Make a Difference

Tag: debunked

Of Interest to Catholics Only

And those of us who are not Roman Catholics, but have an interest in the integrity of the faith.

I am disturbed by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn’s invitation to Medjugorje ‘visionaries’ to speak and lead prayers at the Vienna Cathedral.

At very least this is an act of grave disrespect and uncollegiality with the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Diane M. Korzeniewski at Te Deum Laudamus has more:

What does this say about collegiality when a bishops permit visionaries from another diocese to do things they are not permitted to do in their home diocese, and what are its fruits?   What message does it convey to the faithful, if not to create confusion and pit one bishop against another, if only in their hearts?  What feelings does it cause towards the local ordinary, if not contempt and disdain because he does not permit these things?

How can I possibly reconcile the thought that the Blessed Virgin Mary would cooperate with other bishops in the world by appearing to visionaries in their cathedrals when those visionaries are not permitted to do so by their own bishops in the diocese or country of origin?   In fact, that this behavior takes place at all flies in the face of authenticity.

Quite right. The consistent demands by the Medjugorje apparition (if there even is an apparition) that those to whom it appears should disobey and undermine those in authority is proof enough for me that these are not authentic visions.

Marco Corvaglia’s website Medjugorje Without a Mask is a valuable resource for anyone with questions.

Why I Am Not Keeping Earth Hour

Based on an article by Dr Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun.

Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every social, technological and medical advance in the 20th century has depended on inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home was partly a by-product of the availability of electrical appliances that freed up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing.

The development and provision of modern health care would have been impossible without cheap, reliable electricity.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the need to cook over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke and parasite related lung diseases.

Anyone who cares about the environment and about people and wants to see conditions in the developing world improve should celebrate access to cheap electricity from fossil fuel based power generating stations.

The mentality of Earth Hour is the demonisation of electricity, upon which all of the great technological and social advances of the last century have depended, including advances in food production and medicine.

That mentality would deny to people in developing nations, people who are desperately poor, the advantages we have as result of that cheap reliable electricity. It would keep them in huts, with no clean water, burning wood and dung for heat and cooking. It would keep them at life spans half of ours, and with child mortality rates up to ten times higher.

Earth Hour celebrates poverty and backwardness. It is ignorant and cruel.

Leave the lights on, and let’s work to bring light, water, medicine and industry to those who need them most.

Sarkozy Joins Merkel and Cameron

President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has joined UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in declaring recent attempts to force multi-culturalism onto Western communities a failure.

“We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a “failure.”

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said something similar last year at the World Jewish Congress. Perhaps people were not ready to listen then. That seems to be changing.

Some parts of his speech were quite confronting. A sample:

… major parts of the West are suffering a kind of crisis of identity. Europe is a good example. With a declining population, increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants, many of them exposed to radical ideas, multiculturalism has imposed itself as the politically correct way to deal with the challenges of different cultures living together even if some of them do not want to be integrated or do not respect the other.

The problem becomes all the more acute when judeo-christian values are aggressively challenged every day and the 68-generation that dominates our current leadership does nothing to defend them.

Peacenik Europe has been fighting the West for too long, and because of that has been so hypercritical of Israel.

The US provides a different story. At least until very recently. President Obama has put in motion forces that, if unchecked, may redefine the nation and its place in the world in ways that, to me, may cause major problems to all of us.

From his inauguration he has sought a new relationship with the Muslim world even at the cost of undermining America’s best ally in the region, as he has done with Europe in seeking to “press the reset button” in relations with Moscow.

He seems to have devoted more time and energy in organizing today’s meeting in Washington and advancing a new peace plan than in trying to prevent the Iranian regime from building its bomb. He has projected an image of somebody who wants to escape from the problems of the world, from Iraq to Afghanistan, embracing many enemies of America while punishing its traditional allies.

I don’t think the growing attacks against Israel, and the general campaign of deligitimation are unrelated to the crisis of the West, and more particularly, the crisis of confidence that emanates from the White House today.

Scientists vs Alarmists

A letter from 36 leading climate scientists responding to the latest round of alarmism. Longish, but worth quoting in full:

February 8, 2011

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”

On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of
Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their
intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention
that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly
state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they
view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of
the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being
experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves”
and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena.
And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall
scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to
mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make
can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
(see That report
offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every
case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past
several decades.

If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting,
then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009,
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on
Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the
678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited
in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model
predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of
floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of
hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the
globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining
vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life
dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or
no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and
indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen
climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no
research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to
Earth’s climate and weather.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own
minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or
“overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.
Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We
believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

Signed by:
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1
Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1
Richard Becherer, University of Rochester
John Boring, University of Virginia
Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow
David Douglass, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1
Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1
Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society
Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1
Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University
Laurence Gould, University of Hartford
Bill Gray, Colorado State University1
Will Happer, Princeton University2
Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1
Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1
Richard Keen, University of Colorado
Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1
Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1
Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2
Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri
Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute
Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1
Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University
John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1
Nicola Scafetta, Duke University
Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1
Roy Spencer, University of Alabama
George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists
Frank Tipler, Tulane University
Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow
Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1
Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1

Endorsed by:
Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist
Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources
Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member
Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics
John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV
Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist
Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Terry Donze, Geophysicist1
Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment
John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC
Dick Flygare, QEP Resources
Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist
Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates
Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project
Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1
Art Horn, Meteorologist
Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute
Robert Levine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1
Peter Link, Geologist
James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1
Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists
Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV
Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist
James Rogers, Geologist1
Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars
Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated
Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.
Leighton Steward,
Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.
Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer
David Wojick,

1 – Emeritus or Retired
2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences

From The Science and Environmental Policy Project.

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing

He, he.

‘We can give billions of dollars to green energy research.’

‘And that will enable us to replace gasoline with sunbeams?’

‘Nothing lost in trying.’

‘Except the billions of dollars.’

‘That is taxpayer money. If we don’t take it from them, people will just waste it on their own families, instead of it being put to good use by liberals.’ …

‘We’ll start with America.’

‘Won’t that devastate the economy?’

‘Yes, but it will be worth it.’

‘Will that stop global warming?’

‘No. But think of the moral superiority we will gain…  Also, being green is very trendy right now.’ …

‘So how would you disprove global warming?’

‘You can’t. That’s how you know it’s true.’

One gem after another!

‘Green Fuels’ Aren’t Green

via Small Dead Animals:

The ETC Group, an international organization supporting sustainability and conservation, has just published its newest report, an 84-page document that presents a lengthy criticism of “the new bioeconomy.” In it, principal author Jim Thomas argues that using biofuels for energy and resources isn’t green — in fact, he says, it’s even more harmful to the environment than coal.

“What’s being presented by the government as ‘the green way forward,’ is this idea that we can use plant matter from crops, trees, or algae and convert it into fuel, plastics or chemicals,” Thomas told “And it’s just assumed that it’s carbon neutral. But when you burn something like a tree, you release as much, if not more, carbon dioxide than when you burn something like coal.”

Not to mention the fact that besides not reducing ‘greenhouse emissions,’ large scale diversion agricultural land from food production means (doh!) less food produced, which means higher food prices, which means more hungry people.

All these pious schemes which do more harm than good but which make wealthy Westerners feel good about themselves remind me of the following exchange from the Poirot story The Kidnapped Prime Minister:

Sir Bernard Dodge: You don’t seem to realize, Poirot, this is a national emergency. I do not intend to sleep until the Prime Minister is found!
Hercule Poirot: I am sure it will make you feel very virtuous, Sir Bernard, but it will not help the Prime Minister! For myself, I need to restore the little grey cells.

In any case wasteful and expensive ‘green fuels’ are just not needed. It is now clear we have vastly more energy reserves than was imagined even two years ago, which means enough cheap fossil fuel to sustain steady growth in the West, and rapid growth in developing nations for many generations to come.

And just for the heck of, and in case you missed it earlier this year:

African Crops Yield Another Catastrophe for the IPCC (but fortunately, not for Africans).

It’s Freezing. Must Be Global Warming.

Arctic Summer temperatures have been trending down since about 1960, so have temperatures in San Diego, cold snaps are killing all manner of things in South America, Antarctic sea ice is increasing, the southern hemisphere oceans seem to be getting colder, and it’s been flipping cold here in Australia.

I want my global warming now!

News flash: global warming causes carnivores to lose height and body mass. Oh, wait. That was 55 million years ago.

Undeniable Climate Change Denied

A big group of scientists whose funding depends on continuing to scare people about climate change have produced a report saying climate change is scary.

This is news, apparently.

Older news is that Phil Jones still can’t find the data on which much of the warming warnings were based.

What Phil has admitted is:

  • There has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.
  • The world has been warmer before.
  • There was a period of warming from 1920 to 1940 which was not caused by human activity. And there have been lots of earlier periods of warming which were also entirely natural.

But Phil and the other scary scientists still insist the similar warming from 1975 to 1995 must, absolutely, really, have been caused by human activity and nothing else.

So please keep giving them billions of dollars or otherwise really horrible things will happen, like maybe Greenland being green again, and being able to grow grapes in Britain.

Right. Sure.

Climate Vox Pop

I asked three random people (well it’s about as scientific as those polls in the Courier-Mail) some simple questions.

Do you believe the world is getting warmer as a result of human action? Two said yes, one no.

To the two who said yes: ‘What are we doing that is causing the world to get warmer?’

They both answered that we are making too much carbon dioxide, and this is trapping sunlight.

Next question: ‘If you had a box containg 10,000 air particles, how many of them would be carbon dioxide?’

One answer: Half?

The other answer: About 3,000?

My response. ‘Three.’

‘What, three thousand?’

‘Nope, three.’

‘You mean 300?’

Nope, three.’

‘That can’t be right.’

“Go and check it out.’

‘No that can’t be right.’

Ahh, the joyful bliss of ignorance.

Except that, in this case, and often, ignorance does not promote bliss, but uneccessary panic.

There is vastly more water vapour in the air than CO2, and water vapour is a more effective retainer of heat.

The minimal effect of that tiny amount of CO2 is simply swamped by other factors including water vapor.

The even more minimal additional amount of CO2 resulting from human activity causes so little change that it cannot even be measured.

Despite this, everywhere is getting hotter faster than everywhere else, and Mars is getting hotter fastest of all. And it’s all our fault. Except Mars.

Gol darn those irresponsible truck driving martians!

Of course, scientists keep saying we should stop panicking about climate because we can’t do anything about it anyway, and get on with solving real problems, but I still think those martians need to be taught a lesson.

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