Monday, November 30, 2009

Boreal Forests Carbon Kings

One must also appreciate that all this stored carbon has been accumulated only in the past ten thousand years since the ice age ended and the land was exposed.  I wonder were it all came from?  It represents 22% of surface carbon and must have been stored somewhere besides the ocean.

Another aspect of tropical forests is that carbon is degraded quickly.  This is why nutrients are released so quickly and the soils are so poor.  So perhaps the bulk of the carbon is possibly in the living biomass itself.

This is hardly true in the boreal forest.  Peat is been continually produced and sequestered in an oxygen free environment.  This process has little natural limits.  So with permafrost doing additional preservation we can expect extraordinary amounts of carbon to be stored.

This also suggests that the living biomass is a very small fraction of the total.  In temperate forest it is typically half above ground and half below.  This is not possible in the boreal forest because of both permafrost and the advent of peat.  In fact peat tends to suppress tree growth.

We can state that since the ice age 22% of global forest carbon has been sequestered after been created anew.

Boreal Forests Store More Carbon Than Tropical Forests

by Staff Writers

Ottawa, Canada (SPX) Nov 17, 2009

When the world thinks of forests and their value to offset global warming, tropical forests come to mind. A new report shows that the global impact of Canada's boreal forest, which stores nearly twice as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests, has been vastly underestimated.

"The Carbon the World Forgot" identifies the boreal forests of North America as not only the cornerstone habitat for key mammal species, but one of the most significant carbon stores in the world, the equivalent of 26 years of global emissions from burning fossil fuels, based on 2006 emissions levels. Globally, these forests store 22 percent of all carbon on the earth's land surface.

"Past accounting greatly underestimated the amount and depth of carbon stored in and under the boreal forest," said Jeff Wells, an author of the report. In addition to carbon storage in trees, organic matter accumulated over millennia is stored in boreal peatlands and areas of permafrost. Some of this boreal carbon has been in place for up to 8,000 years.
The boreal forest's status as the most intact forest left on earth also offers a unique opportunity for plants and animals forced to adapt to shifting habitats. Most other habitats today are highly fragmented by human activity, creating a variety of additional obstacles for species survival.

In light of these findings, the report urges that international negotiations on carbon and forest protection consider ways to account for and protect the boreal.

"Any effective and affordable response to climate change should include preserving the world's remaining, carbon-rich old-growth forests," said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

"This report makes clear that nations must look not just at the tropics but at all the world's old-growth forests for climate change solutions."

"Keeping that carbon in place by protecting boreal forests is an important part of the climate equation," said Dr. Andrew Weaver, "If you cut down the boreal forest and disturb its peatlands, you release more carbon, accelerating climate change."

Dr. Weaver of the University of Victoria is a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, which was awarded the Nobel Prize.

"The collision of climate disruption and massive human degradation of ecosystems is seriously worrying globally," said leading conservation biologist Dr. Stuart Pimm of Duke University. "These changes are surely novel in earth's history." Maintaining the boreal forest's intactness will be critical to slowing ecosystem shifts and to providing migratory corridors for displaced wildlife.

"Conservation can be an important tool in the fight to mitigate climate change" said Larry Innes, Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative.

"International protocols and legislation need to create opportunities to maintain the carbon stored in intact boreal forest soils, peatlands, and wetlands while enabling indigenous and local communities to take a leadership role in determining how to best conserve not only carbon, but the full suite of ecological, cultural and economic values that the boreal forest represents."

More than 1,500 international scientists led by authors for the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended in 2007 that at least half of Canada's boreal forest be protected from further disturbance - in large part to keep both the boreal forest carbon bank and internationally significant wildlife habitats intact.

Despite the current lack of international protocol, several Canadian First Nation, provincial, and federal governments have taken important steps to protect hundreds of millions of acres of Canada's carbon rich boreal forest. In all, scientists are recommending that at least 300 million hectares be protected.

Dubai Bust

Financial crisis never end quickly because the market to absorb product contracts sharply leaving oodles of poorly underwritten deals stranded.  These deals need credit enhancement at the least just to roll over or they need a completely new ownership structure with a much stronger player.

Dubai was the king of the scary deal.  It was never hard to imagine a ghost town in the desert.  Now it must regain lender’s confidence as fast as possible.  The comment is made here that Abu Dhabi can solve the problem and obviously not risk itself.  That also puts several other rescuers in mind.  So perhaps this one will blow over quickly.

However, the remarks here on the CDS market continue to be true.  It must be unwound and we see little sign of the will to do so.

Let me make this a little clearer. I do not think that the CDS market can withstand any defaults because it has turned out that the actual insurer is the US fed.  Yet defaults must take place because the credit standard necessary is not reached by one hundred percent of the participants.

In fact these facilities were in place for AAA clients.  The rating system was subverted and the financial system loaded with toxic paper.  More important, we still do not know the extent of the fraud.

With a still contracting market we must have more such failures until the weak are eliminated.

The Dubai shock can and must end with Abu Dhabi providing a credit facility at a steep price.  This all part of ongoing the credit contraction.

Financial Crisis in Dubai: Towards a Nightmare Scenario?

By Mike Whitney

Global Research, November 28, 2009

The default in Dubai is not the beginning of Financial Meltdown 2. Don't look for dominoes here. Yes, it does raise serious questions about the vast debt-overhang in emerging economies--particularly East Europe. But, this is not a "sovereign default" in the strict sense, nor is there any great risk of contagion. Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is loaded with liquid assets, possibly as much as $800 billion. They could pay off Dubai World's measly $60 billion debt without batting an eye. But Abu Dhabi wants to send its wastrel younger brother a wake-up-call by forcing Dubai to restructure its debt. That means that banks, bondholders and contractors will have to take a haircut, which is not surprising given the abysmal condition of the commercial real estate market.

Dubai World owners were caught up in the same heady debt-fueled commercial construction-binge that swept across the United States. The problem can be traced back to lax lending standards and low interest rates. Now demand has fallen off a cliff and credit is getting tighter. Dubai World can't roll over its debt or meet its obligations. That's what typically happens when credit bubbles burst.

On Thursday, Bank of America analysts issued a statement: “One cannot rule out — as a tail-risk — a case where this would escalate into a major sovereign default problem, which would then resonate across global emerging markets in the same way that Argentina did in the early 2000s or Russia in the late 1990s.”

This is nonsense. There will be no sovereign default. Abu Dhabi is not going to send global markets into a nosedive to save a few billion dollars. B of A is blowing smoke. Oil has already slipped $3 per barrel since the crisis began. There will probably be a tentative resolution by the time the markets open on Monday. That doesn't mean that there aren't important lessons to be learned from this latest financial calamity. There are.

First, it illustrates that the financial crisis is not over---households, businesses and countries are still deleveraging. This ongoing process will slow spending and increase defaults, bankruptcies and foreclosures. Government guarantees and stimulus programs will not reverse prevailing trends. More incidents like Dubai World should be expected. These "credit events" will disrupt the recovery and spur greater risk-aversion which will push stocks downward.

Arnab Das of RGE Monitor sums it up like this: "We're bound to see a rise in risk aversion. The Dubai situation signifies that although the major central banks around the world have stabilized the financial system, they can't make all the excesses simply disappear. We still have to work out those balance sheet stresses. The recovery is proceeding, but significant challenges still lie ahead.” (Bloomberg News)

Second, when these incidents take place, there's likely to considerable collateral damage from the unregulated insurance policies (credit default swaps) which underwrite the bonds. These CDS derivatives are not sold on a public exchange so no one knows who holds them, in what amount, or whether the issuer has sufficient capital reserves to pay off claims. We should expect a repeat of AIG over and over again (although smaller) until the system is either regulated or CDS are banned.

The bottom line, is that the current financial architecture is not designed to work; it is designed to make a handful of speculators very rich. These speculators own congress, the White House and the financial media, which is why there has been no meaningful change in regulations. Dubai is not Argentina. There will be a resolution and contractors will get paid, although not "in full." There will be losses. Big losses. But no contagion.

News of Dubai's payment "standstill" roiled global markets where investor confidence was already thin. The dollar and yen strengthened and US Treasurys surged. The "flight to safety" is making it doubly hard for the Fed to reflate asset prices. Dubai-like credit events make investors jittery and they pull in their horns. That extends the slump and deepens the recession.

If the Dubai crisis drags on, the dollar will get stronger and the flourishing carry trade will crash. That means that the maxed-out banks (which are heavily invested in high-risk positions) will get clobbered once again. That's the nightmare scenario.

The Fed has wrapped its arms around the financial system and provided unlimited guarantees on trillions of dollars of dodgy collateral. But that might not be enough.

Hydrogen Xenon Formed

The headline for this item is terribly premature.  What has been discovered is that under extreme pressure that hydrogen will form up with other atoms to form a stable crystalline substance.  In this case, xenon was worked with but is not thought satisfactory.  How this may be commercially used escapes me in view of process pressures.

We are learning to form important solids with unusual attributes.  We will see more of this.

The most important lesson, hinted at before, is that extreme pressure can produce stable compounds whose characteristics are as yet unmapped.

Now suppose the earth’s core is rich in hydrogen.  What effect does that have on the core’s behavior?  We have just eliminated the necessity for the hydrogen to leach away.  Now we have an Iron Nickel Hydrogen core to investigate. 

I was not expecting this but am also not surprised at all.  It was an obvious question and we now know that the hydrogen is likely to be bound.

Hydrogen-Economy on the Way? New Hydrogen-Storage Method Discovered

ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have found for the first time that high pressure can be used to make a unique hydrogen-storage material. The discovery paves the way for an entirely new way to approach the hydrogen-storage problem.

The researchers found that the normally unreactive, noble gas xenon combines with molecular hydrogen (H2) under pressure to form a previously unknown solid with unusual bonding chemistry. The experiments are the first time these elements have been combined to form a stable compound. The discovery debuts a new family of materials, which could boost new hydrogen technologies.
The paper is published in the November 22, 2009, advanced online publication of Nature Chemistry.
Xenon has some intriguing properties, including its use as an anesthesia, its ability to preserve biological tissues, and its employment in lighting. Xenon is a noble gas, which means that it does not typically react with other elements.

As lead author Maddury Somayazulu, research scientist at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory, explained: "Elements change their configuration when placed under pressure, sort of like passengers readjusting themselves as the elevator becomes full. We subjected a series of gas mixtures of xenon in combination with hydrogen to high pressures in a diamond anvil cell. At about 41,000 times the pressure at sea level (1 atmosphere), the atoms became arranged in a lattice structure dominated by hydrogen, but interspersed with layers of loosely bonded xenon pairs. When we increased pressure, like tuning a radio, the distances between the xenon pairs changed-the distances contracted to those observed in dense metallic xenon."

The researchers imaged the compound at varying pressures using X-ray diffraction, infrared and Raman spectroscopy. When they looked at the xenon part of the structure, they realized that the interaction of xenon with the surrounding hydrogen was responsible for the unusual stability and the continuous change in xenon-xenon distances as pressure was adjusted from 41,000 to 255,000 atmospheres.

Why was the compound so stable? "We were taken off guard by both the structure and stability of this material," said Przemek Dera, the lead crystallographer who looked at the changes in electron density at different pressures using single-crystal diffraction. As electron density from the xenon atoms spreads towards the surrounding hydrogen molecules, it seems to stabilize the compound and the xenon pairs.

"Xenon is too heavy and expensive to be practical for use in hydrogen-storage applications," remarked Somayazulu. "But by understanding how it works in this situation, researchers can come up with lighter substitutes."

"It's very exciting to come up with new hydrogen-rich compounds, not just for our interest in simple molecular systems, but because such discoveries can be the foundation for important new technologies," commented Russell Hemley, director of the Geophysical Laboratory and a co-author. "This hydrogen-rich solid represents a new pathway to forming novel hydrogen storage compounds and the new pressure-induced chemistry opens the possibility of synthesizing new energetic materials."
This research was funded by the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences hydrogen storage, and the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research.

Story Source:

Adapted from materials provided by Carnegie Institution, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:

1.                       Maddury Somayazulu, Przemyslaw Dera, Alexander F. Goncharov, Stephen A. Gramsch, Peter Liermann, Wenge Yang, Zhenxian Liu, Ho-kwang Mao & Russell J. Hemley. Pressure-induced bonding and compound formation in xenon-hydrogen solids. Nature Chemistry, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.445

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monsters of the Deep

My digging around crypto zoology has given us guidelines for our efforts. The most important guideline is that it is paramount to study the nature of the likely ecological niche in which your rarely observed cryptoid resides. The image itself may be very fuzzy but the actual niche rarely is.

For instance, when I first heard of the Burrunjor, I understood immediately that a major niche of a specific sort needed to exist. A few moments of using google maps gave me a literal bulls eye on the map itself and all the reports neatly fell into place. That led me to reinvestigate the reports scattered about the globe of swamp dwelling dawn age mega reptiles and to narrow their niche down to aquatic nocturnal reptiles that either feed on pond lilies or crocodiles. Just enough reports have emerged to allow one to look in earnest.

I am satisfied that there exists an extant population of aquatic dawn age reptiles living in the same environment occupied by crocodiles, but obviously a small remnant. Several species have been recognized, so it may be possible to sample a fairly complete family before we are finished.

For the casual reader it is sufficient to understand that the particular niche is inimical to human penetration without encountering these beasts let alone to go looking for them at two in the morning in a canoe. That we do not have samples or superior reports is completely understandable.

Parts of this unusual family of reptiles are those that are adapted to cold water. The plesiosaur is included obviously, but also the giant sea serpent and possibly several other members not yet known.

The existence of the giant squid in deep water proves that it is possible for a cold blooded creature to live and absorb sufficient oxygen in the cold water deeps of the ocean. Remember that the surface layer of the ocean is not overly thick at perhaps a hundred meters or so. Yet the moment you pass out of that you enter the cold waters of the deeps themselves that vary little pole to pole.

In fact it is obvious that these creatures specifically reside in the deeps and do not lightly penetrate the surface zone. One has to assume that they experience discomfort when the water warms up. As likely it requires a period of adjustment to come to the surface and this is not done unless it is to lay eggs possibly in a freshwater swamp. That would explain the rare sightings of such likely animals in coastal waters and a number of fresh water lakes including Loch Ness and lakes in the Pacific North West.

We have all been dismissive of these tales. Yet the above describes a creditable life way that almost never intersects humanities course. They are cold blooded reptiles adapted to draw oxygen from the water with possibly external gill like structures and perhaps a lung for rare surface activity. They do not need a huge amount of food since their metabolism is slow.

It is also reasonable that they return to fresh waters to lay a clutch of eggs as do other marine reptiles. Perhaps this is done in sand bars with ample running water as is common with fish.

Much as I would like to have a target locale for plesiosaurs, the extant sighting reports speak to a large marine serpent. Possibly this even evolved from the plesiosaur. I suspect it may well have a separate evolution from serpents in general.

All of the sightings are associated with large fresh water lakes in rather northern locales. This may be a byproduct of the actual needs of a clutch. The eggs themselves will be large and the resultant newborn will be large, easily able to compete with and soon eat most lake fish. Yet a clutch will need an ample food supply to initially fatten up before they migrate downstream to the ocean. This most likely takes place during winter and the migration possibly takes place with the spring floods. Remember, they want and need cold waters. Large deep lakes as most commonly noted for sightings also have a bottom cold water zone.

Obviously the trick to observing these creatures will be to place a sensor array across the outlets of these lakes that has the capacity to develop high resolution and operate a continuous monitor for at least a year or two. Expensive but we actually should be doing just that. I think that we either have effective capacity or can easily create it. This would work wonders for the fish count both coming and going and we definitely need to do that.

I have included these eye witness accounts for the record. Once again these are often high quality sightings made by rather competent observers. The numbers quoted are in excess of a thousand pretty well establishing the veracity of a real phenomenon.

On August 6th, 1848, the Royal Navy frigate HMS Daedalus was cruising near the Cape of Good Hope when the Officer of Watch spotted an object in the sea. He drew the attention of the Captain and several crew members on deck to it. It was a large sea snake, or sea serpent, that they estimated to be sixty feet long, 15 inches in diameter, and moved through the sea with it's head some four feet out of the water.

Strangely enough it seemed to be able to move quickly through the water with neither vertical or horizontal undulation. The creature was dark brown, shading to yellow-white under the throat. On the back there seemed to be a seaweed-like mane. The Daedalus observed it for about twenty minutes.

In 1937 Alfred Peterson, a nurse aboard a British troopship in the China Sea, spotted what at first he thought was a big tree floating in the sea. A few minutes later he noticed it was still there, keeping pace with the ship. This peaked his interest and he took a closer look. What he saw was a 25 foot long, grey-black, body with a head shaped like a giraffe.

Tales about sea serpents have been told and retold by sailors down through the ages. Skeptics have pointed out that many of these incidents could be the result of misidentifications. A floating log, or in the case of the Daedalus, an abandoned native canoe painted like a snake. Some encounters are so close, though, that it is hard to believe someone could be mistaken:

Clyde Taylor and his daughter, Carol, were walking along the beach near the mouth of the Chester River in the Chesapeake Bay. Out in the bay they spotted a ripple moving across what was otherwise smooth, calm water. Following the ripple they spotted a creature in the water. It was black or amber in color, thirty feet long and as thick as a telephone pole. It traveled through the water with a up and down undulating motion.

"The eye looked like a serpent's eye, like a large snake eye," said Clyde. "I could see no marking on the body - it was just a long tube, like an anaconda or python. It didn't look like a fish, but like a giant serpent."

Carol Taylor got within 30 feet of the creature before it spotted her and disappeared into the water. "There was no way that it could have been someone faking something," she said, "there was no one in sight, there were no boats around, the water was only about knee-deep."

The Taylors' encounter was only one of many sightings of a sea serpent that supposedly lives in the Chesapeake Bay. Appropriately the creature has been nicknamed "Chessie."

Chessie, or the Chessies, since they have been seen in groups and differ in size, is a creature usually 30 to 40 feet in length, with a snake-like body, dark in color, having an elliptical, football-sized head. Enough reports have been filed about Chessie that Mike Frizzell, Director of Project Enigma, a study of the Chessie phenomena, was able to correlate it's appearances with motion of Bluefin fish in the area, suggesting that the serpent uses the fish as a food source.

Large groups of people have spotted Chessie. In 1980 four charter boats carrying 25 people observed a version of the creature. Chessie has also been captured on video and film, though none of these has been clear enough to be accepted as proof of the monster.

What's most remarkable about the large number of Chessie sightings is that they have been so consistent in the creatures description. One theory that has been advanced to explain Chessie is that a vessel from South America had a giant anaconda, a snake capable of living in freshwater, on board. The snake escaped and adapted to the brackish water. It would take several snakes, or a pregnant female to explain the multiple sightings, though, and an anaconda would not fair well in the cold northern winters. Other explanations, like the oarfish, have been proposed, but the color and shape of the creature seems wrong for these.

In the 1800's animals very similar to Chessie were reported to be living off the coast of New England, and particularly the port of Gloucester. The description of the creatures are so similar that some have speculated that the New England creatures migrated south to the Chesapeake Bay at the beginning of the century.

Sea Serpents have also been reported off the North American West Coast too. There have been many reports from along the Pacific coast near Vancouver of several different shaped creatures including a snake-like sea serpent. Further south more reports center around the city of San Fransico.

On November 1st, 1983, a construction crew was working on Route 1 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge near Stinson Beach. Suddenly they spotted a creature, underwater, approaching the land. They estimated the creature's length at 100 feet and it's diameter at five. Using binoculars they watched it making coils, throwing it's head about and whipping it's body around.

Two years later, in San Fransico bay, twins Robert and William Clark were sitting in a car near the sea wall. They watched two seals swimming extremely fast across the bay. Then they noticed a "large black snake-like" animal" chasing the seals. They saw that the creature moved by forming it's body into coils and wiggling up and down. The animal apparently also had small, translucent fan-like fins that acted as stabilizers.

Was this a real sea serpent? Or a more common creature, like a seal, misidentified? The descriptions do bear a resemblance to "Chessie."

One final sea serpent story. The SS Tresco was cruising 90 miles south of Cape Hatteras when Joseph Ostens Grey, the ship's Second Officer, spotted what he first thought was a derelict hulk in the water. On closer examination they realized it was no wreaked ship:

"With a conviction that grew deeper, and ever more disquieting, we came to know that this thing could be no derelict, no object that hand of man had fashioned..." reported Grey. He described a head that emerged out of water on a tall and powerful neck. It was "dragon-like" and accompanied a body some 100 feet in length and eight feet across at the widest. The head was five feet long and eighteen inches in diameter.

There was concern that the ship, running light without cargo, might be tipped and overturned if the creature attempted to clamber aboard.

"Presently I noticed something dripping from the ugly lower jaw," continued Grey, "Watching, I saw that it was saliva, of a dirty drab color, which dripped from the corners of the mouth." Eventually the creature turned away and the danger was averted.

As the years went by skeptics labeled the story, which appeared under Grey's name in The Wide World Magazine, "total fiction." That is until someone looked up the Tresco's log for Saturday 30 May 1903. It reads:

10AM Passed school of sharks followed by a huge sea monster.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Faking Gold Bars

When I first picked up on this tale, my first reaction was that this was another urban legend. I also thought that counterfeiting a bar of gold was a technical impossibility not having spent time checking out the possibilities. I finally made myself read this more recent item because the story remained persistent and I thought enough time had elapsed for a few obvious questions to be asked.

After reading that gold and tungsten has the same density, I cracked open my handy copy of ‘The Practicing Scientist’s Handbook (1978)’ and got the exact values. The density of gold is 19.32 g/cc and the density for tungsten is 19.3. Ouch! The difference is in the forth significant digit and no one usually measures beyond three significant digits. To do so is no big trick, but everyone is working on three digits as good enough. One would have needed a very sensitive scale and a very sensitive volumetric device able to show that you were a few grams short on every ten or twenty kilos you were measuring.

The bottom line is that someone made a business out of looting the flow of gold somewhere along its transfer path. Done right, you would simply be in position to swap out replacement bars as needed. This means a cabal of employees was involved in some way or the other. It may even have begun with a single bar. The bar purchased outright was needed to make a dozen or more new bars with proper serial numbers. Then when the real bars were shipped with correct serial numbers, the switch took place. One could then produce a much larger number of bars. In short order you could switch out shipments without any fuss at all.

It will need a full audit of every bar in existence to find out how much has been stolen.

Anyway, before anyone gets excited about all this, it is long overdue for the globe to quit maintaining a gold reserve as if it has anything to do with reserve banking. Canada exited that game decades ago and no one much cares.

Whoever was involved has had ample time to hide and had ample time during the looting process to create excellent escape plans.

In a way this is almost funny. You would have thought that the USA had been embarrassed enough this past year. When markets crash, it is normal for the accumulation of bad acts to become apparent and very public. This bit of skullduggery will not be surpassed for a century or two so I do not think we have to be worried about what is next.

It is difficult to think that this was ever a sanctioned operation because institutional memory would make sure that no fake gold ever went out of country. Most likely a key player retired or died and that was that.

I wonder if they had the nerve to sell some of the phony stuff to Dubai or to the Saudis.

Fake Gold Bars! What's Next?

It's one thing to counterfeit a twenty or hundred dollar bill. The amount of financial damage is usually limited to a specific region and only affects dozens of people and thousands of dollars. Secret Service agents quickly notify the banks on how to recognize these phony bills and retail outlets usually have procedures in place (such as special pens to test the paper) to stop their proliferation.

But what about gold? This is the most sacred of all commodities because it is thought to be the most trusted, reliable and valuable means of saving wealth.

A recent discovery -- in October of 2009 -- has been suppressed by the main stream media but has been circulating among the "big money" brokers and financial kingpins and is just now being revealed to the public. It involves the gold in Fort Knox -- the US Treasury gold -- that is the equity of our national wealth. In short, millions (with an "m") of gold bars are fake!

Who did this? Apparently our own government.


In October of 2009 the Chinese received a shipment of gold bars. Gold is regularly exchanges between countries to pay debts and to settle the so-called balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government asked that special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars. In this test, four small holed are drilled into the gold bars and the metal is then analyzed.

Officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. They contained cores of tungsten with only a outer coating of real gold. What's more, these gold bars, containing serial numbers for tracking, originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years. There were reportedly between 5,600 to 5,700 bars, weighing 400 oz. each, in the shipment!

At first many gold experts assumed the fake gold originated in China, the world's best knock-off producers. The Chinese were quick to investigate and issued a statement that implicated the US in the scheme.

What the Chinese uncovered:

Roughly 15 years ago -- during the Clinton Administration [think Robert Rubin, Sir Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers] -- between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA [more than 16 Thousand metric tonnes]. Subsequently, 640,000 of these tungsten blanks received their gold plating and WERE shipped to Ft. Knox and remain there to this day.

According to the Chinese investigation, the balance of this 1.3 million to 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also gold plated and then allegedly "sold" into the international market. Apparently, the global market is literally "stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars". Perhaps as much as 600-billion dollars worth.

An obscure news item originally published in the N.Y. Post [written by Jennifer Anderson] in late Jan. 04 perhaps makes sense now.

DA investigating NYMEX executive Manhattan, New York, --Feb. 2, 2004. A top executive at the New York Mercantile Exchange is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney. Sources close to the exchange said that Stuart Smith, senior vice president of operations at the exchange, was served with a search warrant by the district attorney's office last week. Details of the investigation have not been disclosed, but a NYMEX spokeswoman said it was unrelated to any of the exchange's markets. She declined to comment further other than to say that charges had not been brought. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office also declined comment."

The offices of the Senior Vice President of Operations -- NYMEX -- is exactly where you would go to find the records [serial number and smelter of origin] for EVERY GOLD BAR ever PHYSICALLY settled on the exchange. They are required to keep these records. These precise records would show the lineage of all the physical gold settled on the exchange and hence "prove" that the amount of gold in question could not have possibly come from the U.S. mining operations -- because the amounts in question coming from U.S. smelters would undoubtedly be vastly bigger than domestic mine production.

No one knows whatever happened to Stuart Smith. After his offices were raided he took "administrative leave" from the NYMEX and he has never been heard from since. Amazingly, there never was any follow up on in the media on the original story as well as ZERO developments ever stemming from D.A. Morgenthau's office who executed the search warrant.

Are we to believe that NYMEX offices were raided, the Sr. V.P. of operations then takes leave -- all for nothing?

The revelations of fake gold bars also explains another highly unusual story that also happened in 2004:

LONDON, April 14, 2004 (Reuters) -- NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd., the London-based unit of investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL], will withdraw from trading commodities, including gold, in London as it reviews its operations, it said on Wednesday.
Interestingly, GATA's Bill Murphy speculated about this back in 2004;

"Why is Rothschild leaving the gold business at this time my colleagues and I conjectured today? Just a guess on my part, but [I] suspect something is amiss. They know a big scandal is coming and they don't want to be a part of it... [The] Rothschild wants out before the proverbial "S" hits the fan." -- BILL MURPHY, LEMETROPOLE, 4-18-2004

What is the GATA?

The Gold Antitrust Action Committee (GATA) is an organisation which has been nipping at the heels of the US Treasury Federal Reserve for several years now. The basis of GATA's accusations is that these institutions, in coordination with other complicit central banks and the large gold-trading investment banks in the US, have been manipulating the price of gold for decades.

What is the GLD?

GLD is a short form for Good London Delivery. The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has defined "good delivery" as a delivery from an entity which is listed on their delivery list or meets the standards for said list and whose bars have passed testing requirements established by the associatin and updated from time to time. The bars have to be pure for AU in an area of 995.0 to 999.9 per 1000. Weight, Shape, Appearance, Marks and Weight Stamps are regulated as follows:

Weight: minimum 350 fine ounces AU; maximum 430 fine ounces AU, gross weight of a bar is expressed in troy ounces, in multiples of 0.025, rounded down to the nearest 0.025 of an troy ounce.

Dimensions: the recommended dimensions for a Good Delivery gold bar are: Top Surface: 255 x 81 mm; Bottom Surface: 236 x 57 mm; Thickness: 37 mm.

Fineness: the minimum 995.0 parts per thousand fine gold. Marks: Serial number; Assay stamp of refiner; Fineness (to four significant figures); Year of manufacture (expressed in four digits).

After reviewing their prospectus yet again, it becomes pretty clear that GLD was established to purposefully deflect investment dollars away from legitimate gold pursuits and to create a stealth, cesspool / catch-all, slush-fund and a likely destination for many of these fake tungsten bars where they would never see the light of day -- hidden behind the following legalese "shield" from the law:

[Excerpt from the GLD prospectus on page 11]

"Gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket may not meet the London Good Delivery Standards and, if a Basket is issued against such gold, the Trust may suffer a loss. Neither the Trustee nor the Custodian independently confirms the fineness of the gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket. The gold bars allocated to the Trust by the Custodian may be different from the reported fineness or weight required by the LBMA's standards for gold bars delivered in settlement of a gold trade, or the London Good Delivery Standards, the standards required by the Trust. If the Trustee nevertheless issues a Basket against such gold, and if the Custodian fails to satisfy its obligation to credit the Trust the amount of any deficiency, the Trust may suffer a loss."

The Federal Reserve knows but is apparently part of the scheme

Earlier this year GATA filed a second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Reserve System for documents from 1990 to date having to do with gold swaps, gold swapped, or proposed gold swaps.

On Aug. 5, The Federal Reserve responded to this FOIA request by adding two more documents to those disclosed to GATA in April 2008 from the earlier FOIA request. These documents totaled 173 pages, many parts of which were redacted (blacked out). The Fed's response also noted that there were 137 pages of documents not disclosed that were alleged to be exempt from disclosure.

GATA appealed this determination on Aug. 20. The appeal asked for more information to substantiate the legitimacy of the claimed exemptions from disclosure and an explanation on why some documents, such as one posted on the Federal Reserve Web site that discusses gold swaps, were not included in the Aug. 5 document release.

In a Sept. 17, 2009, letter on Federal Reserve System letterhead, Federal Reserve governor Kevin M. Warsh completely denied GATA's appeal. The entire text of this letter can be examined at

The first paragraph on the third page is the most revealing.

"In connection with your appeal, I have confirmed that the information withheld under exemption 4 consists of confidential commercial or financial information relating to the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks that was obtained within the meaning of exemption 4. This includes information relating to swap arrangements with foreign banks on behalf of the Federal Reserve System and is not the type of information that is customarily disclosed to the public. This information was properly withheld from you."

The above statement is an admission that the Federal Reserve has been involved with the fake gold bar swaps and that it refuses to disclose any information about its activities!

Why use tungsten?

If you are going to print fake money you need to have the special paper, otherwise the bills don't feel right and can be easily detected by special pens that most merchants and banks use. Likewise, if you are going to fake gold bars you had better be sure they have the same weight and properties of real gold.

In early 2008 millions of dollars in gold at the central bank of Ethiopia turned out to be fake. What were supposed to be bars of solid gold turned out to be nothing more than gold-plated steel. They tried to sell the stuff to South Africa and it was sent back when the South Africans noticed this little problem.

The problem with making good-quality fake gold is that gold is remarkably dense. It's almost twice the density of lead, and two-and-a-half times more dense than steel. You don't usually notice this because small gold rings and the like don't weigh enough to make it obvious, but if you've ever held a larger bar of gold, it's absolutely unmistakable: The stuff is very, very heavy.

The standard gold bar for bank-to-bank trade, known as a "London good delivery bar" weighs 400 troy ounces (over thirty-three pounds), yet is no bigger than a paperback novel. A bar of steel the same size would weigh only thirteen and a half pounds.

According to gold expert, Theo Gray, the problem is that there are very few metals that are as dense as gold, and with only two exceptions they all cost as much or more than gold.

The first exception is depleted uranium, which is cheap if you're a government, but hard for individuals to get. It's also radioactive, which could be a bit of an issue.

The second exception is a real winner: tungsten. Tungsten is vastly cheaper than gold (maybe $30 dollars a pound compared to $12,000 a pound for gold right now). And remarkably, it has exactly the same density as gold, to three decimal places. The main differences are that it's the wrong color, and that it's much, much harder than gold. (Very pure gold is quite soft, you can dent it with a fingernail.)

A top-of-the-line fake gold bar should match the color, surface hardness, density, chemical, and nuclear properties of gold perfectly. To do this, you could could start with a tungsten slug about 1/8-inch smaller in each dimension than the gold bar you want, then cast a 1/16-inch layer of real pure gold all around it. This bar would feel right in the hand, it would have a dead ring when knocked as gold should, it would test right chemically, it would weigh *exactly* the right amount, and though I don't know this for sure, I think it would also pass an x-ray fluorescence scan, the 1/16" layer of pure gold being enough to stop the x-rays from reaching any tungsten. You'd pretty much have to drill it to find out it's fake.

Such a top-quality fake London good delivery bar would cost about $50,000 to produce because it's got a lot of real gold in it, but you'd still make a nice profit considering that a real one is worth closer to $400,000.

What's going to happen now?

Politicians like Ron Paul have been demanding that the Federal Reserve be more transparent and open up their records for public scrutiny. But the Fed has consistently refused, stating that these disclosures would undermine its operation. Yes, it certainly would!

UPDATE: Audit of Fed Reserve Amendment Passes!

In an unprecedented defeat for the Federal Reserve, an amendment to audit the multi-trillion dollar institution was approved by the House Finance Committee with an overwhelming and bipartisan 43-26 vote on Thursday afternoon despite harried last-minute lobbying from top Fed officials and the surprise opposition of Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who had previously been a supporter.

The measure, cosponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), authorizes the Government Accountability Office to conduct a wide-ranging audit of the Fed's opaque deals with foreign central banks and major U.S. financial institutions. The Fed has never had a real audit in its history and little is known of what it does with the trillions of dollars at its disposal.

The manufacture of fake gold bars goes back years and, because of this, it is not likely that the originator of this scheme will ever be revealed or brought to justice. Meanwhile the world is just beginning to learn that much of its national reserves of gold may be fake. If more testing reveals that this gold was guaranteed by Fort Knox and the US Treasury then perhaps they will demand an exchange for "real" gold -- wouldn't you?

This is all happening at a time when the US economy is at its lowest and most vulnerable. The effects could be devastating.

Some investors are already selling gold commodities before these facts are widely known. They are investing instead in silver -- the next best metal. This will undoubtedly drive silver prices up.

According to Jim Willie, 24 year market analyst and Ph.D in statistics, "The bust cometh, and it will be spectacular. The stories told in the press will be peculiar, since not told objectively. The headlines might be a comedy, with phony reports of foreign subterfuge, when the perpetrators are home grown."

This is yet another story in the decline of America and capitalism -- a decline based on greed, deception and fraud.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Joe Klein on Obama's Missteps

I think that Joe Klein has possibly put his finger on it.. Obama needs a lieutenant who can cover for him and make sure he is making decisions on a timely basis. Anyway this is the first item that I have seen that tries to get a handle on the man’s performance. And quite rightly, he is presently learning the job. This is no different than the first year of Bush and Clinton of recent memory.

The blips will disappear soon enough.

My most serious concern is the complete lack of action in tackling the direct effects of the economic deflation underway. A combination of credit liquidation and transfers has stabilized the present situation. This will end soon. One part of this is that millions are without work and their savings and unemployment insurance will soon dry up. In the meantime the economy is not creating jobs.

My second concern is that several States are insolvent. They are a big part of local support for large parts of the population.

In short there are a lot of worrisome problems remaining unaddressed. The credit contraction has sort of ended and the banking system is struggling with the novel idea of refinancing America without much in the form of surplus equity. There is still plenty of losses presently unrealized but the most egregious have certainly been absorbed by the taxpayer.

It is not wonderful but I think that it is possible to limp back from the brink even with the present inaction.

It just does not need to be this way. I am still waiting to see if it will be otherwise.
For the scaremongers, we are now actually at the real cusp of a great depression. This is the point that Hoover blew it. This is where a mistake can make millions homeless and into hobos.

Obama's 'Mistakes': Way Too Early to Judge

By JOE KLEIN Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009,8599,1942832,00.html#ixzz0Xw8LzpMr
Over the past few weeks, Barack Obama has been criticized for the following: He didn't go to Berlin for the 20th anniversary of the Wall's coming down. He didn't make a forceful enough statement on the 30th anniversary of the U.S. diplomats' being taken hostage in Iran. He didn't show sufficient mournfulness, at first, when the Fort Hood shootings took place, and he was namby-pamby about the possibility that the shootings were an act of jihad. He has spent too little time focusing on unemployment. He bowed too deeply before the Japanese Emperor. He allowed the Chinese to block the broadcast of his Shanghai town-hall meeting. He allowed the Chinese President to bar questions at their joint press conference (a moment memorably satirized by Saturday Night Live). He didn't come back with any diplomatic victories from Asia. He allowed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 plotters to be tried in the U.S. criminal-justice system rather than by the military. He has dithered too long on Afghanistan. He has devoted too much attention to — and given congressional Democrats too much control over — health care reform, an issue that is peripheral to a majority of Americans.
And all this has led to a dangerous slippage in the polls, it is said, a sense that his presidential authority is ebbing.

As a fully licensed pundit, I have the authority to weigh in here ... but I demur.

Oh, I could sling opinions about every one of the events cited above — some were unfortunate — but it would matter only if I could discern a pattern that illuminates Obama's presidency. The most obvious pattern, however, is the media's tendency to get overwrought about almost anything. Why, for example, is the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall demolition so crucial that it requires a President's presence? Which recent U.S. President has gotten the Chinese to agree to anything big? (In fact, Obama has secured significant diplomatic cooperation from the Chinese on North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan.) Was his deep bow indicative of anything other than his physical fitness? (My midsection, sadly, prevents the appearance of obsequiousness in such circumstances.)

Stepping back a bit, I do see a metapattern that extends over the 40 years since Richard Nixon's Southern strategy began the drift toward more ideological political parties: Democrats have tough first years in the presidency. Of the past seven Presidents, the two Bushes rank at the top in popularity after one year, while Obama and Bill Clinton rank at the bottom, with Jimmy Carter close by. There is a reason for that. Democrats come to office eager to govern the heck out of the country. They take on impossible issues, like budget-balancing and health care reform. They run into roadblocks — from their own unruly ranks as well as from Republicans. They get lost in the details. A tax cut is much easier to explain than a tax increase. A foreign policy based in bluster — railing against an "axis of evil" — is easier to sell than a foreign policy based in nuance. Of course, external events count a lot: the ratings of Bushes I and II were bolstered, respectively, by the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the flattening of the World Trade Center. Reagan's rating — 53% and headed south — was dampened by a deepening recession.

So it is way too early to make pronouncements on Obama's fate. One pattern that can be limned from the recent overseas controversies is that this President has a tendency to err in the direction of respect toward other countries. This is a witting reaction to the Bush Administration's tendency to diss our allies and insult — or invade — our enemies. It is a long game, which will yield results, or not, over time. After a first year spent demonstrating a new comity, Obama has gained the global credibility to get tough — on Iran, for example — in his second year. But the real evaluation of Obama's debut must wait for the results of the two biggest problems he's tackling: his decision on Afghanistan and the congressional attempt to pass health care reform. And even here, it will be difficult to render judgment immediately — as difficult as it was to judge Clinton's decision to spend his political capital on deficit reduction in his 1993 economic plan, a triumph that didn't become apparent for nearly five years.

The one Asian image that resonates with me isn't the bow, but the President alone on the Great Wall. That image — the noble loner — is clearly one the White House wants to project. But it raises the specter of isolation. Most Presidents have a significant other when it comes to policy. Bush Junior had Cheney; Clinton had Hillary; Bush the Elder had James Baker; Nixon had Kissinger. Obama's conservative critics poke fun at his overweening ego, but I suspect that the President's need to find an alter ego, an intellectual equal — in addition to the First Lady — who can challenge his decisions and demeanor (in private, with the bark off), is the biggest adjustment he has to make now.

Focus Fusion Criticism and Response

I am always pleased when a development group goes out of their way to answer lingering technical questions as best they can and make it available for public consumption. It is an excellent practice that produces a pool of informed friends.

I think that the focus fusion protocol has clear merit if only to explore plasmoids. That it may also be the royal road to genuine fusion energy is also plausible at this stage. Mother Nature may still thwart us but this is rather close.

What I find most attractive is the fact that the device itself is naturally small and compact. It looks as if it can power a UFO.

It is also startling to realize that the fuel will be ordinary boron and that the protocol will not produce radioactive isotopes. Boron is very common and is mined from salt flats.

November 25, 2009

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Criticisms and Responses

There are two main criticisms of focus fusion.!+Mail

1. Hydrogen-boron fuel allows too much x-ray cooling

* The hot plasma of this fuel will emit x-rays too quickly,

* the energy lost through the x-rays will always be more than the energy gained by fusion reactions.

* the fusion reactions would not heat the plasma suffieicntly,

* thus the very high temperatures required for burning hydrogen-boron completely would not be reached.

* The rate of radiation depends on the square of the electrical charge on the nucleus involved,

* Thus boron, with 5 charges, causes 25 times more radiation than, for example, deuterium, with one charge.

* this x-ray emission process is termed bremsstrahlung

Response in regards to bremsstrahlung

Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the bremsstrahlung cooling with the dense plasma focus by using the magnetic field effect. This effect, which critics of hydrogen-boron fusion do not take into account, slows down the transfer of energy from the ions to the electrons to by as much as a factor of twenty in the presence of extremely high magnetic fields, without affecting the transfer of energy from the electrons to the ions. This means that the ions could be 20 times hotter than the electrons. In turn, this would reduce x-ray emission by a factor of about 5.

The magnetic field effect was discovered theoretically by R, McNally in 1975 and it has been studied extensively in theoretical and observational studies of neutron stars, which have enormous magnetic fields. For example, in 1987 G. S. Miller, E.E. Salpeter, and I. Wasserman, published in the prestigious Astrophysical Journal an analysis showing that energy transfer to electrons could indeed drop by as much as 20-fold in strong magnetic fields.

Magnetic fields of around 15 giga-gauss(GG, billion gauss) ion temperatures should be 10-20 times higher than electron temperatures.

0.4 GG have been observed in plasma focus fields. A six-fold increase could be obtained by using smaller electrodes and higher currents.

Magnification of the magnetic field as the energy compresses itself into the plasmoid increases with the mass and change of the nuclei in the fuel. This would provide another factor of 6-7, bring the field up to 15 GG.

Ongoing experiments might confirm these projections.

2. Plasmoids can’t exist

A second objection is that dense, self-confined plasmoids can’t exist, and therefore the very high magnetic fields needed for the magnetic field effect also can’t exist.

Response on Plasmoids

Plasmoids have been observed in the plasma focus, in other fusion devices and in nature, for decades by many groups of researchers. Winston Bostick and Victorio Nardi reported in the 1970’s observations of plasmoids with magnetic field of up to 200 Mega-gauss, lasting for tens of nanoseconds. Many scientists have observed plasmoids in the magnetosphere of the earth. In recent years, J. Yee and P.M Bellam at California Institute of Technology studied in detail how plasmoids form in the laboratory and their stability. Plasmoids are contained by their own magnetic fields and currents through the pinch effect, in which currents moving in the same direction attract each other.

Over than past 50 years, other groups of researcher have shown mathematically that plasmoids can be stable, at least for times very long compared with the time it takes particles to cross them. For this reason, there is no theoretical problem with the existence of plasmoids with fields of billions of gauss. Whether such field can in fact be produced practically is what ongoing experiments will test.

Lorne Gunter on Climategate

The revelations about the email contents from CRU at Hadley are scaring up a press storm that will not be ending soon. The damage is fatal on a number of issues, but particularly the suborning of the scientific review process itself is attracting real heat.

Lorne Gunter has written in the past on the problems with the global warming hypothesis and he does good research. This column by him will bring you up to speed on the issues.

That a clique were using fair means or foul to preserve a climate consensus in the face of climate facts is obvious. That it could even happen is not overly surprising given human nature. That they carried it off for a total of fifteen years is astounding and akin to a successful Ponzi scheme.

I have long since recognized the political bias in the IPCC reports and thus looked everywhere else for data. I have perused too many mineral reports to not have a jaundiced eye. I know how tempting it is to build theoretical castles in the sky on the sands of lousy data. In a way, when I peruse any report I read between the lines as much as I read the text itself. I am rather sensitive to the language of obfuscation.

As a stroke of luck I posted on the fact that the CO2 myth was busted just days before all this blew up. In the end that is also what crippled the CRU spin machine. Mother Nature was not even trying to cooperate and it kept getting worse to the point where the original evidentiary basis for the CO2 hypothesis had been itself fully reversed and countered.

You really cannot sustain a theory whose core conclusion is now based of X – X = 0.

Lorne Gunter: Cooking the climate change books

Posted: November 25, 2009, 9:30 AM by NP Editor

Lorne Gunter, climate change

Last Friday it was revealed that someone as yet unknown had hacked into the computers of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Hadley, U.K. The CRU — or Hadley as it is often referred to — is the source of one of the four main temperature records used by the United Nations and environmentalists to claim that the Earth is on the verge of a global meltdown. It is also home to some of the most prominent climate researchers in the world.

Stolen and then released were over 1,000 emails and 3,000 research files that appear to show that those at the CRU and other equally well-known climate scientists around the world have been working together for years to “cook” the data about climate change. The emails seem to suggest that much of what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims is “settled science” is based on data manipulated to confirm assertions that man is dangerously altering our climate. Recent decades may not have been exceptionally warm. The planet may not be warming as fast as these scientists have claimed publicly — and it looks as though they may have known it and tried to hide it.

If the emails are correct, CRU scientists also took glee in the death of a prominent skeptic and did their level best to keep those who disagreed with them from being published in peer-reviewed journals or invited to contribute to IPCC reports. There is even one exchange in which some of the CRU scientists and their colleagues elsewhere tried to have fired the editor of a peer-reviewed journal that dared publish contrary research.

Okay, I can see where you might not trust me to give you a full perspective on what is becoming known as Climategate. You may think I’m too biased against the concept of man-made global warming. So read, then, what George Monbiot of The Guardian newspaper published on Monday. Mr. Monbiot has been called “Britain’s Al Gore.” His books, with titles such as Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, are bestsellers in Britain and sell well in North America, too. Among British journalists, he is likely the best-known global warming adherent.

“It’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow,” Mr. Monbiot writes. The emails “could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

“Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

“Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate skeptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign.”

Mr. Monbiot then goes on to try and cut his movement’s losses. He insist this scandal involves the reputations and work of only “three or four scientists,” and only calls into question the credibility of “one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence” that a man-made climate disaster is upon us.

That is just so much backfill. He has been for years one of the most visible and vocal champions for a high-profile cause; of course he has to dismiss the revelations as ultimately meaningless. Throw three or four overboard to preserve the many.

That, unfortunately, has been the reaction of far too many other environmentalists, scientists and journalists, too.

Andrew Revkin of the New York Times — himself a highly visible mouthpiece for many of the implicated scientists — published a piece Saturday that essentially consisted of him interviewing the scientists whose emails have been intercepted and printing their reassurances that the content was harmless and had merely been misinterpreted or taken out of context. His story may as well have been titled “Nothing to see here folks, move along.”

Except there is something to see.

One of the most prominent environmental icons of the past decade has been the hockey-stick graph, which claims to show a thousand years of stable temperatures (the stick), followed by a sharp upward spike in the last 100 years of industrialization (the blade). Such a graph is essential to the environmentalists’ core contention that 20th century temperatures were unusual and one-directional — upwards.

Two different hockey-stick temperature records were devised by two prominent scientists in the late 1990s, Michael Mann of the U.S. and Brit Keith Briffa at Hadley.

The most frequently cited email so far released is from CRU head Phil Jones to Profs. Mann and Briffa, and others, saying that for an article in Nature magazine, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline” in late-20th Century temperatures.

But this is not the only highly damaging one.

Just last month, Kevin Trenberth, an IPCC lead author, wrote to Mr. Mann, admitting “the fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. ... Our observing system is inadequate.”

First, these scientists never admit publicly there has been no warming for years. And second, this is essentially blaming the instruments for the lack of data supporting the theory. The warming is happening, we just can’t detect it. It’s the thermometers’ fault.

CRU head Phil Jones on the possibility of skeptics getting possession of his files and emails back in 2005: “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I’ll delete the file rather than send [it] to anyone.” That note was followed last year by this one: “Can you delete any emails you have with Keith ... Keith will do likewise. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?... We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”

There is page upon page like this. It goes way beyond the frank and candid exchanges colleagues have when no one is listening.

Does this “drive a nail in the climate change coffin,” as some skeptics have asserted? No.

But it should do two important things: raise doubt that climate science is settled and cause the public to question the need for any expensive, big-government solutions such as Copenhagen, Kyoto, cap-and-trade, carbon tax or carbon capture and sequestration.

National Post

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