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Well well well.  It looks like the Global Warming Deniers are still out to lunch.  Yes folks, it was just a minor blip on the radar… I guess we will just have to continue to look for the Armageddon of Scientific Cover ups.

From the report released by the The UK  parliamentary Science and Technology Committee:

On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails—”trick” and “hiding the decline”—the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead.

Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.

The Committee found no reason in this inquiry to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”. But this was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU and it will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel, announced by the University on 22 March, to determine whether the work of CRU has been soundly built.

I’m still waiting for the media hoopla to start.  You know the coverage where they admit they were wrong about the facts of the matter?  The one where the media say they gave entirely too much time and credence to climate-quacks and delusional AGW denialists?  Hello…. hello….?

Thanks to Dr. Myers for the steer, and the quote as it summarized things quite nicely.

MediaLens is keeping an eye on the bias of Western newspapers reporting in the Middle East.   Shorter version: Israeli dead are much more important than Palestinian dead.

MEDIA ALERT: WHEN FACTS AND PROPAGANDA COLLIDE – THE BBC BENDS OVER BACKWARDS TO ACCOMMODATE ISRAELI CLAIMS

When a Thai kibbutz worker was killed in Israel by a rocket launched from Gaza last week, BBC News online gave the incident headline coverage flagged up on its home page. (BBC news online, ‘Rocket fire from Gaza kills man in southern Israel’, 23:42 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8574138.stm)

By contrast, the killing of two Palestinian teenagers, Mohammad Qadus and Osaid Qadus, by Israeli soldiers on Saturday was buried at the end of a short news report on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Middle East visit. Even worse, the BBC’s footnote simply echoed Israeli propaganda that “no live bullets were fired, only tear gas and rubber bullets”, despite ample evidence to the contrary. (BBC news online, ‘UN chief says Gaza suffering under Israeli blockade’, 11:26 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8578611.stm)

Yesterday morning, we joined with a number of media activists in sending complaints to the BBC. We emailed Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen. We asked Bowen why BBC News so often channels the Israeli version of events without proper scrutiny. We pointed out that, in contrast to the BBC, other news media had given the tragic killings of Mohammad Qadus and Osaid Qadus significant prominence, while also providing strong evidence that directly contradicted Israeli claims. For example, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported that the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem had obtained an X-ray of Osaid Qadus’s body that refuted the Israeli army’s assertion that “no live bullets were fired”. B‘Tselem commented:

“Rubber-coated steel bullets will not enter and exit the body in that way. It’s very clear these injuries would not have been caused by any kind of crowd-control measure. The army’s explanation is simply impossible and not consistent with the evidence.” (Ma’an news agency, ‘Army explanation “simply impossible”’, 22 March, 2010; http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=270326)

Likewise, the Guardian challenged Israeli claims on the use of live ammunition, reporting that “a hospital x-ray of Osaid Qadus, seen by the Guardian, showed a bullet lodged in his brain.” The Guardian added:

“Ahmed Hamad, a doctor at the hospital who treated the two, said the x-ray showed a ‘classic, pure metallic bullet’. He said both boys had injuries with small entry wounds.” (Rory McCarthy, ‘Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops near Nablus. Two teenagers killed day after boys, 15 and 17, shot in village’, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 21 March 2010 14.22 GMT; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/21/palestinians-shot-dead-isreal-nablus)

The Independent was also able to verify that a conventional bullet was “lodged in the brain of Osaid Qadus”. (Donald Macintyre, ‘Two more Palestinian youths shot dead by Israelis in bloody weekend. X-rays show deaths were caused by conventional bullets but military claim only rubber rounds were fired’, Independent, 22 March 2010; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/two-more-palestinian-youths-shot-dead-by-israelis-in-bloody-weekend-1925044.html)

We concluded our challenge to Bowen:

“Why, by contrast, has the BBC provided an echo chamber for Israeli propaganda on the army killings of these two Palestinian boys? Why were their deaths buried at the end of a report on Ban Ki-Moon’s visit? Why not give headline coverage, as you did when rocket fire from Gaza killed a man in Israel?”

The Parkland institute reports:

Just add a few Oil Barons to make this Alberta specific.

EDMONTON— A new fact sheet released this morning by the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute says that the “flat tax,” introduced by Ralph Klein in 2001, is costing the province in excess of $5 billion a year.  Given the projected deficit of $4.3 billion this year, simply returning to the progressive tax structure that existed in 1999 would be more than enough to move the province from a deficit budget to a surplus budget.

Holy cow, not rocket science.  Progressive taxation is a good thing.

Alberta’s lowest tax bracket, for example, is taxed at a higher rate than that of six other provinces. And an Alberta family earning $75,000 per year in Alberta pays more tax than the same family in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, the Yukon, the NWT, and Nunavut.

The fact sheet also points out that returning to a progressive tax structure in Alberta would also serve an important economic stimulus function.

What?  Tax-breaks for the poor will stimulate the economy?  Enough of this crazy talk, we all know that only cutting taxes on the rich creates economic stimulus (see chicanery).

People are stupid.  We hear the matra over and over again the Alberta has the lowest taxes in Canada.  What utter horse-pucky.  We have the lowest taxes, if and only if, you happen to be rich.  Welcome to Alberta where we cater to the rich and special interests 24/7, 365 days a frakking year.

Bringing energy awareness to the next level!

The idea behind Earth Hour is a good one.  Raising awareness of energy use and fossil fuel is a good thing, but really how useful is it?

Those people who are energy conscious will continue to conserve energy and treat it like the precious resource that it is.  Conversely, those who are all about the consumption will continue to consume.  I just wonder if having their ‘awareness raised’ is enough these days.

People’s awareness is certainly raised when it comes to paying for petrol at the pumps.  Good heavens, we have been dancing around a dollar per litre for years now.  Ironic considering that oil is a major export here in Alberta.  But of course that is just the market working its magic, or so they say.  Considering that oil is still floating around 80 dollars a barrel it still surprises me that our government cries poverty as well as the oil and gas sector.  Those poor dears are being driven out of business by one of the lowest royalty regimes in the industrialized world.

I apologize, but the Alberta Tories repeated, unabashed love fest with Big Oil in Alberta rankles my feathers to no end.  Back to Earth hour.

How we are going to raise awareness is make consuming energy less attractive.  We need to add taxes to fossil fuel resources to bring them more inline with renewable energy resources.  Take the tax revenue from the additional taxes and allow homeowner to retrofit and upgrade their dwellings for the new century, I guarantee that houses built before 2000 are not even close to the insulation standards we have today.

People will not change until it is too late.  We need to address the energy consumption issue proactively when the people of Canada still have a choice about how to spend their energy dollar.  The alternative, freezing in the dark because of market imposed energy austerity, is not a cheery future.

It is always nice to see the patriarchy at work.  Devaluing half the population is just peachy keen here in good ‘ole Alberta.

The Parkland Institute reports:

“A new fact sheet, entitled “Women’s equality a long way off in Alberta” shows a persistent wage gap between women and men, despite the 2002-2007 oilsands boom. Alberta is also the only province/territory without any government ministry or advisory council on the status of women.

Alberta women who work full-year, full-time earn just 66% of what men earn. The Canadian average earnings gap is 72%.”

It gets even more fantastic if you read the executive summary!  Our heroic Premier is a little busy licking the spittle off the lips of the oil and gas industry he really does care about the woman-folk, honest.

Thanks for the Canadian Cynic for posting this link on his blog, it is really a neat article in the same realm as Libertarian Island and a proposal for for Libertarians.  Apologies for the US centric nature, but our own home grown conservative drones are just less auspicious in their fail.

Read the goodness here at TPM.

Pretty straightforward but more importantly, hopeful!

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