Daily Digest

Daily Digest - January 19

Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 10:50 AM
  • Japan Airlines Bankruptcy Filing Expected Tuesday
  • Venezuela Chavez Nationalizes French-Owned Retailer
  • ECB Prepares Legal Ground for Euro Rupture as Greek Crisis Escalates
  • Feeds the Rich, Buries the Poor
  • 200 Bank Failures Expected in 2010
  • Debt Ceiling Fight: It's Back
  • Deep Thoughts from Bob Janjuah
  • Oh, The Truth Is The Banks Are Insolvent? (Still)


Japan Airlines Bankruptcy Filing Expected Tuesday (Nickbert)

Japan Airlines is set to file for bankruptcy Tuesday, writing Japanese history as one of the nation's biggest corporate failures from which it could emerge a leaner, self-sustaining carrier.

Venezuela Chavez Nationalizes French-Owned Retailer (Nickbert)

Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez on Sunday nationalized a chain of supermarkets controlled by France's Casino on charges of price gouging after the government devalued the bolivar currency.

ECB Prepares Legal Ground for Euro Rupture as Greek Crisis Escalates (Nickbert)

Recent developments have, perhaps, increased the risk of secession (however modestly), as well as the urgency of addressing it as a possible scenario,” said the document, entitled Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU: some reflections

Feeds the Rich, Buries the Poor (Davos)

Americans have a choice. They can allow their government to bully and threaten them into conforming to their view of reality like Winston Smith or they can go down swinging like Cool Hand Luke and Randall McMurphy. The cowboy spirit of the Old West is what is required today. We need tough hardened individualists who are willing to say enough is enough.

200 Bank Failures Expected in 2010 (pinecarr)

Washington has so thoroughly botched its supervision of the banking industry that 200 banks are likely to fail this year — easily surpassing last year’s 140 bank failures … inevitably involving the greatest bank losses in history … and already costing the FDIC ten times more than the great S&L and banking crisis of the 1980s did.

Debt Ceiling Fight: It's Back (Ben Johnson)

The country's legal debt limit will need to be raised again -- and soon. The Senate on Wednesday will debate just how high. The proposed increase is likely to be north of $1 trillion and could be as high as $1.8 trillion. The goal is to boost the limit enough so that the issue need not be revisited before next year, and in any case not before the November mid-term elections.

Deep Thoughts from Bob Janjuah (Davos)

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be filled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome be bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."—Cicero

Oh, The Truth Is The Banks Are Insolvent? (Still) (Ben Johnson)

RealtryTrac says that three million foreclosures are likely this year and that as much as 23% of all mortgages are currently in negative equity.


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Re: Daily Digest - January 19

"Borrowing is set to surpass tax revenues as the Japanese government’s most important source of income this year, raising fears that even the slightest increase in bond yields could spark a global sovereign debt crisis."

"Dylan Grice, a strategist at SG, warns: ‘If international investors were to demand triple the current 1.5% yield, pricing JGBs in line with international bond market peers the game would soon be up because Japan’s current debt service already amounts to 35% of pre-bond issuance revenues.

‘Next year, tax revenues will be less important than borrowing as a source of income. So I doubt there is any yield international capital markets can find acceptable that will not bankrupt the Japanese government.’"

..........................1A) Japan Bond Risk Jumps to Nine-Month High on Japan Air, Greece

"The cost of protecting Japanese sovereign bonds from default climbed to a nine-month high amid concern that Japan Airlines Corp. may file for bankruptcy as soon as today.

Five-year credit-default swap contracts on Japan’s sovereign debt increased to 81 basis points yesterday, according to prices from CMA DataVision in New York. That’s doubled since Sept. 17 and is the highest since April 3, the data show."

"Just when San Diego city officials thought they had closed a $179 million budget gap, another has opened up because more money will be needed to pay for employee pensions.

The city will have to contribute $231.7 million to the retirement fund in the fiscal year that starts in July. That’s up $19 million from the forecast used when the last budget gap was closed in December.

The increase is a result of the fund’s investment losses and more employees signing up for pension benefits because of fears they will be cut."

 Photo detail

"A new report from the city’s pension system indicates that the city has 66.5 percent of the money it needs to cover promised pensions — the lowest level since 2004. The amount the city lacks to meet its long-term pension liability is $2.1 billion as of June 30, up from $1.3 billion in June 2008."

"Budget consolidation will be necessary in the coming years to help maintain the stability and credibility of the euro, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday, defending his first budget which foresees record new debt. "

"Defending his government's 2010 budget, in which more than one quarter of the EUR325.4 billion earmarked for spending will be funded with new debt, Schaeuble said that high debt this year is necessary because of the severeness of economic crisis.

But he pledged that the government would cut back on borrowing in the coming years.

He warned that without budget consolidation, inflation expectations and long-term interest rates would rise, which would push up refinancing costs.

"It is in our best interest to maintain the stability of the euro and its credibility on international markets" also in the coming years, Schaeuble said.

Germany's budget deficit is likely to reach almost 6% of gross domestic product this year, after a deficit of 3.2% of GDP last year, he said. He said the country will fulfill its commitment to get the deficit in line with the 3% threshold set by the European Union in 2013. "

"European finance chiefs said Greece may have to step up its efforts to tackle a fiscal crisis that threatens to spread to other countries across the region."

"Greece last week presented its plan to push down a budget deficit that is still more than four times the EU limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product. Moody’s Investors Service said today that the plan’s success “cannot be taken for granted” and kept its rating on the nation’s debt at A2, the lowest among the 16 euro member states. "

"A weak economic recovery and an aging population are likely to increase the debt burden of many advanced economies, including the U.S., the U.K. and Japan.

More ominously, monetization of these fiscal deficits is becoming a pattern in many advanced economies, as central banks have started to swell the monetary base via massive purchases of short-and long-term government paper. Eventually, large monetized fiscal deficits will lead to a fiscal train wreck and/or a rise in inflation expectations that could sharply increase long-term government bond yields and crowd out a tentative recovery."

"If America's Democrats lose in November's midterm elections, there's a risk of persistent fiscal deficits as Republicans veto tax increases while Democrats veto spending cuts. Monetizing the fiscal deficits would then become the path of least resistance: Running the printing presses is much easier than politically painful deficit reduction.

But if the U.S. does use the inflation tax as a way to reduce the real value of its public debt, the risk of a disorderly collapse of the U.S. dollar would rise significantly. "

"The large 'AAA' sovereign borrowers - like the US, UK, France and Germany - have 'exceptional financing flexibility', Fitch Ratings said today, but warned this is not enough to maintain their current rating.

The major AAA states must set out further credible consolidation plans in 2010 to secure their triple-A ratings, the ratings agency announced today in its 'Sovereign Review and Outlook' for 2010:

"While current ratings incorporate a further substantial rise in public indebtedness, all major AAA sovereign governments need to articulate more credible and stronger fiscal consolidation plans during the course of 2010 to underpin confidence in the sustainability of public finances over the medium term and the commitment to low and stable inflation".

The UK, Spain and France particularly need to 'articulate' credible consolidation plans this year, "given the pace of fiscal deterioration and the budgetary challenges they face in stabilising public debt."

"Failure to do so will greatly intensify pressure on their sovereign ratings," Fitch states. "

"The U.K. government's triple-A credit rating is "extremely vulnerable" and the economic and political situation "highly toxic," one of Britain's largest money-management firms warned Monday.

Standard Life is the latest asset manager to express concern about the U.K.'s ballooning public-sector debt and the risk that it will lose its status as one of the world's most creditworthy borrowers. Standard Life manages £156.5 billion ($254.45 billion) of assets, according to its Web site. "

....................7A) Council pension deficit is 'going to double'

"The pension deficit for local councils in England and Wales could hit £60 billion this year, according to figures unveiled by the Liberal Democrats.

According to the party's shadow work and pensions secretary Steve Webb, the figures he discovered suggested the deficit might have doubled since it was valued at -£27 billion over two years ago.

The study of pension fund managers in charge of local government pensions discovered that 83 out of 87 schemes were in deficit in 2007."

"Portuguese cities are under pressure to demolish stadiums built for the 2004 European soccer championships as the government prepares to rein in a widening deficit."

"Portugal’s 2009 deficit overshot a government forecast of 5.9 percent of gross domestic product, according to Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos. On Dec. 7, its credit- rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Standard & Poor’s, which cited the widening deficits.

Portugal’s debt load will equal 85 percent of GDP this year, according to the European Commission. Portugal and Greece must implement “politically difficult fiscal retrenchment if they are to avoid an inexorable decline in their debt metrics,” Moody’s said Jan. 13. "

""The question is whether there will be more funds coming in; because as things stand today, Dubai without further support will find it very difficult to drive a favourable bargain with its creditors," said a Gulf-based banker. "

....................9A) Borse Dubai Faces $2.5B Bank Loan Maturing By Feb 19

"Government-owned Borse Dubai has to pay back, or refinance a $2.5 billion loan due next month, marking the next major test of the emirate's ability to pay its debts, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Dubai still needs to cough up cash for these loans and the market is increasingly getting nervous as the repayment date draws near and the government maintains its usual silence," a banker familiar with the loan, who declined to be identified, told Zawya Dow Jones. "

Former budget office chiefs say 'something has to give'

"A blue-ribbon panel that includes three former heads of the Congressional Budget Office is telling President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress that the federal deficit must be cut now or the national debt within about two generations will be 600 percent of the gross domestic product.

"The debt level of the United States is unsustainable, something has to give," said Rudolph Penner, former head of the CBO and co-chair of a report issued last week by the National Research Council and the National Academy of Public Administration. "

"BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The Internal Revenue Service, trying to recoup some of the estimated $14 billion that companies underpay in employer taxes a year, plans to wage a three-year campaign to audit 6,000 businesses.

The cash-strapped government, which separately said it wants to put a levy on large financial firms that received bailouts, will zero in on worker classification, fringe benefits, reimbursed expenses and executive compensation. The selection of the audited companies will be random, and both big and small businesses will be scrutinized. "

"The state of Illinois is in a very difficult financial situation. The state not only has a $5.7 billion deficit, it is not paying many of its bills.

The state owes the University of Illinois over $400 million dollars. There are fears that the University won`t be able to make payroll in March without some action.

It is reported that some state employees are having to pay their medical bills when they receive services because doctors aren`t being paid by the state. The state owed $5.1 billion in unpaid bills at the end of 2009. That number doesn`t include an estimated $1.4 billion in Medicaid and group health care bills that haven`t been processed and another $2.25 billion in short-term loans that are due.

Jim Nowlan, senior fellow at the University of Illinois` Institute of Government and Public Affairs describes the situation as, `I would describe bankruptcy as the inability to pay one`s bills.`

Legal experts believe that cities and counties can declare bankruptcy but that states can`t. "

"Georgia is not alone, or even in the worst shape, when it comes to battling 2010 budget problems. Between them California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Florida go into their 2011 budget cycles staring at a combined deficit of over $46 billion.

By state, the amounts are:

California - $14.4

Illinois - $12.8

New Jersey - $8

New York - $6.8

Florida - $4.7

If you look at the numbers as a percentage of the state budget, Arizona ($2.3 billion) joins California and Illinois as having deficts greater than 40% of the budget total.

Alaska, Nevada, New Jersey and New York face gaps of at least 30% of planned spending.

Federal `stimulus` funds which replaced state spending with Federal funds, start to wind down in mid-2010, which is when many state`s 2011 fiscal years begin."

"With Gov. Pat Quinn and the Legislature unable to agree on a package of tax increases and spending cuts, however, kicking the problem into the future looked like the easy way out. So, earlier this month, the state sold $3.5 billion in taxable bonds that it must repay over five years.

The interest rate tops out at 4.42 percent. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's higher than the yield on A-rated corporate bonds."

"The difference is significant because a pension bond is essentially an arbitrage play. Officials hope that when pension managers invest the money, they will earn more than the state is paying in interest. That would lower the state's future pension expense, leaving some spare cash flow to repay the bonds.

The arbitrage game would be easy if you could find a low-risk investment that paid more than 4.42 percent. Right now, though, the only way for Illinois to win is for its pension funds to get lucky and make good money in the stock market."

"Wall Street firms are loosening the terms of their lending to mortgage-bond investors as markets heal, an RBS Securities Inc. executive said.

Repurchase agreement, or repo, lending against the debt has expanded so much since freezing in late 2008 that some banks now offer as much as 10-to-1 leverage and terms as long as one year on certain securities backed by prime-jumbo home loans, said Scott Eichel, the Royal Bank of Scotland unit’s global co-head of asset- and mortgage-backed securities.

“It’s getting very competitive,” Eichel said in a Jan. 14 interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “We’re at the point where I don’t think we would feel comfortable if things go too much further.” "

"Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Iran will target Western warships in the Persian Gulf should the country come under attack from the U.S. and its allies, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.

“Why are there so many warships in the Persian Gulf? Is it against Iran?” Vahidi told a conference today in Tehran on issues involving the Gulf region, according to the state-run Fars news agency. “Westerners know that these warships are the best target for an operation by Iran if they undertake anything against Iran.” "

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Re: Daily Digest - January 19

Is the US Economy Being Tanked by Mistake or by Intent?


At some point, seeing no way out, maybe a decision was made to default on our debts. There are rumblings that the world economy is being intentionally brought to its knees in order to usher in a one-world currency.

Lots of really good stuff here.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 19


Town welcomed drilling, now fears pollution

Texas to soon release test results over cancer-causing benzene

Jan. 13, 2010

DISH, Texas - Like thousands of other Texans living atop one of the country's most productive natural gas fields, folks in this tiny town were giddy when drillers started offering up the fat checks.

The mayor likened it to the Gold Rush, and many of the 200 residents of a town that once sold its name to a satellite television company were hoping to be next in a long line of landowners to strike it rich by drilling into the Texas earth.

Many in the town on the rural plains of Fort Worth didn't even bother to ask whether the drilling might sour the air above the gas-rich rock formation called the Barnett Shale. "Nobody even thought about that kind of stuff," Mayor Calvin Tillman said.

By the time state regulators started testing the air around Dish, there were 15 wells inside the town limits and more than 12,000 spread across the massive shale. Results of those tests, released late last year, found elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene near Dish, spooking residents who now fear that what once looked like found money could end up harming their health.

"I had friends of mine that got filthy rich off oil and gas companies drilling out here," said Rebecca McKamie, who wonders whether pollution is the cause of serious health problems in her family and deaths of her farm animals. "I'm not against the oil and gas industry. I'm against being poisoned."

This month, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is planning to release an analysis of more extensive air-quality tests above the 5,000-square-mile shale, which runs beneath Dallas, Fort Worth and about 20 counties. The agency's focusing on benzene, which can escape through equipment leaks or accidental emissions.

People are regularly exposed to small doses of benzene by industrial pollutants, cigarette smoke, gasoline fumes and vehicle emissions. But long-term exposure can cause leukemia, and the results of the testing could lead the state to take severe actions, including issuing fines or placing new, restrictive rules on drillers.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 19


Japan Airlines Files for Bankruptcy


TOKYO -- Japan Airlines Corp. filed for court-led restructuring with the Tokyo District Court Tuesday, a quasi-governmental turnaround agency said.

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan said it had decided to support the restructuring of JAL, Asia's No. 1 carrier by revenue. JAL will revitalize its unprofitable operations with a capital injection from the agency, and by trimming its workforce and routes, ETIC said.

Under JAL's revamp plans, the carrier will reduce its capital to zero and ask for a debt-waiver worth Y730 billion on a group basis, while cutting costs by reducing its workforce by 15,700 employees--a third of its 47,000 total.

The government-backed investment fund will inject Y300 billion into the airline to prop up the ailing carrier's finances and help it carry out restructuring measures.

The filing follows months of talks between the carrier, the government and its banks to work out a bail-out for the money-hemorhaging airline. Hit by a drop in travelers amid the global economic slump, the spread of swine flu, and its own reluctance to scrap loss-making routes, JAL posted its largest-ever quarterly net loss of Y99 billion in the three months ended June 30, 2009. This was steeper than the annual net loss of Y63.19 billion it logged in the last fiscal year ended March 2009.

"JAL has no choice but to show that it can keep its operations running without disruption (to avoid losing its customers). This is very important," said Mitsuru Miyazaki, an analyst at SMBC Friend Research Center.

To prove flight services are operating as normal, "they can't stop even a single flight," he said.

For the fiscal year through March 2012, the company now expects a considerable increase in profitability, with an operating profit of Y115.7 billion and revenue of Y1.359 trillion.

JAL will use the nation's Corporate Rehabilitation Act which typically requires incumbent management to be dismissed from the troubled company's board before it works toward cleaning up its financial mess with the help of court-appointed administrators.

It isn't clear how long JAL's revival will take due to the massive size of its liabilities and the broad scope of its business transactions, which include jet fuel procurement and aircraft leasing, both in Japan and overseas.

"One thing that can become a big future problem is whether the court protection will be valid outside Japan as an international bankruptcy case," said Hideyuki Kobayashi, an attorney at Blakemore & Mitsuki law office in Tokyo.

The bankruptcy protection prohibits execution of the rights in collateral, meaning, for instance, JAL will be able to use aircraft it operates on a leasing basis.

But observers are concerned whether such regulation will go through outside Japan even after ample cash has been provided to JAL's business partners. Any seizure of assets for operations, and the resultant inability to continue flight operations, may ruin JAL's reputation and throw cold water on JAL's revival.

"One difference from the U.S.'s Chapter 11 filing is that (bankruptcy protection in Japan) takes longer," partly because JAL's case has been ill-prepared when compared with bankruptcy cases in the U.S., said Kobayashi.

"We can expect at least three years for JAL's revival," he said.

Japan's bankruptcy protection law has undergone several revisions to date, aimed at making it easier to use and bringing it closer into line with Chapter 11.

Among the 134 companies that filed for bankruptcy protection between Jan. 2004 and June 2009, around 50% have already managed to revive themselves, and only 1.5% actually went bankrupt, according to Teikoku Databank. Those companies took an average of 1.7 years to exit the reorganization process, data from Teikoku Databank showed, compared with 12.1 years for companies entering bankruptcy protection 10 years ago.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 19


    US waves white flag in disastrous 'war on drugs'

    After 40 years, Washington is quietly giving up on a futile battle that has spread corruption and destroyed thousands of lives

    By Hugh O'Shaughnessy

    Sunday, 17 January 2010

    After 40 years of defeat and failure, America's "war on drugs" is being buried in the same fashion as it was born – amid bloodshed, confusion, corruption and scandal. US agents are being pulled from South America; Washington is putting its narcotics policy under review, and a newly confident region is no longer prepared to swallow its fatal Prohibition error. Indeed, after the expenditure of billions of dollars and the violent deaths of tens of thousands of people, a suitable epitaph for America's longest "war" may well be the plan, in Bolivia, for every family to be given the right to grow coca in its own backyard.

    The "war", declared unilaterally throughout the world by Richard Nixon in 1969, is expiring as its strategists start discarding plans that have proved futile over four decades: they are preparing to withdraw their agents from narcotics battlefields from Colombia to Afghanistan and beginning to coach them in the art of trumpeting victory and melting away into anonymous defeat. Not surprisingly, the new strategy is being gingerly aired in the media of the US establishment, from The Wall Street Journal to the Miami Herald.

    Prospects in the new decade are thus opening up for vast amounts of useless government expenditure being reassigned to the treatment of addicts instead of their capture and imprisonment. And, no less important, the ever-expanding balloon of corruption that the "war" has brought to heads of government, armies and police forces wherever it has been waged may slowly start to deflate.
    Related articles

    Prepare to shed a tear over the loss of revenue that eventual decriminalisation of narcotics could bring to the traffickers, large and small, and to the contractors who have been making good money building and running the new prisons that help to bankrupt governments – in the US in particular, where drug offenders – principally small retailers and seldom the rich and important wholesalers – have helped to push theprison population to 1,600,000; their imprisonment is already straining federal and state budgets.In Mississippi, where drug offenders once had to serve 85 per cent of their sentences, they are now being required to serve less than a quarter. California has been ordered to release 40,000 inmates because its prisons are hugely overcrowded.


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Re: Daily Digest - January 19

Johnny, IMO it's intended. It's not just the U.S. it will be the whole world for all intents and purposes.

Here is why I believe this.

I have wondered why for some time, but I had my duh moment not too long ago and here is what I have come up with. I could be right, I could be wrong or somewhere in between.

If you do the MATH on resource depletion, you will quickly realize that oil, coal and food production have or will soon, hit a peak. A %7 annual growth of anything will have doubled in size in TEN years. So if oil consumption grows (using the Rule of 70) 7% a year, in 2020 it will be roughly 160 Million Barrels a day. Sorry that capacity doesn't exist, nor will it ever. Coal is plentiful right NOW in the U.S. and with ZERO production growth could last a bit less than 150 years, give or take. Cause a larger demand on it and the time lessens. Oil=FOOD and without oil, less food. The BIG problem is we need negative population growth for these resources to last longer. Those of us, who are liberty minded, wouldn't/couldn't suggest legal population limits. It goes against our grain. Those with fewer qualms would do it, IF suggesting such a thing wouldn't get them thrown out of office.

So what to do?

Well, let’s tell everyone that the planet is warming and it's our fault, maybe we will rally together and figure out a replacement of coal and oil. Since there are many warming skeptics, and some who do the climate change research, lie, fudge and cherry pick and then get caught, it causes even more doubt and more debate about climate change legitimacy. The next best thing is to get control of the majority of the money, so no matter how much things may cost in the future, we can afford and control it. So now the current global fiscal debacle is upon us.

So prepare for a financial collapse and with it the infrastructure grinding to a halt. Food, Water, Power, supply chain breakdowns. This will cause Millions of deaths here in the U.S. and maybe BILLIONS worldwide. China may refuse to go along with this, but they can’t feed themselves, so if they can’t import the difference they won’t have a choice, but to suffer. What about India? Same thing. Much of the world is urban, so the cities will suffer the most.


I’m unsure about climate change. I believe it may be legitimate, but I’m unsure if WE humans are causing it and if we can do anything about it, either way. (I’m not proposing ignoring it.)

If climate change is legitimate, then why the lying, cherry picking and fudging of data? This brings serious doubt to my mind on, I’m assuming others, this supposed “science”. You DON’T do science like this, period!

The Elites will survive. It will be the roll of the dice for the rest of us. They have control and will gain tighter control.

My numbers above are as accurate as I can get them. Proven reserves of coal may be larger, but with today’s climate debates, I don’t see its consumption growing a lot in the near future.


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Is the US Economy Being Tanked by Mistake or by Intent?

We can never be sure of anything really, but I personally strongly suspect that they were all caught out by the "exponential" funcyion.

Exponential anything has a nasty habit of blowing up in one's face.  As Bartlett says, and which I quote all the time because it's TRUE...:
Humanity's greatest shortcoming is its inability to understand the exponential function..



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Re: Daily Digest - January 19



If climate change is legitimate, then why the lying, cherry picking and fudging of data?

You're right about the lying, cherry picking and fudging of data, but wrong about the culprits.  The denialist propaganda machine has successfully distorted and lied about the science so pervasively that people who don't actually go out of their way to understand the science get sucked in.  Science never goes forward in a straight line and mistakes are made (witness the recent kerfuffle over the Himalayan glaciers) but the science of AGW is convincing and the evidence is growing ever stronger.  There are always uncertainties in any field of science, but continued research is vital if we are to understand the phenomenon.


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Re: Daily Digest - January 19
Doug wrote:



If climate change is legitimate, then why the lying, cherry picking and fudging of data?

You're right about the lying, cherry picking and fudging of data, but wrong about the culprits.  The denialist propaganda machine has successfully distorted and lied about the science so pervasively that people who don't actually go out of their way to understand the science get sucked in.  .....


OK here is some "denialist propaganda" aka science. The data on the right side is supposed to be evidence of an anthropogenic cause of warming because the climate models can't reproduce it with only normal solar etc inputs.

And here is a plot that was in the 1990 IPCC report, but was replaced with the now discredited "hockey stick" graph. Recent attempts to resurrect the hockey stick have been shown to rely on cherry picked tree ring data. Read the climategate emails if you think that there was no scientific wrongdoing there. 

And speaking of cherry picking and fudging of data. The temperature forecasts of a decade ago are already significantly wrong. New forecasts that  successively reset to a new starting point avoid the little inconvenient fact that temperatures haven't been increasing for a decade. If I hadn't already exceeded my graphic file upload limit, I would be happy to show the first IPCC forecast , which is now off by a good 0.6C;  which is the warming attributed to the entire previous century.

Indisputable historical records show that sea level has been rising steadily since the end of the little ice age (~ 1800). They also show that glaciers have been retreating for about the same length of time and have actually retreated at a slower rate for about the last 50 years.

Sorry Doug, but real science doesn't support a scenario of man made climate disaster.







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Re: Daily Digest - January 19

IMHO the powers that be are wasting a huge amount of time and resources debating, coming up with ridiculous ideas like carbon credits (which will just end up being traded, another moneymaking scheme) instead of working towards fixing the real problems   - exponentially increasing populations and an energy crisis.  Those two things are pretty much incontrovertible, solve them and you've made a huge positive impact on the world.

I must admit, it had occurred to me that the financial crash was probably one of the nicer ways of stalling uncontrolled growth, but I don't think it's an actual conspiracy to make the system crash.  More like a conspiracy by the big banks to make as much money as possible.

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Re: Daily Digest - January 19

Stan, we do not care if the current ~1 degree celcius was caused by us or not... The point is to figure out if we are causing a warming of more than 2 degrees in the future, something that NEVER happened in human history!


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Re: Daily Digest - January 19



The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records, in the surface temperature analysis of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world. Global mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1a, was 0.57°C (1.0°F) warmer than climatology (the 1951-1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1b, was 0.49°C (0.88°F) warmer than in the period of climatology.

Figure 1. (a) GISS analysis of global surface temperature change. Green vertical bar is estimated 95 percent confidence range (two standard deviations) for annual temperature change. (b) Hemispheric temperature change in GISS analysis. (Base period is 1951-1980. This base period is fixed consistently in GISS temperature analysis papers – see References. Base period 1961-1990 is used for comparison with published HadCRUT analyses in Figures 3 and 4.)


Why are some people so readily convinced of a false conclusion, that the world is really experiencing a cooling trend? That gullibility probably has a lot to do with regional short‐term temperature fluctuations, which are an order of magnitude larger than global average annual anomalies. Yet many lay people do understand the distinction between regional short‐term anomalies and global trends. For example, here is comment posted by “frogbandit” at 8:38p.m. 1/6/2010 on City Bright blog:

“I wonder about the people who use cold weather to say that the globe is cooling. It forgets that global warming has a global component and that its a trend, not an everyday thing. I hear people down in the lower 48 say its really cold this winter. That ain’t true so far up here in Alaska. Bethel, Alaska, had a brown Christmas. Here in Anchorage, the temperature today is 31[ºF]. I can’t say based on the fact Anchorage and Bethel are warm so far this winter that we have global warming. That would be a really dumb argument to think my weather pattern is being experienced even in the rest of the United States, much less globally.”

The charts and graphs won't copy, but the article is a pretty detailed description of global and hemispheric temperatures, particularly December 2009 temperature anomalies in mid latitudes, in the last 130 years with extensive follow-up discussion. 


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