Al Gore has a new argument for why carbon dioxide is the global warming boogeyman — and it’s simply out of this world.
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday with yet another one of his infamous slide shows, Gore observed that the carbon dioxide (CO2) in Venus’ atmosphere supercharges the second-planet-from-the-sun’s greenhouse effect, resulting in surface temperatures of about 870 degrees Fahrenheit. Gore added that it’s not Venus’ proximity to the Sun that makes the planet much warmer than the Earth, because Mercury, which is even closer to the Sun, is cooler than Venus. Based on this rationale, then, Gore warned that we need to stop emitting CO2 into our own atmosphere.
Incredibly, not a Senator on the Committee questioned — much less burst into outright laughter at — Gore’s absurd point. In fact, each Senator who spoke at the hearing, including Republicans, offered little but fawning praise for Gore. It’s hard to know whether the hearing’s lovefest was simply an example of the Senate’s exaggerated sense of collegiality, appalling ignorance and gullibility about environmental science, or fear of appearing to be less green than Gore.
It is true that atmospheric CO2 warms both Venus and the Earth, but that’s about where the CO2 commonality between the two planets ends. While the Venusian atmosphere is 97 percent CO2 (970,000 parts per million), the Earth’s atmosphere is only 0.038 percent CO2 (380 parts per million). So the Venusian atmosphere’s CO2 level is more than 2,557 times greater than the Earth’s. And since the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is increasing by only about 2 parts per million annually, our planet is hardly being Venus-ized.
Gore’s incorporation of Mercury in his argument is equally specious because Mercury doesn’t really have any greenhouse gases in its atmosphere that would capture the radiation it gets from the Sun. As a result, the daily temperature on Mercury varies from about 840 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to about -275 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Mercury’s daily temperature swing actually belies Gore’s unqualified demonization of greenhouse gases, whose heat trapping characteristics tend to stabilize climate and prevent wild temperature fluctuations.
The significance of Gore’s testimony is that the Venus scenario seems to be his new basis for claiming that CO2 drives the Earth’s climate and, hence, his call that we must stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. At no time did he refer to his two An Inconvenient Truth-era arguments concerning the relationship between CO2 and global temperature — that is, the Antarctic ice core record that goes back 650,000 years and the 20th century temperature/CO2 record. There’s good reason for his apparent abandonment of these arguments — presented fairly, both actually debunk global warming alarmism. (Note: This YouTube video that I produced explains this point.)
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2009
Good afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the forum’s organizers for this opportunity to share my thoughts on global economic developments and to share our plans and proposals.
The world is now facing the first truly global economic crisis, which is continuing to develop at an unprecedented pace.
The current situation is often compared to the Great Depression of the late 1920s and the early 1930s. True, there are some similarities. However, there are also some basic differences. The crisis has affected everyone at this time of globalization. Regardless of their political or economic system, all nations have found themselves in the same boat.
There is a certain concept, called the perfect storm, which denotes a situation when Nature’s forces converge in one point of the ocean and increase their destructive potential many times over. It appears that the present-day crisis resembles such a perfect storm.
Responsible and knowledgeable people must prepare for it. Nevertheless, it always flares up unexpectedly.
The current situation is no exception either. Although the crisis was simply hanging in the air, the majority strove to get their share of the pie, be it one dollar or a billion, and did not want to notice the rising wave.
In the last few months, virtually every speech on this subject started with criticism of the United States. But I will do nothing of the kind.
I just want to remind you that, just a year ago, American delegates speaking from this rostrum emphasized the US economy’s fundamental stability and its cloudless prospects. Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist. In just 12 months, they have posted losses exceeding the profits they made in the last 25 years. This example alone reflects the real situation better than any criticism.
The time for enlightenment has come. We must calmly, and without gloating, assess the root causes of this situation and try to peek into the future.
California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.
Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.
California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke.
A person might think that California’s plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.
In 1925, the US jailed 1 in 100,000 women. In 2006, it jailed 1 in 746. The 1984 Sentencing Reform Act and mandatory minimum sentence laws need to be repealed for the protection of families, communities and society as a whole. The film, Perversion of Justice, highlights the experiences of one family victimized by these laws.
A film by the Reverend Melissa Mummert
Border Walk Productions
Changemaker Award at the 2008 Media That Matters Festival
Run time: 30 minutes
In Perversion of Justice, filmmaker Melissa Mummert potently calls for prison sentencing reform. She highlights the victimization of one family caused by extreme penalties imposed for peripheral support of small time drug dealers. Examining the social costs, Mummert exposes the rank injustice and provides action links for battling outrageous terms meted for nonviolent crimes.
The story of Hamedah Hasan and her three children exemplify the need to repeal the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and the mandatory minimum laws. Legal commentators bolster the argument, including the trial judge. The film asserts that the public cost for warehousing nonviolent prisoners is $30,000 a year. A review of legal documents reveals that over a four-year period, the drug selling operation earned $180,000. Divided among the three defendants, that’s $15,000 a year in earnings. Society deserves a more judicially and fiscally sane policy in dealing with drug offenders.
January 23, 2009 – Edmonton-Israel’s attack on Gaza had little to do with self-defense and everything to do with instilling fear among Palestinian people, says political scientist Norman Finkelstein.
Invited to speak on campus by the Edmonton chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Network, Finkelstein accused Israel of deliberately killing Gaza civilians in order to cement their control over the occupied territory.
He said the incursion was only the latest in a more than 60-year history of “terrorizing the Arab world periodically into submission, and reminding them who is in charge in the Middle East.”
Following its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, Israel was waiting for an opportunity to seek revenge, Finkelstein claimed. It turned to Gaza when “the feebly armed resistance, Hamas, had defiantly resisted Israeli dictate.
“As Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, UN sanctuaries… and slaughtered and incinerated Gaza’s defenseless civilian population, Israeli commentators gloated that Gaza was to Lebanon as a second sitting for an exam is to the first: a second chance to get it right.
“There’s no pretense here that this war had anything to do with rocket attacks-it’s about getting it right,” and restoring Israel’s “deterrence capacity” he said, adding that Hamas fired rockets into Israel only after Israel broke a ceasefire agreement and killed seven militants.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein received his doctorate at Princeton University in 1988 and has since been a fervent and controversial critic of Israeli aggression in Palestine. In five books, including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering and Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, he has attacked what he sees as the Israeli/U.S. propaganda machine.
Photo montage courtesy of Norman Finkelstein The grandchildren of holocaust survivors from WWII are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany… BUILDING WALLS & FENCES TO KEEP PEOPLE IN PRISONS Hitler then Israel now CHECK POINTS NOT TO ALLOW PEOPLE BASIC FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT ARRESTS & HARASSMENTS DESTROYING HOMES [...]
If you’re lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don’t much care if he is an American or a mere United States – sponsored trainee.
When President Obama declared flatly this week that “the United States will not torture” many people wrongly believed that he’d shut the practice down, when in fact he’d merely repositioned it.
Obama’s Executive Order bans some — not all — US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas.
Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide.
The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy — paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step
Numerous members of the public have written to us expressing their bewilderment at the violence of Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killing upwards of 1,300 people and wounding 4,200. To many witnessing the onslaught on their TV screens (especially Al Jazeera) this appeared to be an act of state sadism.
Israeli forces repeatedly bombed schools (including UN schools), medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, UN buildings, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes.
On January 15, Helpdoctors.org reported that Al Quds hospital had been “again the target of bombing”. Some 50 patients, 30 in wheelchairs, fled as the burning hospital was “totally destroyed”.
The hospital’s medical director said, “My heart is crying,” as he described how intensive care patients and premature babies in incubators were wheeled onto the street in the middle of the night.
A reminder before you read this article: the US food supply is being taken over at this moment through regulations most people have never heard of or know about.
For years, environmentalists have been struggling to stop pesticides that are deadly to everything, and food safety people have been trying to stop GMOs that are threaten to human health and all of nature, and farming groups have been trying to stop regulations that make farming literally impossible. The arguments for organic farming and freedom to farm go beyond argument – it is patently obvious that is the only thing that makes any sense whatsoever.
So, why is industrial agriculture – which is depleting and contaminating our water supply, filling animals with drug after drug that make us sick, using such disgusting practices it has created Mad Cow and Bird Flu, wiping out fish stocks in the ocean with poisonous run-off into the Mississippi, causing suicides by the 10s of thousands in India and our own farmers deaths in huge numbers in the 80s here, destroying farming communities and the democratic base they provide this country, killing bees, and giving us diabetes and heart disease and cancers – pre-eminent over an agriculture that is simply and by all common-sense, good?
Look hard at that word. It is unfamiliar within the paradigm of agriculture but it is the unseen bedrock reality and it is the source of all the insanity mentioned above.
The poisoning of the earth, the mutating of nature, the dying of bees and farmers, do not derive from an even remotely just system but from one as systematic and malign as racism, and with same infiltration of government and extra-governmental use of terror to prevail.
Monsanto is currently in the process of wiping out hundreds of farmers in southern Illinois and destroying previously close communities through fear and paranoia. Within a frame of “agriculture” or defending “patents,” it somehow passes as “normal” to have hired thugs trespassing, harassing, threatening, tracking, and abusing farmers and then pushing them into bankruptcy through lawsuits against patent infringement.