Climategate: Shutting out dissent

John McLean

By now everyone, except perhaps the readers of some of the mainstream press, knows that about 4,500 files from the UK's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) found their way onto the world wide web last Friday.

It was first suggested that this was the work of a hacker but that's shifted to a whistleblower within the CRU. It has also been speculated that the files, bundled into a single zip file of 61Mb, were in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Personally I wonder if this is true, but not to respond to the request, rather to move the files to another machine for "safe keeping" from prying eyes. This would be consistent with the attitudes to FOI requests expressed in the leaked emails, moreover when moving them to another CRU machine the accidental insertion of a full stop between the C and R in CRU would produce ".ru", the Internet code for Russia, which was where these files initially appeared on the Internet.

Stagnating Temperatures: Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

Gerald Traufetter

"We have to explain to the public that greenhouse gases will not cause temperatures to keep rising from one record temperature to the next, but that they are still subject to natural fluctuations." -Climatologist Mojib Latif.

Part 1: Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

At least the weather in Copenhagen is likely to be cooperating. The Danish Meteorological Institute predicts that temperatures in December, when the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, will be one degree above the long-term average.

Otherwise, however, not much is happening with global warming at the moment. The Earth's average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

Ironically, climate change appears to have stalled in the run-up to the upcoming world summit in the Danish capital, where thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business leaders and environmental activists plan to negotiate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations.

3,000 Behavior Detection Officers Will Be Watching You at the Airport -Feeling Nervous?

Liliana Segura

Nearly 100,000 passengers were pulled aside by TSA behavior watchers last year, and it remains to be proven whether you can spot terrorists by the looks on their faces.

Here's a question to ponder the next time you're taking off your shoes at airport security: Can you spot terrorists by the look on their faces?

For the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the answer is yes. For the past few years, airports across the country have been using what many call "behavioral surveillance" to weed out potential hijackers among us, by covertly examining travelers' facial expressions and body language as they go through security. Unlike those airport employees who herd us along as we remove our shoes and relinquish all liquids over three ounces (with dubious results), this new program, named "Screening Passengers by Observational Techniques," or "SPOT," is carried out by TSA employees who have been trained to monitor travelers' faces and movements. As Americans head out of town this holiday season, more than 3,000 "Behavior Detection Officers" will be at 161 airports nationwide, watching our every move.

Stop the lama love-in

Andy Lamey

He’s adorable, yes, but just what is the Dalai Lama accomplishing?

Everyone loves the Dalai Lama. Just how much was on display two weeks ago when the Tibetan religious leader paid a visit to the town of Tawang in northeastern India. Ethnic Tibetans travelled to the frontier outpost from all over the sub-continent in order to venerate the 74-year-old monk at a huge outdoor rally. “He is our god, he is the living Buddha. A glimpse of the Dalai Lama is like getting spiritual power inside you,” said one participant in explaining the extraordinary adulation the Dalai Lama inspires. Here in Canada, our view is not so different. When the Dalai Lama travelled to Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal last month, tens of thousands crowded into stadiums to hear his message of universal compassion. The rapturous reception was in keeping with our decision in 2006 to grant him citizenship, the highest honour Canada bestows on foreign leaders. The Dalai Lama’s other admirers include the U.S. government, which awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Nobel Peace Prize committee. The general feeling of Lama-mania was summed up by TV star Sandra Oh, who co-hosted one of his Canadian appearances. “He’s a rock star! Rock star! Seriously, a rock star!”

World Bank Secret Report confirms Biofuel Cause of World Food Crisis

F. William Engdahl

A secret study by the World Bank, which reportedly has not been made public on pressure from the Bush Administration, concludes that bio-fuel cultivation in especially the USA and EU are directly responsible for the current explosion in grain and food prices worldwide. The US Government at the recent Rome UN Food Summit claimed that "only 3% of food prices" were due to bio-fuels. The World Bank secret report says that at least 75% of the recent price rises are due to land being removed from agriculture —mainly maize in North America and rapeseed and corn in the EU— in order to grow crops to be burned for vehicle fuel. The World Bank study confirms what we wrote more than a year ago about the madness of bio-fuels. It fits the agenda described in the 1970’s by Henry Kissinger, namely, ‘If you control the food you control the people.’

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