Nov 30, 2009

Chelsea Clinton to wed Jewish boyfriend


NOV. 30, 2009


The former first daughter and daughter of New York State senator Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, is marrying her Jewish boyfriend. The Mezvinsky family can now look forward to new powerful connections in Washington DC.

The father of the groom has had brushes with the law. The father was involved in a Nigerian Scam (literally), screwing people who trusted in him out of $10 million and that costs him 7 years in prison, despite efforts to claim mental illness. He only succeeded in gaining a new nick name: "Crazy Eddy".  The mother of the groom Margolies-Mezvinsky, while not directly implicated in the scams, declared bankruptcy
The groom has 10 siblings, so Chelsea can look forward to large family gatherings, if perhaps not to handsome children.



Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367



WALL STREET JOURNAL: Climategate: Follow the Money


Climategate: Follow the Money

Climate change researchers must believe in the reality of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.

Last year, ExxonMobil donated $7 million to a grab-bag of public policy institutes, including the Aspen Institute, the Asia Society and Transparency International. It also gave a combined $125,000 to the Heritage Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis, two conservative think tanks that have offered dissenting views on what until recently was called—without irony—the climate change "consensus."

To read some of the press accounts of these gifts—amounting to about 0.0027% of Exxon's 2008 profits of $45 billion—you might think you'd hit upon the scandal of the age. But thanks to what now goes by the name of climategate, it turns out the real scandal lies elsewhere.

Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world's leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week's disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, or CRU.

But the deeper question is why the scientists behaved this way to begin with, especially since the science behind man-made global warming is said to be firmly settled. To answer the question, it helps to turn the alarmists' follow-the-money methods right back at them.

Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he'd been awarded in the 1990s.

Associated Press

Al Gore wins the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize: Doing well by doing good?


Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?

Thus, the European Commission's most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that's not counting funds from the EU's member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA's climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA's, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.

And all this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls "green stimulus"—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.

Supply, as we know, creates its own demand. So for every additional billion in government-funded grants (or the tens of millions supplied by foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts), universities, research institutes, advocacy groups and their various spin-offs and dependents have emerged from the woodwork to receive them.

Today these groups form a kind of ecosystem of their own. They include not just old standbys like the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, but also Ozone Action, Clean Air Cool Planet, Americans for Equitable Climate Change Solutions, the Alternative Energy Resources Association, the California Climate Action Registry and so on and on. All of them have been on the receiving end of climate change-related funding, so all of them must believe in the reality (and catastrophic imminence) of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.

None of these outfits are per se corrupt, in the sense that the monies they get are spent on something other than their intended purposes. But they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent—including the thousands of jobs they provide—vanishes. This is what's known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science.

Which brings us back to the climategate scientists, the keepers of the keys to the global warming cathedral. In one of the more telling disclosures from last week, a computer programmer writes of the CRU's temperature database: "I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seems to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. . . . Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. . . . We can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!"

This is not the sound of settled science, but of a cracking empirical foundation. And however many billion-dollar edifices may be built on it, sooner or later it is bound to crumble.

Write to


Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367



Demjanjuk trial shows double standards, lawyer says


Demjanjuk trial shows double standards, lawyer says

Martin Haas, who lost relatives in the concentration camps, says Mr Demjanjuk's behaviour was "theatre-like"

A lawyer for John Demjanjuk, accused of helping to murder 27,900 Jews at a Nazi death camp, has accused German prosecutors of double standards.

Mr Demjanjuk, 89, denies he was a guard at Sobibor camp, in wartime Poland.

As the case began in Munich, his legal team said in previous cases Germans assigned to the camp had been cleared.

The Ukraine-born accused, who was extradited to Germany from the US in May, was twice carried into court, first in a wheelchair then a stretcher.

Doctors have said Mr Demjanjuk is in poor health, and asked that hearings be limited to two 90-minute sessions a day.

Over 60 years after the end of World War II, this may be Germany's last big war crimes trial.

'Under duress'

But the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Munich says that, as the first to focus on a low-ranking foreigner rather than a senior Nazi commander, it breaks new legal ground.

Oana Lungescu
Oana Lungescu, BBC, Munich

After a delay of 70 minutes John Demjanjuk entered the court in a wheelchair, wearing glasses and a dark blue baseball cap, and covered in a blanket. He mumbled at first , but then settled down to listen to a Ukrainian interpreter - his eyes apparently shut.

His lawyer immediately went on the offensive - accusing German judges of double standards. "How can John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian prisoner of war, be found guilty," he asked, "when several German SS officers, who served in the death camps, have been previously acquitted."

Facing Thomas Blatt, an 82-year-old survivor of Sobibor, the defence lawyer said he and John Demjanjuk were both victims.

Defence lawyer Ulrich Busch said it should never have gone to trial.

"How can you say that those who gave the orders were innocent... and the one who received the orders is guilty?" Mr Busch told the court.

"There is a moral and legal double standard being applied today."

Mr Busch has said even if it could be proved his client - who was captured by the Nazis while fighting in the Soviet army - was in Sobibor, he would have been there under duress.

A retired Ohio car-worker, Mr Demjanjuk stands accused of having helped the Nazi death factory to function.

Prosecutors say he was a guard who pushed thousands of Jews to their deaths in the gas chambers at Sobibor.

Lawyers for Mr Demjanjuk - who denies being at the death camp - say he will not speak at all during the case.

The trial is expected to last until May and, if found guilty, Mr Demjanjuk could be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

If Mr Demjanjuk is acquitted it is not clear where he will go as he has been stripped of his US citizenship.

A leading French Nazi-hunter voiced disappointment over the case as he said the accused would only have been a minor figure.

Serge Klarsfeld told AFP news agency on Monday: "It's a bit disappointing - a bedridden non-German, occupying a subordinate position and who would have died of hunger in a prison camp" if he had refused to serve as a guard.

'Hollywood, not Sobibor'

Mr Demjanjuk arrived on Monday in an ambulance at the courtroom, which was crowded with people, including journalists and relatives of Holocaust survivors.

89 years old, health failing
Described by prosecution as low-ranking guard
No death camp survivors to testify against him personally
Prosecutors relying heavily on about 30 joint plaintiffs and circumstantial evidence

A pale Mr Demjanjuk, his eyes closed for much of the time, was taken into court in a wheelchair.

A doctor who examined Mr Demjanjuk two hours before proceedings began said his vital signs were stable.

After the first session, the accused was returned to court lying on a stretcher and covered in blankets.

Doctors ordered the second session to be cut short after examining Mr Demjanjuk, who was complaining of pain.

But Efraim Zuroff, director of the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, said: "Demjanjuk put on a great act. He should have gone to Hollywood, not Sobibor."

'No revenge'

Prosecutors say statements from a now-dead Ukrainian place Mr Demjanjuk at Sobibor.

World War II-era military service pass for John Demjanjuk, which his defence lawyers say is a fake
1952: Gains entry into the US, claiming he spent most of war as German POW
1977: First charged with war crimes, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible"
1981: Stripped of US citizenship
1986: Extradited to Israel
1988: Sentenced to death by Jerusalem court
1993: Israeli Supreme Court overturns conviction, ruling that he is not Ivan the Terrible
2002: Loses US citizenship after a judge said there was proof he worked at Nazi camps
2005: A judge rules in favour of deportation to his native Ukraine
2009: Germany issues arrest warrant; deported by US and charged

The statements - which the defence says are inconsistent - say he "participated in the mass killing of Jews".

There are no living witnesses in this case, but over 30 people listed as joint plaintiffs are expected to testify about what happened at Sobibor, described by investigators as hell on earth.

Two are camp survivors, others lost relatives or their entire families among the 250,000 people murdered there.

One of the plaintiffs, Sobibor survivor Thomas Blatt, told journalists on his way into court he was not looking for revenge.

"I'm here to tell the way it was years ago, I don't know Demjanjuk in person," he said.

This is the second time John Demjanjuk has appeared in court.

Two decades ago, he was sentenced to death in Israel, convicted of being Ivan the Terrible, a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp.

But that ruling was overturned after new evidence showed that another Ukrainian was probably responsible.


Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367



Demjanjuk trial on Nazi death camp charges opens


MEMO: It's Efraim Zuroff of the Weisenthal Center that should be standing trial, not Demjanjuk!
Demjanjuk trial on Nazi death camp charges opens - Yahoo! News

Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Demjanjuk trial on Nazi death camp charges opens

Police officers and medical assistants escort defendant John Demjanjuk, who sitsAP – Police officers and medical assistants escort defendant John Demjanjuk, who sits in a wheel chair, during …

By DAVID RISING, Associated Press Writer David Rising, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 36 mins ago

MUNICH – A German court put John Demjanjuk on trial Monday to face charges of being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at a Nazi death camp, and his lawyer immediately accused the court of bias.

The 89-year-old retired Ohio autoworker arrived at the opening of the trial in a wheelchair to face the final chapter of some 30 years of efforts to prosecute him, wearing a navy baseball cap and covered in a light blue blanket.

After the first 90-minute session, Demjanjuk was returned to the courtroom lying flat on his back on a gurney, covered in blankets.

Doctors who had examined Demjanjuk before the second session began said he had complained of serious pain and was given a shot. They ordered the session be cut short, and it wrapped up 30 minutes later.

Demjanjuk's attorney had opened the proceedings by filing a motion against the court's judge and prosecutors, accusing them of treating the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk harsher than Germans who ran the Nazi's Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.

Lawyer Ulrich Busch charged that the case should never have been brought to trial. He cited cases in which Germans assigned to Sobibor — where prosecutors allege Demjanjuk served as a guard — were acquitted.

"How can you say that those who gave the orders were innocent ... and the one who received the orders is guilty?" Busch told the court. "There is a moral and legal double standard being applied today."

Demjanjuk was deported in May from the United States to Germany, and has been in custody since then. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

A doctor who examined Demjanjuk two hours before the trial began said his vital signs were all stable.

Demjanjuk's family, however, says he is terminally ill. His trial has been limited to two 90-minute sessions per day.

Demjanjuk kept his eyes closed throughout the proceedings and remained mute in response to the judge's questions about his personal details. He repeatedly opened his mouth, apparently wincing in pain.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said it was important the trial was finally taking place, but felt that Demjanjuk may have been trying to look more ill than he was.

"He has a vested interest in appearing as sick and as frail as possible. And he's going to play it up to the hilt," said Zuroff, who attended the opening.

Demjanjuk became a household name in the 1980s when he was extradited by the United States for trial in Israel on charges that he was the notoriously brutal guard at the Nazi's Treblinka death camp who earned the moniker "Ivan the Terrible" for his deeds.

He was convicted in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and spent seven years in prison until Israel's Supreme Court in 1993 overturned the conviction. It ruled that another person, not Demjanjuk, was actually "Ivan the Terrible."

Demjanjuk, a former Soviet Red Army soldier, is now accused of volunteering to serve as a guard under the SS after being taken prisoner by the Nazis in 1942.

According to the indictment, he served as a simple "wachmann," or guard, under the SS. As such, he is the lowest-ranking person to go on trial for Nazi war crimes.

The prosecution argues that, even with no living witnesses who can implicate Demjanjuk in specific acts of brutality or murder, just being a guard at a death camp means he was involved in the Nazis' machinery of destruction.

Before that, however, the prosecution must prove that Demjanjuk, who is being tried in Munich because he lived in the area briefly after the war, really did serve at the camp.

Demjanjuk questions the authenticity of one of the main pieces of evidence — an SS identity card that prosecutors say features a photo of a young, round-faced Demjanjuk and that says he worked at the death camp.

He claims to be a victim of mistaken identity and says he was a Red Army draftee from Ukraine captured during the battle of Kerch in the Crimea in May 1942 and himself held prisoner until joining the so-called Vlasov Army of anti-communist Soviet POWs and others. That army was formed to fight with the Germans against the encroaching Soviets in the final months of the war.

Some of the most damning evidence comes from statements made by Ignat Danilchenko, a now-deceased Ukrainian who once served in the Soviet Army and was exiled to Siberia following World War II for helping the Nazis.

In 1979, he told the Soviet KGB that he served with Demjanjuk at Sobibor and that Demjanjuk "like all guards in the camp, participated in the mass killing of Jews."

But there are inconsistencies in the Danilchenko statements, and the defense questions their validity.

The trial will resume Tuesday. Court sessions are scheduled through May.

If convicted, Demjanjuk could be given credit in sentencing for some or all of the time he spent behind bars in Israel. Even if he is acquitted, however, Demjanjuk likely will have to remain in Germany as he has been stripped of his U.S. citizenship.



Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367



Christopher Hitchens: Crypto-Revisionist


Google Blogs Alert for: Robert Faurisson

National-Socialist Worldview: Christopher Hitchens: a prominent ...
By Hadding
Hitchens noted, however, that the dinner conversation took place a few months after he had written a piece in The Nation, a left-wing magazine, about French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and about a year before he wrote another ...
National-Socialist Worldview -

29 NOVEMBER 2009

Christopher Hitchens: Crypto-Revisionist

I happen to have it on good authority that in the mid-1990s Christopher Hitchens was indeed expressing the views attributed to him by Epstein, from somebody who was at a dinner with him. Epstein's story also has credibility in the fact that he discussed the comments with Hitchens' editor shortly after they were made. The ADL responded by attacking Hitchens' reputation but stopped short of an all-out effort to ruin him. One wonders to what extent Hitchens' uncharacteristic support of U.S. military action, toward Iraq, was in some way a penalty paid to Zionist Jewry for this thought-crime. 

From MSNBC, "Beltway dispute takes ugly turn with charge of Holocaust denial" by Jonathan Broder, 16 February 1999.

[Edward J.] Epstein told MSNBC that [Christopher] Hitchens had expressed his views on Holocaust denial on Feb. 12, 1995, as they ate dinner together with several others at the Royalton Hotel in New York after attending the 70th anniversary celebrations for The New Yorker magazine at the Hudson Theater. Epstein said Hitchens' remarks were so disturbing that he noted them in his diary when he got home that night.

"Once seated in a booth, and freely sipping his free red wine, Hitchens advanced a theory more revealing than anything going on at the Hudson theater," Epstein wrote in his notes at the time. "His thesis, to the shock of everyone at the table, was that the Holocaust was a fiction developed by a conspiracy of interests bent on 'criminalizing the German Nation.' "He explained that no evidence of German mass murder had ever been found -- and what gruesome artifacts had been found had been fabricated after the event," Epstein wrote. 

"What of the testimony of Nazi generals at Nuremberg about the death camps, I asked. He explained, without missing a beat, that such admissions were obtained under Anglo-American torture. I then asked, 'But what happened to the Jews in Europe?' Hitch shrugged and said, 'Many were killed by local villagers when they ran away,' others died natural deaths, and the remainder made it to Israel."

 In a telephone interview from California, Hitchens would not comment on the conversation with Epstein that night. "It's a trap question, like 'When did you stop beating your wife,' " he said. "There is no point of getting into denials." 

Hitchens noted, however, that the dinner conversation took place a few months after he had written a piece in The Nation, a left-wing magazine, about French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and about a year before he wrote another piece for Vanity Fair about British Holocaust revisionist David Irving. "I'm very interested in the subject," said Hitchens, 49, who discovered only 12 years ago that his mother was Jewish. 

Hitchens, an iconoclast whose targets have included Mother Teresa, the pope and Princess Diana, raised a forest of eyebrows with his 1996 Irving piece. In it, Hitchens flayed St. Martin's Press for canceling plans to publish Irving's book on the papers of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, after protests from other Holocaust historians and commentators who labeled Irving an anti-Semite. "It's unimportant to me that Irving is my political polar opposite," Hitchens wrote. "If I didn't read my polar opponents, I'd be even stupider than I am,"

Hitchens also noted that "Irving is not just a Fascist historian. He is also a great historian of Fascism."

.... Vanity Fair later published a reply from Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "Intellectual dishonesty pervades Christopher Hitchens' comments on the well-known Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist David Irving," Foxman wrote. "He glosses over Irving's extensive record as an anti-Semite." But when asked if the ADL considered Hitchens as a Holocaust denier himself, spokesperson Myrna Shinbaum said Tuesday, "No. He's a writer. We don't always agree with what he writes about, but he's not a controversial Holocaust denier." Joshua Muravchik, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, describes Hitchens as an "intellectual entertainer," one who often takes controversial positions "simply for the fun of exercising his brain." A number of Hitchens' friends said he also often drinks too much, an observation Hitchens does not dispute. Among those who were present at the controversial 1995 dinner were Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who said through a spokesman that she did not recall the conversation that Epstein described. Epstein, however, is adamant about his recollection of what Hitchens said that night. Moreover, he insists that he didn't keep it to himself until now, as Hitchens claims, but that he shared it with a number of people at the time, including Hitchens' editor at The Nation, Victor Navasky. Navasky confirmed in an interview that Epstein had told him about Hitchens' alleged remarks at the time, but he said they did not trouble him and he never brought up the subject with Hitchens. "I never took it seriously as a charge," Navasky said.


Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367



Michael Crichton: The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming


I thought you might be interested in this webpage: | The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming. You can view it at,

National Press Club
Washington DC
January 25, 2005

Michael's detailed explanation of why he criticizes global warming scenarios. Using published UN data, he reviews why claims for catastrophic warming arouse doubt; why reducing CO2 is vastly more difficult than we are being told; and why we are morally unjustified to spend vast sums on this speculative issue when around the world people are dying of starvation and disease. 

To be in Washington tonight reminds me that the only person to ever offer me a job in Washington was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. That was thirty years ago, and he was working for Nixon at the time. Moynihan was a hero of mine, the exemplar of an intellectual engaged in public policy. What I admired was that he confronted every issue according to the data and not a belief system. Moynihan could work for both Democratic and Republican presidents. He took a lot of flack for his analyses but he was more often right than wrong.

Moynihan was a Democrat, and I'm a political agnostic. I was also raised in a scientific tradition that regarded politics as inferior: If you weren't bright enough to do science, you could go into politics. I retain that prejudice today. I also come from an older and tougher tradition that regards science as the business of testing theories with measured data from the outside world.Untestable hypotheses are not science but rather something else.

We are going to talk about the environment, so I should tell you I am the child of amother who 60 years ago insisted on organic food, recycling, and energy efficiency long before people had terms for those ideas. She drove refrigerator salesmen mad.  And over the years, I have recycled my trash, installed solar panels and low flow appliances, driven diesel cars, and used cloth diapers on my child — all approved ideas at the time.

I still believe that environmental awareness is desperately important. The environment is our shared life support system, it is what we pass on to the next generation, and how we act today has consequences — potentially serious consequences — for future generations. But I have also come to believe that our conventional wisdom is wrongheaded, unscientific, badly out of date, and damaging to the environment.Yellowstone National Park has raw sewage seeping out of the ground. We must be doing something wrong.

In my view, our approach to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the environment. We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence. Proponents are pressing their views with more PR than scientific data. Indeed, we have allowed the whole issue to be politicized — red vs blue, Republican vsDemocrat. This is in my view absurd.  Data aren't political. Data are data. Politics leads you in the direction of a belief.  Data, if you follow them, lead you to truth.

When I was a student in the 1950s, like many kids I noticed that Africa seemed to fit nicely into South America. Were they once connected? I asked my teacher, who said that that this apparent fit was just an accident, and the continents did not move. I had trouble with that, unaware that people had been having trouble with it ever since Francis Bacon noticed the same thing back in 1620.  A German named Wegener had made a more modern case for it in 1912. But still, my teacher said no.

By the time I was in college ten years later, it was recognized that continents did indeed move, and had done so for most of Earth's history. Continental drift and plate tectonics were born. The teacher was wrong.

Now, jump ahead to the 1970s. Gerald Ford is president, Saigon falls, Hoffa disappears, and in climate science, evidence points to catastrophic cooling and a new ice age.

Such fears had been building for many years. In the first Earth Day in 1970, UC Davis's Kenneth Watt said, "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age." International Wildlife warned "a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war" as a threat to mankind. Science Digest said "we must prepare for the next ice age."  The Christian Science Monitor noted that armadillos had moved out of Nebraskabecause it was too cold, glaciers had begun to advance, and growing seasons had shortened around the world. Newsweek reported "ominous signs" of a "fundamental change in the world's weather." 

But in fact, every one of these statements was wrong. Fears of an ice age had vanished within five years, to be replaced by fears of global warming. These fears were heightened because population was exploding. By 1995, it was 5.7 billion, up 10% in the last five years.

Back in the 90s, if someone said to you, "This population explosion is overstated. In the next hundred years, population will actually decline." That would contradict what all the environmental groups were saying, what the UN was saying. You would regard such a statement as outrageous.

More or less as you would regard a statement by someone in 2005 that global warming has been overstated.

But in fact, we now know that the hypothetical person in 1995 was right.  And we know that there was strong evidence that this was the case going back for twenty years.  We just weren't told about that contradictory evidence, because the conventional wisdom, awesome in its power, kept it from us.

(This is a graph from Wired magazine showing rate of fertility decline over the last 50 years.)

I mention these examples because in my experience, we all tend to put a lot of faith in science. We believe what we're told. My father suffered a life filled with margarine, before he died of a heart attack anyway. Others of us have stuffed our colons with fiber to ward off cancer, only to learn later that it was all a waste of time, and fiber.

When I wrote Jurassic Park, I worried that people would reject the idea of creating a dinosaur as absurd. Nobody did, not even scientists.  It was reported to me that a Harvard geneticist, one of the first to read the book, slammed it shut when he finished and announced, "It can be done!" Which was missing the point. Soon after, a Congressman announced he was introducing legislation to ban research leading to the creation of a dinosaur.  I held my breath, but my hopes were dashed. Someone whispered in his ear that it couldn't be done.

But even so, the belief lingers.  Reporters would ask me, "When you were doing research on Jurassic Park, did you visit real biotech labs?"  No, I said, why would I? They didn't know how to make a dinosaur. And they don't.

So we all tend to give science credence, even when it is not warranted. I will show you many examples of unwarranted credence tonight. But here's an example to begin.  This is the famous Drake equation from the 1960s to estimate the number of advanced civilizations in the galaxy.

        N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL

Where N is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets;ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live. 

The problem with this equation is that none of the terms can be known. As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. The mathematical appearance is deceptive. In scientific terms — by which I mean testable hypotheses — the Drake equation is really meaninglessness.

And here's another example.  Most people just read it and nod:

"How Many Species Exist? The question takes on increasing significance as plants and animals vanish before scientists can even identify them."

Now, wait a minute...How could you know something vanished before you identified it?  If you didn't know it existed, you wouldn't have any way to know it was gone.  Would you?  In fact, the statement is nonsense. If you were never married you'd never know if your wife left you.

Okay. With this as a preparation, let's turn to the evidence, both graphic and verbal, for global warming.  As most of you have heard many times, the consensus of climate scientists believes in global warming. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.  Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.  In science, consensus is irrelevant. What isrelevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

And furthermore, the consensus of scientists has frequently been wrong. As they were wrong when they believed, earlier in my lifetime, that the continents did not move. So we must remember the immortal words of Mark Twain, who said, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." 

So let's look at global warming.  We start with the summary for policymakers, which is what everybody reads.  We will go into more detail in a minute, but for now, we assume the summary has all the important stuff, and turning to page three we find what are arguably the two most important graphs in climate science in 2001.

The top graph is taken from the HadleyCenter in England, and shows global surface warming.  The bottom graph is from an American research team headed by Mann and shows temperature for the last thousand years. 

Of these two graphs, one is entirely discredited and the other is seriously disputed. Let's begin with the top graph.

I have redrawn the graph in Excel, and it looks like this. 

Now the first thing to say is that there is some uncertainty about how much warming has really occurred.  The IPCC says the 20th century temperatures increase is between .4 and .8 degrees.  The Goddard Institute says it is between .5 and .75 degrees. That's a fair degree of uncertainty about how much warming has already occurred.

But let's take the graph as given.  It shows a warming of .4 degrees until 1940, which precedes major industrialization and so may or may not be a largely natural process. Then from 1940 to 1970, temperatures fell. That was the reason for the global cooling scare, and the fears that it was never going to get warm again.  Since then, temperatures have gone up, as you see here.  They have risen in association with carbon dioxide levels.  And the core of the claim of CO2 driven warming is based on this thirty-five year record.

But we must remember that this graph really shows annual variations in the average surface temperature of the earth over time. That total average temperature is ballpark sixteen degrees.  So if we graph the entire average fluctuation, it looks like this:

So all the interest is in this little fluttering on the surface.  Let's be clear that I am graphing the data in a way that minimizes it.  But the earlier graph maximizes it.  If you put a ball bearing under a microscope it will look like the surface of the moon. But it is smooth to the touch.  Both things are true.  Question is which is important.

Since I think the evidence is weak, I urge you to bear this second graph in mind.

Now the question is, is this twentieth-century temperature rise extraordinary? For that we must turn to the second graph by Michael Mann, which is known as the "hockey stick."

This graph shows the results of a study of 112 so-called proxy studies: tree rings, isotopes in ice, and other markers of relative temperature.  Obviously there were no thermometers back in the year 1000, so proxies are needed to get some idea of past warmth. Mann's findings were a centerpiece of the last UN study, and they were the basis for the claim that the twentieth century showed the steepest temperature rise of the last thousand years.  That was said in 2001. No one would say it now. Mann's work has come under attack from several laboratories around the world. Two Canadian investigators, McKitrick and McIntyre, re-did the study using Mann's data and methods, and found dozens of errors, including two data series with exactly the same data for a number of years. Not surprisingly, when they corrected all the errors, they came up with sharply differing results.

But still this increase is steep and unusual, isn't it?  Well, no, because actually you can't trust it.  It turns out that Mann and his associates used a non-standard formula to analyze his data, and this particular formula will turn anything into a hockey stick---including trendless data generated by computer.

Physicist Richard Muller called this result "a shocker..." and he is right.  Hans von Storchcalls Mann's study "rubbish." Both men are staunch advocates of global warming.  But Mann's mistakes are considerable.  But he will get tenure soon anyway.

But the disrepute into which his study has fallen leaves us wondering just how much variation in climate is normal.  Let's look at a couple of stations.

Here you see that the current temperature rise, while distinctive, is far from unique. Paris was hotter in the 1750s and 1830s than today.

Similarly, if you look at Stuttgart from 1950 to present, it looks dramatic.  If you look at the whole record, it is put into an entirely different perspective.  And again, it was warmer in the 1800s than now.

Now, these are graphs taken from the GISS website at the time I did my research for the book.  For those of you think the science is all aboveboard, you might contemplate this.  The data have been changed.

I have no comment on why the Goddard Institute changed the data on their website. But it clearly makes the temperature record look more consistently upward-trending and more fearsome than it did a few months ago. 

All right.  With the second graph demolished, it is time to return to the first. Now we must ask, if surface temperatures have gone up in the twentieth century, what has caused the rise? Most people have been taught that the increase is caused by carbon dioxide, but that is by no means clear.

Two factors that were previously not of concern have recently come to the renewed attention of scientists. The first is the sun. In the past it was imagined that the effect of the sun was fairly constant and therefore any rise in temperature must be caused by some other factor. But it is now clear from work of scientists at the Max Planck institute in Germany that the sun is not constant, and is right now at a 1,000 year maximum. The data comes from sunspots.

According to Solanki and his associates,

This shows that solar radiation and surface temperature are correlated until recent times.  Solanki says that the sun is insufficient to explain the current temperatures, and therefore another factor is also at work, presumably greenhouse gases.  But the question is whether the sun accounts for a significant part of twentieth-century warming.  Nobody is sure.  But it is likely to be some amount greater than was previously thought.

Now we turn to cities:

Another factor that could change the record is heat from cities. This is called the urban heat bias, and as with solar effects, scientists tended to think the effect, while real, was relatively minor. That is why the IPCC allowed only six hundredths of a degree for urban heating.  But cities are hot: the correction is likely to be much greater.  We now understand that many cities are 7 or 8 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. 

(A temperature chart from a car driving around Berlin. The difference between city and country is 7 degrees.)

Some studies have suggested that the proper adjustment to the record needs to be four or five times greater than the IPCC allowance.

Now what does this mean to our record? Well remember, the total warming in the 20th century is six tenths of a degree.

If some of this is from land use and urban heating (and one studies suggests it is .35 C for the century), and some is solar heating (.25 C for century), then the amount attributable to carbon dioxide becomes less. And let me repeat: nobody knows how much is attributable to carbon dioxide right now. 

But if carbon dioxide is not the major factor, it may not make a lot of sense to try and limit it. There are many reasons to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and I support such a reduction.  But global warming may not be a good or a primary reason.

So this is very important stuff.  The uncertainties are great.

And now, we turn to the most important issue.  WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE?

To answer this, we must turn to the UN body known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  The IPCC, the gold standard in climate science.

In the last ten years, the IPCC has published book after book.  And I believe I may be the only person who has read them.  I say that because if any journalist were to read these volumes with any care they would come away with the most extreme unease---and not in the way the texts intend.

The most recent volume is the Third Assessment Report, from 2001.  It contains the most up-to-date views of scientists in the field.  Let's see what the text says.  I will be reading aloud.

Sorry, but these books are written in academic-ese.  They are hard to decipher, but we will do that. 

Starting with the first section, The Climate System: An Overview, we turn to the first page of text, and on the third paragraph read:

Climate variations and change, caused by external forcings, may be partly predictable, particularly on the larger, continental and global, spatial scales. Because human activities, such as the emission of greenhouse gases or land-use change, do result in external forcing, it is believed that the large-scale aspects of human-induced climate change are also partly predictable. However the ability to actually do so is limited because we cannot accurately predict population change, economic change, technological development, and other relevant characteristics of future human activity. In practice, therefore, one has to rely on carefully constructed scenarios of human behaviour and determine climate projections on the basis of such scenarios.

Take these sentence by sentence, and translate into plain English.  Starting with the first sentence.  It's really just saying:

Climate may be partly predictable.

Second sentence means:

We believe human-induced climate change is predictable.

Third sentence means:

But we can't predict human behavior.

Fourth sentence:

Therefore we rely on "scenarios."

The logic here is difficult to follow.  What does "may be partly predictable" mean?  Is it like a little bit pregnant? We see in two sentences we go from may be predictable tois predictable.  And then, if we can't make accurate predictions about population and development and technology... how can you make a carefully-constructed scenario? What does "carefully-constructed" mean if you can't make accurate predictions about population and economic and other factors that are essential to the scenario?

The flow of illogic is stunning. Am I are making too much of this?  Let's look at another quote:

"The state of science at present is such that it is only possible to give illustrative examples of possible outcomes."

Illustrative examples. The estimates for even partial US compliance with Kyoto---a reduction of 3% below 1990 levels, not the required 7%---has been predicted to cost almost 300 billion dollars a year.  Year after year. We can afford it. But if we are going to spend trillions of dollars, I would like to base that decision on something more substantial than "illustrative examples."

Let's look at another quote.

My concerns deepen when I read "Climate models now have some skill in simulating changes in climate since 1850..."  SOME SKILL? This is not skill in predicting the future.  This is skill in reproducing the past.  It doesn't sound like these models really perform very well.  It would be natural to ask how they are tested.


While we do not consider that the complexity of a climate model makes it impossible to ever prove such a model "false" in any absolute sense, it does make the task of evaluation extremely difficult and leaves room for a subjective component in any assessment.

Now, the term "subjective" ought to set off alarm bells in every person here.  Science, by definition, is not subjective.  will  pointout to you that this is precisely the kind of issue that has Americans furious about the EPA.  We know you can't let a drug company manufacture a drug and also test it---that's unreliable, and everybody knows it.  So why in this high stakes climate issue do we allow the same person who makes a climate model to test it?

The flaws in this process are well known. James Madison, our fourth President:

No man is allowed to be judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and not improbably, corrupt his integrity.

Madison is right.

Climate science needs some verification by outsiders.


Again, am I making too much of all this?  It turns out I am not.  Late in the text, we read:

"The long term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

Surely it should lead us to close the book at this point. If the system is non-linear and chaotic — and it is — then it can't be predicted, and if it can't be predicted, what are we doing here?  Why are we worrying about the year 2100?

All right, you may be saying.  Perhaps this is the state of climate science, as the IPCC itself tell us.  Nevertheless we read every day about the dire consequences of global warming.  What if I am wrong?  What if a major temperature rise is really going to happen?  Shouldn't we act now and be safe?  Don't we have a responsibility to unborn generations to do so?

NEXT CHART – Act Now or Later?

Here is again the IPCC chart of predictions for 2100.  As you see, they range from a low of 1.5 degrees to a high of 6 degrees. That is a 400% variation. It's fine in academic research.  Now let's transfer this to the real world.

In the real world, a 400% uncertainty is so great that nobody acts on it.  Ever.

If you planned to build a house and the builder said, it will cost somewhere between a million and a half and six million dollars, would you proceed?  Of course not, you'd get a new builder.  If you told your boss you were going on vacation and would be gone somewhere between 15 and 60 days, would he accept that?  No, he'd say tell me exactly what day you will be back.  Real world estimation has to be much, much better than 400%.

When all is said and done, Kyoto is a giant global construction project.  In the real world nobody builds with that much uncertainty.

Next, we must face facts about the present. If warming is a problem, we have no good technological solutions at this point. Everybody talks wind farms, but people hate them.  They're ugly and noisy and change the weather and chop birds and bats to pieces, and they are fought everywhere they are proposed.  Here is the wind farm atCape Cod, which has aroused everyone who lives there, including lots of environmentalists who are embarrassed but still...they don't want them. Who can blame them? A very large anti-wind faction has grown up in England, partly because thegovernment are trying to put farms in theLake District and other scenic areas. 

But whether we like the technology or not, do we really have the capability to meet the Kyoto Protocols?  Reporting in Science magazine, a blue-ribbon group of scientists concluded that we do not: 

So, if we don't have good technology perhaps we should wait. And there are other reasons to wait.  If in fact we are facing a really expensive construction job, we can afford it better later on. We will be richer. This is a 400 year trend.

Finally, I think it is important to recognize that we can adapt to the temperature changes that are being discussed. We are told that catastrophe will befall if we increase global temperature 2 degrees.  But that is the difference in average temperature between New York andWashington DC. I don't think most New Yorkers think a move to Washington is balmy.  Similarly, a move to San Diego is an increase of 9 degrees.

Of course this is not a fair comparison, because a local change is not the same as a global change.  But it ought at least to alert you to the possibility that perhaps things are not as dire as we are being told.  And were told thirty years ago, about the ice age.

Last, I want you to think about what it means to say that we are going to act now to address something 100 years from now. People say this with confidence; we hear that the people of the future will condemn us if we don't act.  But is that true?

We're at the start of the 21st century, looking ahead.  We're just like someone in 1900, thinking about the year 2000.  Could someone in 1900 have helped us?

Here is Teddy Roosevelt, a major environmental figure from 1900.  These are some of the words that he does not know the meaning of:






continental drift

tectonic plates











atomic structure


atomic bomb

nuclear energy




step aerobics


jet stream

shell shock

shock wave

radio wave


tidal wave











wind tunnel

carpal tunnel

fiber optics

direct dialing

dish antennas


corneal transplant

liver transplant

heart transplant












leisure suit


lap dancing



gene therapy



spot welding




urban legends

rollover minutes

Given all those changes, is there anything Teddy could have done in 1900 to help us? And aren't we in his position right now, with regard to 2100?

Think how incredibly the world has changed in 100 years. It will change vastly more in the next century. A hundred years ago there were no airplanes and almost no cars. Do you really believe that 100 years from now we will still be burning fossil fuels and driving around in cars and airplanes? 

The idea of spending trillions on the future is only sensible if you totally lack any historical sense, and any imagination about the future.

If we should not spend our money on Kyoto, what should we do instead?  I will argue three points.

First, we need to establish 21st century policy mechanisms.  I want to return to those pages from the IPCC.  The fact is if we required the same standard of information from climate scientists that we do from drug companies, the whole debate on global warming would be long over.  We wouldn't be talking about it. We need mechanisms to insure a much, much higher standard of reliability in information in the future.

Second, we need to deal correctly with complexity of non-linear systems. The environment is a complex system, a term that has a specific meaning in science. Beyond being complicated, it means that interacting parts that modify each other have the capacity to change the output of the system in unexpected ways.  This fact has several ramifications.  The first is that the old notion of the balance of nature is thoroughly discredited.  There is no balance of nature.  To think so is to share an agreeable fantasy with the ancient Greeks. But it is also a shocking change for us, and we resist it. Some now talk of "balance in nature," as a way to keep the old idea alive. Some claim there are multiple equilibrium states, but this is just a way of pretending that the balance can attained in different ways.  It is a misstatement of the truth. The natural system of inherently chaotic, major disruption is the rule not the exception, and if we are to manage the system we are going to have to be actively involved.

This represents a revision of the role of mankind in nature, and a revision of the perception of nature as something untouched.  We now know that nature has never been untouched. The first white visitors to the New World didn't understand what they were looking at.  In California, Indians burned old growth forest with such regularity that there is more old growth today than there was in 1850.  Yellowstonewas a beauty spot precisely because the Indians hunted the elk and moose to the edge of extinction.  When they were prevented from hunting in their traditional grounds, Yellowstone began its complex decline. 

We now have research to help us formulate strategies for management of complex systems.  But I am not sure we have organizations capable of making these changes.  I would also remind you that to properly manage what we call wilderness is going to be stupefyingly expensive.  Good wilderness is expensive!

Finally, and most important — we can't predict the future, but we can know the present. In the time we have been talking, 2,000 people have died in the third world.  A child is orphaned by AIDS every 7 seconds. Fifty people die of waterborne disease every minute. This does not have to happen.  We allow it.

What is wrong with us that we ignore this human misery and focus on events a hundred years from now?  What must we do to awaken this phenomenally rich, spoiled and self-centered society to the issues of the wider world?  The global crisis is not 100 years from now — it is right now.  We should be addressing it.  But we are not. Instead, we cling to the reactionary and antihuman doctrines of outdated environmentalism and turn our backs to the cries of the dying and the starving and the diseased of our shared world. 

And if we are going to remain too self-involved to care about the third world, can we at least care about our own?  We live in a country where 40% of high school graduates are functionally illiterate.  Where schoolchildren pass through metal detectors on the way to class. Where one child in four says they have seen a murdered person.Where millions of our fellow citizens have no health care, no decent education, noprospects for the future.  If we really have trillions of dollars to spend, let us spend it on our fellow human beings. And let us spend it now. And not on our impossible fantasies of what may happen one hundred years from now.

Thank you very much.



Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton


Michael Santomauro
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