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An important new paper published today in Global and Planetary Change finds that changes in CO2 follow rather than lead global air surface temperature and that “CO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2” The paper finds the “overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere,” in other words, the opposite of claims by global warming alarmists that CO2 in the atmosphere drives land and ocean temperatures. Instead, just as in the ice cores, CO2 levels are found to be a lagging effect of ocean warming, not significantly related to man-made emissions, and not the driver of warming. Prior research has shown infrared radiation from greenhouse gases is incapable of warming the oceans, only shortwave radiation from the Sun is capable of penetrating and heating the oceans and thereby driving global surface temperatures.
The highlights of the paper are:
► The overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere.
► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5-10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
► Changes in ocean temperatures appear to explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
► CO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.
- a Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
- b Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), P.O. Box 156, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
- c Telenor Norway, Finance, N-1331 Fornebu, Norway
- d Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
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Enraged protesters gathered in the capital of Mexico following a court decision to disregard a challenge to Enrique Pena Nieto’s presidency. The newly-elected president was accused of money laundering and buying votes.
Hundreds of angry activists hurled stones, eggs and bottles at the police and the court building, and shouted slogans calling for a revolution. They brandished banners, saying “we demand this dirty election to be overturned,” and “Pena is not our president.”
The protesters knocked down metal barriers that had been erected around the court and brawled with the riot police who had assembled there.
Presidential election runner-up Andres Manuel Obrador accused Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party of buying five million votes and courting voters with presents of supermarket gift cards, fertilizer, cement and livestock.
The electoral tribunal dismissed the claims on the basis there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the vote.
“After an examination of the evidence, we can confirm that constitutional principles were observed during the election,” tribunal member Salvador Nava said.
The Tribunal’s verdict sparked outrage among opposition activists, with Ricardo Monreal, a campaign coordinator for a leftist coalition, condemning the decision as “the verbal diarrhea of men who are paid millions of pesos and don’t work for the interests of the people.”
“They are fraudsters in the guise of learned men who are going to bury our constitution and become the vilest band of hucksters in the history of our country’s democracy,” Monreal said.
Pena Nieto won the Mexican election on July 1 by roughly 3.3 million votes, rejecting Obrador’s claims of fraud. Nieto’s victory sparked mass protests in Mexico City and calls for a recount.
Nieto will assume the Mexican presidency on December 1. His government has promised greater political transparency, and to modernize the country’s antiquated labor laws in an attempt to revitalize the Mexican economy.
|Demonstrators remove a fence outside the Federal Electoral Tribunal|
|A masked protester waves in front of a police line during
a demonstration outside Mexico’s electoral court in Mexico City August 30, 2012
|Protesters wave in front of a police line during a demonstration
outside Mexico’s electoral court in Mexico City August 30, 2012
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Planes or airships could carry sun-dimming materials high into the atmosphere for an affordable price tag of below $5 billion a year as a way to slow climate change, a study indicated on Friday.
Guns, rockets or a pipeline into the stratosphere would be more expensive but generally far cheaper than policies to cut world greenhouse gas emissions, estimated to cost between $200 billion and $2 trillion a year by 2030.
Transporting a million tonnes of particles to at least 18 km (11 miles) above the Earth every year to form a sunshade is “both feasible and affordable”, U.S. scientists concluded in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The strategy, called “solar radiation management”, broadly imitates a volcanic eruption. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, for instance, blasted out a haze of sun-reflecting particles that slightly cooled the planet.
The authors did not examine whether such “geo-engineering” of the planet was a good idea. Other studies show it might have unwanted side effects, such as changing rainfall patterns.
“One attribute of solar radiation management is that it is quite inexpensive,” co-author Professor Jay Apt of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh told Reuters.
“That doesn’t mean it’s the preferred strategy.”
New aircraft, specially adapted to high altitudes, would probably be the cheapest delivery system with a price tag of $1 to $2 billion a year, they said. A new hybrid airship could be affordable but might be unstable at high altitudes.
A 20 km (12 mile)-long “space elevator” pipe hanging from a helium-filled platform was possible in theory but highly uncertain. Giant guns or rockets would be much more costly.
Some experts favour geo-engineering as a quick fix when governments are far from a deal to slow climate change that is expected to cause more heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels.
Senior officials are meeting in Bangkok this week for a new round of U.N. talks, aiming to agree a deal in 2015. Global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, with China, the United States and the European Union the top emitters.
Dimming sunlight would not, for instance, slow the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is making the oceans more acidic and undermining the ability of creatures such as mussels or lobsters to build their protective shells.
Co-author David Keith at Harvard University said there were serious risks in trying to dim the sun’s rays. But he said it might also “increase agricultural production by limiting impacts of climate change such as heat stress.”
Independent scientists were also cautious.
“Research into climate engineering, including cost, is vitally important,” said Matt Watson, a lecturer in Natural Hazards at Bristol University. “However, we must not get drawn into discussion where economics becomes the key driver.”
Apt said temperatures could jump sharply under suddenly clear skies if society spewed sulphur into the stratosphere for years but then halted, judging that disadvantages outweighed the benefits.
“Abrupt stopping of the delivery of particles to the stratosphere would cause very rapid climate changes,” he said. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; editing by Andrew Roche)
James R. Tracy
In a recent article the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) declares Americans are “appalled by the depredations of the [Bashar al-]Assad regime and seek its removal from power.” Short of committing troops, the US “[p]ublic wants tough action … including the imposition of tougher sanctions, and the creation of safe havens to protect civilians,” the CFR’s Stewart M. Patrick writes.
There are two underlying problems with this claim. First, the CFR is furtively exerting its own policy objectives by pointing to opinion polls the body has had a direct hand in creating. Second, the CFR is gauging the sentiment of a vastly disinformed public on a Syrian destabilization policy the organization vigorously advocates.
The more authoritative polling of US and international opinion cited in the piece was conducted by the CFR, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CFR’s Chicago affiliate), and the University of Maryland’s Program on Policy Attitudes (PIPA). Despite its scholarly veneer, PIPA director Steven Kull and half of the research group’s board of advisers are CFR members. In addition, PIPA receives financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation.
Since its inception in 1921 the CFR has claimed to be “an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.” Yet over the years the entity has recruited political and corporate leaders closest to the levers of institutional power, exerted decisive influence on US foreign policy throughout the twentieth century, was a central proponent of the postwar national security state, and “believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established,” according to CFR historian Carroll Quigley.
The CFR’s efforts to measure and tout public opinion regarding Syria is of particular concern since it has been a strong advocate of destabilizing the Assad regime through recruitment and support of death squads comprised of foreign Al Qaeda and Libyan Islamic Fighting Group mercenaries. “The influx of jihadis,” the CFR recently gloated, “brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results.”
This strategy has continued ceaselessly since February 2011 when the so-called “Arab Spring” began throughout the Middle East. An almost identical strategy was carried out concurrently in Libya, resulting in the August 2011 overthrow of the Muammar Qaddafi regime and its replacement with a fundamentalist Islamic state.
The CFR’s use and interpretation of opinion polling to justify continued terrorism against the Syrian people is illustrative of the psychological and rhetorical trickery employed by Anglo American power elites and their intellectual mouthpieces. Such efforts are intended to muddy the issues, confuse journalists, and thereby disorient the broader public—the same public the organization now solicits to endorse even more widescale bloodshed and destruction. For example, the CFR’s Patrick claims Americans and their European counterparts are strangely “ambivalent” over what the next steps in Syria should be. “Americans support a no-fly zone in theory, though oppose bombing air defenses—a necessary component of establishing a no-fly zone.”
A much more honest and forthright line of questioning might include, “Do you believe the US and its allies should be providing the bulk of material and logistical support to Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups so they may carry out grievous atrocities against the Syrian civilian population en route to establishing a nightmarish theocratic state in Syria and throughout the Middle East?”
 As James Petras observes, “The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source.” Given that the CIA is actively supporting Syria’s rebels, it is not unreasonable to surmise that interpretations of American public opinion may also be incrementally introduced into the public mind to eventually justify overt military action.
 Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, GSG and Associates, 1966/1975, 955.
James Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He blogs at memorygap.org.
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The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it has closed investigations of CIA interrogations of detainees and will not press criminal charges.
Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on Closure of Investigation into the Interrogation of Certain Detainees
The Attorney General announced today the closure of the criminal investigations into the death of two individuals while in United States custody at overseas locations. Below is some background on the investigation and the Attorney General’s statement.BACKGROUND ON INVESTIGATION:
On Jan. 2, 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey selected Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) John Durham of the District of Connecticut to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
On Aug. 24, 2009, based on information the Department received pertaining to alleged CIA mistreatment of detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he had expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to conduct a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. Attorney General Holder made clear at that time, that the Department would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. Accordingly, Mr. Durham’s review examined primarily whether any unauthorized interrogation techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of the torture statute or any other applicable statute.
In June of last year, the Attorney General announced that Mr. Durham recommended opening full criminal investigations regarding the death of two individuals while in United States custody at overseas locations, and closing the remaining matters. The Attorney General accepted that recommendation. Today, the Attorney General announced that those two investigations conducted over the past year have now been closed.
ATTORNEY GENERAL STATEMENT :
“AUSA John Durham has now completed his investigations, and the Department has decided not to initiate criminal charges in these matters. In reaching this determination, Mr. Durham considered all potentially applicable substantive criminal statutes as well as the statutes of limitations and jurisdictional provisions that govern prosecutions under those statutes. Mr. Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees. That review included both information and matters that were not examined during the Department’s prior reviews. Based on the fully developed factual record concerning the two deaths, the Department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
“During the course of his preliminary review and subsequent investigations, Mr. Durham examined any possible CIA involvement with the interrogation and detention of 101 detainees who were alleged to have been in United States custody subsequent to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He determined that a number of the detainees were never in CIA custody. Mr. Durham identified the matters to include within his review by examining various sources including the Office of Professional Responsibility’s report regarding the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda related to enhanced interrogation techniques, the 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report on enhanced interrogations, additional matters investigated by the CIA Office of Inspector General, the February 2007 International Committee of the Red Cross Report on the Treatment of Fourteen ‘High Value Detainees’ in CIA Custody, and public source information.
“Mr. Durham and his team of agents and prosecutors have worked tirelessly to conduct extraordinarily thorough and complete preliminary reviews and investigations. I am grateful to his team and to him for their commitment to ensuring that the preliminary review and the subsequent investigations fully examined a broad universe of allegations from multiple sources. I continue to believe that our Nation will be better for it.
“I also appreciate and respect the work of and sacrifices made by the men and women in our intelligence community on behalf of this country. They perform an incredibly important service to our nation, and they often do so under difficult and dangerous circumstances. They deserve our respect and gratitude for the work they do. I asked Mr. Durham to conduct this review based on existing information as well as new information and matters presented to me that I believed warranted a thorough examination of the detainee treatment issue.
“I am confident that Mr. Durham’s thorough reviews and determination that the filing of criminal charges would not be appropriate have satisfied that need. Our inquiry was limited to a determination of whether prosecutable offenses were committed and was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct.”
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