Australian government issues suicide pills to the population so they won't suffer a lingering death when the radioactive cloud arrives. At the end of the film, the heroes choose how to die; and we hear once again the film's motif, "Waltzing Matilda," Australia's unofficial national anthem.

The song, based on a traditional Celtic folk tune called "The Craigeelee," has been widely adapted; but the original lyrics may have been inspired by a suicide near the Combo Waterhole in Queensland, Australia, during a shearers' strike in the 1890s. One recent adaptation, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," commemorates the 50,000 Australians who perished in the Gallipoli campaign. [Learn more about the history of "Waltzing Matilda" at Roger Clarke’s Waltzing Matilda Home-Page.]

COSMOTOPPER777, who posted the film clip from "On the Beach"
observes:

In the 1959 Stanley Kramer film "On the Beach", composer Ernest Gold adapted the music for Waltzing Matilda in a variety of motifs throughout the movie, culminating with a valiant theme as the doomed American submarine crew heads for home. We hear it again as "Taps" in the final apocalyptic scene in the deserted streets of Melbourne, blended with it's ominous companion throughout, the ticking of a watch slowly winding down. Set five years in "the future" (1964 at the time of its release), the film tells the story of the survivors of a nuclear war, living out the last months of their lives in Australia, as a cloud of radioactive fallout envelopes the globe. Just three years after the release of this film, we lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, coming very close to realizing this fictional but prophetic story. Ironically, the stark visual image in the final frame of this film still resonates 50 years later: "There's still time...Brother."

This Memorial Day weekend, you might take the time to listen to the WWI Remembrance Day version of the song, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," as you await ruin approaching our marshes and coastlines.

When I watch the live-feed of the BP oil billowing out of the well, I remember watching Chernobyl burn in 1986. Check out "The Chernobyl Disaster Incident" Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Mikhail Gorbachev narrates part of the film.

Brave men worked desperately to contain the radiation in Chernobyl's nuclear reactor just like the oil engineers are trying to plug up the BP oil well. The very complicated and heroic operation to seal the reactor finally succeeded; but the Chernobyl catastrophe would have been much, much worse if it hadn't been for the sacrifices of hundreds of doomed heroes. In Part 2, the famous nuclear physicist Vassili Nesterenko explains that the nuclear core might have exploded like a giant atomic bomb. Minsk would have been obliterated and Europe rendered uninhabitable. Many lives were sacrificed so that this would not happen.

India's Daily Latest News (4-27-10) reports:

A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science [See "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment"] showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

According to a press statement released by the New York Academy of Sciences (4-28-10):

[T]he 327-page volume is an English translation of a 2007 publication by the same authors. The earlier volume, “Chernobyl,” published in Russian, presented an analysis of the scientific literature, including more than 1,000 titles and more than 5,000 printed and Internet publications mainly in Slavic languages, on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

For more information about the life and work of Dr. Vassili Nesterenko read "Death of an exceptional resister: Vassili B. Nesterenko."

"Denialists" in the the Belarus State Security reportedly did not like all this research being published about the consequences of Chernobyl. According to "Death of an exceptional resister" and as noted below in Dr. Vassili Nesterenko's Wikipedia:

Because of his activities, [Vassili Nesterenko] lost his job and got problems with the State Security Agency of Belarus, which threatened him with internment in a psychiatric asylum. Later, however, the Belarusian government tried to soften him proposing him to get back a job in a state institute, "at the condition that he would not work on Chernobyl anymore." He escaped two assassination attempts.

As the world runs out of oil, I think that more of these energy-related catastrophies are probably inevitable. Some global warming denialists such as the corrupt, black-hearted Oklahoma Senator Inhofe, his sociopathic, clownish mouthpiece Marc Morano, and Virginia's Grand Inquisitor Ken Cuccinelli are persecuting heroic global warming scientists such as the American Michael Mann and the Englishman Phil Jones, who could offer our children and grandchildren solutions to our addiction to fossil fuels instead of a suicide pact.

One time, a wise man I know explained that sometimes we ask God why he didn't send us great scientists and leaders who would cure AIDS, end hunger, solve the problems caused by global warming, or bring us world peace. The wise man explained that God would probably answer, "I did send you those people, but their mother had an abortion." It seems to me that the "Christian" Senator Inhofe, who claims to be against abortion, would like us to abort our most prophetic scientists. Senator Inhofe is a grandfather; and I think that someday, when the oceans reclaim the land and our crops are failing, Senator Inhofe's grandchildren and great grandchildren will curse their greedy grandfather for oppressing the prophetic voices of our brilliant scientists and for failing to use his power to develop farsighted policies that might have prevented the suffering and extermination of untold millions of victims. Senator Inhofe is supposed to serve the people; but future generations may view him as a political gangster like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or Pol Pot, whose stupid, arrogant policies "served" unscientific ideologies, dangerous conspiracy theories, and greed, not the people.

The always-elegant and articulate Washington Post (5-30-10) reports ironically:

It is the well that will not die...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

U.Va. Refuses to Roll Over for Commissar Cuccinelli

"[U.Va.] Rector John O. Wynne said that the University is prepared to fight for the right of its research faculty to engage in debate and free expression without fear of reprisal. 'We are fighting for preservation of the basic principles on which our country was founded,' he said."---U.Va. press release (5-27-10)

I am really proud of the University of Virginia today. They aren't going to knuckle under to the unscrupulous, demagogic, thuggish Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's judicial persecution of the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, allegedly for defrauding Virginia's taxpayers. (See here and here.)

I'm a Virginian who sent children to U.Va., and the only fraud I see is that dummkopf Attorney General Cuccinelli, a shameless lickspittle who wastes my taxdollars defending the unscientific canards of the fossil fuel interests and persecuting global warming scientists under the color of law.

That barbarian Cuccinelli could read Dr. Mann’s scientific papers, but he wants to twist Dr. Mann's e-mails into some conspiracy theory just like the thieves who stole the CRU e-mails. [See also "Norfolk Constabulary Continues Its Investigations into the Data Breach at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU)."

Cuccinelli reminds me of the operatives of the ruling United Russia party, who employ a noxious slurry of dirty tricks, illegal hactivities, judicial persecution, and manipulation of the media to discredit and destroy their opponents.

The U.Va. scholars are defending our freedoms just like the University's founder, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

The University of Virginia issued this press release (5-27-10):

U.Va. Seeks to Protect Academic Freedom, Petitions to Set Aside Civil Investigation Demands

May 27, 2010 — "Academic freedom is essential to the mission of our Nation's institutions of higher learning and a core First Amendment concern. As Thomas Jefferson intended, the University of Virginia has a long and proud tradition of embracing the 'illimitable freedom of the human mind' by fully endorsing and supporting faculty research and scholarly pursuits. Our Nation also has a long and proud tradition of limited government framed by enumerated powers which Jefferson ardently believed was necessary for a civil society to endure."

This is the preliminary statement of a petition filed today by the University of Virginia to "set aside" the Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) issued to the University by Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II on April 23, 2010.

In announcing today's filing, University President John T. Casteen III said the University intends to protect academic freedom. Casteen said that issuance of the CIDs "has sent a chill through the Commonwealth's colleges and universities – a chill that has reached across the country and attracted the attention of all of higher education."

The CIDs seek to investigate the research activities of Michael Mann, an assistant professor of environmental sciences at the University from 1999 to 2005. Mann, who has since joined the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University, is known for his research on global warming.

On May 14, Casteen announced that the Board of Visitors had engaged the law firm of Hogan Lovells and its premier education practice group to represent and advise the University in its response to the CIDs.

Rector John O. Wynne said that the University is prepared to fight for the right of its research faculty to engage in debate and free expression without fear of reprisal. "We are fighting for preservation of the basic principles on which our country was founded," he said.

The University's petition, which was filed in Albemarle County Circuit Court this afternoon, is the first step in a legal process to set aside the CIDs. In addition to challenging the CIDs on academic freedom grounds, the petition also argues that the attorney general exceeded his authority under the state's Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

A CID has the legal force of a subpoena. The CIDs issued to the University are extremely broad and far-reaching, requesting information and documents in connection with five grants as well as correspondence between Mann and more than 40 scientists and other individuals over an 11-year period.

The five grants at issue – four of them awarded by federal agencies and involving the disbursement of federal funds – totaled some $466,000.

Earlier this month, the University's Faculty Senate issued a statement regarding the CIDs, reflecting the organization's concern that this investigation would have a "chilling effect" on scientific inquiry worldwide.

Ann Hamric, chair of the Faculty Senate and a professor in the School of Nursing, said she was deeply grateful to University leaders for mounting a vigorous defense of academic freedom.

"I join with my faculty colleagues in applauding this action from our president and Board of Visitors," she said. "Academic freedom is crucial to the academic life of our (and any) university."

Friday, May 28, 2010

University of Virginia Defies Commissar Cuccinelli's Civil Investigative Demand

"'Just in asking for the documents and the interrogatories, you've already had the effect of chilling First Amendment conduct at the university,' said Richard C. Schragger, a professor of law at U-Va. who drafted a letter signed by 38 other law school faculty members urging the administration to fight Cuccinelli.

Besides First Amendment issues, the university also argued Thursday that Cuccinelli failed to spell out the conduct that allegedly violated the Virginia fraud statute, as required by the law. The school also noted that of the five grants totaling $466,000 that Cuccinelli named in his request, all but one were federal, not state, grants. The one state grant came in 2001, before the fraud statute took effect.---The Washington Post (5-28-10)

The University of Virginia is defending the famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, who is being persecuted by Virginia's infamous Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Attorney General is on a fishing expedition for some scraps of "evidence" he can characterize as fraud because he is a global warming denialist. Attorney General Cuccinelli is just another contemptible, cynical demagogue like Senator Inhofe, who gets money from oil companies and votes from conspiracy theorists who are howling for the blood of "crafty" climate scientists who are accused of plotting the communist take-over of America.

Cuccinelli seems to lack jurisdiction, and he also "failed to spell out the conduct that allegedly violated the Virginia fraud statute, as required by the law," according to UVA.

Cuccinelli could try to make his case for fraud by examining Dr. Mann's published scientific papers, but he wants to make a case before the ignorant mob by creatively misinterpreting e-mails, just like the criminals who stole the CRU e-mails. Mainly, Cuccinelli wants to throw mud on Dr. Mann's reputation.

Denialist demagogues like Commmissar Cuccinelli use a noxious slurry of dirty tricks, illegal hactivities, judicial persecution, and media manipulation to "swiftboat" climate scientists.

Who can respect the laws of Virginia when the head law officer is Commissar Cuccinelli, who even denies the laws of physics? His ignorant denialist views on global warming are the same canards embraced by the Russian news media, which are often owned by fossil fuel monopolies and controlled by the ruling United Russia party. Still, most Russian scientists typically distance themselves from politicized junk science.

The "legal" attacks on climate scientists began after criminals stole some e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and posted them on the server of Tomcity, an "Internet security business" in Tomsk, Russia. Tomsk is infamous for its "hacker patriots" who attack the Kremlin's opponents. The British authorities are investigating the crime. The CRU works closely with the U.K.'s Meteorological Service (MET), which is a branch of the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense.

According to The Financial Times (4-15-10):

There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US.

The Washington Post (5-28-10) reports:

Virginia's flagship university went to court Thursday to fight an effort by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R) to get documents from a former climate scientist at the school, an unusual confrontation that will test the bounds of academic freedom and result in the college facing down its own lawyer in court.

In a motion filed in Charlottesville, the University of Virginia argued that Cuccinelli's subpoena for papers and e-mail from global warming researcher Michael Mann exceeds the attorney general's authority under state law and intrudes on the rights of professors to pursue academic inquiry free from political pressure.

Cuccinelli, a vocal skeptic of global warming who is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the issue, has said he is investigating whether Mann committed fraud by knowingly skewing data as he sought publicly funded grants for his research. Mann left U-Va. in 2005 and now works at Penn State.

Mann's case has been embraced by academics across the country, who wrote numerous letters encouraging the university founded by Thomas Jefferson to resist the attorney general. The university's governing board -- whose members were appointed by former governors Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine, both Democrats -- had first signaled that it would likely comply with the April order but then hired a major Washington law firm and prepared to take action.

...[Dr. Michael Mann]...said the school was standing up "against the harassment of scientists by policymakers with a potential agenda." [See the full text of this long, informative article.]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

800 Virginia Scientists and Academic Leaders Tell Attorney General Cuccinelli to Stop the Judicial Persecution of Climate Scientist Michael Mann

The Famous Climate Scientist Michael E. Mann

“'Science is a search for the truth,' said Jeff Holt, an associate professor in UVA's Department of Neuroscience, one of the 810 people who signed the letter. 'If scientists are hassled, reprimanded or sued based on their data or their findings, it will dissuade scientists in their search for the truth. This lawsuit harkens back to the Dark Ages when scientists were tried for heresy when their findings ran contrary to the dogma of the day.-'”---Union of Concerned Scientists (5-18-10)

Scientists in Virginia are speaking out against Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's judicial persecution of climate scientist Michael Mann. The Union of Concerned Scientists (5-18-10) has issued this press release in defense of the persecuted climate scientist Michael Mann:

May 18, 2010

800 VA Scientists, Academic Leaders Tell Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to Stop Harassing Climate Scientist

WASHINGTON (May 18, 2010) — More than 800 scientists and academics in Virginia, including nearly 300 from the University of Virginia (UVA), today sent a letter (pdf) to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, urging him to drop his investigation of former UVA Professor Michael Mann's scientific research.

“This letter shows that much of Virginia's scientific and academic community is appalled that their attorney general has launched such a blatantly political investigation,” said Francesca Grifo, director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which facilitated the organizing of the letter.

UVA has until Thursday, May 27, to decide whether it will contest the attorney general’s “civil investigative demand,” which essentially subpoenaed documents related to state grants Mann received. Cuccinelli, who has said he does not believe climate change is caused by human activity, is investigating Mann under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, which makes it illegal to “knowingly” present a “false or fraudulent” claim to the state to obtain compensation.

“Labeling scientific findings ‘fraudulent’ sets a disturbing precedent for attacking peer-reviewed science in the legal system,” said Grifo.

The attorney general's action is just the most recent unjustified attack against climate science and scientists, but the letter signers fear it could have a much more lasting and damaging effect.

“Science is a search for the truth,” said Jeff Holt, an associate professor in UVA's Department of Neuroscience, one of the 810 people who signed the letter. “If scientists are hassled, reprimanded or sued based on their data or their findings, it will dissuade scientists in their search for the truth. This lawsuit harkens back to the Dark Ages when scientists were tried for heresy when their findings ran contrary to the dogma of the day.”

Another letter signatory, Amato Evan, an assistant professor in UVA's Department of Environmental Sciences, is worried about who could be targeted next. “As long as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is in office, in the back of my head I'll be wondering if my work on global climate change is going to fall under the same senseless attacks as Dr. Mann's has,” he said. “This feels like harassment, plain and simple, and is wasting the time of the other faculty and staff members in my department. I sincerely hope enough pressure is put on the Virginia attorney general to halt this absurd inquisition.”

The letter makes it clear that a criminal investigation of scientific research is inappropriate: “Fortunately, there are numerous safeguards within science that root out scientific misconduct,” it states. “It is entirely appropriate for scientific institutions to review the work of scientists and hold them accountable for their actions. But scientists who face unwarranted legal intimidation will be less able to make new discoveries that can protect our health, safety, and environment.”

In addition, the letter points out that historically, scientific discovery is held back when government officials harass scientists.

Cuccinelli's office has demanded that the university turn over what amounts to reams of documents, including correspondence between Mann and other climate scientists whose names appear in emails stolen from Britain's University of East Anglia that generated media attention late last year.

In the emails, scientists expressed frustration with relentless attacks on their data and research methods. Every investigation conducted to date of the email contents has concluded that they have no bearing on climate science, which remains robust. A number of investigations over the last few years also have vindicated Mann's data and research methods.

Scientists “are searching for cures for diseases, measuring the toxicity of environmental contaminants, and developing new technologies that will keep America strong,” the letter states. If scientists are to serve the public good, wrote the scientists, “they must have the freedom to explore ideas without fearing that any individual statement or email will be taken out of context.”

Scientists and academics from most of Virginia’s major higher education institutions signed the letter, including Christopher Newport University (5), College of William and Mary (38), George Mason University (85), James Madison University (31), Old Dominion University (19), Radford University (15), Randolph-Macon College (30), University of Mary Washington (21), University of Richmond (26), UVA (296), Virginia Commonwealth University (30), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (68).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Legal Bully-Boy Senator Inhofe Ducks ABC Interview; His Mendacious Toady Marc Morano Claims "No one is advocating violence"

"[Senator] Inhofe refused to grant ABC News an interview..."---ABC News (5-23-10)

Last November, the world learned that cyber-criminals had breached the server of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), stolen the scientists' correspondance, and posted selected e-mails on the server of TomCity, an "internet security business" in Tomsk, Russia. The scandal was dubbed "Climategate" by gleeful global warming denialists.

According to The U.K. Times (12-5-09), the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) "works closely" with the U.K.'s Meteorological Service (MET), which is a branch of the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense.

As the oceans expand due to a rise in temperature and the glaciers on the land melt, the population and cities of the island nations of the U.K. will be threatened; therefore, U.K. government officials consider global warming a threat to their national security. If hackers are breaking into the servers of CRU scientists who work with a department of the U.K. Ministry of Defense and are posting stolen e-mails on the server of an "internet security business" in Tomsk Russia, it should come as no surprise that the British authorities are probably determined to get to the bottom of it.

We don't yet know who the criminals are because the British authorities don't devulge information from ongoing criminal investigations, but The Financial Times (4-15-10) reports:

There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US.

While the British pursue the criminals who breached the CRU server, the FBI is investigating threats of violence made against climate scientists. Veiled threats against climate scientists have even been made by demagogues in the media.

According to a video titled Flogging the Scientists, the FOX News personality Glenn Beck said that there aren't enough knives for all the climate scientists to use to commit hara-kari; radio personality Rush Limbaugh said climate scientists should be drawn and quartered; and Senator Inhofe's former adviser, the denialist blogger Marc Morano (who told ABC that no one is advocating violence), reportedly called for climate scientists to be publically flogged. These violent suggestions have encouraged some people to e-mail threats to climate scientists.

Scientists are somewhat troubled about the threats of violence, but they are more concerned about the attempts at judicial persecution coming from well-financed demagogic politicians such as Senator Inhofe and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's very own "Grand Inquisitor."

These politicians don't care about what the scientists are writing, because it is fairly easy to read the scientific articles and see that the denialists mischaracterise and lie about what the scientists say. The denialist politicians and their mouthpieces seem to be just like that discredited "scholar" Ward Churchill--chock full of glib, cynical, brash lies.

Conspiracist demagogues like Senator Inhofe and Attorney General Cuccinelli only want to ride to wealth and power on a tidal wave of ignorant canards about the "crafty plots" of "communist" scientists who study global warming. Ironically, these conspiracist politicians are repeating the same canards about global warming that I read in the Russian media--- which is controlled by the Russian government and owned by fossil fuel companies. One day denialists say that more carbon dioxide is good for the earth. The next day they say that climate scientists are hiding the "fact" that the earth is getting cooler. It is so stupid.

I believe the scientists, not the dishonest, greedy, power-hungry politicians. I wish some of our scientists would become politicians. Cynical creeps like Senator Inhofe and Attorney General Cuccinelli remind me of the manipulative, demagogic, political bosses in the former U.S.S.R. and Russia. They are no different than those shameful liars who didn't even admit that Chernobyl had blown up and was spewing radiation all over Europe. Global warming is as real as Chernobyl and as real as the BP oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, yet some people deny it.

ABC News (5-23-10) reports:

The FBI says it's seeing an uptick in threatening communications to climate scientists. Recently, a white supremacist website posted [climate scientist Michael] Mann's picture alongside several of his colleagues with the word "Jew" next to each image.

One climate scientist, who did not wish to be identified, told ABC News he's had a dead animal left on his doorstep, and now sometimes travels with bodyguards...

Many climate scientists, however, say the most disturbing recent example of what they call intimidation is not anonymous hate mail.

Rather, they point to a governmental report released in February by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal climate skeptics in office, which names 17 climate scientists and argues some of them may have engaged in "potentially criminal behavior."

Inhofe's report referred to an incident late last year known as "Climate Gate," in which e-mails hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia in Britain gave the impression some climate scientists may have been trying to hide flaws in their research. Several subsequent investigations have exonerated the scientists' work.

One section of Inhofe's report outlined the laws the scientists may have violated, including the Federal False Statements Act, which the report noted could be punishable with imprisonment of "not more than five years."

Climate Scientist: 'Modern-Day McCarthyism'

"It's reminiscent of other periods in American history," Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climatologist named in Inhofe's report, told ABC News. "People were smeared not on the basis of anything they did but just by powerful people seeming to ... insinuate that they've somehow done something wrong."

Mann agreed.

"Some of the attacks that are being made against climate scientists smack of modern-day McCarthyism," he said....

254...members of the National Academy of Sciences, recently signed a public letter calling for an end to the intimidation of climate scientists. [This letter was signed by the great Russian Academician Roald Sagdeev, who, in 1987, publically disavowed, on behalf of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the KGB claims that "crafty" US scientist invented the AIDS virus in secret Pentagon laboratories.]

"Many recent assaults on climate science, and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory," read the letter, which was published in Science magazine earlier this month.

"We...call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distraction to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them," the letter continued.

Gavin Schmidt of NASA said attacks are meant to keep scientists from speaking out about climate change in public.

"They're trying to dissuade people from being involved in the public discussion about what this means and what we can do to prevent it," he said. "I think people who care about the integrity of science in this country should find that worrying."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weather Underground Terrorist Bernardine Dohrn Sued for Driving Recklessly and Striking a Pedestrian

The Chicago Sun-Times (5-21-10) reports:

Former Weather Underground activist Bernardine Dohrn allegedly hit a pedestrian in a Southwest Side crosswalk earlier this year while driving recklessly and at a dangerous speed, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Dohrn, the wife of fellow former 1960s radical Bill Ayers, is named in a personal injury lawsuit filed by Maricela Canuto in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday.

Dohrn was driving a 2005 Buick LaCrosse westbound on West 55th Street at 7:50 p.m. on Feb. 28 when she struck Canuto at the intersection of West 55th Street and South Christiana Avenue, the suit charges.

Dohrn was driving recklessly and at “dangerous and excessive rate of speed,” according to the suit, which seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

No one answered the telephone at Dohrn’s Hyde Park home Friday night.

During the last presidential campaign, conservative talk show hosts branded Dohrn and Ayers “domestic terrorists” because of their radical past and tried to exploit their ties to Barack Obama.

Ayers and Obama served on boards together, and the couple hosted a reception for Obama when he ran for the state Senate in 1995.

Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week Wins a 5000 Dollar Grant

Peter Sinclair's informative and humorous site Climate Denial Crock of the Week (5-22-10) reports that he has won the Brighter Planet Competion, which is sponsored by BrighterPlanet.com

BrighterPlanet.com makes grants to worthy online projects related to climate change. Climate Denial Crock of the Week has won a 5000 dollar grant that will be used to improve their programs. Be sure to check out the Climate Denial Crock of the Week podcasts on Youtube and also the Climate Crocks Youtube Playlist. Sample this podcast titled Debunking Lord Monckton Part 1.

I also like the podcast titled Flogging the Scientists because it shows how the global warming denialists mischaracterized an interview the BBC did with the Climatic Research Unit's Dr. Phil Jones. Flogging the Scientists also notes that the FOX News personality Glenn Beck said that there aren't enough knives for all the climate scientists to use to commit hara-kari; radio personality Rush Limbaugh said climate scientists should be drawn and quartered; and Senator Inhofe's former adviser, the denialist blogger Marc Morano, called for climate scientists to be publically flogged.

Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Marc Morano incite their readers to violence just like the discredited University of Colorado fabricator and plagiarist ex-professor Ward Churchill, whom I used to blog about. (See the first post on my blog, "342 Indians.") Fox News didn't like Ward Churchill, but their personality Glenn Beck is not much different than Ward Churchill. I never watch Fox News now that they have the ignorant hate-monger Glenn Beck. Plus, there is hardly any news on Fox.

I also wrote about the denialists' manipulation of the BBC interview in a post titled "The Daily Mail and Fox News Tell a Big Lie About Climatologist Phil Jones" and in an earlier post titled "Media Misquotes Climatologist Phil Jones."

See my previous post about Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week podcasts. Mr. Sinclair does an excellent job of exposing the denialists' deceptive and despicable propaganda techniques and their advocacy of torture, murder, and suicide.

In fact, the scientist Phil Jones says that he was so distraught by the vicious attacks on his research and integrity that he considered suicide. I am so glad that Dr. Jones didn't let these hate-mongering cyber-bullies in the media and on the blogs push him over the edge. I'm so glad that great scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences have published an open letter in the journal Science in order to defend their colleagues who are under attack for doing their jobs.

One of the world-famous scientists who signed the open letter defending the British scientist Dr. Jones and the American scientist Michael Mann is the Russian scientist Dr. Roald Sagdeev. In 1987, Dr. Sagdeev defended U.S. Army scientists from the KGB-sponsored charge that crafty U.S. scientists bioengineered AIDS as a genocidal weapon against black people.

I have learned a lot about who is an honest researcher and who is an ignorant liar, a conspiracy theorist, and a hate-monger from studying the so-called Climategate scandal. I have also noticed that these hate-mongering global warming denialists are promoting the same claims about the so-called Climategate scandal as some Russian media.

I hope that the British authorities will eventually catch up with the criminal(s) who stole those e-mails from the CRU scientists' server at the University of East Anglia and reportedly posted them on the server of an "Internet security business" in Tomsk, Siberia.

Senator James Inhofe and His Stooge Marc Morano: The Beavis and Butt-Head of Climate Science

"John Lyman (left) holds an expendable bathythermograph or XBT, a device that was dropped from ships to obtain temperature. Gregory Johnson (right) holds an Argo Float, an autonomous, free-floating ocean device that collects a variety of data, including temperature."--See "Ocean Stored Significant Warming Over Last 16 Years" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

I have voted Republican my entire adult life, but I just can't be in the same party as that vicious liar and persecutor of scientists, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, an unprincipled advocate for the fossil fuel industry. The Senator propagates the view that global warming science is some kind of commie plot by scheming scientists to seize control of our economy.

Conspiracists used to say that putting flouride in the water was a communist plot. The delusional Fox News conspiracist Glenn Beck also claims that global warming is a socialist plot. In fact, it is more likely that global warming denialism is a Kremlin-sponsored propaganda campaign. After all, the Russian "government" is very dependent on the gas and oil monopoly Gazprom; and Gazprom owns a lot of the Russian media.

The Russian media was very quick to report on the so-called "Climategate" scandal and seemed proud that stolen e-mails were posted on the server of an "Internet security business" in Tomsk, Siberia.

According to The Financial Times (4-15-10):

There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US."

The vicious Senator Inhofe demonizes scientists who study global warming the same way that Stalin demonized class enemies and Hitler demonised Jews. I really loathe the evil Senator Inhofe. His sick, twisted, paranoid conspiracy theories about crafty scientists scheming away on behalf of the communist conspiracy remind me of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Senator Inhofe, who pockets big bucks from his Sugar Daddies in the fossil-fuel industry, is spouting the same propaganda as the Russian print and broadcast media, which are often owned by the tycoons who control the Russian fossil fuel monopolies such as Gazprom. The Kremlin owns half of Gazprom. Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev is the former Chairman of the Board of Gazprom, and former KGB officer Vladimir Putin is the Prime Minister of Russia and Chairman of the ruling United Russia political party.

Weirdly, Senator Inhofe's hysterical former adviser, Climate Depot blogger Marc Morano and the trashloid Russian media are trumpeting claims that the earth is about to enter a cooling cycle and paradoxically that global warming and increased CO2 will be good for mankind.

Periodically, pathetic little moranos who read Climate Depot visit my site and deposit their spelling-challenged leavings. Morano's minions are so ignorant that they don't even know the difference between "its" and it's"! When I correct their punctuation, they tell me my priorities are misplaced. Really, anyone who hasn't mastered elementary school punctuation probably lacks a command of Physics, and climate science is based on what physicists know about the greenhouse effect.

Senator Inhofe and his malignant little stooge Marc Morano might wish to study how the "AIDS Made in America" propaganda campaign blew up in the KGB's face: None other than KGB Chief Yevgenii Primakov was quoted in Izvestia admitting that "the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices."

The KGB trotted out a few scientists to support their cynical junk science campaign, and so do Senator Inhofe and Marc Morano.

Most Soviet scientists did not collaborate in the KGB's AIDS propaganda campaign against "US scientists' 'crafty' plots" just as most Soviet psychiatrists did not collaborate in the KGB's campaign to fabricate the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia in order to hospitalize dissidents. Soviet scientists are not moranos.

In 1987, two Soviet scientists denounced the KGB's AIDS campaign in Izvestia on behalf of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It is probably no accident that one of these scientists, the famous physicist Roald Sagdeev, has now denounced the campaign against climate scientists by signing an open letter in the journal Science titled "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science." The brave Dr. Sagdeev is probably not a commie stooge.

Senator Inhofe and Stooge Morano would do well to read what the Russian newspaper Izvestiya (3-19-92) reported in 1992:

[KGB Chief Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices.

The KGB's code name for their active measures campaign was Operation Infektion. The CIA believes that the KGB campaign actually was started by KGB officers stationed in the U.S.

Meanwhile, scientists at NOAA (5-19-10) report on the publication of a paper titled "Robust Warming of the Global Upper Ocean" that was published in the premier British scientific journal Nature 465, 334-337 (20 May 2010).

NOAA (5-19-10) reports:

The upper layer of the world’s ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet.

“We are seeing the global ocean store more heat than it gives off,” said John Lyman, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, who led an international team of scientists that analyzed nine different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean from 1993 to 2008.

The team combined the estimates to assess the size and certainty of growing heat storage in the ocean. Their findings will be published in the May 20 edition of the journal Nature. The scientists are from NOAA, NASA, the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom, the University of Hamburg in Germany and the Meteorological Research Institute in Japan.

“The ocean is the biggest reservoir for heat in the climate system,” said Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of the scientists who contributed to the study. “So as the planet warms, we’re finding that 80 to 90 percent of the increased heat ends up in the ocean.”

A warming ocean is a direct cause of global sea level rise, since seawater expands and takes up more space as it heats up. The scientists say that this expansion accounts for about one-third to one-half of global sea level rise.

Combining multiple estimates of heat in the upper ocean – from the surface to about 2,000 feet down – the team found a strong multi-year warming trend throughout the world’s ocean. According to measurements by an array of autonomous free-floating ocean floats called Argo as well as by earlier devices called expendable bathythermographs or XBTs that were dropped from ships to obtain temperature data, ocean heat content has increased over the last 16 years.

The team notes that there are still some uncertainties and some biases.

“The XBT data give us vital information about past changes in the ocean, but they are not as accurate as the more recent Argo data,” said Gregory Johnson, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. “However, our analysis of these data gives us confidence that on average, the ocean has warmed over the past decade and a half, signaling a climate imbalance.”

Data from the array of Argo floats­ – deployed by NOAA and other U.S. and international partners ­– greatly reduce the uncertainties in estimates of ocean heat content over the past several years, the team said. There are now more than 3,200 Argo floats distributed throughout the world’s ocean sending back information via satellite on temperature, salinity, currents and other ocean properties.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.

Note: Full name of the paper is Robust Warming of the Global Upper Ocean. Authors are John M. Lyman, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii at Manoa and NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle; Simon A. Good, Met Office Hadley Centre; Viktor V. Gouretski Klima Campus, University of Hamburg; Masayoshi Ishii, Climate Research Department, Meteorological Research Institute, Japan; Gregory C. Johnson, NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle; Matthew D. Palmer, Met Office Hadley Centre; Doug M. Smith, Met Office Hadley Centre; and Josh K. Willis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

President Obama Set to Appoint a New Director of National Intelligence

UPDATE: The Washington Post (5-22-10) reports that "[James R.] Clapper, who has spent more than 45 years in intelligence work, is the leading candidate to become the next DNI." [See James Clapper's Wikipedia entry.]

ABC News (5-20-10) reports:

President Obama will replace the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair (ret.).

Admiral Blair announced that he will step down on Friday, May 28.

If I were President, I would ask the former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Stephen Kappes, who retired from the CIA earlier this month, to become the Director of National Intelligence.

On May 20, Admiral Blair issued the following statement:

"It is with deep regret that I informed the President today that I will step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May 28th.

I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community.

Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland. You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe.

Your work over the past 16 months has made the Intelligence Community more integrated, agile, and representative of American values. Keep it up – I will be cheering for you."

National Research Council Issues Three Reports Emphasizing Why the U.S. Should Act Now to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hat Tip to Jim at Technozoic, an excellent blog that reports on climate science; see also "U.S. Science Body Urges Action on Climate" (NYT, 5-19-10).

The National Academies (5-19-10) reports:

As part of its most comprehensive study of climate change to date, the National Research Council today issued three reports [here] emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports by the Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, are part of a congressionally requested suite of five studies known as America's Climate Choices.

"These reports show that the state of climate change science is strong," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. "But the nation also needs the scientific community to expand upon its understanding of why climate change is happening, and focus also on when and where the most severe impacts will occur and what we can do to respond." [See the full press release.]

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Why Is the NETCU Assisting in the Investigation of the "Climategate" Data Breach?

"There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US."---The Financial Times (4-15-10)

Shortly after the so-called "Climategate" e-mail scandal got underway, the British authorities announced that the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) was assisting Norfolk Constabulary with the investigation into the allegations of computer hacking at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The global warming denialist bloggers like James Delingpole appeared nonplussed by this development, but the involvement of the NETCU is really not unexpected.

The U.K. Times (12-5-09) reports that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) "works closely" with the U.K.'s Meteorological Service (MET), which is a branch of the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense.

The British consider global warming a threat to their national security. If hackers are breaking into the servers of CRU scientists who work with a department of the U.K. Ministry of Defense and are posting stolen e-mails on the server of an "internet security business" in Tomsk Russia, it should come as no surprise that the British authorities are going to want to know who is doing that.

Here is what the NETCU said about the CRU data breach on its site:

Date: 11 January 2010

Statement on UEA computer hacking investigation

The National Domestic Extremism Unit has been assisting Norfolk Constabulary with the investigation into the allegations of computer hacking at UEA, since it was launched in November 2009.

At present we have two police officers assisting Norfolk with their investigation, and we have also provided computer forensic expertise.

While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit, we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues, in relation to criminal investigations.

The Financial Times (4-15-10) further reports:

There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US.

If it turns out to be the case that U.S.-based global warming skeptics paid Russian hackers to break into the servers of CRU researchers who work with the MET, a branch of the U.K. Ministry of Defense, certainly such skeptics might expect to become legitimate targets of investigations by the U.K. police and national security agencies.

Here is a recent statement from the Norfolk Constabulary about the progress of "investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia."

For more information about the NETCU, see the various links at the National Coordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE).

The "About NCDE" link explains:

NCDE is the national lead on domestic extremism, on behalf of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM), for the UK.

NCDE is made up of three units who work collaboratively to coordinate the police response to domestic extremism:

Intelligence – NPOIU (National Public Order Intelligence Unit)

Investigation – NDET (National Domestic Extremism Team)

Prevention – NETCU (National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Science Fiction or Science Fact? Cars in the Future May Be Powered by Carbon Dioxide!

The U.K. Guardian (5-6-10) reports:

Imagine a green fuel that could power our cars, keep the wheels of industry turning, and wean us off our addiction to oil. A fuel that could stop climate change in its tracks, and send carbon levels plunging to pre-industrial levels. A fuel that allows business as usual to carry on as before – emissions and all. Because that fuel is… CO2.

It sounds like advertising copy from fantasy island. But now a combination of applied solar power and lateral thinking could just turn this into reality.

It's actually not that far-fetched a scenario. Trees and algae have been turning CO2 into fuel since the dawn of time, unlocking the chemical energy within this molecule to power metabolic processes. Now, some scientists believe we can follow.

With a little ingenuity, it is already possible to transform CO2 into anything from petrol to natural gas. And thanks to centuries of industrialisation, we appear to have a plentiful supply of the stuff floating around us in the atmosphere. So if we can just find an efficient means of extracting CO2 from air and converting it into a useful fuel, it should be possible both to power our future and scrub our atmosphere clean. [See full text.]