Apologies if this page does not read well. Microsoft Word in Office 2003 produces verbose messy html code. (An example is altering of line breaks and spaces between lines or paragraphs - sometimes extraneous, sometimes suppressed.) I have to go through and cull it.
(Note too that I have not yet made all URLs into active links.)

- A collection of information on flora and fauna, and climate matters, including some obtained primarily from credible sources that promote preservation of the vegetation or wild-life types discussed herein.
- references to questions raised about climate alarmist claims, especially those blaming humans, with many links
- some information on chemical risks - a discussion of knowledge factors: "how do you really know what you claim to know?", critical to environmental debates and to life


> "Spirit" bears
> Horses
> Marmots
> Panda bears
> Snakes
> Turtles
> Frogs/Toads > Honey bees
> Spotted Owls
> Other Birds
> Comments: - What is a species? - Where are they?

> Trees
- Garry Oak
- Arbutus
- Clayoquot Sound


> Pesticides
> Dioxin
> Radioactivity

> Hunter-gatherer society
> LACK OF BASIC LOOKING FOR INFORMATION > Extrapolating from a single data point
> Jumping to a conclusion about a causal mechanism
> Missing factors
> An epistemology horror show
> Some people wise up



"Spirit" bears:

Even proponents of saving the Kermode bear advise that they are just a colour variant of the black bear. (Other colours include red (a reddish brown), blue (bluish gray), and basic brown.)
(Grizzly bears and polar bears are a different type of bear.)
Experts do not know what specifically causes the white colour in bears along the coast of BC and well inland - who are not all isolated (such animals may travel of course, to find food and emptier territory).

They do point out that colour varies with season, due to diet and the different colour of two types of hair on a bear (short fine hair and courser outer hair whose length may vary with season). In particular, the Kermode bear may have an orange tinge when they eat salmon on the island where a concentration of them live (the salmon ingest something in the water which transfers to the bear's hair).

(Native people referred to the bears as "spirit" bears because of their ghostly colour. But obviously they are real animals. Modern (non-mystical) epistemology shows us they are simply one of several colour variations of black bears, not a separate type. However, it is the nature of environmentalists to claim every variation is a different species, while working against individualism for humans.)

Some people like to claim that the decline in the variant of Marmots found on Vancouver Island is due to logging. But others reject that, suggesting a subtle climate change. (Local climate changes have always occurred - see above re oak trees on Vancouver Island.) And some people think that logging in the valleys enticed the Marmots to stay there instead of breeding on mountain slopes, and thus did not get the inter-tribe breeding needed to keep their genetics durable. (Suddenly theories aren't so simple (why did anyone think they would be?) while Marmots just do what they do or don't without knowledge of human theories :-).

And articles and letters in the Times Colonist from August 10 thru 15, 2007 indicate that:
- there are 14 types of Marmots, the Vancouver Island type is only one.
- one marmot raised in captivity travelled 20 km over a river, clearcut, and mountains to the location of one group of Marmots. (Thereby contaminating its gene pool from the viewpoint of environmentalist activists, but that is good from the viewpoint of those who were concerned about inbreeding if Marmots did not travel to other mountains.)
- Marmots died out two decades ago in Strathcona Park where there has not been any logging.

An article suggests that the Marmot population rebounded when areas of forest were clearcut, because they provided habitat features they were accustomed to, but then declined as predators discovered their new locations. (They do not live in the forest, but in meadow-like areas.)

- Predators such as cougars, eagles and wolves are the primary cause of loss - usually close to the burrow which is of course where they spend much time, perhaps relaxing too much. (I suspect such predators are more common today as they are not hunted as much - cougars in particular are common on Vancouver Island, perhaps because the deer population has increased, eagles are protected, etc. An article in the Times Colonist of December 3, 2008 advises that of 93 known mortalities since 1992, cougars, wolves, and eagles were responsible for about a quarter each and a quarter died during hibernation. The article claims the survival rate is still lower than for other marmot variations elsewhere, but is close to a self-sustaining level (i.e. no need for the captive breeding and release program used in the last five years). However the article does not describe what actually would enable the population to sustain itself - obviously birth rate and the mother's health (which affects the health thus survival of children and for some animals the birth rate because her body regulates gestation and spontaneous abortion rates to suit availability of food in the spring).

- Marmots raised in captivity adapted quickly to the wild (these are of course instinctive creatures and the people who raise them for release keep at arms length to avoid familiarity with humans).

Much of this came out in the media because environmental activists were making false claims. (And for a rabid enviro-nut, consider the op-ed article by Ingmar Lee attacking the Marmot recovery program in the April 2, 2004 issue of Salt Spring Village Views - just another enviro-screamer given too much help by media. (Of the same name as the person who was a ringleader in initiating physical force against individuals at the road interchange construction site in Langford B.C. in 2007 and 2008, where environmentalists were living in trees and eating off the land including animals.)

Panda bears:
A British naturalist is critical of Panda bearss for their habits that don't support survival of the species. (Victoria Times Colonist 20Sepember2009).

Some people are trying to save wild horses in particular areas, supposedly from extinction. But the horses are by definition not wild animals, since the horse we know as regular-size was bred by Mongolians to be large enough to carry a human, then imported to North American by Spanish explorers. (In Mongolia there still are descendants of the original
small horses the large ones were derived from.) The so-called wild horses people in Canada and the US want to save are the equivalent of "feral" cats - domestic breeds abandoned to their own means. Such animals may not be friendly to humans, but it must be recognized that they have not been raised by interaction with humans since birth. So one might say that their behaviour toward humans is "wild" compared to those raised with humans, but not that they are a species nor that they are like bears and moose who only rarely are adopted and trained by humans with limited breeding in zoos. (The word "feral" is broad and vague, not distinguishing well from "wild", but the third definition at is the sense used in "feral cats".

Another species that is claimed to be marginal in southwestern BC is the "sharp-tailed snake", which flourishes to the south (approximately the same areas that the Garry Oak flourishes, but reported as far to the northeast as Kamloops). But it is a secretive creature whose small size and black/red colour means it may often go un-noticed or be mistaken for a common earthworm. (I think small snakes like grass/garter snakes are difficult to notice - often revealed by rustling of the grass, but the sharp-tailed snake is much smaller and avoids dry areas so is much less likely to be noticed, and may also be mistaken for young garter snakes by persons not familiar with the snakes.) But apparently people are finding many more on Salt Spring Island. I suggest the problem is that the snakes don't get the message that they are supposed to report to humans for a census. ;-0
(The sharp-tailed snake is often reddish on top like earthworms, black lower down, with transverse black stripes on bottom, plus that spike tail - about 10 inces long, as thick as a pencil but far more wiley (well, I mean than an earthworm, pencils aren't in the competition. :-) They may be more noticeable in the spring as they venture into the sun then.)
- sources, BC government publications WR57 & WLAP857216.304, and the Driftwood and Island Tides newspapers.

Similarly, the Western Painted Turtle is small and difficult to see. About the size of a two-dollar coin, its upper shell is bluey black like some sea life. (Its underneath is a bright red pattern.) I doubt small turtles are noticed much as they normally move too slowly to make much noise or be detected as motion.

Several people with nothing better to do have been fussing about bullfrogs invading ponds in the Victoria area. One person is managing to get paid some tens of thousands of dollars per year to capture them from some ponds and dispose of them. But other people say they are not a significant threat - for example, the letter "Bullfrog control futile, unnecessary" by Lawrence E. Licht in the Times ColonistNovember 7, 2009 suggests that they can be prolific breeders and are territorial so culling is useless, and that they stay in a specific type of environment whereas other frogs live elsewhere so won't be harmed by the big frogs. ( Hint - not all frogs live in water. Hint - some other types of frogs will eat young bullfrogs. Why don't the concerned people work on the problem of homelessness and violence in downtown Vancouver.

Honey bees
After years of speculation about the cause of "colony collapse disorder, including a theory that cellular phones were causing the death of bees, it turns out that a parasite is to blame - along with poor housekeeping practices. According to an article in the Saanich News of July 20, 2009, quoting a lare established honey operation, the Nosema ceranae parasite damages the bee's immune system, thus it is susceptible to many things including chemicals used to protect them from other parasites. As well, beekeepers should watch buildup of substances in the hives and wax honeycomb over many years, and look for mold and mildew (which can occur on plastics). I comment that the news explains why some beekeepers did not have a problem.

Spotted Owls
" has been shown by actual field observations that there are more than twice as many spotted owls in the public forests of Washington state than were thought to be theoretically possible when those loggers lost their jobs. ........Over 1000 spotted owls have been documented on Simpson Timber's half million acre second growth redwood forests in northern California"
- environmentalist Patrick Moore, in Trees are the Answer

An article in Earth for Man says that the "Northern" Spotted Owl is just a sub-species of the Mexican Spotted Owl, and that the likely cause of its decline is competition for food from the Barred Owl which is less fussy about where it hunts. (Hmm, see Jumping to a conclusion about a causal mechanism and Missing factors herein.)

Other Birds
The barred owl's success may illustrate a fact of reality - living things do shift their habitat over time. Perhaps they evolve slightly, which may be enough to survive in a modestly different climate. People breed plants and animals selectively to more quickly obtain different characteristics than evolution would - for example, a variant of the palm tree is grown south of Vancouver B.C. which has a wet climate in the winter, much cooler than one associates palm trees with. A sub-species may get introduced to an area by human transport, whether accidental or not, or birds may be blown by winds (for example, sea gulls have shown up in the Peace River area of northeastern BC which is far from the ocean to the west, where the prevailing winds come from part of the year), and survive if a mateable pair or in the less likely case of feasible inter-breeding.

So the fact that the robin, seemingly a relatively hardy bird, has been found further north than expected may or may not be the result of warming of the local climate, but rather just a result of more or better food available for some reason like increased precipitation resulting in more stagnant water thus more mosquitos to eat. Or the result of a deviant bird eploring a bit and bringing others back with it. (Animals are very good at chasing food, as killer whales have reminded us - they come and go as food supply shifts (they are visually identifiable as individuals, thus the return of previously spotted ones can be observed). Food is after all required for survival, so those who aren't as successful at finding food will perish while others will pass on their more successful traits to offspring. (The old expression "tends to sharpen the mind" comes to my mind. For animals the focus is much more instinctual than for humans, they seem good at sticking to the need though we don't normally hear of those that aren't because they die quietly in a corner and get eaten by other animals and birds.)

Sea Lice
A hot topic, with allegations that the existence of salmon farms in the ocean along the B.C. coast is causing sea lice to harm wild salmon. But farmers claim their salmon are free of lice when placed in the ocean pens, so the lice that show up on their salmon must come from wild salmon. (Reference Business Examiner newspaper of May 2, 2008.)s And in 2009 the returns of pink salmon, the species environmentalists claim would be worst affected by fish farms, was extraordinarily high.

In the foregoing regarding birds and animals you can see a common thread of defining a species very narrowly. Most if not all those cases are at most simply a sub-species but in some cases the very same thing. But environmentalists like to claim that the salmon from every river are a different species.

Probably most times living their lives oblivious to humans, but sometimes consciously avoiding humans - are they likely to be seen? Well, crows and raccoons live around humans and human pets, but many creatures do not and some like cougars are very stealthy. How visible are they? I suggest often not very, given the amount of vegetation compared to the population of even plentiful wild animals, and their size - I expect you can hear a grizzly bear moving through the bush, but a spotted owl? (Besides, aren't owls night creatures? Not many humans roaming the forests at night – it is dangerous (you might trip and hurt yourself – it’s dark in there, with fallen trees and ravines, risky even in dayight).)


1. Garry Oaks
According to a BC government pamphlet that is generally in favour of preserving those trees:
- they are the remnants of vegetation from 5000 years ago when the local climate was much warmer and drier. (They thrive in what is called a "Mediterranean"climate, which much of northern California is, especially on well drained rocky slopes. They are marginal in the current climate of SE Vancouver Island.)
- they also prosper in burned areas, which may be why they are surviving on SE Vancouver Island. (Native tribes burned the area frequently to change vegetation to their liking and to aid hunting.)
- theburning and the deer may produce the openness of the stands of oak by eliminating young trees.

(In Oregon the tree is called the White Oak and is now logged, to make wine barrels for example. Refer to for botanical information and source of the name Garry Oak. )

(Note two things in the above:
- a basic type of farming by aboriginals (control of vegetation to maximize harvest; control of animals for use by humans)
- the question of what is "natural". Since the climate of SE VI no longer suits the species, and their existence here is supported by human activities, are they at all "natural" at this time? (Of course humans are natural, as is everything on earth except the moon rocks brought back by astronauts, but environmentalists are anti-human.)

Reference ISBN 0-7720-7469-8 of October 1993, Garry Oak Ecosystems, Province of British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks.

2. Arbutus trees
Some people claim that Arbutus trees are at risk because they only grow in limited areas and require good sunlight. But they are flourishing on a hillside on the north side of the highway to Lake Cowichan BC, amongst
other trees in heavy forest. (A steep south slope so probably well drained - especially by the cut of a road across the hillside - and getting some sun, Encarta Encyclopedia says Arbutus grow on such slopes. It is common that a plant species does better or worse depending on drainage and sunlight - too much or too little. So why the fuss over this one?)

(This one called Madrone in California, Oregon and Washington. The fussing is so bad that some alarmists on Vancouver Island miss that it grows well in the Vancouver BC area. One claimed that Arbutus only grow on southeastern Vancouver Island, then when challenged fell back to claiming differences between Arbutus trees on Vancouver Island and other areas.)

Northwestern Alberta
A shortage of trees? Hah! Drive the main highway from Edmonton Alberta to Grande Prairie BC. Northwest of Whitecourt you'll drive 100 km through nothing but trees - no human settlements (there is the odd road off to an oilwell And that's along a main road, not way off where there are no roads.
Look around you!

4. Clayoquot Sound
Those who thought that logging had ended in the area after extortionists like Betty K. claimed to have succeeded may be interested in timber harvesting operations of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe ( and Ecotrust Canada. (Refer to Iiasaak2007Report.pdf on Ecotrust's web site.)

And in why the Iisaak hired Ecotrust to regain their FSC eco certification (crucial to getting good prices, apparently) and "turaround" the operation ("improve the financial, social, and environmental performance" of Iiasaak). The inference is that logging is OK if done by certain people, but they have to hire outsiders to run things properly. (Quoting from the report, regarding the "Iiasaak" forestry company owned by the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe, "The company's performance did not meet expectations during its initial years".

Of course enironmentalists in general are so confused they cannot even agree on whether or not new trees are better for the climate than old trees (as CO2 sinks). Here's a technical discussion> of that.


Is normal on earth.

Examples of changes in the past:

> UVic archaelogists advise that B.C. coastal natives coped amazingly well with rising sea levels after the last ice age, moving each generation or so. When levels stabilized about 9,000. years ago they shifted their tool use to cope with limited availability of stone pieces suitable for a one-point spear (rising sea levels had kept uncovering fresh supply).
(Reference > The Ring, official newspaper of the University of Victoria, February 6, 2003)

> The same source advises that about 4,000. years ago sea levels on the B.C. coast dropped to their current level. (Hmm - check data from temperature proxies to see if that correlates to a big change in temperatures, the Heartland Institute document “"Reconsidering Climate Change" refers to a time 5000 years ago.)

> There was a warm period in Europe, Canada and the North Atlantic about 1,000. years ago (usually referred to as the Medieval Warm Period), and a cool period a few hundred years later (sometimes referred to as "The Little Ice Age" though it was not really an ice age, just a more difficult period for humans there at its lowest temperature (some data suggests warming was gradual until the early part of the 20th century)).

And of course there are regional variations of varying duration and intensity. For example:
- the central plains of Canada were drier than normal during the 1930s.
- the Palliser Triangle area of Alberta and Saskatchewan experienced droughts before European settlers arrived
- areas of Mexico experienced drought, according to historical records kept by missionaries. The droughts may have aided the spread of a rodent-born disease among rodents then into humans, with severe impact on humans.
- we now know of short cycles caused by current fluctuations in the south Pacific (el Nino etc.).
- a change in the sea between Alaska and Russia caused problems a few years ago for a type of whale that feeds primarily in that area but winters off the coast of California. For a few years there was more ice than normal so the whales had difficulty getting enough food. So their health declined. (There's a species that is vulnerable - to mother nature: they eat in only one place in all that big ocean, only in one season. Killer whales are smarter, they move around to find food and have a broader diet. Another variation is the Canadian Lynx and the Great Horned Owl, which are over-dependent on snowshoe hares but will move several hundred kilometres to find more of them - in contrast to their prey who do not venture far. (Reference "What Drives the Ten Year Cycle of Snowshoe Hares? by Krebs et al, published in Biosciene, January 2001. Population of snowshe hares fluctuates greatly with ten-year period, apparently simultaneously over each of three broad areas in Canada - the reason for concurrence is probably movement of the predators, the root cause remains a mystery (perhaps snowfall variation with the North Atlantic Oscillation is a major factor), but many popular theories such as trees resisting rabbits through chemical changes and disease epidemics have been dsisproven. it is a fascinating study that seems to have much good data and several conclusions, but the section titled "Conclusion" is mostly political pandering.)


To determine if climate is changing and understand why, facts must be obtained and used in integrated analysis to determine the extent and verify any causal hypothesis.

Here is a comprehensive summary "Reconsidering Climate Change", by scientists, complete with a petition by several thousand scientists.

The following are relevant analyses and comments on some claimed facts:

First, temperature:
(and ice, which is often taken as an indicator of temperature change, though you'd really have to look at the full cycle of evaporation and condensation Study Says Glaciers Formed During a Very Warm Period)

- Vincent Gray's solid analysis of surface temperature data considers accuracy of measurement methods and compares data sources.

Examples include the correlation of surface measurement changes with location (noteably matching populated areas in cold climates) and discrepancies between surface measurements and other sources including satellite measurements and tree ring records.

Many remote measuring stations were discontinued between 1980 and 2000, according to Vincent Gray. Are enough left to get meaningful results (given year-to-year variations that exceed the magnitude of any trend accumulation)? Non-remote stations are at risk of being inaccurately high because of urban heating effects due to heating buildings in cold climates and the effects of asphalt pavement near the urban measuring stations. (Refer to Vincent Gray's reasoned analysis.

- serious questions have been raised about the processing of temperature data, without adequate answers from proponents:
> The dog ate global warming data ("Interpreting climate data can be hard enough. What if some key data have been fiddled?")
> All in a Good Cause (re cooking data)
> Cherry Picking data
> Cherry Picking of historic proportions (exposing a fundamental error in the Briffa data)
> Ding-Dong The Stick is Dead (further analysis disproving a popular claim that temperatures rose rapidly in recent years and not in the past - the Mann data)
> The Yamal hockey stick implosion in layman's terms (By Bishop Hill, covering the very selective use of data from the Yamal area of Russia that badly skews the analysis, including a report that Briffa's data analysis contradicts the widespread belief that the 11th century was warm.)
> Tree-ring Circus is another plainer language attempt to explain the controversy and the difference between the Briffa-Mann data used y the IPCC and analyses by other scientists. (From "The Shadow of the Olive Tree" website.)
> or another version (The Siberian Tree Ring Circus).
> AUG presentation backs up McIntyre's findings regarding the Yamal data used to get hockey stick result
> A zoomed look at the broken hockey stick graph
> Flawed climate data (Short article by McIntyre on lack of quality or worse.)
> Euro Hockey Team the comment numbers in the 40s get real scary as to the usability of any such data for the purpose of determining long-term climate trends.
> Principles of Dendrology page - a very good resource to understand tree-ring studies
> A web site with links to data.
> More data
Note that the "bristlecone pine" trees used in some tree-ring analyses may survive for thousands of years, so would seem to be a good source of data - has anyone analyzed the California version? (Mann measured some in Colorado, and Steve McIntyre re-visited that site (see article "A Little Secret" at Climate Audit) However there are serious questions about whether tree rings are a suitable measure of temperature because many factors affect growth rate, such as moisture and sunlight (both affected by crowding or thinning - e.g. if a tree falls for some reason its neighbours will get more) and soil. Oh! there's also the matter of CO2 increasing growth rate, thus tree-ring analysis may be measuring CO2 not temperature (for climate alarmists, that might be a scientific version of circular reasoning - measuring the same thing twice - and I wonder about the practice of screening tree ring data to exclude data that doesn't match known temperature records, given serious questions about direct measurement of temperature (see Vincent Gray above - seems to me tree ring enthusiasts are doing th opposite of contaminating the data, which is just as bad).
> There are other methods of determing temperature, apparently including "sedimentary diatoms".
> and other analyses of interest:
- Reconstruction of the Holocene (post Ice Age) environment in northern Fennoscandia
- Multiproxy evidence of `Little Ice Age' palaeoenvironmental changes in a peat bog from northern Poland summary of ??? REF Multiproxy evidence of `Little Ice Age' palaeoenvironmental changes in a peat bog from northern Poland (My comment: the data selection and processing is very complex, using tools such as Which features observed in a smooth of data are "really there"?, but one thing that puzzles me is why data from only one region as used by Briffa and co has such a large effect on the outcome of what is supposedly a global study.
The earth is an integrated system so it needs to be viewed in total. (It may be that the only useable tree ring data is from that area, in part because the growth of trees at northern latitudes is more likely to be limited by temperature whereas in warmer latitudes availability of water and other factors may often limit growth - thus trees from northern latitudes were selected. That's a guess, there are many factors affecting tree growth, including the possibility of subsurface "ice lenses" at northern latitudes, the question of CO2 in the atmosphere (see later herein), water level, microclimate, unexpected factors like allelopathy and root fungi, and some questions about whether or not tree ring growth is actually constant. There is a discussion in the article "A look at treemometers and tree ring growth" on the Watt's Up With That? website.
Nevertheless a key question by MacIntyre and collaboraters is the question of why Briffa and Mann refused to release raw data for others to check. (Briffa has acknowledged Steve McIntyre's questions and promised more - he was ill for a while.)

- open water is often experienced at the north pole in the summer.
While transient, it is to be expected since only the surface of the water freezes (thus most of the water volume must be at a temperature above freezing) and water can easily flow between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. (It's high school physics folks!)

- the fact that glaciers are receding in Alaska and BC must be considered together with the fact that they are growing in Norway and New Zealand. IOW, there seem to be regional variations caused by winds and ocean currents regardless of thermal performance of the whole earth.

- Dr. Greg Holloway of the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney BC questions measurements of ice thickness in the Arctic, pointing out that measuring did not cover all the area thus would miss ice piled up in some areas. Other scientists explain a difference in measurements by sonar: one type measures average thickness, an older type measures maximum thickness - but ice is not uniform, notably ridging where ice sheets collide thus a maximum-reading measurement is not representaive, so a comparison between data taken with different types is meaningless.
This graph [oops - link missing that actually explains] or this one explains [oops, that is just a plain graph]. Unfortunately that seems to mean that they cannot accurately measure the actual are of sea ice, only the area in wich ice covers more than 15% of the water surface. (Which has not changed in many years. I am skeptical that is is really meaningful, as ice gets moved around by wind and currents, which could decrease or increase the "extent" depending on whether more or less ice respectively is pushed together (thus likely creating more areas with little ice). One reason for using the radar type of sensor is that clouds prevent observation at optical wavelengths, especially in winter. Note that this measurement has validity only as a year-to-year comparison, not a measure of actual amount of ice. This is however another illustration of sensor limitations and various ways of analyzing data - thus the need for caution in using results.)

- A study by Dr. Holloway and Tessa Sou titled "Is Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinning?" examines an apparent discrepancy between submarine and satellite measurements. It concludes that ice moves around and the submarine measurements were not broadly distributed thus are not representative (noting that it is the volume of ice that is important). (The arctic ice measurement work comes from the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sydney BC, some of it reported in Meridian magazine of Fall/Winter 2001 published by the Canadian Polar Commission. Information on ice movement has been provided in an article in Arctic magazine, volume 60 number 4 (December 2007), from The Arctic Institute of North America, focussed on its affect on movement of cruise ships.

- the Antarctic ice cap is growing not shrinking

- "Are There Long-Term Trends in The Start Of Freeze-Up And Melt Of Arctic Sea Ice?" by Roger Pielke Sr. on discusses a contradiction between predictions that global warming would affect the time between minimum and maximum ice coverage in the artic and actual data.

- is a library of information on the Arctic.

- is a large readable map of the arctic, viewed from above the North Pole.

- Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality by Stephen Wilde

- Monitors Report Worldwide Cooling

My comment: keep in mind that the serious political debate is not over whether or not the earth is cooling or warming, but over whether or not humans can cause global climate change. The standard accusation of environmentalists against humans is production of CO2 by industries, transportation vehicles, and buildings. (I forget what their claim was in the 1970s when their panic was over cooling.)

Second, CO2:
- serious questions have been raised about CO2 data presented by and about what they exclude:
> "The Manipulation of Reality" by Ernst Beck notes the proportions of various gases in the atmosphere and questions measurements of CO2.
> C. R. Scotese and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists' November 2006 newsletter show records of higher CO2 levels at various times in the past without concurrent high temperatures, and ask probing questions about some measurement methods.
> More from C. R. Scotese
> CO2 is Green (benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere).
> Top 15 Climate Myths
> CO2 Scandal
> even ice coring may be tricky, with questions raised about escape of some CO2 from the extracted core when removed from the compressed environment it was in.
> hmmm, when using tree ring data to determine what temperature was back when, what about CO2 levels at time of growth (as CO2 affects growth of vegetation)? Local precipitation is another variable. Sounds tricky.

Ocean currents & winds
Are an interesting phenomenon. Here are some articles/web sites:
(Keep in mind that winds come from pressures, and can move ocean water by friction at the surface, though solar heating may be a more powerful current force.)
The Arctic Oscillation which varies weather in North America north of 20N as well as some of Europe and Asia, and affects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, noteably bringing more warm water into the Arctic ocean in one part of the cycle - the current situation.
The related North Atlantic Current.
The El Nino and La Nina phenomenon of the South Pacific are well known, especially affecting weather on the west coast of North America.

Causal Theories and Climate Models
The real political question is - no matter whether temperature is increasing or decreasing - "who done it?". The New left claims humans are always guilty, but suspicion is increasing that The Sun is the culprit (that's sun spelled with a u, folks). It is rather difficult to take issue with the sun, it is what it is and tends not to listen to us - criticizing it would be "looking a gift horse in the mouth' as it is the source of life by virtue of the warmth it provides.

- The director of the Geoscience Center at Carleton University is finding excellent correlations between solar fluctuations and temperatures, which doesn't exist between CO2 and past climate changes. (R. Timothy Patterson.)
Kenneth Tapping of the National Research Council in Canada also has data.
Note that the responsible sun activity may be magnetic field not electro-static field, which may not be directly correlated to visible flares or may be an indirect mechanism of ejected particles interacting with the atmosphere.)

- A 1991 report by Danish Meteorological institute correlated world temperatures with solar cycles over the past several centuries, and proposes a causal mechanism of a stronger magnetic field shielding the earth from cosmic rays which seed cloud formation. The CERN centre plans to repeat the experiments done by the DMI.

- Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany suggest that the sun has been burning brighter for 60 years.

- A Hoover Institution Study showed a correlation of temperature with solar activity and volcanoes. (By Hoover fellow Bruce Berkowitz.)

- Monitors Report Worldwide Cooling

- Link to a challenge to the claim that a warmer climate will have more severe weather.

- Climate Change in Disarray - An African Perspective, Will Alexander, University of Pretoria, South Africa, discusses research showing that climate-change predictions are not ocurring in Africa (no extra flooding - damage is due to less precautions/where people built) and correlation between solar activity and climate, plus a plea to not hurt the progress of poor Africans. (Available from Frontier Centre for Public Policy.)

- Lord Monckton of Benchley (UK) is another critic of climate models.

Recent NASA data, including by newer satellites and floating ocean probes (Argos project), is worth looking into.

- Climate Change Collapse article

- Australian Researchers Warn of Global Cooling

- Slide 21 of the paper "Cumulative effects of rapid climate and land-use changes on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia", from the - December 2008 AGU Meeting, has an intriguing conclusion: "Kara-Yamal: negative sea ice, positive summer warmth and positive NDVI are correlated with positive phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation." Obviously oceans, "oscillation" not uninterrupted trend - worth looking into? (Much of the presentation is on land, resource exploration, and local people herding animals.)

Miscellaneous web sites & articles on climate
> All the junk that’s fit to debunk
> Climate Realists (formerly CO2 Skeptics)
> Climate Audit
> A Lukewarm View of Global Warming
> Climate auditing is left to unpaid volunteers
> Global Warming Skeptics Handbook
> Frontier Centre for Public Policy
> Explanations of types of data and links to data
> Climate Skeptics
> a divergence problem
> Discussion of theory explaining why earth cools when solar storms are quiet

Movies on climate
> Not Evil, Just Wrong
> The Four Pillars
> 35 Inconvenient Truths (list of large errors in Al Gore's movie).
> CARBON DIOXIDE AND THE "CLIMATE CRISIS" series from, including:
- Doing the Right Thing
- Carbon Dioxide & the Climate Crisis: Reality or Illusion?

And people make naiive assumptions.
- a nice business person said she bought a hybrid car in part because it is an "alternative fuel" vehicle. Well, no it isn't (its only energy source is gasoline, it's just a more efficient user of gasoline - for a higher price).
- Patrick Moore is confused about what a hydrocarbon is.
- Foolish schemes to cool or heat the planet

or deliberately misrepresent:
- Shoreland owners suing Greenpeace for publishing photos doctored to show their homes would be flooded by global warming, when even the IPCC predicts only a 30cm rise in sea level.
- Greenpeace admits great exaggeration
(hey! it's for the cause so it must be moral to lie?)
- and there's the use of misleading names. (A HREF=""> This article details the sorry name history of a group using names very similar to established environmentalist groups. Were they just confused, or taking advantage of confusion they created?

With serious doubts as to validity of temperature measurement, CO2 measurement, data handling, and climate models - and the reality that those models don't work - shouldn't people be very careful about taking actions that will harm individual humans, actions such as restricting their mobility and raising the price of energy to heat their shelters?


Countering the widespread idea that DDT caused thinning of the shells of bird eggs, is this info:
- a sseven month US Congressional committee hearing in 1972 concluded that DDT is safe and not connected with species extinction
- the US federal cabinet secretary who introduced the ban later publicly stated it was political not scientific.
- thinning was a problem before DDT was invented - birds are known to thrive in the presence of high levels of DDT.

Meanwhile mosquito-borne diseases continue to kill people, including in North America from West Nile Virus - DDT is quite effective against mosquitos.

Lots of it produced by forest fires and other burning especially if salt is present, and by some volcanoes. So don't have a campfire on the beach.
(Reference Trashing the Planet, by Dixie Lee Ray and Lou Guzzo

Add to algae growing in radioactive water and things growing deep in the ocean with little light the phenomenon of "watermelon snow".

It is actually an algae that reproduces in the snow in spring warming, providing food for "snow worms" and other creatures. (According The Marmot, the newspaper of Mount Washington ski area on Vancouver Island, which claimed the phenomenon is the source of the local area name Forbidden Plateau - aboriginals thought it was blood.

See also the 2004 "Welcome to the Comox Valley" supplement to the Valley Record newspaper, and the article Watermelon Snow. Supposedly eating it will give you diarhea, so head the warning "don't eat snow of any colour". :-) (I've corrupted an old saying, since the algae supposedly comes in other colours too though much less commonly, and since animal urine is yellow. OK, eat pure white snow if you really need the water.)

Apparently the colouring, which can be widespread, does stain, and can have the smell of watermelon not just the colour. The organisms are dormant in winter and move to the surface of new snow in the spring when water penetrates (and perhaps light is stronger). (The algae live on plant material blown onto the snow, as well as perhaps minerals in water, and are eaten by other small entities who are in turn eaten by flying insects and birds.)

As for "snow worms", which sounds like another reason not to eat snow, see the technical paper "Distribution and phylogency of glacier ice worms", by Paula L. Hartzell et al, in the NRC Canada publication cited as "Can. J. Zool, 83: 1206-1213 (2005)". They are small (1 to 1.5 cm long and about .275 cm wide), typically colourful, living on that colourful algae. The paper confirms the existence of snow worms in many low-elevation temperate glaciers in Alaska, western B.C., western WA state, and western OR state. None were found in locations checked in the Rocky Mountain areas of BC, AB, and MT as well as northern CA but the search was not exhaustive (the Rockies would of course be colder - the paper describes worms found in the Arctic as having a different metabolism probably more suited to cold weather).

Other forms of microscopic algae are found in vegetation, briny pools, hot springs, and animal hair (creating a green tinge), as well as in combination with fungi as "lichen" - fungi occurring all over the place as well.

Nature can seem wierd, but is what it is.


Those who advocate the simplistic hunter-gatherer life of milennia ago might be sobered by the death of actor Andre Noble.

The vegetarian known for his love of "natural" foods including herbs died a few hours after exploring foliage on Fox Island, near near his family home in Centreville Newfoundland, in July 2004. Plant remains were found in his stomach, it is believed that he died of aconitine poisoning from consuming the Monkshood plant. (Monskshood article from American Association for Clinical Chemistry) See also the Fu Zi article in Mamaherb, A Case of Fatal Aconitine Poisoning by Monkshood Ingestion (Journal of Forensic Sciences volume 53), and article "Actor may have been killed by poisonous plant" of 06August 2004, and "Poisonous plant suspected cause of Nfld. actor's death" of August 09, 2004 in which clarifies between Fox Island that Noble explored and Fair Island where his symptoms occurred. (The plant is easily confused with other plants - its leaves with wild parsely and its root with horseradish, for example - and was used long ago as a medicine after extensive processing. A teaspoon of its sap will kill you. Even getting sap in a cut could be fatal. It is reported the plant is common in Newfoundland.

Yes, mistakes can be made with anything you ingest. Risk is high to people who have irrational friends, such as the drug culture, and when intoxicated as judgement is impaired. A few people have higher risk - a student died in Saanich BC when she accepted a restuarant clerk's assurance that there were no peanuts in a fast food (she had forgotten to bring her allergy kit with her).

If you just grab the "food", how do you know it is edible? Get it wrong and you die!

Comment 1:
Perhaps there is an implicit assumption that human knowledge is instinctual, as it is in large part for animals though much of it taught by parents to their young. So you just know what to eat and avoid. That flawed theory is part of a belief system that denies the efficacy of the human mind.

Comment 2:
Some advocates of the hunter-gatherer type of society have a theory that a settled (agrarian) way of life facilitated unjust control of goods, as the crops had to be stored and thus guarded. To me it sounded like the Christian story of fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, re-written by a Marxist.
(Another problem with hunter-gatherer theories is climate variation with seasons - animal food moves around, berries are seasonal, etc. Is that why aboriginals in central Canada developed pemmican, a dried mixture of meat and berries? (It stores well and is lighter than fresh food thus easier to travel with.)

An individual wrote a sizeable article in which he claimed that the "Arbutus" tree grows only on Southeastern Vancouver Island. But reality is that the tree we call "Arbutus" grows well in the Vancouver B.C. area, and south to central California . (Being called Madrone in the U.S., from Spanish naming practice, whereas in B.C. the Arbutus name came from a Scottish naturalist named Menzies who recognized the tree from elsewhere in the world.)

All those are of the "Arbutus menziesii" species, sometimes called "Pacific Madrone". Other species of the Arbutus genus grow around the world - in the southern US and Mexico, Ireland, France, the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, and southwestern Asia.

Some people claim that Arbutus will only grow in a sunny very exposed location, but in fact it also grows in the forest with some other trees, typically on a well-drained south-facing slope - I have seen such a stand on Vancouver Island, ironically enhanced by human road-building activity.

It is not difficult to find that information in books and on the Internet - simply looking Arbutus up in Wikipedia would educate the writer to the terms Madrone and Pacific Madrone, and its extent, complete with photos - and looking up Pacific Madrone would show a photograph from the well-known Lighthouse Park in West Vancouvers, and reveal that it grows in forests. Why don't activists do some basic homework?

See the discussion of open water at the North Pole as an example.

Another example is claiming that hurricanes are worse which must be due to global warming. But when considered over a season, actual data may show negligible difference from the average of past years (of course normal year-to-year variations can be substantial).

Throughout this page you can see other examples.

Environmentalists like to assume a cause for an observed effect, one that suits their ideology of course. But the cause-effect relationship may even be in the opposite direction to popular claim. For example, some scientists expect that storms like hurricanes would be less severe if the climate warmed significantly.

Someone expressed concern about the lack of Mallard ducks in around a small lake.
But it was pointed out that:
- the bright plummage that they recognized the type of duck from was only worn part of the year, the rest of the year males looked like females, much less noticeable.
- for part of the summer the ducks were tending nests on islands and in corners (I comment that bright plummage would be very risky then. From the discussion I gather that the plummage is shed during the "moulting" phase of a duck's yearly life, shedding of much of its feathers.)
- some other types of birds vary their location during the year (I note that animals go where the best food is - they aren't dumb, it's their survival). Another person knew the shallows on one shore of that lake to long have been muddy because people feed the ducks who walk into the shallows which stirs up mud. I doubt it is extensive in the lake. Simple explanations instead of alarmist speculation.

Throughout this page you can see other examples.

I received an email from a cousin and his spouse, claiming that Canola Oil is toxic.

How do they know that? Someone said so on the Internet.

How does that person know?
a - their grandfather used it to kill aphids
b - the plant is a member of the mustard family, and mustard gas was used to kill people in World War I
c - it is a genetically modified plant

Never mind the _facts_:
a - any oil may be useful for drowning small air-breathing creatures, because its high surface tension makes the oil clog small breathing orifices. The cousin lived around people who used oil to combat mosquitos on the farm.
b - turnips are also a member of the mustard family, as in the yellow condiment, and the cousin ate many turnips when growing up (which didn't seem to stunt his growth - it was a common food where we grew up). The killing chemical dichlorethylsulphide was called "mustard gas" simply because of its yellowish colour and slight odour.
c - given the dates when canola oil and genetic modification techniques were each developed, it is more likely that the canola oil plant was developed by basic plant breeding methods, still widely used today, that I learned of in school (the same schools my cousin and his spouse attended), methods used decades before - to develop rust-resistant wheat for example. However, genetically modified varieties of Canola are mostly used today, such as Rhône Poulenc's Canola Line Westar Oxy-235 (not that genetically modified plants are harmful).
Evaluation procedures of the responsible government agency are here:

With nut cases like those people running around, who needs enemies?

(Would I - could I - make up such a bizarre story? :-)

(Canola Oil is a popular vegetable oil, made from the seed of the Canola plant which is a refinement of the yellow-flowered one often called "rape" (from the Latin word for turnip which it is a relative of). Two substances were removed as a precaution for the health of pigs and humans if they consumed large quantities. (It was not toxic per se, but it seemed to cause heart problems in pigs fed large amounts of the husks and had a substance that – while not known specifically to cause human problems - was considered undesirable.)

The article by Mikkleson, Barbara and David P. (2005), in "Urban Legends Reference Pages: Canola Oil and Rape Seed", puts some of the silliness well, and describes a general approach nut cases take, in saying “What we have here is a bit of truth about a product's family history worked into a hysterical screed against the product itself.
Short of a deliberate agenda, which I have reason to suspect may be the case with some critics of Canola oil, there is the epistemology problem of watering down and extrapolating a factor.
For example, a popular book on combining foods for meals advises against eating peanuts as they can cause cancer. The origin of that claim is probably that some foods, including peanuts and corn, are susceptible to a mold that produces aflatoxin which is carcinogenic. It's a major cause of death from liver cancer in Africa, where high humidity and lack of good storage result in high risk of mold, and poor health due to hepatitis and malnutrition leave people susceptible. But in Canada and the US where food quality is good and health is generally good health the incidence of liver cancer is very low.
If poor people follow the books' advice they'll miss a good easy to use source of protein that is often available at low price. And the lack of credibility that may result from the author's irresponsible claim may lead people to tune out, when there may be a worthwhile caution for people with immune system problems - though they probably have much greater shorter-term risks to worry about.

Canola oil is high in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 (whereas salmon and olive oil are high in only one each), low in saturated fat, but like most oils and nuts has significant calories - but like olive oil has no protein or carbohydrates (which peanturs and true nuts do).

There are various edible oils with varying qualities that are important to understand. For example, soybean has a solid range of proteins needed to sustain life.


Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, woke up one morning realizing that the focus was all negative. So he founded Greenspirit Strategies, going from "..confrontation to the politics of what we should do instead."



Letter "Shallow Surveys Are Not Professional"
Page 6 of the March/April 2008 issue of Innovation magazine (should be icon top right, otherwise look in Publications).
Discusses knowledge acquisition and particularly opinion surveys.

A World Lit Only By Fire, William Manchester, Little, Brown & Co.
A survey of people's lifestyles & health and the political changes in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Reformation.
(I've lived in those conditions, fortunately with more modern knowledge of health. That's 24/7, not camping like the bubblehead clerk in the grocery store was thinking of in saying it would be neat.)

The Apocalyptics, Edith Afron

In Defense of Garbage, Judd Alexander

Chemicals Are Our Friends, Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic: the Environmental Triumph of High-Yield Farming, Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute, Herman Kahn Center, PO Box 26-919, Indianapolis IN 46226

Climate of Fear, Thomas G. Moore, layman level

Degrees of Disaster - Prince William Sound: How Nature Reels and Rebounds, Jeff Wheelwright, Simon & Schuster

The Doomsday Myth, Charles Maurice and Charles Smithson, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, ISBN 0-8179-7961 or -X, 1984
Reviews cases in history of shortages of resource-based products, especially how people and governments dealt with the shortages and how the shortages were eliminated or did not even occur. Even when government force was applied to maintain a monopoly, as with rubber.

Eco-Scam, The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse, Ronald Bailey, (Producer of PBS Television show TechnoPolitics), St. Martin's Press, NY, 1993, ISBN 0-312-08698-9 An Endless Series of Hobgoblins, The Science and Politics of Environmental Health Scares, Eric W. Hagen and James J. Worman

Environmental Overkill, Dixie Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo

Environmentalism vs Man, Richard Sanford (a booklet), Society for Objective Science

Environmentalists - Green Fascists, Richard Sanford (a booklet), Society for Objective Science,

Everybody Wins, by Gordon Cain. By a chemical engineer turned very successful businessman.

Facts Not Fear, A Parents guide to Teaching children About the Environment, Michael Sanera and Jane S. Shaw

The Good Old Days: They Were Terrible!, Otto Bettmann

The Greening Crusade, (Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism), Charles T. Rubin

Higher Superstition, (The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science), Paul Gross & Norman Levitt

Hot Talk, Cold Science, Dr. Singer

Nature's Cancers, Bruce Ames, (Dr. Ames invented the lab test widely used to identify possible carcinogens).

No Turning Back: Dismantling the Fantasies of Environmental Thinking, Wallace Kaufman, Basic Books

Panic in the Pantry, Elizabeth Whelan & Frederick Stare, Prometheus Books, 1992, 59 John Glenn Drive, Buffalo NY, ISBN 0-87975-732-9, (Earlier version published by Atheneum in 1975)

Phantom Risk - Scientific Inference and the Laws, Kenneth Foster, David Bernstein, Peter Huber - editors, MIT Press, 1993, Cambridge MA

Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, Jay H. Lehr, editor, Includes articles by Reisman, Sanford, Ames, Ray and others. Van Nostrand Reinhold, NY / Nelson Canada, Scarborough, 1992, ISBN 0-442-01146-6

The Resourceful Earth (A Response to Global 2000). Julian Simon and Herman Kahn, Basil Blackwell Publisher Ltd, Oxford & NY, 1984, ISBN 0-631-13467-0, Presents the relevant reliable trend evidence regarding environmental resource subjects, including food production, forests, land, materials, energy sources; has chapters of analysis by several authors. Summarizes, critiques and rebuts the Global 2000 Report.

Science Under Siege, Michael Fumento

Toxic Terror, Elizabeth Whelan

The Toxicity of Environmentalism, George Reisman (a booklet), The Jefferson School, PO Box 2934, Laguna Hills CA 92654

Trashing the Planet, Dixie Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo, 1990, Regnery Gateway Wash DC/ distributed by National Book Network, Lanham MD, ISBN 0-89526-544-3A

The True State of the Planet, Ten of the World’s Best Researchers in a Major Challenge to the Environmental Movement, Ronald Bailey, editor

The Ultimate Resource 2, Julian Simon, 1996, Basil Blackwell Publisher Ltd., Oxford & New York, Revised edition.

Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud, Robert L. Park

Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?, John Stossel, Videotape available from Laissez-Faire Books, 800-326-0996

Coping With Crowding, Frans B. M. de Wall, Filipopo Aureli and Peter G. Judge, Scientific American magazine, May 2000, “A persistent and popular myth holds that high population density inevitably leads to violence. That result may be true for rodents. Humans and other primates have special behaviors that help them stay sociable when space is tight.” (Summary from

"In the rush to lower our greenhouse gas emissions, we are in peril of negatively affecting air quality. The potential health, environmental and societal impacts of energy alternatives need to be carefully considered before they are widely adopted."
- Dr. Kathy Preson, P.Eng, in the September/October 2008 issue of Innovation magazine.

All the junk that's fit to debunk.

Climate Realists (formerly CO2 skeptics)

Climate Audit

Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Climate Skeptics

The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution - Ayn Rand (re-published as Return of the Primitive)

"Science .... looks skeptically at all claims to knowledge, old and new. It teaches not blind obedience to those in authority but vigorous debate, and in many respects that's the secret of its success."
s- Carl Sagan, Phoenix AZ, January 5, 1993


Intellectual Property of Keith Sketchley - page version 2009.11.16


- add more climate videos
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