The Duchess, who will attend this year’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) ceremony with her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, is about to be landed in a diplomatic minefield. Actresses are gearing up to don black dresses in support of the #TimesUp movement, a campaign against sexual harassment prompted by the #MeToo phenomenon.
The move comes after the Academy Awards in the US saw only a handful of women ignore the call of solidarity by wearing lighter shades. Kate is faced with a crisis: show solidarity or keep with the royal family’s policy of avoiding political statements or comment.
Kensington Palace told RT that they would not comment, but they did confirm that Meghan Markle – Prince Harry’s fiancée – would not be in attendance, only the Duchess and Duke.
A letter to BAFTA guests, published by film industry magazine the Hollywood Reporter, has laid out plans from a “collective of UK based female film and television industry leaders,” for a “physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse or have been held back due to an imbalance in power.”
“Here in the UK, more than half of all women and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment at work,” the letter said.
“And we hope that those of us who are privileged enough to have a platform, can use it to raise awareness of the experiences of women beyond our industry, whose experiences are often silenced and marginalized.
“At this point, we are keeping things under wraps as the UK-side movement shapes up and we’ll have some exciting plans to announce soon. We wanted to personally reach out to you at this point to let you know of the colour code and we will be in touch again with more information, including talking points on why we’re wearing black.”
While stars have not publicly vowed to wear black to the BAFTAs, Harry Potter star Emma Watson all-but confirmed it with a single, simple tweet.
BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry told the Telegraph that awards organizers are braced for speeches about the Hollywood harassment scandal. “It often has (been used as a platform) in the past, I think in different years there have been different issues,” she said.
“People obviously feel it’s a very powerful platform. The film awards go out globally so that makes it even more powerful, so we never say to people don’t say anything, please just thank the crew or whatever it is. Because if somebody feels passionately about it, they are going to say it. There has been a lot of conversation to date and obviously that conversation continues, awards season shines a very bright spotlight on that conversation.”
The BAFTAs will take place on February 18 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The report, published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, states that eliminating chemicals that were used to make non-stick coating, like Teflon, have stymied more than 118,000 low-weight births as well as brain damage related to it. This finding was derived after a thorough examination of blood samples from women who had just given birth as part of a national health study.
Earlier studies have long connected the chemicals, which were known for making sure food does not stick to the pans, with hypertension, birth defects, and lower-than-average weights. These points were the key issues behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stewardship program on the reduction of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — one of the main components in non-stick materials — as well as subsequent efforts to eliminate production in 2014.
Researchers assess that the sharp dip in chemically-linked births have helped save the country at least $13.7 billion in health costs caused by long-term hospital stays for infants and the continued treatment for the cognitive damage sustained. This figure also accounts for future gains made when the children accomplish higher education levels and gain employment.
“The evidence is overwhelming that the EPA-industry accord to phase out chemicals once used in nonstick coatings has been a major success in protecting children’s health,” according to lead investigator and epidemiologist Dr. Leonardo Trasande, who is also an associate professor at NYU. “[The] policy designed to lessen human exposure has spared thousands of newborns from damage to their health and saved U.S. taxpayers over a billion dollars in unnecessary health care costs.”
According to the research team, The essential risk to babies and pregnant women before 2006 were from exposure to PFOA. The chemical does not occur naturally in the environment and can accumulate in the “blood of marine mammals and in most humans exposed to them.” A study indicates PFOA has a long half-life (rate of elimination from the body) after a person is exposed to it, and it is able to persist in the environment. Research has also shown that a nanogram increase in PFOA per milliliter of blood can result in an 18.9 reduction in birth weight. (Related: Chemicals From Teflon Found in Human Breast Milk.)
While the agreement between the EPA and the industry has greatly decreased PFOA levels in the blood, Trasande warns about the products that have already been sold, and are possibly still in use, before the ban came into place. Additionally, health impacts for exposure to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), the chemical substitute for PFOA, are obscure. Both PFOA and PFC are classified as endocrine disruptors, a group of chemicals that may interfere with normal hormone and brain function. Substances under this group have been observed to cause adverse effects on both humans and wildlife, according to studies.
For the study, researchers looked at PFOA levels in blood samples of people who took the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) — which has assembled data about the prevalence and risk factors to chronic illnesses through an annual survey of five thousand volunteers. Of the survey, they found that blood PFOA levels in women ages 18 to 49 steadily increased from 2003 to 2008, with the highest average level noted to be 3.5 nanograms per milliliter. This pattern, however, switched in 2009, a couple of years after the agreement was imposed, and danger levels of PFOA dipped from an average of 2.8 nanograms per milliliter to 1.6 nanograms per milliliter by 2014.
The level of low-weight births from PFOA that were potentially averted was run through a computer model and was used to calculate potential health costs and lost income that would result if PFOA was still used. The results showed a significant drop in the number of low-birth babies due to PFOA exposure: from 17,501 births in 2008, it plummeted to 1,491 in 2014.
An international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program struck in 2015 is working and all sides should stick to their commitments, the European Commission said on Friday. “We are following very closely all the developments on the deal…reminding that it is a non-proliferation deal, which has been endorsed by the UN Security Council, that it’s working, delivering as it has been verified eight times by the international agency for atomic energy,” a commission spokeswoman told reporters in Brussels. The agreement “gives all sides the necessary assurances,” she added, as cited by Reuters. US President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision soon on whether to remain engaged in the deal with Iran.
The treaty allows member states to schedule observation flights over each other’s territory to monitor military deployments and is part of a crumbling framework for building trust between Russia and NATO members.
Commenting on the expected announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said treaty members “should strictly follow its terms and raise any complaints through mechanisms of the treaty.”
The American delegation is expected to accuse Russia of breaching the treaty, the newspaper reported citing a senior US State Department official. It is to cite restrictions imposed by Russia on Open Skies flights over its territory over the past few years and announce “reciprocal countermeasures,” which main include limitation of Russian flights over Alaska and Hawaii.
In particular the US is irritated by restrictions imposed on observation flights over the Kaliningrad Region, the report said. The restrictions force two flights to be taken instead of just one to cover the entire territory of the Russian exclave in the Baltics.
“There have been reports about all kinds of sophisticated radar systems – air defense, area denial capabilities – designed to keep NATO warships and airships away,” Michael Carpenter, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told the newspaper. “If they have that sort of weaponry, we would like to have more transparency about what is there.”
Aleksandr Peresypkin, a retired Russian Major General and member of the Russian delegation in Vienna, told the WSJ that the US itself was “resourceful in reducing access to its airspace.”
“We have serious claims that a number of participating states are interfering with observation flights,” he said. “Our partners, in an attempt to ‘balance’ mutual claims, often just come up with small problems, elevated to the rank of big ones.”
The Open Skies treaty currently has 34 members, most of them European nations, but also including the US, Canada, Ukraine, Georgia, Russia and Belarus. Footage shot form observation planes during flight is shared among member states, but NATO members agreed not to inspect each other, which, the Russian Foreign Ministry remarks, “creates a certain misbalance of information and… violates the spirit of the treaty.”
Ukraine and its allies over the past few years scheduled some two dozen Open Skies flights over Russia along the two countries mutual border. The flights were meant to prove Kiev’s allegations that Russia had deployed large forces along the border and was providing military hardware to separatist entities in eastern Ukraine. The flight failed to provide such evidence.
The treaty last came into public attention in August after a Russian observation plane flew over the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA HQ and a military base in Maryland. Coming amid a period of high tension in US over alleged Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, the flight sparked media frenzy in America.
Oklahoma City, OK – In an extremely heartbreaking story, on Tuesday, Oklahoma City police shot and killed a deaf man after responding to a reported hit-and-run accident. Witnesses claim that they warned police that the man was deaf – but officers opened fire anyway.
Police alleged that Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was spotted near a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle involved in the incident, and confronted a man standing near the car who they claim was holding a stick – who did not respond to their warnings.
A neighbor told AP that Sanchez was either deaf or hard of hearing, and carried a stick with him as protection from stray dogs.
Witnesses to the killing are on record stating that they informed the police that the man was deaf prior to them opening fire and killing him.
“We have lived in the neighborhood for 13 years so we knew him… and we knew that he was deaf,” one of the witnesses told the Daily Mail. “As the cops tried to approach him, my husband, my daughter and I were all screaming at the police that he was deaf.”
Another local resident said that Sanchez used written notes to communicate, adding that she often saw him with the stick.
According to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews, Oklahoma City Police Lt. Matthew Lindsey went by the house and spotted 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez holding what appeared to be a large stick near the porch.
See attached press release for more more infor on last night’s officer-involved shooting. Visit our Facebook page for video of the presser. pic.twitter.com/QTMA3xkqEc
Note that this is how law enforcement attempt to lay the groundwork for their defense, by claiming the catch-all phrase, “I was in fear for my life,” which essentially gives officers carte blanche to kill anyone.
Police claim that after backup arrived they ordered Sanchez to drop the “weapon” and get on the ground, but instead he held up the stick and continued towards them.
One officer then shot Sanchez with a Tazer and another shot him at the same time with his handgun, according to Mathews, who of course, claims the officers didn’t hear the bystanders “screaming at police that he was deaf.”
Ironically, a similar, but less fatal incident, occurred in Oklahoma City in 2014, with the deaf victim being severely beaten. During that incident, another deaf man Pearl Pearson Jr., 64, who was also a diabetic, was beaten and arrested by police officers as they yelled at him to stop resisting during a traffic stop.
In that incident, Pearson’s driver’s license clearly indicated he was deaf, and he also had a placard in his driver’s door that clearly stated, “Driver is deaf”. When Pearson pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything.
After Pearson was beaten by police, he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest. He was thrown in jail, and, according to his family, an interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement — not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail was an interpreter provided — even though Pearl requested one.
Pearson was sitting in a jail cell, battered and bruised, and had no idea ‘why.’
Pearson has no criminal record, and in fact is a father to a police officer, his son-in-law is also a cop. In 2015, Pearson was given an award for his amazing service to the community for working with people with disabilities.
And while police officials now attempt to deflect responsibility for the killing of Sanchez by claiming that he was armed with a metal pipe in his right hand, which was wrapped in some type of material, the reality is the poorly trained officers, with a shoot first ask questions later mentality, are all too common.
So, police now want you to believe they killed the deaf man because he refused to listen to their commands and came at them holding a metal pipe – and that they couldn’t hear the numerous people yelling at them to inform them that Sanchez was deaf.
Mathews said that there were no operational body cameras on the scene at the time of the shooting, and that officers only learned that Sanchez was deaf and couldn’t hear their commands — after the shooting.
Police officials now acknowledge that the driver of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was actually Sanchez’s father and that Sanchez was not in the vehicle.
In typical fashion, the shooter, Sgt. Barnes was placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation into the shooting continues – but we all know how this plays out.
The police will investigate themselves, and find that they did nothing wrong, as usual.
Sadly, while a family grapples with the tragic loss of a loved one, it’s unlikely there will ever be justice for Magdiel Sanchez, as the thin blue line always protects their own.
It wouldn’t be shocking for a television network known for programming gems like Jackass, Catfish, Teen Mom and The Real World, to lack perspective on serious matters — or to lack serious reporting.
Both deficiencies were on full display during An Inconvenient Special on MTV, starring former Vice President Al Gore promoting his new film which is essentially his own reality television show anyway. He prefers the term “cinema verite.” The Aug. 2, town hall special was also scheduled for re-broadcast that night on BET, and on VH1 on Aug. 4.
MTV News correspondent Gaby Wilson hosted the event with Gore and a young army of people raised under the propaganda of his first film An Inconvenient Truth, and his Climate Reality Project.
The dull 30-minute event consisted primarily of his fans lobbing praise and soft questions, while Gore repeated almost the exact same (contested) talking points about extreme weather and climate “solutions” he’s delivered on the network morning shows, CNN, The Daily Show and more in recent weeks.
Wilson reminded the audience about the 2006 film which “brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture and fueled a worldwide movement,” and praised Gore’s second film which will be in theaters nationwide Aug. 4.
Then she claimed, “Climate change just might be the most significant human rights issue facing our generation.”
Not the 40-50 million unborn children killed by abortion annually around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Not the millions of people, mostly women and children, trapped in human trafficking. Not genocide. But climate change.
The program was hardly filled with experts. Rather than talking to scientists — or even citing them directly, MTV stayed in its wheelhouse and relied on musicians for the show. Rounding out the cast of Gore supporters participating in the town hall were music producer and electronic music star DJ Steve Aoki and Latino rapper Fat Joe. Teen activist Delaney Reynolds of Miami was also on hand to teach Fat Joe all about the threat of sea level rise in Miami. Reynolds founded the Sink or Swim organization to urge children to get involved to stop sea level rise in Miami. Fat Joe is known for songs like What’s Luv, We Thuggin’, Get it Poppin, and Bet Ya Man Can’t Triz.
According to her blog, Reynolds is one of the many people Gore has convinced. She participated in a Climate Leadership Training course “a few years ago” in Miami, through Gore’s Climate Reality project. During the town hall, she was wearing a green ring pin. Exactly like the one Gore wears often, including in his interview with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central one night earlier. They are a symbol worn by supporters of Gore’s own Climate Reality Project.
Reynolds told Fat Joe in approximately 45 years “seas are definitely going to rise two to three feet because of the damage that we’ve already done to our environment.” Later she warned there could be 2.5 million climate refugees just from Miami-Dade county, Florida, because of climate change.
There were no hard-hitting questions for Gore from audience members about his storm surge distortion (which he repeated during the town hall), inaccuracies like his extreme weather and hurricane claims, or his failed predictions such as an ice-free Arctic and snow-free Mt. Kilimanjaro. Even CNN lefty Anderson Cooper mentioned the last one.
A young man who was “vegan for climate reasons” wanted Gore to “reflect” on the environmental changes since his first movie. Another asked what to do to help the environment since President Donald Trump left the Paris climate agreement. Aoki asked Gore what cities, other than Miami, are also at risk. It was a gathering of the converted preaching to the choir.
Promoting political activism was a big part of the broadcast, as Wilson repeatedly told viewers to tweet at their governors to demand 100 percent renewable energy with the hashtag #beinconvenient. That’s the same hashtag being used to promote Gore’s brand new film, across Viacom’s many media platforms. Audience members also asked how to effectively “resist” the Trump administration, Wilson asked Gore what “local actions” could young people take and how important the midterm elections would be.
MTV also aired a clip from An Inconvenient Sequel where Gore shouts, “We are close in this movement. We are very close to the tipping point beyond which this movement, like the abolition movement, like the women’s suffrage movement, like the civil rights movement, like the anti-apartheid movement, like the movement for gay rights is resolved into a choice between right and wrong.”
Wilson reacted with “wow” and called it a “very powerful clip” from the movie, which she told the audience and viewers “you better check it out.” It was a typical Yes Man response.
Gore already appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, on Viacom’s Comedy Central – as part of the $14-billion media company’s promotion of Gore, climate alarmism and the film An Inconvenient Sequel, which Viacom’s own Paramount is distributing. Ads for the MTV special aired during The Daily Show too.
Offering financial incentives for workouts doesn’t work because the approach is too simplistic.
Money can make people do a lot of things, but apparently a one-time $60 payment isn’t enough to get adults going to the gym for six weeks. This is the conclusion of a rather strange study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which offered several financial incentives ($60 cash, a $30 gift card, or a gift worth $30) to new gym members if they would attend the gym nine times within the first six weeks of joining.
The researchers found that the “incentives had only moderate impacts on attendance during members’ first 6 weeks and no effect on their subsequent visits.” They also discovered that new gym members were “extremely optimistic” about how often they would visit the gym and “there is a fast decline in their visit frequency over the first few months of membership.”
This shouldn’t come as news to anyone. For people who are well off enough to get a gym membership in the first place, $60 isn’t a huge deal – and certainly not enough to justify suffering and sweating for an hour multiple times a week if it’s not something one already enjoys doing.
Therein lies the key to success – enjoying the act of working out. If it’s awful and painful, then you’ll always find ways of resisting it. Exercise must become a natural part of life in order to become a habit.
As someone who never set foot in a gym until I was in my mid-20s, it’s taken me a long time to make it part of my regular routine. Now you could call me addicted. I do three intense workouts per week at a local CrossFit gym and have reached a level of fitness I never dreamed I’d achieve. Here are my thoughts on what helps a new exercise habit to ‘stick.’
If you join a gym, it has to be easy to reach in minimal time; otherwise, going there will feel like too much hassle. A gym in your building, on your block, or in the garage is ideal. My gym is a five-minute bike ride away, so I can leave less than 10 minutes before the class begins.
Some people love spending hours puttering around a gym, but that’s not realistic for me, nor many others. It’s important to feel like you’re getting work done in a limited period of time. That’s part of the reason why I love the hour-long classes that condense everything (warm-up, skill, strength training, and quick burner workout) into a set chunk of the day. If you’d rather run, swim, or bike, set a timer and commit to getting as much work done in a certain amount of time.
This is a financial incentive of another sort! If you pay through the nose for a membership (like I do at CrossFit – and believe me, it hurts), you’ll show up for class 3 times a week because the thought of wasting so much money is terrifying. By contrast, paying only $30 a month for a regular gym membership doesn’t hurt enough. At the same time, you have to believe you’re getting your money’s worth in the form of skills development, expert advice, good equipment, and physical results. If not, there’s little reason to keep going.
Up until recently, there was a worrying trend of people wanting to putting the responsibility for their health onto someone else. It’s no one’s job but your own to get your body in shape, but you have to want it badly enough. There are no quick fixes. In the words of Josh Bridges, an ex-Navy SEAL and elite CrossFit athlete, “Pay the man.” You have to put in the work.
While self-discipline is the most important psychological element to a successful relationship with the gym, accountability helps a lot. This can be done by a friend who will give you heck for not meeting him/her at the gym as promised, a spouse to whom you’ve promised a lifestyle change, or a personal trainer who expects you to show up. Set up these accountability partners in advance and tell them what you’ll need in terms of encouragement.
It is very exciting to learn new skills, especially ones you never thought you’d learn. At risk of sounding like a CrossFit advertisement, I have fallen in love with barbell work, thanks to the excellent coaches at my local gym. (This is not the case everywhere.) Learning how to performs clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts, and back squats, as well as some gymnastics-style movements like pull-ups and handstand pushups, has been empowering and thrilling. It adds an element of challenge to the regular grind of exercise.
Everyone needs results. These are the greatest incentive of all. I tell people, if you can stick with a workout routine for three months, you’ll start liking it. After six months, you’ll start seeing big results – and then you’re set. It’s addictive at that point because you know how great it feels and you want more of that. These physical results, however, are intimately tied to dietary change, which is something everyone should also explore when wanting to get in shape.
Madeira, CA — On Friday, another man lost his life in a hail of police bullets. Madeira, CA Police shot and killed 32-year-old Sergio Valdovinos, a mentally ill man who police says was swinging at them with a large stick.
Valdovinos was known to police. They’d been out to his home before. In fact, they’d responded to his home on at least 50 occasions over the last two years. He was mentally ill and reportedly suffered from schizophrenia.
For years, his mother had attempted to get him help, to no avail. Surely his condition was wearing on her, as well as the community who lived in adjacent homes. But neither his medical condition nor the frequent police calls to the home were any reason for law enforcement to kill him, according to critics within Valdovinos’ family.
Video from the SWAT team entry was recorded by a neighbor. It shows the team, in line formation, turning the corner around the garage, and engaging the young mentally ill man on his front porch.
After commands were given and apparently ignored, police opened fire, killing Valdovinos with eight quick shots. It was over. No more would his mother be terrorized by his supposed irrational, impulsive behaviors. No longer would the community have to worry about the schizophrenic man down the road. But questions remain.
Could the police have ended the situation without killing him? Could they have disarmed him without using deadly force? For answers to that question, KMPH News reporters spoke with Madeira Police Chief Steven Frazier. He told them;
This is not what a Madera Police Department wants to happen.
The chief displayed a table with a large stick, screwdrivers, and a makeshift “shield” that was made with a griddle which was reportedly taken off of his person before police shot and killed him.
We’ve been out there before where he’s threatening us with machetes, knives.
Chief Frazier indicated he was a dangerous person, having once set his garage on fire.
Sergio began swinging the stick at our officers. The officer that was closest to him ended up firing eight rounds to defend himself from getting struck by the stick.
When asked if the level of force was appropriate, the chief responded by saying his team had to neutralize the “threat” and that there was little time to contemplate whether the force was excessive. He said:
We need to use a level that stops that threat. How many shots that takes? I don’t know. There’s so many factors that come into play. From the time that you start pulling the trigger, to the time he falls, by the time your brain catches up with that, you could have fired three or four more rounds just because you knew you had to…Eight rounds sounds like a lot. I don’t think that’s excessive at this point.
Unfortunately, the keywords we often hear at TFTP are: “in fear for my life” and “stop the threat,” all of which begs the question of whether a taser should have been deployed. After all, the man was suffering from a mental illness.
The chief responded to the suggestion a taser should have been used by saying, “the opportunity did not present itself.”
But other officers have been faced with equally terrifying situations and created space and opportunity sufficient enough to deploy a taser. In one such instance, a man who was either schizophrenic or on a drug such as “bath salts” or “PCP,” took all his clothes off and laid down in a busy city street.
When one solitary officer arrived on the scene, the crazed man got up from the ground and quickly walked toward the officer in a threatening manner. Instead of drawing his service pistol, which he could have deployed with justification, he chose his taser, and dropped the man like a bag of bricks.
So how is it a team of SWAT team members could not have done the same? Maybe they’re not trained to de-escalate. And therein may lie the problem. Police need better training to deal with mentally ill, and de-escalate dangerous situations.
“The hockey stick debate is thus about two things. At a technical level it is about flaws in methodology and erroneous results in a scientific paper. But at a political level, the debate is about whether the IPCC betrayed the trust of governments around the world.” – Professor Ross McKitrick, 2005
In late 2016, the liberal media launched a conspiracy theory narrative that claimed “the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton.” This was achieved, we were told without a single shred of supporting evidence, by hacking the DNC emails and publicizing the highly embarrassing messages that revealed just how corrupt and criminal the DNC has been all along. That hacking, we’ve been informed, was very real and very scary, and it’s why the entire left-wing media continues to insist to this day that the election was a fraud.
The “Russian conspiracy theory” is, of course, complete fiction. It was fabricated by the left-wing media as cover for Hillary Clinton’s dismal candidate performance and horrendous loss to a total political outsider. The Russian conspiracy narrative, in fact, wasn’t spawned until the days after Clinton’s loss, and it was just a few weeks earlier that Hillary Clinton herself had condemned Donald Trump for refusing to pre-accept the outcome of the election, even before the election took place. Clinton said she “feared for our democracy” and shuddered at the thought that someone wouldn’t agree in advance to honor the outcome of an election the lawless Left was systematically stealing through vote fraud, rigged CNN debate questions and an all-out media smear campaign to destroy the reputation of Trump.
The 2016 wasn’t hacked; it was lost by Hillary Clinton. But there is some real hacking that has been going on to steal national sovereignty and overthrow national governments. That hacking, it turns out, was conducted on a piece of software to make it produce false “hockey stick” graphs depicting global warming out of data sets that logically support no such conclusion.
Hacking the IPCC global warming data
The same left-wing media outlets that fabricated the “Russian hacking” conspiracy, curiously, have remained totally silent about a real, legitimate hacking that took place almost two decades earlier. The IPCC “global warming” software models, we now know, were “hacked” from the very beginning, programmed to falsely produce “hockey stick” visuals from almost any data set… include “random noise” data.
What follows are selected paragraphs from a fascinating book that investigated this vast political and scientific fraud: The Real Global Warming Disaster by Christopher Booker (Continuum, 2009). This book is also available as an audio book from Audible.com, so if you enjoy audio books, download a copy there.
Here’s what Booker found when he investigated the “hacking” of the temperature data computer models:
From “The Real Global Warming Disaster” by Christopher Booker: (bold emphasis added)
Nothing alerted us more to the curious nature of the global warming scare than the peculiar tactics used by the IPCC to promote its orthodoxy, brooking no dissent. More than once in its series of mammoth reports, the IPCC had been caught out in very serious attempts to rewrite the scientific evidence. The most notorious instance of this was the extraordinary prominence it gave in 2001 to the so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph, mysteriously produced by a relatively unknown young US scientist, which completely redrew the accepted historical record by purporting to show temperatures in the late twentieth century having shot upwards to a level far higher than had ever been known before. Although the ‘hockey stick’ was instantly made the central icon of the IPCC’s cause, it was within a few years to become one of the most comprehensively discredited artefacts in the history of science.
Similarly called into serious doubt was the reliability of some of the other temperature figures on which the IPCC based its case. Most notably these included those provided by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), run by Dr James Hansen, A1 Gore’s closest scientific ally, which were one of the four official sources of temperature data on which the IPCC relied. These were shown to have been repeatedly ‘adjusted’, to suggest that temperatures had risen further and more steeply than was indicated by any of the other three main data-sources.
…Out of the blue in 1998 Britain’s leading science journal Nature, long supportive of the warming orthodoxy, published a new paper on global temperature changes over the previous 600 years, back to 1400. Its chief author was Michael Mann, a young physicist-turned-climate scientist at the University of Massachusetts, who had only completed his PhD two years before. In 1999 he and his colleagues published a further paper, based only on North America but extending their original findings over 1000 years.
Their computer model had enabled them to produce a new temperature graph quite unlike anything seen before. Instead of the previously familiar rises and falls, this showed the trend of average temperatures having gently declined through nine centuries, but then suddenly shooting up in the twentieth century to a level that was quite unprecedented.
In Mann’s graph such familiar features as the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age had simply vanished. All those awkward anomalies were shown as having been illusory. The only real anomaly which emerged from their studies was that sudden exponential rise appearing in the twentieth century, culminating in the ‘warmest year of the millennium’, 1998.
As would eventually emerge, there were several very odd features about Mann’s new graph, soon to be known as the ‘hockey stick’ because its shape, a long flattish line curving up sharply at the end, was reminiscent of the stick used in ice hockey. But initially none might have seemed odder than the speed with which this obscure study by a comparatively unknown young scientist came to be taken up as the new ‘orthodoxy’.
So radically did the ‘hockey stick’ rewrite all the accepted versions of climate history that initially it carried all before it, leaving knowledgeable experts stunned. It was not yet clear quite how Mann had arrived at his remarkable conclusions, precisely what data he had used or what methods the IPCC had used to verify his findings. The sensational new graph which the IPCC made the centrepiece of its report had been sprung on the world out of left field.
…Yet when, over the years that followed, a number of experts from different fields began to subject Mann’s two papers to careful analysis, some rather serious questions came to be asked about the basis for his study.
For a start, although Mann and his colleagues had cited other evidence for their computer modelling of historical temperatures, it became apparent that they had leaned particularly heavily on ‘proxy data’ provided by a study five years earlier of tree-rings in ancient bristlecone pine trees growing on the slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. ‘Proxies’ used to calculate temperature consist of data other than direct measurement, such as tree rings, stalactites, ice cores or lake sediments.
According to the 1993 paper used by Mann, these bristlecone pines had shown significantly accelerated growth in the years after 1900. But the purpose of this original study had not been to research into past temperatures. As was made clear by its title – ‘Detecting the aerial fertilisation effect of atmospheric C02 enrichment in tree-ring chronologies’ – it had been to measure the effect on the trees’ growth rate of the twentieth-century increase in C02 levels.
Tree rings are a notoriously unreliable reflector of temperature changes, because they are chiefly formed during only one short period of the year, and cannot therefore give a full picture. This 1993 study of one group of trees in one untypical corner of the US seemed a remarkably flimsy basis on which to base an estimate of global temperatures going back 1000 years.
Then it transpired that, in order to show the twentieth-century section of the graph, the terrifying upward flick of temperatures at the end of the ‘hockey stick’, spliced in with the tree-ring data had been a set of twentieth-century temperature readings, as recorded by more than 2,000 weather stations across the earth’s surface. It was these which more than anything helped to confirm the most dramatic conclusion of the study, that temperatures in the closing decades of the twentieth century had been shooting up to levels unprecedented in the history of the last 1,000 years, culminating in the ‘warmest year of the millennium’, 1998.
Not only was it far from clear that, for this all-important part of the graph, two quite different sets of data had been used. Also accepted without qualification was the accuracy of these twentieth-century surface temperature readings. But the picture given by these was already being questioned by many expert scientists who pointed to evidence that readings from surface weather stations could become seriously distorted by what was known as the ‘urban heat island effect’. The majority of the thermometers in such stations were in the proximity of large and increasingly built-up population centres. It was well-established that these heated up the atmosphere around them to a significantly higher level than in more isolated locations.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than by contrasting the temperature readings taken on the earth’s surface with those which, since 1979, had been taken by NASA satellites and weather balloons, using a method developed by Dr Roy Spencer, responsible for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Centre, and Dr John Christie of the University of Alabama, Huntsville.
Surprisingly, these atmospheric measurements showed that, far from warming in the last two decades of the twentieth century, global temperatures had in fact slightly cooled. As Spencer was at pains to point out, these avoided the distortions created in surface readings by the urban heat island effect. The reluctance of the IPCC to take proper account of this, he observed, confirmed the suspicion of ‘many scientists involved in the process’ that the IPCC’s stance on global warming was ‘guided more by policymakers and politicians than by scientists’.
What was also remarkable about the ‘hockey stick’, as was again widely observed, was how it contradicted all that mass of evidence which supported the generally accepted picture of temperature fluctuations in past centuries. As was pointed out, tree-rings are not the most reliable guide to assessing past temperatures. Scores of more direct sources of proxy evidence had been studied over the years, from Africa, South America, Australia, Pakistan, Antarctica, every continent and ocean of the world.
Whether evidence was taken from lake sediments or ice cores, glaciers in the Andes or boreholes in every continent (Huang et ai, 1997), the results had been remarkably consistent in confirming that the familiar view was right. There had been a Little Ice Age, across the world. There had similarly been a Mediaeval Warm Period. Furthermore, a mass of data confirmed that the world had been even warmer in the Middle Ages than it was in 1998.
The first comprehensive study to review this point was published in January 2003 by Dr Willie Soon and his colleague Dr Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They had examined 140 expert studies of the climate history of the past 1,000 years, based on every kind of data. Some had given their findings only in a local or regional context, others had attempted to give a worldwide picture. But between them these studies had covered every continent. The question the two researchers had asked of every study was whether or not it showed a ‘discernible climate anomaly’ at the time of (1) the Little Ice Age and (2) the Mediaeval Warm Period; and (3) whether it had shown the twentieth century to be the warmest time in the Millennium.
Their conclusion was unequivocal. Only two of the studies they looked at had not found evidence for the Little Ice Age. Only seven of the 140 studies had denied the existence of a Mediaeval Warm Period, while 116 had confirmed it.
On the crucial question of whether or not the twentieth century had been the warmest of the past thousand years, only 15 studies, including that of Mann himself, had unambiguously agreed that it was. The vast majority accepted that earlier centuries had been warmer. The conclusion of Soon and Baliunas was that ‘Across the world, many records reveal that the twentieth century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.’
But if Mann and his colleagues had got the picture as wrong as this survey of the literature suggested, nothing did more to expose just how this might have come about than a remarkable feat of analysis carried out later in the same year by two Canadians and published in October 2003. (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick, 2003, ‘Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) proxy databse and northern hemispheric average temperature series’, Energy and Environment, 14, 752-771. In the analysis of McIntyre and McKitrick’s work which follows, reference will also be made to their later paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005b, ‘The M & M critique of the MBH98 Northern Hemisphere climate index, Update and applications’, Energy and Environment, 16, 69-99, and also to McKitrick (2005), ‘What is the “Hockey Stick” debate about?’, op. cit.)
Stephen McIntyre, who began their study, was a financial consultant and statistical analyst specialising in the minerals industry, and was later joined by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at Guelph University. Neither made any pretensions to being a climate scientist, but where they did have considerable expertise was in knowing how computers could be used to play around with statistics. They were also wearily familiar with people using hockey sticklike curves, showing an exaggerated upward rise at the end, to sell a business prospect or to ‘prove’ some tendentious point.
Intrigued by the shape of the IPCC’s now famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, in the spring of 2003 McIntyre approached Mann and his colleagues to ask for a look at their original data set. ‘After some delay’, Mann ‘arranged provision of a file which was represented as the one used’ for his paper. But it turned out not to include ‘most of the computer code used to produce their results’. This suggested to McIntyre, who was joined later that summer by McKitrick, that no one else had previously asked to examine it, as should have been required both by peer-reviewers for the paper published in Nature and, above all, by the IPCC itself. (This account of the ‘hockey stick’ saga is based on several sources, in particular Ross McKitrick’s paper already cited , ‘What is the “hockey stick” debate about?’ (2005), and his evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs, ‘The Economics of Climate Change’, Vol. II, Evidence, 2005. See also David Holland, ‘Bias and concealment in the IPCC Process: the “Hockey Stick” affair and its implications’ (2007), op. cit.)
When McIntyre fed the data into his own computer, he found that it did not produce the claimed results. At the heart of the problem was what is known as ‘principal component analysis’, a technique used by computer analysts to handle a large mass of data by averaging out its components, weighting them by their relative significance.
One of the first things McIntyre had discovered was that the ‘principal component analysis’ used by Mann could not be replicated. ‘In the process of looking up all the data sources and rebuilding Mann’s data set from scratch’, he discovered ‘quite a few errors concerning location labels, use of obsolete editions, unexplained truncations of various series etc.’ (for instance, data reported to be from Boston, Mass., turned out to be from Paris, France, Central England temperature data had been truncated to leave out its coldest period, and so forth).
But the real problem lay with the ‘principal component analysis’ itself. It turned out that an algorithm had been programmed into Mann’s computer model which ‘mined’ for hockey stick shapes whatever data was fed into it. As McKitrick was later to explain, ‘had the IPCC actually done the kind of rigorous review that they boast of they would have discovered that there was an error in a routine calculation step (principal component analysis) that falsely identified a hockey stick shape as the dominant pattern in the data. The flawed computer program can even pull out spurious hockey stick shapes from lists of trendless random numbers. ’ (McKitrick, House of Lords evidence, op. cit.)
Using Mann’s algorithm, the two men fed a pile of random and meaningless data (‘red noise’) into the computer 10,000 times. More than 99 per cent of the time the graph which emerged bore a ‘hockey stick’ shape. They found that their replication of Mann’s method failed ‘all basic tests of statistical significance’.
When they ran the programme again properly, however, keeping the rest of Mann’s data but removing the bristlecone pine figures on which he had so heavily relied, they found that the Mediaeval Warming once again unmistakably emerged. Indeed their ‘major finding’, according to McKitrick, was that Mann’s own data confirmed that the warming in the fifteenth century exceeded anything in the twentieth century.44
One example of how this worked they later quoted was based on comparing two sets of data used by Mann for his second 1999 paper, confined to proxy data from North America. One was drawn from bristlecone pines in western North America, the other from a tree ring chronology in Arkansas. In their raw state, the Californian series showed a ‘hockey stick’ shape; the other, typical of most North American tree ring series, showed an irregular but basically flat line with no final upward spurt. When these were put together, however, the algorithm emphasised the twentieth-century rise by giving ‘390 times as much weight’ to the bristlecone pines as to the trees from Arkansas.45
In other words, although Mann had used hundreds of tree ring proxies from all over North America, most showing a flattish line like that from Arkansas, the PCAs used to determine their relative significance had given enormously greater weight to those Californian bristlecones with their anomalous ‘hockey stick’ pattern.
Furthermore, McIntyre and McKitrick found that Mann had been well aware that by removing the bristlecone pine data the ‘hockey stick’ shape of his graph would vanish, because he had tried it himself. One of the files they obtained from him showed the results of his own attempt to do this. The file was marked ‘Censored’ and its findings were nowhere mentioned in the published study.
What, however, concerned McIntyre and McKitrick as much as anything else about this extraordinary affair was what it revealed about the methods of the IPCC itself. Why had it not subjected Mann’s study to the kind of basic professional checks which they themselves had been able to carry out, with such devastating results?
Furthermore, having failed to exercise any proper quality control, why had those at the top of the IPCC then gone out of their way to give such extraordinary prominence to ‘the hockey stick data as the canonical representation of the earth’s climate history. Due to a combination of mathematical error and a dysfunctional review process, they ended up promoting the exact wrong conclusion. How did they make such a blunder?’
Conclusion: The global warming “hockey stick” is SCIENCE FRAUD
What all this reveals, of course, is that the global warming “hockey stick” is fake science. As Booker documents in his book, data were truncated (cut off) and software algorithms were altered to produce a hockey stick trend out of almost any data set, including random noise data. To call climate change “science” is to admit your own gullibility to science fraud.
The IPCC, it turns out, used science fraud to promote global warming and “climate change” narratives, hoping no one would notice that the entire software model was essentially HACKED from the very beginning, deliberately engineered to produce the alarming temperature trend the world’s bureaucrats wanted so they could terrorize the world into compliance with climate change narratives.
The Russians didn’t hack the 2016 election, in case you were wondering. But dishonest scientists really did hack the global warming modeling software to deceive the entire world and launch a whole new brand of climate change fascism that has now infected the minds of hundreds of millions of people across the planet. Everything they’ve been told about climate change, it turns, out, was all based on a software hack.