Archive for April, 2010

Obama Admin: “Produce a global regime” to combat climate change

Take a look at this image of the placement of a weather station near an airport runway: LINK

Guide to the Climate Scandals

Coleman’s Corner (great San Diego local news reports)

Government Report Says Global Warming May Cause Cancer, Mental Illness

Climate-Change Bill Avoids ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Tag in U.S. Senate

UN IPCC Scientist: ‘The currently promoted greenhouse theory is dead and its consequences have to be removed at once’

“Climate Change” Scamsters to go Global

Not a joke: Gore’s “Inconvenient Youth

In U.S., Many Environmental Issues at 20-Year-Low Concern

NPR and CNN worry that Global Warming may have caused Iceland’s Volcano!!!

Climate sceptic wins landmark data victory ‘for price of a stamp’

Sting’s Hypocritical “Green Tea Party” Lecture

CNN Pushes Brutal One Child Policy As Part Of “Green” Love Life

Wikipedia and Environment Canada caught with temperature data errors.

NASA “Facts” document doubts climate model certainty

‘Population Bomb’ author Paul Ehrlich suggested adding a forced sterilization agent to ’staple food’ and ‘water supply’

A House bill aiming to make research and data open to the public

UN Plans for “Green World Order”

Climategate Investigation Whitewash: Third Panel Member Exposed As Warmist

‘Hockey stick’ graph was exaggerated – McIntyre gets props

IPCC AR4 also gets a failing grade on 21 chapters

The new math – IPCC version

British lawyer urges UN to accept ‘ecocide’ as international crime on par with genocide

Sediments Show Pattern in Earth’s Long-Term Climate Record

I thought of killing myself, says climate scandal professor Phil Jones

More “hiding the decline”

IPCC – How not to compare temperatures

VIDEO: Congressman believes islands float, and tip over with too many people

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, GISS Admits

Atlantic conveyor belt – still going strong and will be the day after tomorrow

The Guardian sees the light on wind driven Arctic ice loss

Flowers Losing Scent Due to Climate Change

Find the weather station in this photo

North and Booker on Amazongate: A $60 Billion cash cow

Weather balloon data backs up missing decline found in old magazine

Medieval Warm Period seen in western USA tree ring fire scars

Sat tracking of ultraviolet light shows increase since 1979

Another Look at Climate Sensitivity (No Atmosphere = only 8°C cooler)

Rewriting the decline

UK ads banned for overstating climate change

Another WWF assisted IPCC claim debunked: Amazon more drought resistant than claimed

Paleo-clamatology

Spencer: Global Urban Heat Island Effect Study – An Update

When the IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period

Former Apartheid Spy Appointed to Head UN Climate Change Effort

Accuracy of climate station electronic sensors – not the best

IPCC AR4 Commenter: “I do not understand why this trend is insignificant – it is more than three times the quoted error estimates”

Former VP Gore to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UT Knoxville

2001-2010 was the Snowiest Decade on Record

Head of ‘Climategate’ research unit admits he hid data – because it was ‘standard practice’

U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend

The Times: “University ‘tried to mislead MPs on climate change e-mails’”

Institute of Physics on Climategate

A new paper comparing NCDC rural and urban US surface temperature data

WMO: “. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

Climategate Minority Report

2009 paper confirming IPCC sea level conclusions withdrawn, mistakes cited

U.N. Climate Chief Resigns

IPCC gate Du Jour – Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50%

IPCC Gate Du Jour – now IPCC hurricane data questioned

Scripps: Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Possibly Triggered by Ocean Waves

CRU’s Jones: Climate data ‘not well organised’ and MWP debate ‘not settled’

New Paper in Science: Sea level 81,000 years ago was 1 meter higher while CO2 was lower

Nature suggests IPCC get an overhaul or scrapped

The Green Police: window swat team edition

NOAA’s new website climate.gov – a first day sin of omission

IPCC Gate Du Jour: Aussie Droughtgate

Munging Madagascar

New study using satellite data: Alaskan glacier melt overestimated

The Times: Top British scientist says IPCC is losing credibility

Israeli study shows variable sea level in past 2500 years

Forests in the Eastern United States are growing faster than they have in the past 225 years

LBNL on Himalayas: “greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt”

Climategate intensifies: Jones and Wang apparently hid Chinese station data issues

Spencer: Natural variability unexplained in IPCC models

Record cold in Florida kills reef coral

UHI is alive and well

IPCC Gate Du Jour: UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article

New paper in Nature on CO2 amplification: “it’s less than we thought”

Floating Islands

Amazon flavor “gate du jour” leaves a bad taste

Pew Poll: global warming dead last, down from last year

Loophole in UK FOIA law will apparently allow CRU to avoid prosecution

For the IPCC AR4, “weather events are climate” – looks like another retraction is needed

“The Science is Scuttled” – NASA climate page, suckered by IPCC, deletes their own ‘moved up’ glacier melting date reference

scientist admits IPCC used fake data to pressure policy makers

Save the planet from GHG’s – use astroturf?

Brookhaven National Laboratory: Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

The IPCC: Hiding the Decline in the Future Global Population at Risk of Water Shortage

Newly released FOIA’d emails from Hansen and GISS staffers show disagreement over 1998-1934 U.S. temperature ranking

Carbon trading fraud in Belgium – “up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities”

Not as bad as they thought: Coral can recover from climate change damage

More carbon is sequestered by echinoderms than previously thought.

Winter kills: Excess Deaths in the Winter Months

Swiss ETH: Glaciers melted in the 1940′s faster than today

NASA -vs- NASA: which temperature anomaly map to believe?

No statistically significant warming since 1995: a quick mathematical proof

Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming

Russian IEA claims CRU tampered with climate data – cherrypicked warmest stations

Soot having a big impact on Himalyan temperature – as much or more than GHG’s

What’s going on? CRU takes down Briffa Tree Ring Data and more

Would You Like Your Temperature Data Homogenized, or Pasteurized?

GISS “raw” station data – before and after

Counting CRU “tricks”

FULL STORY

The Economic Collapse:

Today financial power is being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals.  In fact, the six biggest banks in the United States now possess assets equivalent to 60 percent of America’s gross national product.  Back in the 1990s that figure was less than 20 percent.  These six banks – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo – literally dictate what goes on in the U.S. banking industry.  These entities are the poster children for “too big to fail”, and they donate massive amounts of cash to the campaigns of both Republicans and Democrats to ensure that they will continue to receive favorable treatment.  The vast majority of Americans have had a banking account, a credit card and/or a mortgage with one of these institutions at some point.  If they acted in concert, these six banks could literally bring down the U.S. economy overnight if they wanted to.  Together with the Federal Reserve, these six banks represent the real financial power in America.  They are the 800 pound gorilla in the room that influences nearly every major financial deal that gets done and virtually every major political decision that gets made.  As the last couple of years have demonstrated, top politicians from both parties (John McCain and Barack Obama for example) will instantly jump into action and start advocating that the U.S. government spend billions upon billions of dollars when the interests of these behemoths are threatened.  The frightening thing is that the power of these megabanks is growing at a frightening pace.  As dozens upon dozens of smaller U.S. banks are “allowed to fail”, they either go out of existence or the Feds actually encourage these smaller banks to sell themselves to one of the big sharks.  In either event, the banking power in the United States becomes further consolidated in the hands of the megabanks.

READ ON

Secrecy News:

As of last (month), there is now a U.S. Government national security agency called the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA).  It supersedes a Biometrics Task Force that was established in 2000.

Though nominally a component of the Army, the biometrics agency has Defense Department-wide responsibilities.

“The Biometrics Identity Management Agency leads Department of Defense activities to prioritize, integrate, and synchronize biometrics technologies and capabilities and to manage the Department of Defense’s authoritative biometrics database to support the National Security Strategy,” according to a March 23 Order (pdf) issued by Army Secretary John M. McHugh that redesignated the previous Biometrics Task Force as the BIMA.

Biometrics is generally defined as “a measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) [or] behavioral characteristic that can be used for automated recognition.”

“Biometric data [are] normally unclassified,” according to a 2008 DoD directive (pdf).  “However, elements of the contextual data, information associated with biometric collection, and/or associated intelligence analysis may be classified.”

“Biometrics-enabled Intelligence [refers to] intelligence information associated with and or derived from biometrics data that matches a specific person or unknown identity to a place, activity, device, component, or weapon that supports terrorist / insurgent network and related pattern analysis, facilitates high value individual targeting, reveals movement patterns, and confirms claimed identity.”

“Biometrics is an important enabler that shall be fully integrated into the conduct of DoD activities to support the full range of military operations,” the 2008 directive stated.

“Every day thousands of [biometric] records are collected and sent to the Department of Defense (DOD) Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) to store and compare against existing records,” a 2009 DoD report (pdf) said. “The technology is improving such that a submission from theater [e.g., in Afghanistan] can be searched in the DOD ABIS and a response sent back to theater in less than two minutes.”

“Realtime positive identification of persons of interest enables Coalition forces to target, track, and prosecute known or potential adversaries,” the DoD report said.

Mother Jones:

WikiLeaks has revealed the secrets of the Pentagon, Scientology, and Sarah Palin—and the explosive video of a US attack on civilians and journalists in Iraq. Meet the shadowy figure behind the whistleblower site.

Julian Assange’s response to this article is here. Read follow-up posts on WikiLeaks’ media blitz and the MoJo-WikiLeaks feud.

The clock struck 3 a.m. Julian Assange slept soundly inside a guarded private compound in Nairobi, Kenya. Suddenly, six men with guns emerged from the darkness. A day earlier, they had disabled the alarm system on the electric fence and buried weapons by the pool. Catching a guard by surprise, they commanded him to hit the ground. He obliged, momentarily, then jumped up and began shouting. As the rest of the compound’s security team rushed outside, the intruders fled into the night.

Assange, a thirty-something Australian with a shock of snow-white hair, is sure the armed men were after him. “There was not anyone else worth visiting in the compound,” he says, speaking on the phone from an undisclosed location in Africa.

The self-centeredness and shadowy details of Assange’s tale—and his insistence that he must be taken at his word—are typical. They’re part of his persona as the elusive yet single-minded public face of WikiLeaks, the website that dubs itself the “uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis.” Designed as a digital drop box, the site is a place where anyone can anonymously post sensitive or secret information to be disseminated and downloaded around the globe. Earlier this week, it posted its most explosive leak yet, a video shot by an American attack helicopter in July 2007 as it opened fire upon a group of a men on a Baghdad street, killing 12, including two unarmed Reuters employees. (Two children were also seriously wounded in a subsequent attack.) WikiLeaks said it had obtained the classified footage from whistleblowers inside the US military.

Since its launch in December, 2006, WikiLeaks has posted more than 1.2 million documents totaling more than 10 million pages. It has published the operating manuals from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, NATO’s secret plan for the Afghan war, and inventories of US military materiel in Iraq and Afghanistan. In September 2007, a few weeks before Assange’s alleged close call in Nairobi, it posted a document exposing corruption in the highest levels of the Kenyan government. Assange claims that the site receives as many as 10,000 new documents daily.

WikiLeaks’ commitment to what might be called extreme transparency also means that it won’t turn away documents that have questionable news value or are just plain dishy. It’s posted Sarah Palin’s hacked emails and Wesley Snipes’ tax returns, as well as fraternity initiation manuals and a trove of secret Scientology manuals. According to WikiLeaks’ credo, to refuse a leak is tantamount to helping the bad guys. “We never censor,” Assange declares.

Powerful forces have come after the site, but without much luck. In 2008, after WikiLeaks posted documents alleging money laundering at the Swiss bank Julius Baer, the firm unsuccessfully tried to shut down its California servers. When the site posted a secret list of websites blacklisted by the German government, including several child pornography sites, the student who ran the German WikiLeaks site was arrested for disseminating kiddie porn. Even the hyper-litigious Church of Scientology has failed to get its materials removed from the site.

Such unsurprising reactions to WikiLeaks’ brazenness only seem to further energize Assange’s conviction that it’s always wrong to try to stop a leak. WikiLeaks isn’t shy about antagonizing its enemies. Its reply to the German raid sounded like the opening shot of an Internet flame war: “Go after our source and we will go after you.” In response to the Church of Scientology’s “attempted suppression,” it has posted even more church documents.

WikiLeaks can get away with this because its primary server is in Sweden (Assange says it’s the same one used by the giant download site The Pirate Bay), where divulging an anonymous source, whether one’s own or someone else’s, is illegal. Several mirror sites across the globe provide backup in case one goes down. (Much of the WikiLeaks website is currently inaccessible due to a fundraising drive.)

Though the site appears secure for now, its foes have not given up on finding its weaknesses. In March, WikiLeaks published an internal report (PDF) written by an analyst at the Army Counterintelligence Center titled “WikiLeaks.org—An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?” The analyst stated that sensitive information posted by WikiLeaks could endanger American soldiers and that the site could be used “to post fabricated information; to post misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda.” He concluded that identifying and prosecuting the insiders who pass information on to WikiLeaks “would damage and potentially destroy this center of gravity and deter others from taking similar actions.”

WikiLeaks said the report was proof that “U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy” the site. Soon afterwards, Assange asserted that he’d been tailed by two State Department employees on a flight out of Iceland, where he had been lobbying for a new press freedom law. He tweeted that “WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation.”

Amid this swirl of wanted and unwanted attention, Assange (pronounced A-sanj) lives like a man on the lam. He won’t reveal his age—”Why make it easy for the bastards?” He prefers talking on the phone instead of meeting in person, and seems to never use the same number twice. His voice is often hushed, and gaps fill the conversation, as if he’s constantly checking over his shoulder. Like him, the organization behind his next-generation whistleblowing machine can also be maddeningly opaque. It’s been accused of being conspiratorial, reckless, and even duplicitous in its pursuit of exposing the powerful. “It’s a good thing that there’s a channel for getting information out that’s reliable and can’t be compromised,” says Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig. But, he adds, “There’s a difference between what you can legally do, what you can technically do, and what you ought to do.”

Secrecy News:

New technologies could be used to improve internet security but the impact of those technologies on personal privacy is classified information, the director of the National Security Agency told Congress last week.

“How could the Internet be designed differently to provide much greater inherent security?” the Senate Armed Services Committee asked Lt. General Keith Alexander, who has been nominated to lead the new U.S. Cyber Command.

“The design of the Internet is – and will continue to evolve – based on technological advancements. These new technologies will enhance mobility and, if properly implemented, security,” replied Gen. Alexander in his written answers (pdf) in advance of an April 15 Committee hearing.

“What would the impact be on privacy, both pro and con?” the Committee continued.

The answer to that question was “provided in the classified supplement” to the General’s response, and was not made public (see question 27).

“It is astounding that Lt. Gen. Alexander’s remarks on the impact on privacy of future modifications to the Internet under his command should be withheld from the public,” wrote Jared Kaprove and John Verdi of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), especially given the President’s declared commitment to upholding privacy protection in the nation’s cybersecurity policy.

Consequently, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking disclosure of the classified supplement to General Alexander’s answers.  “There is a clear public interest in making known the Director’s views on this critical topic,” EPIC wrote in its request (pdf).

c|net:

The U.S. Office of Naval Research has found that when it comes to fighting wars around the world, gamers are more capable at taking on the enemy than nongamers.

According to Ray Perez, a program officer in the ONR’s warfighter performance department who discussed the findings in the Pentagon Web Radio Webcast, gamers perform “10 [percent] to 20 percent higher, in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability, than normal people that are non-game players.”

Perez went on to say that his office has found that video games “increase perpetual abilities and short-term memory.” Games also help people focus longer.

The Office of Naval Research is attempting to develop “training technologies and training methods to improve performance on the battlefield.” Because current U.S. soldiers are facing “significant challenges,” it’s becoming more necessary for the U.S. government to find training techniques that improve a soldier’s advantage on the battlefield. And according to Perez, gamers might be best equipped to meet those challenges.

Amazingly, the ONR’s early research has found that a gamer’s improved abilities can last more than two years. That could prove to be extremely valuable to the government, considering that soldiers are typically deployed to war zones for a year at a time.

Although the ONR has a long way to go in determining exactly how video games affect the brain and how they increase the ability of a soldier, researchers are already trying to turn video games into learning tools for today’s military personnel. According to Perez, researchers are considering training on mobile devices, as well as simulations in virtual environments.

No mention was made of whether the U.S. government would plan to actively recruit gamers. That said, it would seem like an obvious next choice, considering that they already have the “training” that might make them better soldiers.

The Office of Naval Research will continue to study the effects video games have on soldiers. Look for more on this, as that research is made available.

Originally posted at The Digital Home