We had joy, we had fun, we had Seasons of the Sun.
But the mountains we climbed were but whimsies of our minds.
That song (apologies to Terry Jacks) could well be the theme for the official climate Team as they hike to the airy peak of Mt. Hansen on the supposed 0.8ºC warming since 1880, only to look out at the bleak prospect, for them, of level ground, and the possibility of some cooling over the coming decades.
This is the third of my Tale of the Global Warming Tiger series where I allocate the supposed 0.8ºC warming since 1880 to: (1) Data Bias, (2) Natural Cycles, the subject of this posting, and (3) AGW, which will be the subject of a subsequent posting. Click Tiger’s Tale and Tail :^) to see my allocation and read the original story.
NATURAL PROCESSES AND CYCLES
This posting is about how natural processes and cycles have dominated the global warming experienced since 1880. The base chart for the above graphic is the NASA GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index that indicates the official climate Team estimate of about 0.8ºC net warming, the majority of which they allocate to human activities. In contrast, according to my annotations, the actual net warming is closer to 0.5ºC (0.8ºC – 0.3ºC Data Bias), and most of that, 0.4ºC, is due to natural cycles and processes over which humans have no control or effect.
The violet curve in the graphic is my estimate of the effect of natural cycles from 1880 to the present. There are many natural processes that affect the surface temperature of the Earth, but nearly all of them gain their energy from the Sun which is why I call them Normal Seasons of the Sun. In the following three sections, they are divided into three groups, according to their time scales and effects.
GRADUAL PROCESSES AND CYCLES LESS IMPORTANT ON HUMAN TIME SCALES
Biological life is thought to have existed on Earth for about 3.5 billion years. Over that enormous time period, natural processes and cycles have affected the evolution of life. Absent those processes, we would not be here, or at least not in our current condition. However, some of these processes and cycles operate ponderously slowly, to the point they are barely noticed on the time scale of an individual human life or even on the time scale of ten lives. Therefore, they are of virtually no concern:
(a) Brightening Sun The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old, and about halfway through what is called the main sequence evolution for a star of its type. It has been getting brighter, but very slowly and nearly imperceptibly. In about 5 billion years, the Sun will become a Red Giant, and life as we know it on Earth will no longer be possible. However, the rate of brightening is so small that we may ignore it.
(b) Milankovitch Cycles. The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is affected by slow, cyclic variations in eccentricity (100,000 years), axial tilt (41,000 years), and precesssion (21,000 years). Changes in the Earth’s orbit do not affect the quantity of average yearly solar radiation, but the distribution between equatorial regions and polar regions is affected. This may be the cause of the approximately 100,000 year cycle of ice age glaciations. However, the contribution of these effects over a period as short as that from 1880 to the present is so small we may ignore it.
(c) Heat from Earth’s Core. About 0.01% of the energy responsible for heating the surface of the Earth is due to energy from the decay of radioactive materials in the Earth’s core. This source has a half life measured in billions of years. This is such a tiny fraction of the Earth’s heat budget that we may ignore it.
PROCESSES AND CYCLES OF IMPORTANCE ON HUMAN TIME SCALES
(d) Normal Seasons of the Sun. The nominal 11-year Solar Cycles, during which Sunspot counts vary from low numbers to a peak and then down again, may be as short as 9 years or as long as 14. Magnetic polarity changes for every pair of cycles, so there is an 18 to 28 year magnetic cycle. Often there are series of three or more cycles, spanning periods of 30 to 150 or more years where solar activity may be very low (below 50 spots per month) and series of similar lengths where activity may be very high (above 100 spots per month).
Low Sunspot series are historically associated with decades of unusually cold climate and vice-versa for high Sunspot series. Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) does not change much during a single Sunspot cycle, but, over a series of high (or low) cycles, it may change enough to result in an increase (or decrease) of 0.1ºC. This TSI effect of Solar Cycles accounts for about a quarter of the of 0.4ºC I have allocated for natural cycles.
(e) Henrick Svensmark’s Global Cosmic Ray (GCR) Theory. GCRs have a positive role in the formation of clouds. Low-lying daytime clouds tend to cool the surface of the Earth. Therefore, all else being equal, the more GCRs, the more clouds, and the cooler the surface of the Earth. Increased solar magnetic activity, which coincides with higher Sunspot numbers, may divert some portion of GCRs from reaching the Earth, thereby reducing cloud formation and thus lessening their cooling effects.
Via this mechanism, a series of high Sunspot cycles may indirectly cause surface temperatures to rise, and a series of low cycles may cause them to fall, which is consistent with the historical record. Svensmark’s theory, if correct, could account for some of the 0.4ºC I have allocated to natural cycles and processes.
(f) Multi-Decadal Ocean Oscillations. There are a number of ocean oscillations, with periods of from less than a decade to multiple decades, that affect sea surface temperatures and therefore have climate impacts worldwide. These include the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and others. The ENSO, for example, has a warm phase, called El Niño, Spanish for “the boy”, and a cool phase, called La Niña, “the girl”. The El Niño that started in 1998 caused global warming of 0.1ºC to 0.4ºC for a couple years.
While the net effect of any cycle on temperature anomalies is zero, they have significant effects during their high and low durations. Given the existence of several, somewhat independent ocean oscillations, their high and low times may tend to reinforce or cancel each other out, and that may explain multi-decadal episodes of positive and negative anomalies. There may be some correlation of these cycles with solar activity, which is, of course, the main source of their energy. Thus, ocean cycles could account for some of the 0.4ºC I have allocated to natural cycles and processes.
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FEEDBACKS OF IMPORTANCE ON HUMAN TIME SCALES
(g) ATMOSPHERIC GASES (net positive feedback). Long-wave radiation from the Earth extends from about 4 to 25 microns, with maximum energy around 10 microns. See the absorption spectrum for “greenhouse” gases. Note that the absorption spectra for water vapor (H2O) in the range of interest extends from about 5 to 8 microns and from around 12 to 25 microns. Note also that the absorption spectra for other atmospheric gases, such as methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (NO2), and oxygen/ozone (O2/O3), partially overlap H2O such that the atmosphere absorbs (and re-emits) nearly 100% of 4 to 25 micron radiation, except for two nearly transparent windows in the 8 to 9 and 10 to 12 micron regions.
Nearly all the carbon gases in the atmosphere are from natural sources, mostly respiration and digestive gasses of living animals and the decay of dead plants and animals. (The small proportion of carbon gases due to human activity, mainly burning of previously sequestered coal, oil, and natural gas, will be discussed in a future topic here on WUWT. For the purposes of this posting, only natural carbon gases are considered.)
When an atmospheric gas absorbs longwave radiation in its spectrum, that radiative energy is re-emitted in a broader spectrum and in all directions, about half towards the Earth and the other half out towards space.
When atmospheric CO2 absorbs 4 to 5 micron radiation from the Earth, or CH4 absorbs 7 to 8 micron radiation, and that energy is re-emitted, some will fall into the nearly transparent windows and head out to space nearly unimpeded. About half of the remaining energy will be re-emitted back towards the Earth’s surface and will add to warming.
The same is true for H2O, NO2, O2, and O3. Thus, increases in any of these gases will tend to increase warming of the Earth, all else being equal. That means, should the surface of the Earth experience a temperature increase, due to natural solar effects or any other cause, and if that increases emission of carbon gases from equatorial and summer temperate oceans, and reduces absorption of carbon gases by the polar and the winter temperate oceans, that will consititute a positive feedback. The inverse is also true. Should surface temperatures decrease, and if this reduces the amount of CO2, CH4, or H2O gases in the atmosphere, that will reduce the “greenhouse” effect, and tend to further cool the surface. Thus carbon gases and water vapor represent a positive feedback to surface warming.
(h) CLOUDS (net negative feedback). Short-wave radiation from the Sun extends from about 0.2 microns (ultraviolet light) to 2 microns (near infrared light), with maximum energy around 0.5 microns (green light in the visible spectrum). Moderate warming of the surface has a net effect of increasing the extent of cloud cover. Daytime clouds reflect much of the short-wave radiation back out to space, which is a powerful negative feedback. However, both day- and nightime clouds also absorb long-wave radiation from the Earth and re-emit about half of it back down, further warming the surface, a positive feedback. There is disagreement over whether the net effect of clouds is warming or cooling. Most of the official climate Team models assume the net effect is positive, others, including me, assume it nets out as negative.
(i) SURFACE ICE (net positive feedback). Ice, having a high albedo (reflective quality of white or light-colored surfaces), reflects much of the short-wave radiation from the Sun back out to space, which has a cooling effect. Warming of the Earth’s surface may thin and ultimately melt the ice and expose the underlying sea water or land. Water and land are less reflective. Thus, warming that causes melting has a net positive feedback.
(j) THUNDERSTORMS, HURRICANES, ETC. (net negative feedback). These tend to mix the atmosphere and, since the surface is generally warmer than the lower air masses, storms and other disturbances of the atmosphere tend to be a cooling influence. Thunderstorms, in particular, tend to lift warmer air from the surface to higher elevations where the heat energy may more readily radiate out to space.
Thus, if warming of the surface causes more water vapor in the atmosphere, and if this causes more thunderstorms and hurricanes, or makes them more intense, they have a negative feedback effect.
(k) PRECIPITATION (net negative feedback). Water vapor in the atmosphere cools by radiation of its heat energy in all directions, including out to space. The vapor condenses, forming liquid (rain) and solid (snow) water precipitates. Since the radiating tends to take place high in the atmosphere, where the heat energy may more readily radiate out to space, this precipitation constitutes a net cooling effect. Rain and snow tend to be cooler than the surface, and that is also a net cooling effect. Thus, if warming of the surface causes more water vapor in the atmosphere, and if this causes more precipitation, that is a negative feedback effect.
(l) VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS. These spew hot gases, liquids, and solids from the bowels of the Earth onto the surface and into the atmosphere. In the short-term, this tends to heat the surface. However, the aerosols from the volcano, basically sulphur and other mineral compounds, are driven high into the air and tend to remain for years, which tends to reflect Sunlight back into space, which, in the longer-term, tends to cool the surface. The net effect is cooling. For example, the eruption at Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 cooled global temperatures 0.1ºC to 0.3ºC for a few years thereafter.
CONCLUSIONS AND REQUESTS
I believe I have hit on and briefly described all the major natural processes and cycles that affect average global temperatures. However, if readers have additional information or corrections to what I said about any of them, or if there are some I missed, I would appreciate detailed comments to improve my summary.
It seems to me that my estimate of 0.4ºC for Normal Seasons of the Sun is fully justified, but I am open to hearing the opinions of WUWT readers who may think I have over- (or under-) estimated this component of the supposed 0.8ºC rise in global temperatures since 1880.
Quite a few readers were kind enough to comment, either expressing general agreement or offering their own estimates.
Some commenters claim that the actual Data Bias is larger than my estimate of 0.3ºC. Some think Data Bias may be responsible for the entire amount of the supposed 0.8ºC rise in global temperatures since 1880, meaning that net warming over that period is ZERO. I accept that Data Bias may be 50% more (or less) than my estimate, which would put it between 0.15ºC and 0.45ºC, but I doubt it could be as large as 0.8ºC.
Other commenters claim that AGW is ZERO. In other words, they believe that rising CO2 and land use changes due to human activities have no effect on temperatures or climate. They believe the lack of effect is due to the negative feedback from cloud albedo and other natural negative feedback processes. I agree clouds have a net negative feedback (most official models assume a net positive feedback) but I do not believe this cancels out all the effects of CO2 on the Earth’s surface absorption of Solar radiation nor of albedo changes due to land use. I accept that AGW may be 50% less (or more) than my estimate, which would put it between 0.05ºC and 0.2ºC, but I doubt it could be as large as 0.8ºC.
What do you think? I have been keeping a spreadsheet record of reader’s opinions, which I appreciate and value greatly, along with their screen names, and I plan to report the results later in this series.
This is what you may look forward to:
Some People Claim There’s a Human to Blame – Yes, human actions, mainly burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, are responsible for some small amount of Global Warming.
Is the Global Warming Tiger a Pussy Cat? – If, as many of us expect, natural processes lead to stabilization of global temperatures over the coming decades, and perhaps a bit of cooling, we will realize the whole Global Warming uproar was like the boy who saw a pussy cat and cried tiger.
By Alan Hart | January 23, 2011
Despite strong US opposition, a proposed resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank did make it to the UN Security Council. It was not put to a vote and no vote is expected for some time, if ever, because of the probability as things stand of an American veto. But given growing global support for the resolution, there is a case for wondering if President Obama can remain Zionist-like in his own implicit defiance of international law on Israel’s behalf.
Introduced by Lebanon, the resolution states that “Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”. And it demands that Israel cease “immediately and completely” not only all settlement construction in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, but also “all other measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the territory, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”
US position ridiculous
Washington had hoped that signalling its opposition to the proposed resolution would be enough to cause its Palestinian and other Arab sponsors to back away from taking it to the Security Council. Deputy American UN Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said the US opposed bringing the settlement issue to the Council “because such action moves us no closer to a goal of a negotiated final settlement and could even undermine progress towards it”. She also said the Security Council should not be the forum for resolving the issues at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In my view that has to be among the most ridiculous statements any diplomat has ever made in any place at any time.
When the Arab sponsors discovered that they do have testicles and refused to be intimidated by Uncle Sam, the result was a huge embarrassment for Obama because, as noted by Tony Karon in an article for Time, the resolution’s substance “largely echoes the administration’s own stated positions.” In Haaretz under the headline “Settlements issue isn’t Israel’s problem, it’s Obama’s”, Natasha Mozgovaya was more explicit. The resolution has put Washington “in the awkward position of having to veto a resolution it absolutely agrees with”.
That was why a number of former senior US diplomats and officials wrote to Obama urging him to support the resolution. They included former Reagan Defence Secretary Frank Carlucci and former assistant secretaries of state Thomas Pickering and James Dobbins. They said the resolution is not incompatible with negotiating an end to the conflict and does not deviate from the US commitment to Israel’s security. They added:
The proposed resolution is consistent with existing and established US policies; deploying a veto would severely undermine US credibility and interests, placing us firmly outside of the international consensus, and further diminishing our ability to mediate this conflict.
USA internationally isolated
How far outside the international consensus the US already is on account of its unconditional support for Israel right or wrong was demonstrated by the fact that the resolution attracted the support of 120 nations. Diplomats were certain that the US was the only one of the five permanent members on the 15-country Security Council with veto power that would have vetoed if the resolution had been put to a vote when it was introduced. In other words, without a US veto it would have passed. That would have more or less confirmed Israel’s pariah status in much of the world and just might have been a game-changer.
In contrast to the Zionist lobby in America which has naturally been urging – ordering? – Obama to veto, J Street, the “dovish” Jewish advocacy group which is pro-Israel and more or less anti-AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], is among those who understand that a veto would not be in America’s own best interests. Or Israel’s, despite what its deluded leaders assert to the contrary. In a statement J Street said:
As a pro-Israel organization and as Americans, we advocate for what we believe to be in the long-term interests of the state of Israel and of the United States… Ongoing settlement expansion runs counter to the interests of both countries and against commitments Israel itself has made. While we hope never to see the state of Israel publicly taken to task by the United Nations, we cannot support a US veto of a resolution that closely tracks long-standing American policy and that appropriately condemns Israeli settlement policy”.
Because J Street almost certainly speaks for far more silent and troubled American Jews than AIPAC does, that’s quite an important statement.
The advocacy group Americans for Peace Now was more explicit in its message to Obama. It not only urged him to avoid vetoing the resolution, it also said this:
It is indefensible that the Netanyahu government, heedless of the damage settlement activity does to Israel’s own interests and indifferent to the Obama administration’s peace efforts, has not only refused to halt settlement activity, but has opened the floodgates, including in the most sensitive areas of East Jerusalem. In this context, the move by the United Nations Security Council to censure Israel’s settlement activity should surprise no one… Vetoing this resolution would conflict with four decades of US policy. It would contribute to the dangerously naive view that Israeli settlement policies do no lasting harm to Israel. And it would send a message to the world that the US is not only acquiescing to Israel’s actions, but is implicitly supporting them.
It might well have been their fear of a Tunisian domino effect that helped to embolden the regimes of the sponsoring Arab states to defy a US administration on this occasion. Their challenge to America’s unconditional support for Israel was, as Tony Karon noted, “a low-cost gesture that will play well on the restive street”. At least for a while, I add. (The truth about the Arab street is that for the past 40 years very many people on it have been humiliated and angered not only by Israel’s arrogance of power and American support for it, but also by the complete failure of their own governments to use the leverage they do have to put real pressure on the US to oblige Israel to end its occupation of all the Arab territory it grabbed in 1967.)
Crunch time for Obama?
If the sponsoring Arab regimes have the will to keep the heat on Washington over the resolution and insist that there must be a vote on it at some point in the not too distant future, and if the number of nations who support the resolution stays firm and better still increases, crunch time for Obama on the Israel-Palestine conflict will arrive.
If and when it does he will have three options: to veto; to order America’s vote in the Security Council to be cast for the resolution; or to abstain. An American abstention would have the same practical effect as a “Yes” vote – the resolution would be passed.
A veto would protect Obama from the wrath of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress. But it would also propel America further down the road to isolation, perhaps to the point where, like Israel, it was regarded as a pariah state by much of the world. Can Obama or any American president really afford that?
But an American vote for the resolution or even an abstention would, of course, put Obama into head-on confrontation with the Zionist lobby. Could he come out of it a winner (and, some will add, remain alive)?
My crystal ball doesn’t tell me the answer, but it does indicate how he could be the first American president to break the Zionist lobby’s stranglehold on America policy for the Middle East. If he went over the heads of Congress and used his rhetorical skill to explain to his people why it is not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Israel right or wrong, there’s a chance that he could win the argument. Americans are not stupid. What they are, most of them, is extremely gullible because of the way they have been misinformed, lied to, by a mainstream media which, for a number of reasons, are content to peddle Zionist propaganda.
It’s your call, Mr President. The fate of the region – the Middle East – and quite possibly the whole world will be determined by it.
If the US endorses the Whitewash Israeli inquiry into Israel’s deadly attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla last May, we’ll know that the prospects of Obama putting America’s own interest first at crunch time are very, very remote, to say the least.
In response to the publication of the interim report of the Turkel Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May, 2010, and its conclusion that the naval closure of the Gaza Strip, as well as the actions Israel took to enforce it, are consistent with the provisions of international law, Gisha (Legal Center for Freedom of Movement) notes:
No commission of inquiry can authorize the collective punishment of a civilian population by restricting its movement and access, as Israel did in its closure of Gaza, of which the maritime closure was an integral part. Gisha notes that a primary goal of the restrictions, as declared by Israel, was to paralyze the economy in Gaza and prevent its residents from leading normal lives. International law forbids using civilians to advance “strategic” goals, under circumstances in which Israel controls their ability to transfer goods. Although some of the restrictions were removed following the flotilla incident, Israel continues to restrict the movement of persons, the entrance of building materials and the transfer of goods for sale outside Gaza – with no valid security justification.
International law permits restricting movement for purposes of security, so long as Israel protects the rights of residents in Gaza to engage in normal life. However, imposing a closure for purposes of punishment is forbidden, as the International Committee of the Red Cross stated in reference to the maritime incident. According to official documents obtained by Gisha under the Freedom of Information Act, Israel prevented the passage of civilian goods such as spices, raw materials and consumer items and even set limitations for the amount of food it would permit residents of Gaza to purchase. We disagree with the Commission’s conclusion that the restrictions were justified for military or “strategic” reasons. It is unclear how preventing the transfer into Gaza of industrial margarine, paper, and coriander contributed to a legitimate military goal.
So long as Israel controls central elements of life in Gaza, including movement via the crossings, it must take responsibility for the effects of its control on the 1.5 million human beings living in the Gaza Strip. Gisha expresses hope that Israel will cancel the many remaining restrictions that are not related to concrete security risks and will allow the free movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, subject only to individual security checks.
For a position paper on the maritime closure and the Turkel Commission, click here.
For a position paper on the continuing restrictions on access into and out of Gaza, click here.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — An Israeli organization has compiled many statements by Israeli soldiers confessing to war crimes against unarmed Palestinians in a book that will be released soon and sold in Europe.
The NGO Breaking the Silence will release this month details of torture and murder incidents committed by 180 soldiers from 2000 to 2009.
Testimonies, tapes and images have already been in circulation, but the soldiers who testified will for the first time ever reveal their identities and faces.
Breaking the Silence founder Yehuda Shaul, who is an ex-soldier, said he aimed to launch debate in Israel about the country’s army.
“[The Israeli army] is corrupting the youth,” Shaul said.
The book, containing first time ever released details, is expected to spark controversy in Israel and the world over.
Breaking the Silence has a membership of 700 former soldiers and activists.
Update: a nearly final electronic version can be found online.
What our Foreign Office minister said on his recent visit to Israel and occupied Palestine shows more clearly than ever why the struggle in the Holy Land extends all the way to our own front door here in the UK.
The new minister in charge of Middle East affairs, Alistair Burt, was there to reward the sterling work of the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister, Salam Fayyad, and his boss, Mahmoud Abbas, with a gift of GBP 17 million. This largesse no doubt made the British government feel better about doing naff-all to right the catalogue of wrongs going back to 1917.
The official reason was that Burt is impressed by the dynamic duo’s progress towards creating an independent, viable Palestinian state “living in peace with a secure Israel”.
Their only real achievement, however, is the way they have turned the occupied territories into a police state of the most sinister kind, with torture, rape and other extreme forms of cruelty a regular feature of the prisons they run.
This bonus from the British taxpayer is supposed to pay for schooling for over 4,400 children, fund 340 teachers and help 15,000 people continue to receive clean water, says Burt.
More likely it’s a sweetener to get the Palestinian leaders back to the negotiation table. Burt seems desperately keen for that to happen, though God knows why.
It is critical that both sides find a way to return to talks. The current impasse is of great concern and I urge all parties to take immediate steps to secure a lasting peace…
We firmly believe that this should see a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the solution which offers the best prospect of a just and sustainable peace.
I also hold firmly the view that settlement construction is illegal, wrong and should stop. It blights the lives of Palestinians and is an obstacle to peace.
Talk is easy when you have no intention of following it up with action. Mr Burt is not about to transform himself into a man of action for peace. Why not? Because he’s an Israel lobby stooge. He used to be (and maybe still is, for all I know) an officer of that infamous bunch of Israel-firsters, the Conservative Friends of Israel.
The Foreign Office is stuffed with them, all appointed by our new prime minister, David “I’m-a-Zionist” Cameron. This misguided individual is famously quoted on the Friends of Israel website as saying: “The friendship … will deepen, because the ties between this party and Israel are unbreakable. And in me, you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible.”
What a ridiculous commitment for a British prime minister to make to a lawless, racist state that respects nobody’s human rights, continually defies international law and shoots children for amusement (see “The methodical shooting of boys at work in Gaza by snipers of the Israeli occupation force”, a horrific article by surgeon David Halpin).
It is a disgrace that the Conservatives, who were not given a clear mandate to govern, nevertheless vomit their infatuation with the thuggish Israeli regime all over their much more level-headed coalition partners (the Liberal Democrats), the whole British nation and the Arab world.
Go to the UK’s Israel embassy website where Burt “answers your questions” and see the way he tells everyone how “clear” or “firm” the UK government position is on this and that. When challenged to say what exactly he is doing to uphold the official position or enforce official policy, he sidesteps every time.
In a speech to the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London last year, Burt told his audience he had worked from the age of 15 for an MP who was a president of the Board and founder of the Conservative Friends of Israel, and how this “had a lasting effect upon me, and on my interests in Parliament”.
He said: “Israel is an important strategic partner and friend for the UK and we share a number of important shared objectives across a broad range of policy areas.”
Offhand, can anybody think of a single objective they would wish to share with those people?
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said that “without an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis then peace in the Middle East is unobtainable”.
He added, apparently oblivious to the irony of his remarks:
Those who are enemies of peace will continue to use the conflict for their own purposes… We cannot allow those who want to pursue a violent agenda to succeed…As a friend to both sides, we are committed to a two-state solution and we will continue to support the efforts of the US to broker a peace deal between both sides.
And as an honest broker, the UK government does not believe that economic sanctions or embargoes on Israel [are] the way to engage or to influence it.
The “friend to both sides” and “honest broker” he refers to has been happy to use economic sanctions to collectively punish the Gazans, who are no threat to us, and thinks nothing of threatening the Iranians, who are no threat to us. Why so queasy about doing the same to Israel, which is a threat to everyone? All else has failed. Could it be that Mr Burt is actually no more interested in peace than the Israelis?
“And I know some of you here are concerned about Universal Jurisdiction… We have prioritized resolving this and look to see legislation introduced to Parliament…”
His eagerness to sabotage the Geneva Convention’s principle of Universal Jurisdiction so that suspected Israeli war criminals can walk the streets of London without fear of arrest, reflects his party’s eagerness to appease the whining of the psychopaths.
Needless to say the Jewish Chronicle was ecstatic about Burt’s appointment as a Foreign Office minister, which it said sent
as clear a message as possible about the direction of the new government in the region. Mr Burt is listed as an officer in the parliamentary group of Conservative Friends of Israel and has been passionate in campaigning for visiting rights to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for the past four years… The appointment of Mr Burt and Mr [David] Lidington will be seen as an attempt to distance the Foreign Office from its Arabist, “Camel Corps” reputation.
The Jewish Chronicle continued: “Mr Burt will have to work hard within the Arab world to build credibility and prove that he is an honest broker. He will not be helped by his commitment to the Evangelical Christian movement.”
Burt’s deep concern for Shalit, whose capture and detention he calls “outrageous” while ignoring the thousands of Palestinian civilians (including women and children) abducted and left to rot in Israeli jails without trial, wins him no credibility.
At the Jerusalem Post they were rubbing their hands in glee. The director of the Conservative Friends of Israel called Burt’s appointment excellent news. “I have travelled to Israel with Alistair on numerous occasions. He has an excellent knowledge and understanding of the complex issues of the region and is well-placed to approach the brief with the balance and fairness it requires.”
London Muslim, on his blog, confessed he had been
under the impression that one of the qualities needed to be a minister in the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] was that you championed Britain rather than a foreign government that practises apartheid and fakes British passports before carrying out assassinations. My impression was also that when MPs take the oath … they swear allegiance to Liz [Queen Elizabeth] and her heirs, not Israel.
“Burt is a Christian Evangelical who like many of his eschatology ilk, particularly in America, will be hoping for Armageddon in the Middle East.
Yes, let’s hang on to that bleak thought.
Britain’s Israel-firsters ditch law and justice for lopsided “negotiation”
Stopping off in Jordan, Burt announced that Britain would not recognize a Palestinian state unless it emerged from a peace deal with Israel. London could “not recognize a state that does not have a capital, and doesn’t have borders.”
London recognizes Israel. Where does Burt suppose Israel’s borders are? And is Israel sitting inside them? Where does he think Israel’s capital is? And where does Israel claim it to be? In other words, is Israel where Israel is supposed to be, within internationally defined borders? If not, how could he possibly recognize it let alone align himself with it?
Burt had talked the previous day about a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. In the space of a few short hours he seemed to have completely lost the plot.
We are looking forward to recognizing a Palestinian state at the end of the negotiations on settlements because our position is again very straightforward: We wish to see a two-state solution, a secure and recognized Israel side by side with a viable Palestine, Jerusalem as a joint capital and agreed borders.
Negotiations about illegal settlements? Since when did Her Majesty’s Government negotiate over criminal acts and crimes against humanity? Unless of course Alistair Burt is now answering to Queen Hillary Clinton, who has rejected in advance an anticipated Palestinian resolution in the UN condemning unlawful Israeli settlement building. Queen Hillary says the issue of illegal squats can be resolved through “negotiations” between Palestinians and Israelis and to hell with international law. Mr Burt obliges by chiming sweetly with this conspiracy. “That’s where we want to get to. When we get there, that of course will imply recognition of a state of Palestine.”
Many people are betting that, compared to the borders already defined by law and UN resolution, any “negotiated” solution will be worth diddly-squat.
As for a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians, he said it would mean ambiguity on crucial issues like the capital of the state, its borders and the fate of refugees.
Again, Mr Burt hasn’t been paying attention. These things were ruled on long ago. But instead of enforcing international law and upholding justice, as he should, he cooperates with the most dishonest peace brokers on the planet to revive discredited, lopsided talks between dispossessed victim and criminal occupier. Where’s the honour in that?
Aiming to grab Gaza’s gas too
And talking of boundary recognition, where does Mr Burt suppose the Palestinian state’s offshore boundaries are? Huge reserves of marine gas and oil have been found in the Levantine Basin, which comprises Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and their territorial waters.
In a report by Manlio Dinucci the Israeli government with Washington’s backing considers it is entitled to all the energy reserves.
A coastal state may exploit offshore gas and oil reserves within a zone extending 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from the shore, so the Palestinian Authority also has a claim. According to the map drawn up by the US Geological Survey, the major portion of the gas deposits (around 60 per cent) lie in the waters and territory belonging to Gaza, so we can expect the US-Israeli “Axis of Greed” to ruthlessly exploit the Palestinians’ disunity and deprive them of their natural resource, just like they’ve stolen their water.
If the Israelis plan to grab the lot “with Washington’s backing”, is London signed up to this act of grand larceny too?
The question for many years has been: will Gaza ever get a whiff of its own gas? What does Mr Burt, wearing the British government’s “honest broker” hat, say?