Craig James

Letters to the Editor — February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Reader thanks Craig James Dear Editor, I would like to thank Mr. Craig James for casting some light onto the activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is nice to know when the public is being manipulated. It’s disconcerting to hear that a world-renowned and respected authority on climate change admits to publishing claims “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.” With all of the speculation today about global warming and climate change, it would be nice to find a reliable and even honest source for factual, creditable and scientifically supported information, free from political slant and ulterior motives. Due to recent misleading statements and invalid claims, the IPCC clearly does not fit the bill. Molly Mueller, Rockford resident Resident laments Community Education cuts Dear Editor, The intent of this letter is neither to criticize nor condone the recent actions (December) taken by the Rockford Board of Education and Superintendent Shibler regarding budget cuts. Their main focus is to preserve programs for school children with little or no disruption to classrooms. What a lot of Rockford residents don’t realize is the huge loss seniors will feel in the job cut of Marcia Stotz, coordinator for the group Rockford Seniors Unlimited. This is a woman who loved her job and reached out to seniors in Rockford plus many nearby surrounding communities including Grand Rapids. She acted as counselor, teacher, advisor helping those in need of these services. Through Marcia and her work, seniors could socialize with well-planned day trips, luncheons, bingo and other activities. Longer trips created new friendships and continued learning. Without someone like the beloved Marcia organizing these activities, many seniors will be left out of important aspects of their lives they have come to expect and rely on. I can’t say enough about the Rockford Seniors Unlimited Program. Seniors in this community will be losing a loyal, trusting friend in Marcia. She was someone many seniors could count on for motivation in healthy, happy living. She will be sorely missed in her capacity as coordinator. Hopefully the state legislature will restore some education funding so all Rockford school employees can retain their jobs. Is there hope in the new year? A concerned citizen and voter, Eileen Behnke, Rockford resident Story recalls […]

Words on Weather & Climate — January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010 // 0 Comments

IPCC gets it wrong by CRAIG JAMES According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website, “The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.” Also, the IPCC “does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. Differing viewpoints existing within the scientific community are reflected in the IPCC reports.” However, new allegations have come to light that cast serious doubt on the integrity of the organization. The IPCC now faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. If you read my articles from a couple of weeks ago, you will remember I wrote that there is no evidence to support the view that global warming is causing an increase in the severity or frequency of storms. Many politicians have used the IPCC link to make statements such as President Obama’s “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.” It turns out that the information the IPCC used to make its report was never peer-reviewed or published, and when it was published, its conclusion was: ““We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.” However, the IPCC never retracted its claim and when several science reviewers protested to the IPCC that its claim was unsupported, they were ignored. One reviewer, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., on his blog stated, “I do have to admit that if [the IPCC] is this sloppy and irresponsible in an area of climate change where I have expertise, why should I have confidence in the areas where I am not an expert?” Another contributor to the IPCC in this area resigned over the issue. Dr. Chris Landsea, a researcher from […]

Words on Weather & Climate — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Global warming and ‘Climategate’ by CRAIG JAMES If you follow the subject of global warming, you have likely heard of what has been called “Climategate.” Back on November 17, 2009, a very large file containing over 1,000 e-mails between climate change researchers and nearly 2,000 other documents related to climate change were posted on the Internet. If you doubt how quickly information can spread over the Internet, consider that in just two weeks the subject of Climategate could be found on over 28 million websites. The e-mails and documents were released either by a hacker or by a whistle-blower inside the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University in England. CRU maintains one of the five databases of temperature records for the globe and is one of the premier climate research centers. Many of its researchers and others mentioned in the e-mails have been lead authors in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The released information has been verified as authentic by CRU and has, so far, resulted in Phil Jones, the director of CRU, temporarily stepping down from that position. Since so much information was released, it is not easy to summarize but Lon Glazner, in a blog post entitled “Men Behaving Badly,” has captured the essence of the issue. Here are the main points of that post: 1. The scientists colluded in efforts to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests (across continents no less). They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific Internet sites. 2. These scientists publicly diminished opposing arguments for lack of being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the background, they discussed blackballing journals that did publish opposing views, and preventing opposing views from being published in journals they controlled. They even mention changing the rules midstream in arenas they control to ensure opposing views would not see the light of day. They discuss amongst themselves which scientists can be trusted and who should be excluded from having data because they may not be “predictable.” 3. The scientists expressed concern privately over a lack of increase in global temperatures in the last decade, and […]

Words on Weather & Climate by Craig James — January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cold weather makes headlines by CRAIG JAMES “World copes with Arctic weather…” “Winter Could Be Worst in 25 Years for USA…” “CHILL MAP…” “3 Deaths Due To Cold in Memphis…” “GAS SUPPLIES RUNNING OUT IN UK…” “Elderly burn books for warmth?” “Vermont sets ‘all-time record for one snowstorm’…” “Iowa temps ‘a solid 30 degrees below normal’…” “Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years…” “Historic ice build-up shuts down NJ nuclear power plant…” “Midwest Sees Near-Record Lows, Snow By The Foot…” “Miami shivers from coldest weather in decade…” These are just a few of the headlines from newspapers last week about the very cold weather across much of the northern hemisphere. In the first 10 days of January, there were over 700 cold temperature records either tied or broken in just the United States alone, making it one of the coldest starts to a new year on record. There were snowflakes reported Saturday morning, January 9 as far south as Naples, Florida, and even into the northern portions of Dade County, where Miami is located. The last time that happened was back in 1977. Over 100,000 tropical fish have died in south Florida from the cold and—in one of the strangest reports I have ever seen—giant iguanas became comatose from the cold and fell from trees. The National Weather Service could have issued a falling iguana warning. One winter, obviously, doesn’t make a climate trend and just as you can’t point to one storm or heat wave to prove global warming, you can’t point to one cold wave to indicate the end of global warming. Using one cold wave to claim climate change is equally in error. In a White House press briefing, Friday, Jan. 8, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated, “Worldwide record cold is the result of climate change.” At least he knew how ridiculous it would sound if he had said it was the result of global warming. One weather pattern is not climate. The cold weather this winter can very easily be explained by natural phenomena such as changing ocean currents. However, the fact there hasn’t been any warming in the past decade and that a number of new studies suggest global cooling on the horizon, may indeed indicate a change in the […]

Words on Weather & Climate

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Trends in severe weather  Politicians, and even others who should know better, have stated frequently there would be an increase in the intensity and frequency of severe storms due to global warming. But in last week’s article I showed you that the tropical storm activity across the globe is now near a 30-year low. This week, let’s take a look to see if there has been an increase in tornadoes. According to the National Climatic Data Center, “With increased national Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the true variability and trend in tornado frequency in the U.S., the total number of strong to violent tornadoes (EF3 to EF5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed.” For further details on this subject, visit You can see from the graph in Figure I that there was an increase in the number of strong tornadoes up until 1974, but there has been a DECREASING trend since then even though the number of people seeing and reporting tornadoes has increased. This is exactly the opposite of what has been forecast. There have also been forecasts of increasing droughts and heavy precipitation events. I haven’t found a graphic to show this on a global scale, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has compiled one for the United States. In Figure II, the top graph shows the percentage of the United States experiencing moderate to extreme drought for each year since 1900, and the bottom graph shows the percentage experiencing moderate to extreme wet conditions. About 80 percent of the United States was in moderate to extreme drought in the mid 1930s, but there certainly doesn’t appear to be much of an overall change in either extremely dry weather or wet weather since 1900. Going back to A.D. 1200, it appears the worst drought in North America occurred in the 1500s. According to an article in Science Daily (Feb. 8, 2000), “No other drought appears to have been as intense, prolonged and widespread as the 16th century megadrought,” and, […]

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