PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet TERRA 3/2003 -  13 January 2003
-------------------------------------


"Thaw in Greenland threatens new ice age: This week's big chill
could prove a taster of winters to come."
--The Guardian, 11 January 2003


"Chilly winds sweeping in from the Himalayas kept down temperatures
in Bangladesh, Nepal and northern India, where a month-long cold spell
has killed nearly 1,000 people, officials and newspaper reports said
Monday."
--CNN, 13 January 2003


"Vietnam's longest cold spell in 18 years has destroyed a third of
the early winter-spring rice crop, state media said yesterday."
--The Strait Times, 11 January 2003


(1) DEATH TOLL NEARS 1,000 IN SOUTH ASIA'S COLD SPELL
    CNN, 13 January 2003

(2) VIETNAM'S COLD SPELL DESTROYS RICE CROPS
    The Strait Times, 11 January 2003

(3) NEW YORK DECLARES EMERGENCY WEATHER ALERT
    New York Post, 13 January 2003

(4) CLIMATE SCARES GO NUTS: GLOBAL WARMING BLAMED FOR COLD SPELL AND LOOMING
"NEW ICE AGE"
    The Guardian, 11 January 2003

(5) US FACES WORST WINTER IN 7 YEARS
    ABC News, 10 january 2003

(6) ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS THREATEN GOVERNMENT OVER FUEL PRICES
    Associated Press, 11 January 2003

(7) COLD WEATHER SPARKS SWEDISH NUCLEAR DEBATE
    Planet Ark, January 10, 2003

(8) THOUGHT CONTROL
    The Economist, 9 January 2003

(9) DENMARK'S MINISTRY OF TRUTH
    Tech Central Station, 10 January 2003

(10) RE: ANTI-LOMBORG PRESS RELEASE
     Max Wallis <wallismk@cf.ac.uk>

(11) DEEP FREEZE AND THE MEDIA
     Simon Mansfield <simon@spacedaily.com>

(12) AND FINALLY: NO WAY OUT OF 'KYOTO JAIL', AS IRELAND FACE EUR1.2 BILLION
CLIMATE FINE
     Ireland News, 11 January 2003


===========
(1) DEATH TOLL NEARS 1,000 IN SOUTH ASIA'S COLD SPELL

>From CNN, 13 January 2003
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WEATHER/01/13/bangladesh.cold.ap/index.html
 
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- Chilly winds sweeping in from the Himalayas kept
down temperatures in Bangladesh, Nepal and northern India, where a
month-long cold spell has killed nearly 1,000 people, officials and
newspaper reports said Monday.

In Bangladesh, at least 50 people, mostly elderly women and children, died
overnight Sunday due to the intense cold, the Ittefaq newspaper reported.

The latest deaths raised to 590 the number of people who have succumbed to
the cold in Bangladesh.

In India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, at least 21 people died from Sunday
to Monday morning, pushing the death toll from the cold there to 343, a
state government official said on condition of anonymity.

Early morning thick fog hampered road, rail, river and air transport and
stranded thousands of people for hours in India and Bangladesh. Morning
flights to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh were canceled or
rescheduled for the afternoon.

Schools have been closed until January 16 because of the cold wave sweeping
the state of 200 million people, the most populous in India.

"If the cold wave persists, we will decide to extend the closure of the
schools," said Navneet Sehgal, Lucknow district magistrate. Schools were
closed last week.

The state government said it was organizing distribution of blankets and
plastic sheets to poor people.

More cold weather

Another 30 people have perished in India's eastern Bihar state, officials
said. Trains in the state were running nearly eight hours behind schedule
due to dense fog and low visibility.

In the Himalayan nation of Nepal, at least 23 people have died due to cold
weather, a home ministry official said in Katmandu, the capital.

Most of those killed were children or old people living in the southern part
of the country bordering India, the official said on condition of anonymity.


Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia toured parts of Dhaka late Sunday
night and distributed blankets and warm clothing to the homeless sleeping on
pavements, her office said.

The meteorological office in Dhaka has warned of another cold spell later
this month.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All right

===========
(2) VIETNAM'S COLD SPELL DESTROYS RICE CROPS

>From The Strait Times, 11 January 2003
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,165524,00.html?

HANOI - Vietnam's longest cold spell in 18 years has destroyed a third of
the early winter-spring rice crop, state media said yesterday.

Cold weather which began on Dec 26 has destroyed a total of 10,000 ha of
rice crops across 32 northern provinces.

In Thai Binh province, south-east of Hanoi, as much as a third of early rice
seedlings were wiped out, the state-run Viet Nam News reported.

Meteorologists say the cold spell is the earliest and longest the country
has seen since 1984-85.

===========
(3) NEW YORK DECLARES EMERGENCY WEATHER ALERT

The New York Post, 13 January 2003
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/53157.htm

January 13, 2003 -- The Big Apple is headed for the deep freeze this week,
with bone-chilling temperatures prompting the city to declare an emergency
weather alert last night. Highs will hover in the mid-20s, dropping to the
teens tomorrow night, and possibly to 5 degrees next week. The third
snowstorm of the winter could hit the city Thursday or Friday....

============
(4) CLIMATE SCARES GO NUTS: GLOBAL WARMING BLAMED FOR COLD SPELL AND LOOMING
"NEW ICE AGE"

>From The Guardian, 11 January 2003
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,872591,00.html

Thaw in Greenland threatens new ice age
This week's big chill could prove a taster of winters to come

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Saturday January 11, 2003
The Guardian

The snowfalls of the past week may be just a taster of what is to come, if
the latest predictions from scientists are correct. The amount of ice
melting from the surface of the Greenland ice sheet broke all known records
last year, threatening a rapid rise in sea levels and a return of very cold
winters to Britain because of a slowing down in the Gulf Stream.

Already the Gulf Stream, which bathes the west coast of Britain in warm
water from the Gulf of Mexico and keeps the country much milder than normal
for such northern latitudes, is slowing down. Even greater melting of the
Greenland ice could shut off the currents altogether, allowing depressions
to dump snow rather than instead of rain in Britain and leading to a much
colder continental climate, as has been experienced in the past week.

As happens on the eastern seaboard of Canada, which on the same latitude,
the sea could freeze and snow lie for weeks or months instead of a day of
two.

Last year large areas of the Greenland ice shelf, previously too high and
too cold to melt, began pouring billions of gallons of fresh water into the
northern Atlantic. Melted water trapped between the ice and the rock beneath
is causing an acceleration of glaciers breaking off in huge chunks and
increasing the number of icebergs.

According to scientists at the University of Colorado a very dramatic
melting trend has been in progress since 1979. Extreme melt years were 1991,
1995 and 2002.

The Greenland ice sheet's maximum melt area increased on average by 16% from
1979 to 2002. This year's maximum melt extent of 264,400 square miles
exceeds by 2.6 times the melt area measured in 1992. In particular, the
northern and north-eastern part of the ice sheet experienced melting
reaching up to an elevation of 2,000 metres (6,560ft).

This is the first time this area of the giant island, closest to the north
pole, has suffered this kind of melting. The Colorado-based Cooperative
Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences also found that
temperatures during the summer of 2002 were unusually warm over much of the
Arctic ocean.

"Since the season also was characterised by very stormy conditions, we
believe these two factors contributed to extensive melt and break-up of the
icepack," said research associate Mark Serreze, the lead author of the
study, which was presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Sea ice in the Arctic last year was at the lowest since satellite
measurements began.

Mr Serreze said accelerated melting of sea ice, along with runoff from the
Greenland ice sheet, was bad news for British weather moderated by the Gulf
Stream. The warm water from the tropics now travels north past British
shores and warms the western coastlines of Europe as far north as Norway
before sinking to the bottom of the ocean and returning south.

This deep water convection in the north Atlantic has already been noted to
be slowing down by British scientists, and US scientists say the trend could
profoundly impact global ocean circulation and climate. "In other studies,
changes in the north Atlantic circulation have been implicated in starting
and stopping northern hemisphere ice ages," Mr Serreze said.

Climatologist Konrad Steffen, a professor of geography at Colorado, said a
change in the Greenland climate towards warmer conditions would lead to an
increase in the rate of sea level rise, mainly due to the dynamic response
of the large ice sheet rather than just the surface melting.

"For every degree increase in the mean annual temperature near Greenland,
the rate of sea level rise increases by about 10%," Professor Steffen said.
Oceans are now rising by a little more than half an inch every 10 years.

Both sea ice and glacier ice cool the earth, reflecting back into space
about 80% of springtime sunshine and 40% -50% during the summer melt. But
winter sea ice cover slows heat loss from the relatively warm ocean to the
cold atmosphere. Without large sea ice masses at the poles to moderate the
energy balance, warming escalates.

Copyright 2003, The Guardian

============
(5) US FACES WORST WINTER IN 7 YEARS

>From ABC news, 10 January 2003
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20030110_568.html

- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Home heating demand and utility bills are expected
to soar as a blast of Arctic air sweeping over the United States will create
the coldest two-week period from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast since the
winter of 1995-96, forecasters at AccuWeather Inc. said on Friday.

The cold weather could compound low U.S. crude oil inventories caused by a
workers strike in Venezuela, the fourth largest oil supplier to the United
States, the forecasting company said.

"The mild weather in the Plains and Midwest will be a memory," Bastardi
added.

===========
(6) ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS THREATEN GOVERNMENT OVER FUEL PRICES

>From Associated Press, 11 January 2003
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/1/11/latest/9607Islamicac&sec=latest

SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) - Around 1,000 Islamic activists marched through
the East Javanese capital on Saturday to demand the government overturn
recent hikes in fuel and utility prices.

The protesters also called for the imposition of Islamic Shariah law in
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

They claimed its application would prevent prices rising beyond the reach of
the country's legions of poor....

Fuel price increases triggered violent protests across Indonesia that led to
the overthrow of longtime dictator Suharto in 1998, though analysts say a
similar outcome to the current wave of protests is unlikely. - AP

=============
(7) COLD WEATHER SPARKS SWEDISH NUCLEAR DEBATE

>From Planet Ark, January 10, 2003
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/19349/story.htm
 
STOCKHOLM - Exceptionally cold winter weather which has strained power
capacity and raised electricity bills in the Nordic region sparked a new
discussion in Sweden this week on whether to close down a nuclear plant as
planned.

Energy-intensive industry complained about high electricity costs and
lobbyists said the country had been saved from a power crisis only because
the weather had warmed from temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius
(-31 Fahrenheit) seen during the Christmas holidays before factories started
again on Tuesday.

"We can expect electricity shortages when the temperature falls," said
Lars-Erik Axelsson from SKGS, an organisation representing energy-intensive
sectors such as the forest industry.

Pro-nuclear lobbyists also say that Sweden is more and more dependent on
imported energy, much of it generating greenhouse gases, at a time when its
hydropower reservoirs are low.

The Social Democrat government, whose voters are split over nuclear power,
is expected to decide in February or March on whether to close down the
second of two reactors at the Barseback power station at the southernmost
tip of Sweden.

The first reactor was closed down in 1999, in line with a referendum almost
20 years earlier that Sweden, like Germany, would gradually close its
nuclear plants.

===========
(8) THOUGHT CONTROL

>From The Economist, 9 January 2003
http://www.economist.co.uk/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1522706

The scourge of the greens is accused of dishonesty

THE Bjorn Lomborg saga took a decidedly Orwellian turn this week. Readers
will recall that Mr Lomborg, a statistician and director of Denmark's
Environmental Assessment Institute, is the author of "The Skeptical
Environmentalist", which attacks the environmental lobby for systematically
exaggerated pessimism. Environmentalists have risen as one in furious
condemnation of Mr Lomborg's presumption in challenging their claims, partly
no doubt because he did it so tellingly. This week, to the delight of greens
everywhere, Denmark's Committees on Scientific Dishonesty ruled on the book
as follows: "Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under
consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific
dishonesty."

How odd. Why, in the first place, is a panel with a name such as this
investigating complaints against a book which makes no claim to be a
scientific treatise? "The Skeptical Environmentalist" is explicitly not
concerned with conducting scientific research. Rather, it measures the
"litany" of environmental alarm that is constantly fed to the public against
a range of largely uncontested data about the state of the planet. The
litany comes off very badly from the comparison. The environmental movement
was right to find the book a severe embarrassment. But since the book was
not conducting scientific research, what business is it of a panel concerned
with scientific dishonesty?

One might expect to find the answer to this question in the arguments and
data supporting the ruling-but there aren't any. The material assembled by
the panel consists almost entirely of a synopsis of four articles published
by Scientific American last year. (We criticised those articles and the
editorial that ran with them in our issue of February 2nd 2002.) The panel
seems to regard these pieces as disinterested science, rather than
counter-advocacy from committed environmentalists. Incredibly, the
complaints of these self-interested parties are blandly accepted at face
value. Mr Lomborg's line-by-line replies to the criticisms (see
www.lomborg.com) are not reported. On its own behalf, the panel offers not
one instance of inaccuracy or distortion in Mr Lomborg's book: not its job,
it says. On this basis it finds Mr Lomborg guilty of dishonesty.

The panel's ruling-objectively speaking-is incompetent and shameful.

Copyright 2003, The Economist

==========
(9) DENMARK'S MINISTRY OF TRUTH

>From Tech Central Station, 10 January 2003
http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/defensewrapper.jsp?PID=1051-350&CID=2051-011003N

By James K. Glassman
 
In "1984," George Orwell's frightening novel set in a totalitarian state,
the hero, Winston Smith, worked in "Recdep," the Records Department of the
Ministry of Truth. His job was to correct "mistakes" in past newspaper
articles.

Denmark has its own Recdep. It is called, in perfect Orwellian syntax, the
Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty, an organization described in the
U.S. press as similar to our National Academy of Sciences. (But for all the
National Academy's faults, it is no propaganda ministry like this one.) For
the past year, the Danish Recdep has investigated three complaints against a
countryman, a statistician named Bjorn Lomborg, who had the temerity to
write a book challenging the conventional Danish wisdom - that the world's
environment is going to hell.

The result, which found its way into the New York Times and Washington Post
this week [ed: 1/8], was predictable. Lomborg was smeared in a vindictive
and amateurish fashion by a group that did not even have the grace to lay
out coherent charges or conduct its own investigation.

The report is pathetic. It quotes from slanted magazine articles - including
Time (!) - by Lomborg's detractors. It concludes, "Objectively speaking, the
publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the
concept of scientific dishonesty."

Shame on Denmark.

While we can't expect Europeans to have the same concept of free speech as
Americans, even the Danes must understand that the importance of a book like
Lomborg's is to stir debate and that debate is good, not bad.

The best ideas emerge only after ferocious intellectual competition. The aim
of the report by this Ministry of Truth is clearly to shut off debate by
characterizing Lomborg as a liar. He is not. The report comes nowhere near
showing that he misled or dissembled or fabricated. But then, that was not
its objective, which instead was to silence - or, in Recdep fashion, to
rewrite history.

Radical enviros need to defend their views. They have the United Nations,
practically every European government and every media outlet on their side.
Along comes an associate professor of statistics in the Department of
Political Science at the University of Aarhus - a man who does not present
himself as a natural scientist and who has written a popular book, not a
peer-reviewed article - to challenge their assumptions. They throw pies in
his face. Literally. They malign him in ad-hominem attacks (E.O. Wilson, the
Harvard biologist, called him "a parasite load"). But that's not enough.
People are still listening to Lomborg. He is even named to run a government
agency to look at the costs and benefits of environmental regulations. So
they call on the Ministry of Truth to finish him off.

Sorry, but it's backfiring. I noticed that in the two days following the
news reports, Lomborg's book moved up 400 places on Amazon's bestseller
chart. Despite the fact that it is two years old, it still ranks as the
number-one Nature book on site and number 209 overall. (Wilson's latest,
"The Future of Life," ranks number 3,772.) By slandering Lomborg, his
opponents are making him an even bigger celebrity. People wonder, "What is
this book that the Ministry of Truth has found guilty?"

The book's conclusion answers that question pretty well: "Children born
today - in both the industrialized world and developing countries - will
live longer and be healthier. They will get more food, a better education, a
higher standard of living, more leisure time and far more possibilities -
without the global environment being destroyed."

Lomborg makes his case with excruciating detail, including 2,930 footnotes,
1,800 bibliographical references, 173 figures and nine tables. He urges
costs and benefits to be weighed before an environmental policy is enacted,
and, for that reason, he opposes the Kyoto regime on global warming. He
lines up facts to show that the Malthusian theory that more population
equals more poverty is bunk, and he shows that prosperity has increased
significantly, in both the developed and developing parts of the world, and
that resources like forests, food and energy aren't running out.

He is right, of course. But the Ministry of Truth doesn't want such views to
enter the public discourse.

When Lomborg's book was published, it was generally ignored by the purveyors
of what he calls "The Litany" - the interest groups, fundraisers, government
officials and scientists with a stake in perpetuating the idea that the
earth is rapidly deteriorating (burning up, in the latest manifestation),
thanks to the interventions of humans.

But Lomborg turned out to be their worst nightmare. He is a self-described
left-winger, a former member of Greenpeace. He's young, handsome and
gregarious. When he presented his views at a panel discussion that I
moderated at the American Enterprise Institute in October 2001, he wore a
T-shirt and jeans and drank water from a McDonald's cup.

And he has a great story. The book was largely an accident. He had set out
to prove that the rosy scenarios promoted by the late University of Maryland
scholar Julian Simon were wrong. But he found they were right, and actually
changed his mind.

His book is hardly a page-turner, but it has turned out to be a bestseller -
in part because of glowing recommendations from such unlikely sources as The
Economist and the Washington Post.

Now clearly, this won't do.

The Greens went on the attack. In January 2002, Scientific American magazine
devoted 11 pages to a special section titled, "Science Defends Itself
Against 'The Sketpical Environmentalist.'" The editor, John Rennie, asked
"four leading experts to critique Lomborg's treatment of their areas. The
fix was in. Rennie chose writers predisposed to detest Lomborg's thesis.

The result was an embarrassment - not to Lomborg, but to a magazine that
once was considered serious and was widely respected. As Philip Stott, a
distinguished emeritus professor of biogeography at the University of
London, put it, "I have been involved in the editing of scientific journals
for over 15 years, and I could never conceive of treating an author in the
manner that the Scientific American has dealt with Dr. Lomborg....

"Not only did the magazine run an editorial criticizing Dr. Lomborg, it gave
space to four known environmentalists to write separate articles attacking
him with no balancing articles whatsoever from senior scientists who are
likely to support Dr. Lomborg's critique. Again, I have never heard the
like. In a so-called scientific journal, such a course of action beggars
belief."

Typical was the article by Stephen Schneider, a Stanford biologist and
global warming advocate who is perhaps best known for his too-candid
statement to Discover magazine in 1989, arguing that sometimes scientists
should distort the truth to win important political objectives:

"[We] are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people
we'd like to see the world a better place.... To do that we need to get some
broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course,
entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary
scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of
any doubts we might have.... Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest."

As The Economist put it: "Science needs no defending from Mr. Lomborg. It
may very well need defending from champions like Mr.Schneider."

Indeed, the Ministry of Truth would seem to have more substantial grounds to
investigate Prof. Schneider, who urges scientists to "make little mention of
any doubts we might have" and, it seems, to tell lies when it is
"effective."

Instead, Schneider, in the kangaroo court of Denmark, turns out to be the
main witness. The report quotes Schneider in SA: "Lomborg assumes that over
the next several decades, improved solar machines and other new technologies
will crowd fossil fuels off the market.... This is not so much analysis as
wishful thinking." Here we have what's called in the United States a
difference of opinion. Maybe Lomborg is right, maybe Schneider is right, but
why does Denmark need a Ministry of Truth to intervene?

Lomborg's discussion of global warming is forthright and disarmingly honest.
He writes in his conclusion to the global warming chapter of his book that
"there is no doubt that mankind has influenced and is still increasing
atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and that this will influence temperature.
Yet we need to separate hyperbole from realities in order to choose our
future optimally.... Global warming is important. Its total costs could be
$5 trillion. Yet, our choices in dealing with global warming are also
important.... Is it not curious, then, that the typical reporting on global
warming tells us all the bad things that could happen fromCO2 emissions, but
few or none of the bad things that could come from overly zealous regulation
of such emissions?"

His contention is that poverty and disease, not global warming, are the most
important problems facing the world and that to devote vast resources to
fighting potential warming with dubious policies, we are making a poor
choice. And again, he is clear that this is not a controlled experiment in a
peer-reviewed journal. Instead, "the argument I have presented above is one
way to look at the world." How different is this tone from that of fanatics
like Schneider, Rennie and Wilson!

You would never know it from the U.S. reporting, but nearly the entire case
against Lomborg in the document issued by the Danish Committees on
Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) comprises excerpts from the Scientific American
pieces. The only other evidence comes from Time magazine.

The SA excerpts are, in many cases, dogmatic and highly politicized. John
Bongaarts, for example, writes that "Lomborg's view that the number of
people is not the problem is simply wrong" and that the "overlooks the fact
that population growth contributes to poverty." Really? Then why has China's
wealth increased as its population has risen? Bongaarts sounds like
discredited old Rev. Malthus reborn. Certainly, we can debate whether
population growth is good or bad, but to offer the Bongaarts claim as
evidence of Lomborg's guilt is absurd.

The rest of the report is larded with nasty little asides that reveal a
little too much about the ideology of the Ministry of Truth. For example,
"It is the view of the Working party [of the DCSD] that the many,
particularly American researchers, who have received Bjorn Lomborg's work
with great gusto,...are unlikely to have given the book the time of day
unless it had received such overwhelmingly positive write-ups in leading
American newspapers and in The Economist. The USA is the society with the
highest energy consumption in the world, and there are powerful interests in
the USA bound up with increasing energy consumption and with the belief in
free market forces," etc., etc.

Lomborg, for his part, says on his website that he was looking forward to
the investigation. But, unfortunately, "the DCSD has made their decision
without taking a position to the content of the complaints. The DCSD has
ruled that 'it is not DCSD's remit to decide who is right in a contentious
professional dispute.' I find this ruling inexplicable."

Lomborg goes on, "The DCSD does not give a single example to demonstrate
their claim of a biased choice of data and arguments. Consequently, I don't
understand this ruling. It equals an accusation without defining the crime."

But, my dear Bjorn, that is the entire point. It is the way the Ministry of
Truth works. Punishment first; charges later.

Lomborg says that he long ago responded to the claims in a 34-page response.
"But in spite of the fact that the DCSD received a copy of my response, they
refer to none of my arguments. In fact, the only thing the DCSD does is to
repeat the Scientific American arguments over six pages, while only allowing
my arguments one-half line. This seems to me to reflect an extremely biased
procedure. On top of that, the DCSD has failed to evaluate the scientific
points in dispute outlined in the Scientific American article."

But, again, the Ministry of Truth is not supposed to do that sort of thing.
It is supposed to enforce an orthodoxy.

In his good humor and naivete, Lomborg still has not learned the basic
reality of radical environmentalism. There is a political struggle going on
here, and one side is willing - and indeed, eager - to use weapons of deceit
and intellectual violence to win. The other side, alas, is not. In fact,
much of the time, it tries to cozy up to the radicals, to win their favor
through being reasonable.

It doesn't work.

Last April, I moderated a discussion involving Lomborg again, this time at
the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. I asked Lomborg some questions about the
science behind global warming claims, including the discrepancy between
surface-temperature records, which show warming of about 1 degree Fahrenheit
over the past century, and more extensive satellite records, which show no
warming over the past 25 years.

I'll paraphrase Lomborg's response because I remember it distinctly. He said
that he was not a natural scientist, and thus he did not question the
assumptions of the global warming crowd. That was not his job. His argument
was simply that, if the assumptions about a warming planet are true, the
facts show the best method of mitigation is certainly not the regime
specified in the Kyoto Protocol.

I was disappointed with this answer and probed further. Lomborg would not
budge. He would not challenge the accepted science.

That is precisely his approach in "The Skeptical Environmentalist." He is
modest, reasonable and cheerful. He is just a statistician, after all. He
claims to be nothing more. All he wants is fairness. To have a civil debate
over his ideas, his facts, his point of view.

But the other side, with an intellectual brutality and singlemindedness that
recalls Leninism, can't stand such an approach. Free speech is what the
Ministry of Truth hates.

Is the lesson here that happy warriors like Bjorn Lomborg will inevitably
lose the battle of environmental ideas? I hope not. But, then, like Lomborg,
I am an optimist.

Copyright 2003, Tech Central Station

============================
* LETTERS TO THE MODERATOR *
============================

(10) RE: ANTI-LOMBORG PRESS RELEASE

>From Max Wallis <wallismk@cf.ac.uk>

Dear Benny

I write to explain to readers that I did not originate the item on Lomborg
headed 'Controversial environmental author found guilty of 'scientific
dishonesty'. I copied it to you personally with nothing to indicate
circulation to CCNet, nor any connection with my institute. That was your
choice.

The originator was someone neither of us knows - Mark Lynas. He gave his
contact details and confirmed to you that he compiled the piece, so that
should of course be revealed to readers.  You chose to circulate the item on
8 January to the "cambridge-conference" and to add "Medieval Witch Hunt:
Self-appointed..." as a header. I object to being associated with such
pejorative wording.

I consider such language is unhelpful and out of place in scientists'
debate. The arguments for and against Lomborg have had a good airing with
some give and take. The Danish Committee has taken evidence and given a
collective view - they have a right to do it, even to give a
"wrong" verdict. So let's see it argued on the specifics, not on the
personalities and via demeaning analogies with fruit picking (CCNet TERRA
2/2003 -  9 January).

Max

MODERATOR'S NOTE: I'm afraid Max is a bit economical with the truth. For a
start, he didn't send me a 'personal item' with 'nothing to indicate
circulation on CCNet.' He sent me a press release! (CCNet TERRA, 8 Jan 2003;
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc010803.html) Secondly, Max circulated a
formal press release with no other address than his contact point at Cardiff
University. The media, to whom the press info was clearly addressed, had to
gain the impression that he was behind the shameful text. As regards Mark
Lynas, I have no idea who he is or who is behind the anti-Lomborg press
release. Finally, it is normal practise of online publications to use
subject headings of their choosing. At Max's request, I clarified the next
day that the subject heading (which, in any case, wasn't part of the press
release) was my choice of words - not his. BJP

===========
(11) DEEP FREEZE AND THE MEDIA

>From Simon Mansfield <simon@spacedaily.com>

The value of John Daly's own contribution to journalism and public discourse
can be seen in the current claim on his website that the world's media is
not reporting on the china freeze out. And if it was a hot climate event
they'd be all over it. Maybe be Mr Daly has failed to notice that the world
cares little about what happens inside China at the best of times, and that
during the current northern hemisphere freeze out the western media is fully
occupied with cold climate events in Europe and Russia, and if they could
get good pictures of a frozen china they would include it in their coverage
of EuroAsia freezing through a very nasty January. Mr Daly
fails to understand that mass media doesn't care about how people die, as
long as there is a disaster to report they'll be there to bring the news to
an ever more ghoulish public.

simon

=============
(12) AND FINALLY: NO WAY OUT OF 'KYOTO JAIL', AS IRELAND FACE EUR1.2 BILLION
CLIMATE FINE

>From Ireland News, 11 January 2003
http://www.rte.ie/news/2003/0110/kyoto.html

The Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen, has said that carbon energy
taxes will have to be introduced here by 2004 if Ireland is to avoid a
EUR1.2 billion fine for exceeding its greenhouse gas limit.

Under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, Ireland committed itself to
capping its gas emissions at 13% of its 1990 levels by 2008.

The Minister said the new taxes would have to be introduced by next year if
emissions were to be significantly reduced and would impact everyone in
society.

Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions are twice what they should be.

Mapping out his plans to deal with this problem, the Minister said carbon
taxes were a key strategy which were being employed by nine of the 15 EU
member states.

Mr Cullen told RTÉ News there was no 'get out of jail card' and that the
problem would have to be faced by the Government, business and citizens.

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