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Syrian forces fire on anti-Assad crowd in capital

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/chinese-envoy-meet-syrian-leader-u-n-condemnation-011432194.html;_ylt=Av1812XJ_k8gLm9NCAGS0SOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNmbjVja3RuBG1pdAMEcGtnAzAxNDFhYzQwLTYyZGUtM2FhYi04YzdlLTQyNmJjMjE2NDZiMgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fUmV1dGVyc19nYWwEdmVyAzgzYmIyZmUwLTVhMjgtMTFlMS1iYTU1LTZjMWQxM2Q0ZTJmYQ–;_ylv=3

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Angus MacSwan | Reuters – 1 hr 19 mins ago

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian security forces fired live ammunition to break up a protest against President Bashar al-Assadin Damascus on Saturday, killing at least one person, opposition activists said.

A Chinese envoy met the Syrian leader earlier in the day and urged all sides to end 11 months of bloodshed, while backing a government plan for elections.

The shooting broke out at the funerals of three youths killed on Friday in an anti-Assad protest that was one of the biggest in the capital since a nationwide uprising started.

“They started firing at the crowd right after the burial. People are running and trying to take cover in the alleyways,” said a witness, speaking to Reuters in Amman by telephone.

The opposition Syrian Revolution Coordination Union said the gunfire near the cemetery had killed one mourner and wounded four, including a woman who was hit in the head.

Up to 30,000 demonstrators had taken to the streets in the Mezze district of Damascus, witnesses said.

Footage of the funeral broadcast live on the Internet showed women ululating to honor the victims. Mourners shouted: “We sacrifice our blood, our soul for you martyrs. One, one, one, the Syrian people are one”.

Assad described the turmoil racking Syria as a ploy to split the country.

“What Syria is facing is fundamentally an effort to divide it and affect its geopolitical place and historic role in the region,” he was quoted by Syrian state television as saying after meeting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun.

CHINESE SUPPORT

Zhai, speaking hours before the shooting at the funerals, said Chinabacked Assad’s plan for a referendum on February 26 followed by multi-party elections to resolve the crisis. The opposition and the West have dismissed the plan as sham.

The Chinese envoy appealed for an end to violence from all sides, including the government and opposition forces. His comments nevertheless amounted to a show of support against world condemnation of Assad’s crackdown on the popular uprising.

China supports the path of reform taking place in Syria and the important steps that have been taken in this respect,” he said.

China’s state news agency Xinhua highlighted Zhai’s comments that China was “deeply concerned by the escalating crisis”. The Syrian TV report quoted him as saying: “The Chinese experience shows a nation cannot develop without stability.”

Beijing and Moscow have been Assad’s most important international defenders during the crackdown which has killed several thousand people and divided world powers. The United Nations, the United States, Europe, Turkey and Arab powers want Assad to step down and have condemned the ferocious repression.

Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on February 4 calling on Assad to quit and also voted against a similar, non-binding General Assembly resolution on Thursday.

BOMBING THE OPPOSITION

Syrian government forces meanwhile renewed their bombardment of the opposition stronghold of Homs on Saturday.

A blanket of snow covered Homs, on the highway between Damascus and the commercial hub Aleppo, as Syrian troops pounded mainly Sunni Muslim rebel districts with rockets and artillery.

The troops were close to Baba Amro, a southern neighborhood that has been target of the heaviest barrages since the armored offensive began two weeks ago, activists said.

“Troops have closed in on Baba Amro and the bombardment is mad, but I don’t know if they are willing to storm the neighborhood while it is snowing,” activist Mohammad al-Homsi said from Homs.

“There is no electricity and communications between districts are cut, so we are unable to get a death toll… there is no fuel in most of the city.”

The military has also opened a new offensive in Hama, a city with a bloody history of resistance to Assad’s late father. The Assad clan are Alawites, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, in a majority Sunni country.

Assad, who succeeded his father Hafez when he died in 2000 after 30 years in power, says he is fighting foreign-backed terrorists.

The uprising began with civilian protests in March, but now includes a parallel armed struggle led by the loosely organized Free Syria Army, made up of army deserters and local insurgents.

Syria’s other significant ally is Iran, itself at odds with the West. An Iranian destroyer and a supply ship sailed through the Suez canal this week and are believed to be on their way to the Syrian coast, a source in the canal authority said.

The West is concerned that the conflict is sliding towards a civil war that could spread across the region’s patchwork of ethnic, religious and political rivalries.

But it has ruled out Libya-style military intervention, instead imposing sanctions and urging a fragmented opposition, which includes activists inside Syria, armed rebels and politicians in exile, to present a common front against Assad.

Tunisia, which is hosting a meeting on Syria next week, said on Friday Arab countries would encourage the opposition to unite before they would recognize them as a government-in-waiting.

(Additional reporting by Mohammed Abbas in Beirut; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Iceland volcano could have world consequences

Posted by Admin on March 23, 2010

Iceland volcano could have world consequences

1783 eruption changed weather patterns, sent poisoned air to British Isles

By Gudjon Helgason and Paisley Dodds

updated 7:30 p.m. ET March 22, 2010//

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Blasts of lava and ash shot out of a volcano in southern Iceland on Monday and small tremors rocked the ground, a surge in activity that raised fears of a larger explosion at the nearby Katla volcano.

Scientists say history has proven that when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupts, Katla follows — the only question is how soon. And Katla, located under the massive Myrdalsjokull icecap, threatens disastrous flooding and explosive blasts when it blows.

Saturday’s eruption at Eyjafjallajokull (AYA-feeyapla-yurkul) — dormant for nearly 200 years — forced at least 500 people to evacuate. Most have returned to their homes, but authorities were waiting for scientific assessments to determine whether they were safe to stay. Residents of 14 farms nearest to the eruption site were told to stay away.

Several small tremors were felt early Monday, followed by spurts of lava and steam rocketing into the air.

Iceland sits on a large volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic’s mid-oceanic ridge. Eruptions, common throughout Iceland’s history, are often triggered by seismic activity when the Earth’s plates move and when magma from deep underground pushes its way to the surface.

Like earthquakes, predicting the timing of volcanic eruptions is an imprecise science. An eruption at the Katla volcano could be disastrous, however — both for Iceland and other nations.

Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted in 1783, freeing gases that turned into smog. The smog floated across the Jet Stream, changing weather patterns. Many died from gas poisoning in the British Isles. Crop production fell in western Europe. Famine spread. Some even linked the eruption, which helped fuel famine, to the French Revolution. Painters in the 18th century illustrated fiery sunsets in their works.

The winter of 1784 was also one of the longest and coldest on record in North America. New England reported a record stretch of below-zero temperatures and New Jersey reported record snow accumulation. The Mississippi River also reportedly froze in New Orleans.

“These are Hollywood-sort of scenarios but possible,” said Colin Macpherson, a geologist with the University of Durham. “As the melt rises, it’s a little like taking a cork out of a champagne bottle.”

There are three main places where volcanoes normally occur — along strike-slip faults such as California’s San Andreas fault line, along areas where plates overlap one another such as in the Philippines and the Pacific Rim, and in areas like Iceland, where two of the Earth’s plates are moving apart from each other in a so-called spreading system.

Unlike the powerful volcanos along the Pacific Rim where the slow rise of magma gives scientists early seismic warnings that an eruption is imminent, Iceland’s volcanos are unique in that many erupt under ice sheets with little warning.

Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, a geologist at the University of Iceland who flew over the site Monday, said the beginning of Saturday’s eruption was so indistinct that it initially went undetected by geological instruments. Many of the tremors were below magnitude 2.6.

Using thermal cameras and radar to map the lava flow, Gudmundsson and other scientists were able to determine that the lava from Eyjafjallajokull was flowing down a gorge and not moving toward the ice caps — reducing any threat of floods.

He said he and other scientists were watching Katla but Monday’s trip was meant to assess immediate risk.

“A general expectation is that because of the Eyjafjallajokull eruption, the fissure would widen and in that sense, there’s a greater risk of extending into or underneath the glaciers and prompting an eruption at Katla,” said Andy Russell with Newcastle University’s Earth Surface Processes Research Group, who went with a team to Iceland before the eruption. “From records, we know that every time Eyjafjallajokull erupts, Katla has also erupted.”

Russell said past Katla eruptions have caused floods the size of the Amazon and sent boulders as big as houses tumbling down valleys and roads. The last major eruption took place in 1918. Floods followed in as little as an hour.

Those eruptions have posed risks to residents nearby, but most of Iceland’s current population of 320,000 live in the capital of Reykjavik on the western part of the island.

Southern Iceland is sparely populated but has both glaciers and unstable volcanoes — a destructive combination.

The last time there was an eruption near the 100-square-mile (160 square-kilometer) Eyjafjallajokull glacier was in 1821, and that was a “lazy” eruption that lasted slowly and continuously for two years.

https://i1.wp.com/www.hotelskogar.is/resources/images/Attractions/hekla2.jpg
Iceland is one of the few places in the world where a mid-ocean ridge actually rises above sea level. Many volcanic eruptions along the ocean basin often go undetected because they can’t be easily seen.

First settled by Vikings in the 9th century, Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice because of its volcanos and glaciers. During the Middle Ages, Icelanders called the Hekla volcano, the country’s most active, the “Gateway to Hell,” believing that souls were dragged into the fire below.

The last major volcanic eruption in Iceland occurred in 2004 with the Grimsvotn volcano.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming(Hoax)

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming(Hoax)

by Richard Harris

January 26, 2010

Farmers in Thailand tend to a rice paddy in Yala province.

Farmers in Thailand tend to a rice paddy in Yala province. Rice paddies are one of the main sources of methane emissions worldwide.

Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why — and what to do about it.

Methane gas comes from all sorts of sources including wetlands, rice paddies, cow tummies, coal mines, garbage dumps and even termites. Drew Shindell, at NASA’s Goddard Institute in New York, says, “It’s gone up by 150 percent since the pre-industrial period. So that’s an enormous increase. CO2, by contrast, has gone up by something like 30 percent.”

More From This Series

Molecule for molecule, methane is much more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. And that’s just part of the trouble.

“Methane is much more complicated once it gets into the atmosphere than something like carbon dioxide is,” Shindell says, “and that’s because it reacts with a lot of different important chemicals.”

Bad For Climate And Health

For example, methane in the atmosphere also creates ground-level ozone. And ozone isn’t only bad for human health; it also contributes to global warming. Shindell recently totaled up all the effects of methane emissions and realized that the heating effect is more than 60 percent that of carbon dioxide’s.

“So that tells you that methane is a pretty big player.”

Methane in the atmosphere leveled off in the 1990s, so it seemed that efforts to control industrial emissions were keeping this problem gas in check. But since 2007, methane levels have been on the rise again.

Wetlands Cause Vicious Cycle

A study published last week in Science magazine suggests that at least part of this increase is coming from the vast wetlands in Canada, Russia and the Arctic. The methane in wetlands comes from naturally occurring bacteria. But study author Paul Palmer at the University of Edinburgh says the bacteria are producing more methane because the temperature is rising.

“The higher the temperature, the more efficient they are at producing methane,” he says. So global warming is causing these wetlands to produce more methane. And the methane is causing more global warming.

Global warming is causing these wetlands to produce more methane. And the methane is causing more global warming.

– Paul Palmer, University of Edinburgh

“This really does demonstrate the fact that we are having this vicious cycle in the climate system. And we’re seeing it now.”

It’s not yet to the stage where it’s a runaway warming effect, Palmer says. But climate scientists are worried that we could hit that tipping point.

There’s no obvious way to control methane from natural wetlands other than to keep them from overheating. But at least half of methane emissions are from human activities, ranging from cattle-rearing and natural gas exploration to coal mining.

Capturing Methane Cost-Effective

Since methane is the main ingredient of natural gas, efforts to capture it can actually pay for themselves. You use the gas for energy. And Shindell says there are other benefits of controlling methane. Methane contributes to ozone, which costs society real money because of its human health effects, and ozone also damages crops.

“So if you account for all the economics, all the gains that you get through the benefits of controlling methane that aren’t even related to climate, you find that many of the reductions you could make actually pay for themselves,” Shindell says.

Even so, there’s relatively little effort now to control methane. Mohamed El-Ashry at the United Nations Foundation says part of the reason has been a fear by governments and advocates that attacking methane would be a dangerous distraction.

“People are worried about diverting attention away from carbon dioxide,” he says. “But that shouldn’t really be the case at all.”

Restart Methane Projects

Both problems need to be solved sooner or later. But global methane projects practically ground to a halt last year.

El-Ashry says that was partly because of uncertainty over the outcome of the global warming talks in Copenhagen, and partly because of the global financial crisis. Credit wasn’t available to finance methane projects, even though they were ready to go.

El-Ashry is part of a group advocating for a new $200 million fund to help jump-start these methane programs again.

“Here is an opportunity to have an immediate effect in terms of impacts, particularly on the Arctic, and secondary impacts, like on health,” he says.

And the good thing about methane is that it stays in the air for only about a decade, so if you can reduce emissions, you can see quick results.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122638800

By the Admin —– The above theories and explanations offer clues as to how unjustified the claims of Global warming can be?!

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Associated Press spins more Climategate lies

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Associated Press spins more Climategate lies

by John O’Sullivan on February 20, 2010

8 comments

Over at tree-hugging apologist mouthpiece, Media Matters they’re getting their panties in a bunch over a Fox News story. It seems Fox was biased for a “stale retread” over Climategate data rapist, Professor Phil Jones’ shocking admission that there’s been no statistically significant global warming for 15 years. How outrageous of Fox, I hear you scoff. But try and see it from Media Matters’ point of view–little green journos all now go into apoplectic spasm at every mention of unpleasant and unarguable climate facts.

So, thanks to the prompting by Media Manglers, I’ll now prove that the Associated Press (AP) is complicit in perpetrating further Climategate hype and lies. Thereby, our readers may judge for themselves how deeply the green-loving press has sunk themselves into the greatest scandal in science.

First, keep in mind that Fox News is the only American TV news broadcaster that has reported the Climategate story from Day One. Media Matters tries to spin the lie that the AP has been reporting on this epoch-changing event in a ‘just-the-facts fashion.’ But, as we shall see, in AP’s case ‘just the facts’ means doling out hype and lies supportive of the global warming hysteria.

Astonishingly, it is the leaked Climategate emails themselves that expose the complicitness of the Associated Press in the Climategate scandal. Keen eyes at that excellent skeptic blog, Watts Up With That (WUWT), first uncovered the facts exposing media conspiracy in reporting Climategate. Blogger, Anthony Watts, found that AP had a ‘man on the inside’ of information from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit three months before the leaked emails surfaced.

It is those leaked emails that expose AP reporter, Seth Borenstein as a Climategate collaborator. So it came as no surprise to bloggers when AP ran the following in a ‘just-the-facts fashion’ on December 12, 2009 after the Climategate story broke:

“E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.” source

And whom did AP put in charge of their “exhaustive review”? Yes, you guessed it, Seth Borenstein.

Borenstein has long been known among climate commentators as an avid green sympathiser. As a sample of Borenstein’s affiliations look no further than the leaked email dated Jul 23, 2009 when Seth ‘just-the-facts’ Borenstein emailed his Climategate chums, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt and Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann, three months before Climategate:

“It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that
Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?
Seth
Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Science Writer
sborenstein@xxxxxxxxx.xxx”

Michael Mann’s reply:

“hi Seth, you always seem to catch me at airports. only got a
few minutes. took a cursory look at the paper, and it has all
the worry signs of extremely bad science and scholarship.”

Thus speaketh Michael ‘bad science’ Mann always available for a buddy like Seth. Whatchya think of that? To quantify how far AP journalism has fallen off it’s integrity perch just take a look here at their own code of conduct

Laughably, AP claims that:

“we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.”

So if readers are troubled by AP’s “exhaustive review” you can phone or write and ask in a just-the-facts fashion at the following address:

The Associated Press, 1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700,
Washington, DC
20005-4076
Tel: 202-641-9454

Possibly related posts:

  1. Climategate: AP asks believers to give the all clear
  2. Climategate inquiry under way
  3. BBC to investigate itself on climate change bias
  4. Biased reporting on Climategate? Say it ain’t so!
  5. The corrupted nature of Nature

Tagged as: AP, Media Matters, Michael Mann, Seth Borenstein

John O’Sullivan is a British writer, retired academic and legal advocate who has ten years’ of experience litigating against government corruption in the U.S. federal and state courts.

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World’s biggest coal company brings U.S. government to court in climate fraud

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

World’s biggest coal company brings U.S. government to court in climate fraud

John O’Sullivan

Feb. 17, 2010

The world’s largest private sector coal business, the Peabody Energy Company (PEC) has filed a mammoth 240-page “Petition for Reconsideration,” a full-blown legal challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The petition must be answered and covers the entire body of leaked emails from ‘Climategate’ as well as those other ‘gate’ revelations including the frauds allegedly perpetrated under such sub-headings as ‘Himalayan Glaciers,’ ‘African Agricultural Production,’ ‘Amazon Rain Forests,’ ‘Melting Mountain Ice,’ ‘Netherlands Below Sea Level’ as well as those much-publicized abuses of the peer-review literature and so called ‘gray literature.’ These powerful litigants also draw attention to the proven criminal conduct by climate scientists in refusing to honor Freedom of Information law (FOIA) requests.

Peabody is, in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap and trade regulations by the ‘back door.’ In this article we summarize Peabody’s legal writ.

PEC has pulled out all the stops to overturn the EPA findings ‘Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act’ made on December 7, 2009. Those findings were in turn premised on the Supreme Court decision of April 2, 2007 of Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), where the court ruled that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act.

PEC argues inter alia that the law requires that the federal agency must articulate a “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made” as per the case of Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983).

The PEC arguments are based primarily on the release of email and other information from the University of East Anglia (“UEA”) Climatic Research Unit (“CRU”) in November of last year. Their civil action lists most of the principle scientists such as Professor Phil Jones, of the UK’s Climatic Research Unit, who recently admitted there has been no ‘statistically significant’ global warming for 15 years and agreed the Medieval Warm Period may have been just as warm, if not warmer than current global temperatures.

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