`Owning’ the weather??PART IX

By Rahnuma Ahmed

Does something lie behind the global warming agenda, behind the UN Summit at Copenhagen where world leaders had met to agree on how to tackle global climate change? Has weather warfare, as Michel Chossudovsky, director, Global Research (Canada), asks us, already started?
Some observers think, climate wars, caused by uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions, are the future. That the world will be ravaged by wars over land, food and water, forcing countries to use the military to barricade borders.
This scenario?climate wars caused by global warming?is distinct from the weather warfare one, which is related to planned projections of `owning’ the weather, of developing technologies which `weaponise’ the weather (`Weather as a Force Multiplier. Owning the Weather in 2025,’ US Air Force commissioned study, 1996). This is real, admittedly so, by top-ranking US policy makers. By Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor, “techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm” (1970). By William Cohen, former US secretary of defence, “alter[ing] the climate, set[ting] off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electro-magnetic waves…It’s real” (1997). By US Admiral Pier Saint-Armand, “We regard the weather as a weapon” (US Senate, 1972).
A reality further attested to by the ratification of an international Convention by the UN General Assembly, the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (Geneva: 18 May 1977), one to which both the US and Soviet Union were signatories.
I find it interesting that both global warming and ENMOD are assumed to lead to similar environmental disasters?droughts, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes?and thereby, to untold human suffering, but that global summits and international meetings express an orchestrated alarm over only set of anthropogenic activities, i.e., CO2 emissions. No mention of warfare. Of depleted uranium. Or CO2 emissions caused by warfare in Iraq. The Pentagon’s daily fuel consumption. Or, for that matter, HAARP.
Many scientists and climatologists have repeatedly pointed out that climate change is a misnomer because climates do change. Should change. That change, for God’s sake, is natural. Climate science, they say, is in its infancy. We know very little. In such a situation, to commit the whole planet to policies that are extensive and far-reaching?and in reality, are based on shaky scientific findings, the result of computer modelling, simulation exercises, anecdotal evidence, and worse still, what we now know post-CRU, that the data was forced to fit a pre-determined theory, that the raw data of temperature records was not stored but (horror of horrors) deleted?is downright stupid.
And close on the heels of Climategate were a series of other `gates,’ Glaciergate, Amazongate, Pachaurigate. Okay, we should have learnt our lesson, no rush. Calm down. Go slow.
But, as Andrew Orlowski points out, Climategate raises far more questions than it answers. How did such a small group of scientists, backing a new theory, in an infant field, come to have such a huge effect on global policy making? Why is the climate debate beset with “a sense of crisis and urgency, and the ascendancy of a quite specific and narrow set of policy options”? Why has it become the “Rosetta stone” of a whole political and business movement? Does the answer lie (only) in the billions to be made from carbon trading, predicted to become the world’s largest commodity market 5 years from now, worth $10 trillion?
There was another leak at Copenhagen in December 2009, the Danish text leak. Taken together with the CRU e-mail, close watchers are more convinced than ever that these are the acts of whistle-blowers, of dissident insiders. An idea difficult to stomach for those who think that dissidence belongs to the Cold War era. To people yearning to be free of the Iron Curtain. To flock to the `free world.’
Developing countries reacted furiously to the leaked draft agreement. It proposed to hand more power to rich nations. To sideline the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations. To abandon the Kyoto protocol, the only legally binding treaty on emissions reductions. It “force[d] developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement.” It proposed a green fund, to be run by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (a partnership of 10 agencies including the WB and the UN Environmental Programme). It sought to put “constraints on developing countries when none were negotiated in earlier UN climate talks.”? According to a diplomat, “being done in secret” it is effectively “the end of the UN process” (Guardian, December 8, 2010).
Pray, to be replaced by what? The UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon spoke of a global governance structure. ?The new EU president Herman van Rompuy said, it was another step towards the global management of our planet. Global governance and global agreements, said Al Gore. at 1:14 mts
Billed by the UN as possibly the most important meeting in the history of the world, the leaks, says Alex Jones (an American talk radio host and filmmaker, violently anti-communist he describes himself as an “aggressive constitutionalist”) discredited the globalists. It exposed the conspiracy of the international elite, a group of industrialists and bankers, to secretly institute a regime of global authority and global rule by an unelected bureaucracy. To scare the “world population into relinquishing their rights and turning it over to an IMF-World Bank elected government that taxes the West, then takes that money, and turns it back to third world and first world nations and then makes those nations agree to a list of demands to destroy their industrial capacity which will result in a death sentence.” To institute a system of climate colonialism. To conceal the fact that while the World Bank chief revels in biofuels having boosted food prices, ethanol production in the US took a third of grain production out, causing an additional 10 million people to starve to death in 2008. The Copenhagen summit, says Jones, was undoubtedly a massive failure. The conspiracy to coopt national sovereignty and elected governments, to force the people of the world to live under structures like the European Union which has forced Europeans to lose their sovereignty to “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels” was successfully resisted. But these elites will try again, this year. In Mexico. The fight against the usurpation of civil liberties and sovereignty, says Jones, must go on.
Has weather warfare really started? Some HAARP-watchers think that the earthquake in Sichuan province in China, which killed 68,000 people, was not natural. They cite the observance of luminous, glowing cloud-like phenomena in the sky 30 minutes before the earthquake took place on May 12, 2008 (recorded by cellphone in Gansu province 450 km northeast of epicenter). According to Epoch Times, several weeks after the quake, high-level Chinese military sources secretly disclosed that it had destroyed the Chinese army’s largest armory, new weapons test bases, and part of nuclear facilities including several nuclear warheads. Initial calls for help were reportedly ignored by the Chinese authorities for the first 72 hours because they did not want “potential spies from the outside world” snooping around. The presence of concrete debris, including concrete slabs and blocks, reported by witnesses, have led some experts to think that a nuclear explosion had occurred near the epicenter, that the concrete belonged to the concrete cover of underground military bases. News of nuclear explosion has raised questions about cause-and-effect: whether a nuclear explosion caused the earthquake or the earthquake caused the explosion. A nuclear accident was also said to have occurred, 2,700 chemical workers were sent to parts of the earthquake-hit area to help cleanup.

Picture showing how the mountain area in the earthquake region [May 12, 2008 Sichuan province looks like after a big explosion. Local villagers said the explosion was so huge that the big mountain seemed to be cut in the middle. (Photo provided by mainland Chinese Internet Users) “
On May 23, 2008, a chemical defense troop of the Chinese army was deployed to Chenjiaba Township, Beichuan County. (The Epoch Times)

Benjamin Fulford, a Japan-based journalist, claimed in early 2007 that while interviewing Heizo Takenaka, a former finance minister in Japan, he confronted Takenaka, and accused him of “having sold the Japanese financial system over to the Rockefellers and Rothschilds.” According to Fulford, Takenaka’s response had been that a group representing ?American and European oligarchs? had used the threat of manmade earthquakes in an attempt to pressure the Japanese government to ?hand over control of the Japanese financial system.? Japan had intially refused, only to relent after the July 17, 2007 Niigata earthquakes. I have not come across any refutation or rejoinder of Fulford’s claims/allegations by any Japanese government spokesperson. Fulford further says, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake had coincided with the BRIC meeting [Brazil-Russia-India-China]. Two days before it took place, a Taiwanese satellite had reportedly “detected a 50% drop in the amount of electric energy in the ionosphere above the earthquake zone.?
Working on the Weather series, and writing it has not been easy. Least of all, because as I explained to Anu Mohammed, who had called to tell me that he was eagerly reading each instalment, But Anu, I am not into weather and climate and such stuff. I’d only thought of writing about the earthquake in Haiti. But what I don’t understand is what on earth are our climate activists doing? The people on whom we rely to inform and educate us, to tell us what the score is, so that we can create well-informed demands in our struggle for social justice. I will skip what Anu replied. Shireen Huq, another friend said, I’m sure our climate activists have contacted you… No Shireen, I replied, no one has. I don’t expect anyone to, either.
I think they are too busy regurgitating what’s said at international conferences and seminars. But I want to be proven wrong. There’s too much at stake.
Published in New Age 29 March 2009



`Owning’ the weather? PART VIII

By Rahnuma Ahmed

Ten years from now, no, five years from now, you’ll feel ashamed for having written this. Definitely. He hung up.
This was last Monday, the day `Global Warming, Or The Greatest Scientific Fraud’ was published (New Age, 15 March 2010).
It had been an early morning call. Speak to my son, said my friend. Oh, so he’s in Dhaka now, I thought, since I know he lives and works in the US. Do you know what you’ve written? Do you know that 90% scientists agree on global warming? Do you know that you’re writing absolutely reactionary stuff, that you’re speaking in the interests of the oil industry, in the interests of the powers-that-be?
Hey, hold on, what about the suppression of data? What about the lies, the fraudulent methods employed by global warming scientists?
I’m more concerned about your journalistic methods, sensationalising… I’m shocked. You should look at the bigger picture. There’s no need to blow these e-mails out of proportion.
I invited him to write a rebuttal. He refused. I was being condescending, he said.
I’d thought of concluding the weather series today, but I’ve changed my mind.
First, a quick look at some of the headlines of the last few months, to recap how Climategate has been unfolding:
– ClimateGate: Phil Jones, UK climate scientist, temporarily steps down, The Huffington Post,?1 December 2009
‘Climategate’ professor Phil Jones awarded ?13 million in research grants, Global Research,?5 December 2009
– Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak, The Guardian, 8 December 2009
– IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri to face independent inquiry, The Telegraph, 26 February 2010
– Climategate scientist questioned in Parliament, New Scientist, 2 March 2010
– UK government rebuked on climate change ads, Miami Herald, 15 March 2010
That the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory (AGW, caused by humans) was based on, if nothing else, bad science, is pretty clear. A matter of concern, if not, downright alarm, for scientific associations. The Institute of Physics (IP, 36,000 physicists) in its response to a House of Commons inquiry has said, the Climate Research Unit’s (CRU) leaked e-mails, if not forged, “provide prima facie evidence” of refusing to comply with honourable scientific traditions and the freedom of information law.?The Royal Society of Chemistry (46,000 members) says, a “lack of willingness” to make scientific data available implies that the results are not sufficiently “robust.” The IP had added, a “wider inquiry” is needed. Hadn’t other scientists, at other leading institutions helped CRU formulate IPCC’s conclusions on climate change? If so, the “circle of complicity” was bigger.
Okay, admittedly, AGW science is a bit dodgy. But if it’s a good cause, a progressive cause, does it’s being a bad science really matter? And, it does have millions of supporters. Ranging from environment-conscious people at the grassroots level to influential proponents?both individuals and institutions. Al Gore, David Rockefeller, George Soros, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Greenpeace, the New York Times, Washington Post, Times, Guardian, BBC, ABC (in Australia), Nature, Scientific American. Many many others. Even if it’s scientific basis is a bit unsound, surely, we should still support the movement? In the interests of saving our planet?
But rushing headlong into the issue in such a manner, pre-empts the possibility of raising critical questions. Of asking whether the AGW cause (or, climate change, as it later became known) best represents, in the sense of problematising, formulating, tabling?the environmental issue. I don’t think so, unlike my caller. And that, precisely, is where the problem lies.
As the extent of AGW scare-mongering becomes increasingly clear?the polar bear population has increased nearly-four times more instead of decreasing (22,000), the Himalayan glaciers are not melting, etc.,?questions centring around inequality and social justice, return centre-stage. Ever stronger.
For developing countries, to agree to carbon reduction means basically agreeing to remain poor. An examination of world energy statistics reveals that the combined energy consumption of 5 of the 6 most populous countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan) equals that of the 6th (US). In a situation characterised by stark wealth inequalities, would it be wise, asks Robert Bryce, for any of the Big Five leaders to agree to CO2 reduction? As Rajendra Prachauri, the now-disgraced IPCC chief had pointed out, 400 million Indians (40%) do not have a light bulb in their homes. “You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities.”
And neither can it be ignored that western leaders have recently dreamt up hoaxes to create a climate of fear, to scare their (complicit?) citizenry into consenting to military invasion, to the occupation of resource-rich developing countries. George Bush: Saddam Hussein had links with al-Qaeda. Tony Blair: Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Ring a bell? And no, it’s not over yet. Obama: Enriching uraniums. Iran. (According to a Haaretz news report, America is transporting 387 bunker-buster bombs to its Diego Garcia air base, for possible Iran strike, 18 March 2010). Progressive politics? Who, what, where? Did I miss something?
There are other aspects, too. Will international treaties?Kyoto Protocol, and the new one to replace it in 2012?reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Help save the planet? Unlikely. The leaders of the rich world, write Johann Hari, are enacting a giant fraud (Independent, 11 December 2009). A rich country can “cut” its emissions while not actually reducing them. How? By paying a poor country to emit less. Well, since it’s the same atmosphere, that’s okay, isn’t it? Actually, no. A system which can sell emission cuts among countries becomes extremely complex, writes Hari. Very soon, and deliberately, it “becomes so technical that nobody can follow it?no concerned citizen, no journalist, and barely even full-time environmental groups.” Tricks abound. For instance: by storing carbon, forests mitigate global warming, right? But Canadian, Swedish and Finnish logging companies have pressurised their governments to agree to inserting the clause that “sustainable forest management” i.e., cutting down almost all trees?doesn’t lead to losing credit. The cap-and-trade system, says Hari, laced with Enron-style accounting tricks is Kafkaesque. No real cuts. Only tamasha cuts.
If Bart Chilton (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) is right, five years from now the carbon trading market will become the world’s largest commodity market, worth $2 trillion. Richard L. Sandor, chairman and chief executive officer of Climate Exchange Plc thinks it’ll be larger, $10 trillion. Bigger than oil. As billionaire hedge fund operator Soros puts it, carbon markets present “financial opportunities.” Al Gore is known as a carbon billionaire. Barack Obama’s name has popped up, too: as the board member of a Chicago-based charity, Obama had agreed to a proposal aimed at devising a carbon dioxide emissions trading market. This led to the setting-up of Climate Exchange, headed by Sandor, “one of the most successful investors trying to profit from rising environmental awareness” (Wall Street Journal). The initial idea behind granting Sandor the award in 2000 was to have “a carbon trading system ready to implement” with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.
The oil industry doesn’t seem unduly worried either, having “effortlessly recalibrated” their stance:? CRU’s financial supporters in 2008 included Shell and British Petroleum (Alexander Cockburn). Recently, Rockefeller family shareholders of Exxon Mobil urged the board to adjust to the “changing world.” To focus on the “environmental crisis facing all of us.”

Global Warmongering

Can solutions proposed by Kyoto, Copenhagen based on global warming/climate change theory accomplish what Banyacya, the Hopi interpreter, had urged: “Its up to all of us, as children of Mother Earth, to clean up this mess before it’s too late.” The “mess” list is a long one. Deforestation. Desertification. Species extinction. The urgent need to preserve biodiversity. Develop sustainable agriculture. Dismantle corporate attempts to privatise water…
Can solutions that ignore the “worst polluter” of CO2 and other toxic emissions on the planet, work? Such as, the Pentagon. Such as, depleted uranium (DU).
During Kyoto negotiations, the US had demanded its own military operations, and those with UN and/or NATO, be completely “exempted” from all climate treaties and agreements. After the others agreed, Bush administration went ahead and refused to sign the accords. Obama has not revoked the blanket exemption either. Officially, the US military uses 320,000 barrels of oil per day, this excludes fuel consumed by contractors, or in leased and privatised facilities (Sara Flounders, Global Research). Since 1991, the U.S. has released radioactive atomicity equalling at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs or, 40,000 Hiroshima bombs, into the global atmosphere.
There is another, equally critical, silence: CO2 emissions caused by warfare. Total CO2 emissions from invading Iraq roughly equal UK’s total emission for a year. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) say, the environmental effects of invading Iraq are major. Local air pollution. Climate change due to burning oil wells. Groundwater pollution from leaking oil wells.
Compounded by another silence: depleted uranium (radioactive) is used in the manufacture of armaments. Tank cartridges. Bombs. Rockets. Missiles. Both DU and white phosphorus munitions inflict long term damage to the environment. In a letter to the president of the UN General Assembly, Iraq’s minister for women’s affairs wrote, young women in Fallujah are now terrified of having children. No head. Two heads. A single eye in the forehead. Scaly bodies. Missing limbs. Cancer. Leukemia. Similar in Afghanistan. DU causes v-e-r-y long term damage, measured in billions of years. The global atmosphere, writes William Bowles, has been permanently contaminated by the US with radioactive pollution having a half-life of 2.5 billion years.
Naivete among Americans, of whatever colour, is inexcusable. I am ashamed. Already.
[concluding piece, next week]
Dust from American depleted uranium used to give extra heft to bullets is causing birth defects both in Iraqi babies and in babies fathered by American soldiers. It causes permanent genetic damage for generations to come

Published in New Age 22 March 2010


`Owning’ the weather? PART VII

By Rahnuma Ahmed

The theory of global warming, a `theory’ which we know to be `real,’ according to which the temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and that of its oceans has been rising since the middle of the last century, an increase caused by human activity, by burning fossil fuel and deforestation, one which is likely to cause sea levels to rise, deserts to expand, glaciers to retreat, an impending disaster of such magnitude that world leaders were compelled to agree to stabilise the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to draft and implement the Kyoto Protocol (2005), to meet yet again in Copenhagen last December to thrash out stricter emission controls, to try and resolve whether China and India should be given `a free ride’ as was enjoyed by the rich countries during their 150 years of industrialisation … well, serious doubts are now being raised about the scientific knowledge which underlies global warming theory. Scientists and researchers, it seems, have faked the data. It is a discovery that has led the unfolding scandal?dubbed Climategate a la Watergate by the western media?to be called `the greatest scientific fraud in human history’
The controversy is largely unknown in Bangladesh, except for scattered news items. I have not come across any commentary either, one which is both informative and reviews what is at stake. Given the significance for Bangladesh?on the `frontline’ of climate change, tops the list of `most vulnerable’ countries, and the predictions?one-third of Bangladesh likely to be inundated by a 3 feet rise in sea level in the next 50 years, 25 million-30 million people to be uprooted, surely, one would have assumed that news of Climategate, as it unfolded, would be one of the top public interest issues in Bangladesh? That researchers and activists working on climate change in Bangladesh would have felt obliged to inform the public?
On 19 November last year, thousands of emails and communications between some of the world’s leading climate scientists, over a 13-year period dating from 1996, totalling 61 MB, was stolen by hackers from servers at Britain’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). The files were leaked, first on a Russian server, but soon enough these became viral, and spread worldwide. Climategate was quickly followed by a series of other gates: Glaciergate, Amazongate, Pachaurigate. According to intelligent guesses, the Russian secret service might well be behind the hacking.
The United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and world governments rely on four sets of temperature data of which the set maintained by professor Phil Jones, the director of CRU, at the University of East Anglia, is the most important . Climate scientists at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, and at CRU, maintain the global climate record for the World Meterological Organization (WMO). Professor Jones data set, as Christopher Booker points out, is the most important “not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it” (Telegraph, 28 November 2009).
What do the hacked e-mails reveal? First, that top scientists conspired to falsify data when faced with declining global temperatures (yes, it seems that the world is cooling) in order to insist that rising temperatures are caused by human activity (Anthropogenic Global Warming, AGW). Second, they coordinated a campaign of ostracising climate skeptics to prevent dissenting work from being published in peer-reviewed journals. Third, they avoided compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests.
Instances of falsifying data: Professor Jones wrote, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” Climate skeptics insist that `real’ temperatures mean what global warmers want them to be, that hiding the decline means evidence of cooling, whereas UEA authorities and “warmists” insist that `trick’ refers not to deception but to statistical measures to correct data divergence.

Scientists colluding on the `biggest scientific fraud ever.'

Another instance of data falsification, say climate skeptics, is provided by the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) controversy. One e-mail says, “We know the file starts at yr 440, but we want nothing till 1400.” This, say the skeptics, means that CRU has temperature data going back to 440 and 1070, but is using only the data after the Medieval Warm Period, so as not to undermine the global-warming-is-man-made hypothesis. Data fudging over the MWP gains credence when one looks at what Keith Briffa, deputy director, CRU wrote: “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.”
The requests of climate change skeptics, also reputable scientists and climatologists, to CRU data, was repeatedly denied. In one set of e-mail exchanges, Professors Jones and Mann discuss how to circumvent US and UK Freedom Of Information Act requests. Jones writes: [McIntyre and McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom Of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.” In his reply, Mann hints that he’ll claim intellectual property rights. Mann, whose full name is Michael E Mann (at Penn State University and director, Earth System Science Center), is famous for the hockey stick graph, so called because it depicts a slow cooling trend from 1000 to 1900 which looks like a long handle, and an upward warming curve from 1900 to 1999, which looks like the blade of a hockey stick. Both the MWP, and the Little Ice Age (LIA) which occurred 300 years ago, are major problems for the man-made/warmists. Mann’s hockey stick graph, by eliminating these, became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.
While warmists have attempted to brush aside emails that celebrate as “cheering news” the death of a climate change skeptic, that wants to “beat the crap out of” all skeptics, by saying that scientists too, in their everyday lives, are normal people with normal emotions, it is difficult to extend the same logic to those emails which talk of preventing dissenting opinion from being published in peer-reviewed journals. “I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?” And, another: ?I will be emailing the journal to tell them I?m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.?
Dissatisfaction with the peer review process does not seem to be confined to scientists at CRU only, but to extend to, and include, the IPCC. Dr Benjamin Santer, lead author of Chapter 8, 1995 IPCC Report, allegedly deleted the following passages which had been approved by the scientists, and should have been included in the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:
‘None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed?[climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.’
‘No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date]?to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.'”
Al Gore, former US vice-president (1993-2001), who later took up the man-made global warming cause was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2007, jointly with the UN's IPCC, represented by its chief Dr Rajendra K Pachauri.

Since the email leak, other disturbing news has come to light. An essentially flat temperature chart in both Australia and New Zealand was turned into a graph to show “temperatures steadily rising.” The manipulation in both cases, as Booker points out, was carried out under the influence of CRU. Whereas Russian climate data, according to a report of the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis, were probably tampered with. The Hadley Centre for Climate Change, it seems, used temperature data from only those Russian metereological stations which highlighted the global warming process.
Other `gates’ have occurred too, since. Glaciergate: the 2007 IPCC report had warned that the Himalayan glaciers would, in all likelihood, disappear by 2035 due to global warming. When this was challenged in an Indian government report, Dr Rajendra K Pachauri, chairman IPCC, had dismissed it as “voodoo science”. However, it now turns out that the IPCC’s projection was based not on peer-reviewed evidence but on a speculative comment made a decade ago by a glaciologist, who later began working in an Indian research group led by Dr Pachauri. Amazongate: according to another IPCC scare story, climate change could endanger 40% of the Amazon rain forest. This was based on a publication of WWF, an environmentalist pressure group, but it turns out that the original article (published in Nature) had dealt not with global warming, but logging.
If global warming is a scam, the biggest scientific fraud ever, the big question of course, is, why? What lies behind it?
[Concluding instalment, next week]

What Matters

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The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time

Sterling. 2008. 335p. ed. by David Elliot Cohen. photogs. index. ISBN 978-1-4027-5834-8. $27.95. POL SCI

An ice cave on the edge of the Marr Ice Piedmont on Anvers Island,
Cover photo by GARY BRAASCH: An ice cave on the edge of the Marr Ice Piedmont on Anvers Island,

PHOTOGRAPHY EXPOSES TRUTHS, advances the public discourse, and demands action. In What Matters, eighteen important stories by today?s preeminent photojournalists and thinkers poignantly address the big issues of our time?global warming, environmental degradation, AIDS, malaria, the global jihad, genocide in
Darfur, the inequitable distribution of global wealth and others. A “What You Can Do” section offers 193 ways to learn more and get involved.
A four-year-old girl in Ghana walks two-and-a-half miles (four kilometers) twice each day to fetch buckets of water for her family.
Back cover inset by BRENT STIRTON: A four-year-old girl in Ghana walks two-and-a-half miles (four kilometers) twice each day to fetch buckets of water for her family

Photographed by:

Shahidul Alam ? The Associated Press ? Gary Braasch ? Marcus Bleasdale ? Raymond Depardon ? Paul Fusco ? Lauren Greenfield ? Maggie Hallahan ? Ed Kashi ? Gerd Ludwig ? Magnum ? Susan Meiselas ? James Nachtwey ? Shehzad Noorani ? Gilles Peress ? Sebasti?o Salgado ? Stephanie Sinclair ? Brent Stirton ? Tom Stoddart ? Anthony Suau ? Stephen Voss

SATHI?S FACE is covered with carbon dust from recycled batteries. She is eight years old and works in a battery recycling factory in Korar Ghat, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
SATHI?S FACE is covered with carbon dust from recycled batteries. She is eight years old and works in a battery recycling factory in Korar Ghat, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. ? Shehzad Noorani/Drik/Majority World

Commentary by:

Omer Bartov ? Judith Bruce ? Awa Marie Coll-Seck ? Richard Covington ? Elizabeth C. Economy ? Helen Epstein ? Fawaz A. Gerges ? Peter H. Gleick ? Gary Kamiya ? Paul Knox ? David R. Marples ? Douglas S. Massey ? Bill McKibben ? Samantha Power ? John Prendergast ? Jeffrey D. Sachs ? Juliet B. Schor ?
Michael Watts

A MEMORIAL to the 1994 Rwanda genocide at the Church of Ntarama, in Kigali Province. Photograph by Raymond Depardon
A MEMORIAL to the 1994 Rwanda genocide at the Church of Ntarama, in Kigali Province. ? Raymond Depardon

What Matters?an audacious undertaking by best-selling editor and author David Elliot Cohen?challenges us to consider how socially conscious photography can spark public discourse, spur reform, and shift the way we think. For 150 years, photographs have not only documented human events, but also changed their course?from Jacob Riis?s expos? of brutal New York tenements to Lewis Hine?s child labor investigations to snapshots of torture at Abu Ghraib prison. In this vein, What Matters presents eighteen powerful stories by this generation?s foremost photojournalists. These stories cover essential issues confronting us and our planet: from climate change and environmental degradation to global jihad, AIDS, and genocide in Darfur to the consequences of the Iraq war, oil addiction, and the inequitable distribution of global wealth. The pictures in What Matters are personal and specific, but still convey universal concepts. These images are rendered even more compelling by trenchant commentary. Cohen asked the foremost writers, thinkers, and experts in their fields to elucidate issues raised by the photographs.
A WOMAN TAKEN to an emergency feeding center in Somalia established by the Irish charity CONCERN waits for food and medical attention. Photography by James Nachtwey.
A WOMAN TAKEN to an emergency feeding center in Somalia established by the Irish charity CONCERN waits for food and medical attention. ? James Nachtwey.

Some stories in What Matters will make you cry; others will make you angry; and that is the intent. What Matters is meant to inspire action. And to facilitate that action, the book includes an extensive ?What You Can Do? section??a menu of resources, web links, and effective actions you can take now.
A PIPELINE carrying drinking water to more prosperous districts of India?s largest city, Mumbai (population 20 million), passes through the shantytown of Mahim, where it serves as an impromptu thoroughfare. Photography by Sebasti?o Salgado.
A PIPELINE carrying drinking water to more prosperous districts of India?s largest city, Mumbai (population 20 million), passes through the shantytown of Mahim, where it serves as an impromptu thoroughfare. ? Sebasti?o Salgado.

Cohen hopes What Matters will move people to take positive steps??no matter how small??that will help change the world. As he says in his introduction, the contributors? work is so compelling that ?if we show it to you, you will react with outrage and create an uproar.? If, says Cohen, you look at these stories and think, ?What?s the use? The world is irredeemably screwed up,? we should remember that, historically, outraged citizens have gotten results. ?We did actually abolish slavery and child labor in the US; we abolished apartheid in South Africa; we defeated the Nazis; we pulled out of Vietnam. As the saying goes, ?All great social change seems impossible until it is inevitable.? ?
PHILANTHROPIST Abdul Sattar Edhi with a few of the many thousands of children he has helped. Shahidul Alam
PHILANTHROPIST Abdul Sattar Edhi with a few of the many thousands of children he has helped. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

– Michael Zajakowski, Chicago Tribune
TRANS AMADI SLAUGHTER is the largest slaughterhouse in the Niger Delta. Workers kill thousands of animals a day, roast them over burning tires and prepare the meat for sale throughout the delta. Fish was traditionally the main source of protein here, but fish stocks have dwindled due to overfishing and oil pollution. Ed Kashi
TRANS AMADI SLAUGHTER is the largest slaughterhouse in the Niger Delta. Workers kill thousands of animals a day, roast them over burning tires and prepare the meat for sale throughout the delta. Fish was traditionally the main source of protein here, but fish stocks have dwindled due to overfishing and oil pollution. ? Ed Kashi

A. Newspapers and Online
1. Hard to see, impossible to turn away – Issues and images combine in ‘What Matters,’ a powerful and passionate new book
“Great documentary photojournalism, squeezed out of mainstream newspapers and magazines in an age of shrinking column inches, has had a hard time gaining traction in other venues… But nobody has told the 18 photographers in “What Matters: The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time.” These are photo essays by some of today’s best photojournalists following the great tradition begun over a hundred years ago with the expos?s of New York tenement life by Jacob Riis. Through the doggedness of these photographers?who are clearly committed to stirring us out of complacency?all the power and passion of the medium is evident in this book… Some of the pieces will break your heart, some will anger you. All will make you think. To channel your thoughts and feelings into action, the book ends with an appendix “What You Can Do,” offering hundreds of ways to be a part of the solution to these problems.”
Chicago Tribune Book Review, 2 page spread
2. “Must viewing.”
San Francisco Chronicle, 2 page story
3. Photographs that Can Change the World
“David Elliot Cohen?s new book, What Matters, which hits bookshelves today, is a collection of photo essays that explore 18 distinct social issues that define our time. Shot by the world?s most renowned photojournalists, including James Nachtwey, who has contributed to V.F., the photographs explore topics ranging from genocide and global warming to oil addiction and consumerism, offering a raw view into the problems that plague our world. Each photo essay is accompanied by written commentary from an expert on the issue. Cohen hopes the book will inspire people to work toward resolving these problems. ?Great photojournalism changed the world in the past, and it can do it again,? Cohen says. ?I want people to see these images, get angry, and act on that anger. Compelling images by the world?s best photojournalists is the most persuasive language I have to achieve this.?
4. Book Review: What Matters
“Changing the world might sound like a lofty goal for a photo book, but that?s what the new book, What Matters, The World?s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of our Time edited by David Elliot Cohen (Sterling Publishing, $28, 2008), hopes to do. Citing the power of socially conscious photographers over the last 150 years, the beautiful collection of 18 photo-essays by some of today?s prominent photojournalists hopes to ?inform pre-election debate and inspire direct action.” Regardless of what side of the political fence you sit on, this collection of heartbreaking and powerful stories and images is guaranteed to get you thinking.”
Popular Photography
5. What Matters: The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time.
Those doubting the power of photojournalism to sway opinion and encourage action would do well to spend some time with this book. In 18 stories, each made up of photos by leading photojournalists and elucidated by short essays by public intellectuals and journalists, this book explores environmental devastation, war, disease, and the ravages of both poverty and great wealth. The photos are specific and personal in their subject matter and demonstrate how great photography can illuminate the universal by depicting the specific. Cohen has a goal beyond simply showcasing terrific photography. In his thoughtful introduction, he makes explicit his aim to connect the work compiled here with the great tradition of muckraking photography that helped to change conditions in New York tenements and to end child labor at the turn of the last century. A terrific concluding chapter directs readers to specific actions they can take if they are moved to do so by the book’s images, and it’s hard to imagine the reader who would not be moved. Highly recommended for public libraries and academic libraries supporting journalism and/or photography curricula. (a starred review in Library Journal generally means the book will be acquired by many libraries.)
Library Journal
6. First of five part series about What Matters
(The first installment drew 500,000 page views)
7. Second part in CNN. Black Dust by Shehzad Noorani