Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prepare for new Ice Age, says Australian scientist

This has aired on Australian TV

Sunspot activity has not resumed after hitting an 11-year low in March last year, raising fears that - far from warming - the globe is about to return to an Ice Age. Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said pictures from the US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory showed there were currently no spots on the sun.

He said the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C. "This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930," Dr Chapman writes in The Australian today. "If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over."

The Bureau of Meteorology says temperatures in Australia have been warmer than the 1960-90 average since the late 1970s, barring a couple of cooler years, and are now 0.3C higher than the long-term average.

A sunspot is a region on the sun that is cooler than the rest and appears dark. Some scientists believe a strong solar magnetic field, when there is plenty of sunspot activity, protects the earth from cosmic rays, cutting cloud formation, but that when the field is weak - during low sunspot activity - the rays can penetrate into the lower atmosphere and cloud cover increases, cooling the surface.

But scientists from the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research published a report in 2006 that showed the sun had a negligible effect on climate change. The researchers wrote in the journal Nature that the sun's brightness varied by only 0.07per cent over 11-year sunspot cycles, and that that was far too little to account for the rise in temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

Dr Chapman proposes preventive, or delaying, moves to slow the cooling, such as bulldozing Siberian and Canadian snow to make it dirty and less reflective. "My guess is that the odds are now at least 50:50 that we will see significant cooling rather than warming in coming decades," he writes.


His Eminence also says that global warming is over

By: Cardinal George Pell, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney

Canada has just experienced the coldest winter and the heaviest snowfalls since 1970-1, which was called a once in a thousand years event. Another 18 centimetres of snow would set an all time record. A Kingston newspaper had a marvellous cartoon of a tough old Canadian, rugged up against the cold and hacking the ice off the windscreen of his car. The caption read "Global warming my a."!

In China the Chinese New Year coincided with a fierce cold snap and snow storms which prevented many city workers returning to their villages for the celebrations. Police had to deal with the ensuing riots. London has just experienced snow at Easter.

The world is much bigger than both China and Canada combined, which might be the exceptions to the new rule of man-made global warming, but they are inconvenient facts for the climate change bandwagon. And it is an intolerant bandwagon with loud exaggerated claims that the issue is settled and that an unchallenged consensus among scientists confirms the hypothesis of dangerous humanly caused global warming. In fact the issue is far from settled. Politicians sceptical of these claims would need unusual courage to resist the strong tides of public opinion. However the rest of us are not so constrained and we should consider all the available information. Three points are of some significance.

Last December more than 100 prominent international scientists, some of them members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned the U.N. that attempting to control the earth's climate was "ultimately futile". So did 500 experts in Manhattan in March. Fighting climate change was distracting governments from helping the most vulnerable citizens adapt to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever they might prove to be. Futile attempts to prevent global climate change would be a tragic misallocation of resources, they claimed.

Secondly none of the natural changes observed with glaciers, sea-levels and species migration is outside the bounds of known variability, including the warming of 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade in the late twentieth century. But the 1930s decade was warmer than the 1990s. Most importantly the global temperature has not increased since 2001. Global warming has ceased (New Statesman 19/12/2007). This finding invalidates the global warming hypotheses because the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase and the temperature should be increasing too. It isn't.

The last point to be acknowledged is that today's computer models cannot predict climate over long periods because there are too many unknowns and variables. We should never forget that while computers are miracles of human ingenuity, able to assimilate extraordinary amounts of information in the briefest time, they are also limited, cannot think for themselves and are totally obedient to their last human master. More than this is needed to predict the future.


Murderous African gangs come to Australia

Thanks to Australia's lax "refugee" policy

Eddie Spowart was stabbed to death because he didn't smoke and couldn't give a cigarette to a gang of youths who approached him at a train station yesterday. Horrified friends told The Daily Telegraph that the 54-year-old had been on the phone when the group of African males approached him at Granville Train Station about 12.45am. They asked him for a cigarette but when the Fijian qualified fitter, who moved to Australian in 1989, told them to go away because he didn't smoke things turned nasty, his long-time friend Tony Chand said. He was stabbed several times in his thigh, stomach and underneath his shoulder.

"He was waiting for a train in Granville - he was approached by a group of African boys. They asked him for a cigarette but Eddie didn't smoke - he told them that - one led to another and the next thing he just just collapsed," said Mr Chand who has known Mr Spowart since they were children in Fiji. "No one knew at first that he's been stabbed. "We're all upset, depressed and angry - no one can believe it. "Eddie would make friends with anybody, he wasn't a violent person. He just append to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - he was asked for a cigarette and was stabbed because he didn't have one."

Mr Spowart had been drinking with mates at a friends place and then a local pub in Granville before the stabbing. He had walked with a group of friends had walked to the Granville train station to catch a train home to the Westmead home he shared with his sister Elizabeth Spowart. Ms Spowart said she and her eight surviving brothers and sisters were shocked by the manner of Mr Spowart's death. "He was always joking, he was a very happy person, he never carried any weapons or anything of that sort," she said. "We're not coping with this well at all - the family are all coming from overseas and interstate. "No one can believe what has happened because he wasn't the type to go and fight and all that."

Mr Spowart was taken to Westmead Hospital but died several hours after the attack in Memorial Ave. Rosehill Local Area Command police, assisted by the State Crime Command Homicide Squad are investigating Mr Spowarts death. Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or noticed a group of black African males in the vicinity of Granville Railway Station, Memorial Avenue or near the bus interchange on Mary Street around 12.45am yesterday, to contact Rosehill Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Crookedness in an Australian public hospital

The head of The Alfred's intensive-care unit has been interviewed by the Ombudsman's office as part of an inquiry into billing practices at the Melbourne hospital. The Australian has been told the Ombudsman's office plans to examine the records of Alfred ICU director Carlos Scheinkestel as part of its inquiry. The revelation follows the resignation last week of trauma unit head Thomas Kossmann after a peer review found he was an incompetent surgeon who had rorted [misused] funds from compensation authorities, including Victoria's Transport Accident Commission. The Australian contacted Professor Scheinkestel yesterday but he refused to comment.

Professor Kossmann - who rejects the peer review's findings - faces the prospect of a criminal investigation into his billing practices and separate investigations from the TAC, Medicare and the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman's inquiry has extended beyond Professor Kossmann to a broad investigation into billing practices. The Alfred yesterday said the Ombudsman had not requested any information from it about Professor Scheinkestel. A spokesman said the intensive-care unit billed as a group so there was no way any one physician within the department stood to gain personally from any billing activity.

In January, Professor Scheinkestel was interviewed by the panel investigating Professor Kossmann and was asked about the German-born doctor's billing and surgical methods. But the interview was solely about the allegations concerning Professor Kossmann rather than anything to do with Professor Scheinkestel himself. It came after a deputy director in intensive care made a supportive submission to the panel about Professor Kossmann.

The panel, led by orthopedic specialist Bob Dickens, interviewed Professor Scheinkestel to see if he supported the submission. He told the panel he did not have sufficient knowledge or insight to comment on Professor Kossmann's surgical skills or billing methods.

Fresh allegations emerged last week when The Alfred accused Professor Kossmann of failing to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly owed to the hospital for surgery on TAC and workplace injury patients. He is also accused of getting a junior doctor to falsify a medical record to aid his defence. Professor Kossmann has denied all wrongdoing and on resigning said he was the victim of a witch-hunt.


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