Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wayne LaPierre Warns Of Gangs, Terrorists And Debt Riots

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierreNational Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre
Following President Obama’s call for a vote on proposed gun safety legislation in his State of the Union speech, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, on Wednesday issued a call-to-action for gun owners to prepare for post-apocolyptic-style scenarios and rally against the gun control movement.

In an op-ed published by the Daily Caller, LaPierre outlined a three-step plan of action to preserve gun rights against an administration that he argues poses a serious threat to the Second Amendment. The plan consists of aggressive litigation, fundraising to counter gun control-advocating billionaires like George Soros and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and increasing NRA membership with grassroots activism.
In a video released Tuesday, the NRA warned that the Obama administration is secretly pushing for reforms like confiscation of assault weapons and a national gun registry.
LaPierre detailed in his op-ed the scary situations in which Americans will need guns to protect themselves, including “terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster.” Here are a few choice quotes:
“Latin American drug gangs”:
Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, and though the states on the U.S./Mexico border may be the first places in the nation to suffer from cartel violence, by no means are they the last.
Hurricanes, and other natural disasters:
After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.
Riots brought on by financial collapse:
Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it.
Ominously, the border also remains open to agents of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Numerous intelligence sources have confirmed that foreign terrorists have identified the southern U.S. border as their path of entry into the country. When the next terrorist attack comes, the Obama administration won’t accept responsibility. Instead, it will do what it does every time: blame a scapegoat and count on Obama’s “mainstream” media enablers to go along.

His closing argument:
We will not surrender. We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever. We will use them for sport and lawful self-defense more than ever. We will grow the NRA more than ever. And we will be prouder than ever to be freedom-loving NRA patriots. And with your help, we will ensure that the Second Amendment remains America’s First Freedom.

UPDATED: Rush Limbaugh: 'I Am Ashamed Of My Country' For The First Time In My Life (AUDIO)
Posted: 02/22/2013 8:31 am EST 

 Updated: 02/22/2013 11:21 am EST 

Rush Limbaugh is officially ashamed of America for "the first time," he announced Thursday.

The reason? The so-called budget sequestration, which President Obama and Democrats say could do serious danger to the economy if Congress can't do a deal before March 1st. Limbaugh wasn't buying it.

The radio host said that "to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being, it just makes me ashamed."

"Here they come -- sucking us in, roping us in, panic here, fear there, crisis, destruction, no meat inspection, no cops, no teachers, no firefighters, no air traffic control," he said. "I'm sorry, my days of getting roped into all of this are over. We have the media play along with all of this, the ruling class of both parties play along all of this -- it's insulting. I don't know how else to describe it!"

So, you're on notice, America: Rush Limbaugh is embarrassed to be seen with you.

Rush Limbaugh’s Tea Party ‘Call to Arms’ Falls on Deaf Ears

(Two if by Tea)
(Two if by Tea)


Did Rush Limbaugh just launch a Tea Party revival effort?

That is the headline of a Washington Examiner story today about Rush Limbaugh’s rant about how he was ashamed of his country. A sentiment that many of us share with my ‘Big Buddy’ on the right, El Rushbo.

The story states that “Limbaugh explained that both political parties in Washington refused to stop spending and used alarmist scare tactics every time anyone proposed cuts to government programs.”
“I’ve said the same things over and over for 25 years,” Limbaugh said, adding that it didn’t matter who was in power. “It’s the same stuff, it’s the same threats, it’s the same arguments, over and over nothing ever changes.”
“We just keep spending more money, we create more dependency, we get more and more irresponsible one crisis to the next, all of them manufactured,” Limbaugh added. “Except for the real crisis that nobody ever addresses and that is we can’t afford it.”-Rush Limbaugh, Washington Examiner

I agree that Rush’s frustration reflects the Tea Party movement’s ongoing frustration over government overreach and irresponsible spending. But today’s Tea Party movement is not what it was in 2010. Since then, many of these self-proclaimed “Tea Party Patriots” have let their influence inflate their egos. These ego-maniacal activist have co-opted the movement so much, that the Tea Party has splintered into a slew of factions, some teetering on the fringe of insanity. The Tea Party has lost its ‘Mojo’.

So while Rush would be the ideal personality to kick-start a once fresh and influential movement, the “Tea Party leaders” need to put their egos aside and focus on the principles that first animated the movement.

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U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (rear) looks on during the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

attribution: REUTERS
Who would have figured that these would be the good old days for Republicans? According to the latest survey by Selzer & Co. for Bloomberg News, Americans seem to like President Obama's second-term approach of saying what he wants and fighting for it:

Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of Obama’s performance in office, his strongest level of support since September 2009, according to a Bloomberg National poll conducted Feb. 15-18. The poll, which had a margin of error of ±3.1 percent, found Republicans in far worse shape:

Only 35 percent of the country has a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest rating in a survey that began in September 2009. The party’s brand slipped six percentage points in the last six months, the poll shows To put that six point drop in perspective, six months ago Mitt Romney had just returned to the U.S. from his disastrous #Romneyshambles tour and was preparing to get introduced to the country by Clint Eastwood speaking to an empty chair. But now, somehow, the GOP has figured out how to sink their brand even deeper.

Poll: Obama Leads GOP In Public Opinion

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:   |  Updated: 02/21/2013 11:26 am EST

President Barack Obama has a public opinion edge on the GOP as he charts out his second term and delves into yet another fiscal showdown, a Pew/USA Today poll released Thursday finds.

The debate over the sequester has drawn less attention than previous negotiations over the "fiscal cliff," and Americans are more willing this time to see automatic cuts go into effect. One constant, however, remains: Should the negotiations fail, Congress is poised to shoulder most of the blame. Nearly half of Americans said Republicans in Congress would be at fault if a deal isn't struck, while fewer than a third said Obama would be.

While majorities in both parties wanted to avoid the cliff, opinions are more split on the sequester -- 40 percent say Obama and Congress should let automatic cuts go into effect if they can't reach a deal, compared to 49 percent who say the cuts should be delayed.

Obama's post-election bounce in job approval has largely held, but a near-record two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Republican leaders. While 88 percent of Democrats support the president, Republicans are evenly split on whether their party's officials are doing a good job. The president is favored over the congressional GOP by wide margins on immigration and climate change, and, to a lesser extent, on gun policies and the budget deficit.

Some of that, however, is relative. Obama received less than majority approval for his handling of a wide range of issues, from foreign policy to immigration, climate change and immigration. His approval is slightly underwater on gun policy, and substantially so for his work on the economy and the deficit.

Another challenge: The public is considerably more worried about tackling the deficit than about taking on the major gun control, immigration and climate change initiatives outlined in his speech.

The Pew/USA Today poll surveyed 1,504 adults by phone between Feb. 13 and Feb. 18.


Reality 1, Boehner 0


Getty Images

We're down to just nine days before brutal sequestration cuts kick in, undermining the economy, the military, and public needs. At this point, it'd be a mistake to suggest the bipartisan talks have stalled, since there no talks -- Democrats have unveiled a sequester alternative, and Republicans have not; Democrats have said they're open to compromise, and Republican have said they aren't. The probability of avoiding next week's mess is quickly approaching zero.
With this in mind, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a 900-word op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the subject, devoted almost entirely to a desperate attempt to avoid blame. In the larger context, it's only mildly annoying that Boehner invests more energy in pointing fingers than working on a solution, but it's far worse that the Speaker peddles blatant falsehoods, lacking enough respect for the public and the political world to be honest with them.
During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked toward a plan to reduce the deficit to allow for an increase in the federal debt limit, President Obama and I very nearly came to a historic agreement. Unfortunately our deal fell apart at the last minute when the president demanded an extra $400 billion in new tax revenue -- 50% more than we had shaken hands on just days before.
Actually, during the summer of 2011, Boehner and his party held the nation hostage, threatening to crash the American economy on purpose unless their unconditional demands were met. Obama offered a far-too-generous "grand bargain," and the Speaker balked when he realized his own caucus wouldn't tolerate the modest tax increases.
...President Obama was determined not to face another debt-limit increase before his re-election campaign. Having just blown up one deal, the president scuttled this bipartisan, bicameral agreement. His solution? A sequester.
This is insane. As the president scrambled to pay the GOP's ransom, so Republicans wouldn't follow through on their threats to hurt Americans on purpose, Obama accepted over $1.2 trillion in spending cuts with no revenue. Boehner said that was inadequate. With time running out, the two leaders agreed to a sequester to give policymakers time for further fiscal talks. Obama pushed for a sequester that was 50% revenue, 50% cuts, but Boehner refused that, too. Eventually they agreed to 50% defense cuts, 50% non-defense domestic cuts, and the Speaker agreed to let the hostage live another day.
Ultimately, the super committee failed to find an agreement, despite Republicans offering a balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenue through tax reform.
Republicans on the committee didn't offer new revenue; they offered tax breaks they said might someday produce new revenue.
As a result, the president's sequester is now imminent.
To call this "the president's sequester" is idiotic. Republicans demanded a ransom, and at the time, boasted about the sequester they said they put into the law. Boehner and his GOP cohorts voted for all of this, making it the nation's sequester.
Both parties today have a responsibility to find a bipartisan solution to the sequester. Turning it off and erasing its deficit reduction isn't an option.
Sure it is. Congress doesn't have to make these cuts -- lawmakers can choose to simply turn it off. It would take five minutes and save us all a great deal of pain.
What Congress should do is replace it with other spending cuts that put America on the path to a balanced budget in 10 years, without threatening national security.
Even members of Boehner's own caucus realize this is absurd.
Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it.
The president didn't propose or demand the sequester. Lying about the facts won't improve their accuracy.
Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress.
The president has put forth a detailed plan that includes sacrifices from both sides.
[T]he Senate -- controlled by his Democratic allies -- hasn't even voted on a solution, let alone passed one.
The House hasn't even voted for a solution, let alone passed one, either. The Speaker should probably be aware of this.
By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.
House Republicans twice passed a ridiculous alternative that couldn't pass Congress or get the president's signature, and they did so in the 112th Congress. News flash: we're in the 113th Congress, and bills can't carry over.
The president has repeatedly called for even more tax revenue, but the American people don't support trading spending cuts for higher taxes.
Boehner should never speak for the American people, since the American mainstream generally has contempt for Congress and the Republican agenda. Regardless, Obama is calling for closing tax loopholes, and polls shows voters siding with the White House, not the radicalized congressional GOP.
The president got his higher taxes -- $600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts -- at the end of 2012.
And by this logic, Boehner got his spending cuts -- over $1.2 trillion worth, with no new revenue -- in 2011. Does the Speaker not remember 2011?
Republicans' willingness to do what is necessary to save these [retirement-security] programs is well-known. But after four years, we haven't seen the same type of courage from the president.
What's "well-known" is that Boehner and his party have voted to end Medicare, replacing it with a voucher scheme, and occasionally support privatizing Social Security out of existence. What's also "well-known" is that the president has expressed a willingness to approve "reforms" to social-insurance programs as part of a bipartisan compromise, but can't get Republicans to meet him half-way.
The president's sequester is the wrong way to reduce the deficit, but it is here to stay until Washington Democrats get serious about cutting spending.
Washington Democrats have already cut spending, and are prepared to cut even more if Republicans would compromise a little bit.
Reading this breathtakingly dishonest op-ed, I can't help but wonder about the House Speaker's frame of mind. Either John Boehner actually believes the transparent nonsense he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, which would mean the Speaker is alarmingly ignorant about the basics of current events, he's deliberately trying to deceive the public, counting on Americans to be foolish enough to buy demonstrable falsehoods.
Either way, Boehner's mendacious piece is a profound disappointment, and beneath the dignity of his office. If the Speaker is still capable of shame, he should be embarrassed to peddle such nonsense.

Americans aren't buying what GOP is selling


A new Bloomberg National Poll shows President Obama's approval rating reaching a three-year high and public approval of Republicans reaching a three-year low. The same poll found that a plurality of Americans blame the congressional GOP, not Democrats, for "what's wrong in Washington."

And an interesting twist, the Bloomberg poll results aren't the worst polling results for Republicans this morning. That prize goes to a new USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll, which suggests Americans just aren't buying what Republicans are selling.

I put together this chart to highlight what's arguably the most important result in the survey. With a week to go before the sequestration deadline hits, GOP leaders are convinced they can win a public-relations fight with the White House because, conservatives believe, Americans will blame Obama for the dangerous sequester policy that Republicans championed.

This poll suggests the GOP isn't just wrong, its understanding of public attitudes is the exact opposite of reality. The public is prepared to hold Republicans responsible for this self-inflicted wound that will undermine the economy, the military, and public needs. The one thing the GOP is counting on -- avoiding blame at all costs -- is already failing miserably.

Indeed, looking ahead, voters were asked, "What should be the focus of steps to reduce the deficit?" A whopping 76% majority said there should be a combination of spending cuts and new revenue. Only 19% of the public -- fewer than one in five -- agrees with the Republicans cuts-only approach. Given the number of Americans who self-identify as members of the GOP, this suggests the Republican Party has failed to even persuade some of its own voters.

Wait, it gets even worse for Republicans (and better for Democrats).

On specific issues, the same poll found that Americans side with President Obama over the GOP on who has the better approach to reducing the deficit, who's right on reducing gun violence, who has the better plan to deal with immigration, and by a huge margin, who's better on the climate crisis.

What's the good news for Republicans in these new national polls? There is no good news for Republicans in these new national polls.

Why does this matter? A couple of reasons. First, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) routinely insist that they speak for "the American people" and know exactly what "the American people" want and expect. I suspect they'll keep repeating this silly talking point, but the only appropriate response to the argument is uproarious laughter. At this point, there is almost no overlap between what Americans want and what Republicans are offering -- and lying about public attitudes won't change that.

Second, fierce battles are taking shape in Washington right now -- not just on the sequester, but also on a range of key domestic policies -- and Republicans find themselves on the wrong side of the American mainstream on literally all of them. The smart move would be GOP leaders to recognize the direction of the prevailing winds and start to adapt, striking compromises with Democrats that both sides can live with.

The odds of Republicans making this smart move are roughly zero.

Coalition Letter: Congress Must Honor Sequester Savings and Defund ObamaCare Before It Is Too Late

By Matt Kibbe on February 14, 2013

By all that seems fair and equatable these sequester cuts will take place on March 1, 2013.  I am not of the same mind as the Republicans, we will lose many jobs, our credit could be in danger. Our military in disarray, and not up to par for what is happening in the world, education, medicare, fema, EPA, 
airport security, oh and the big one immigration, border security, nuclear regulatory, and sec. And of course we have one half of the house who are afraid of the word C-O-M-P-R-O-M-I-S-E. It is a dirty word, that they can not say, think, or even act upon. Shame, shame, if they can not come together and act with the other half of the house, they might be blamed for our country's austerity fall.  I do not understand why the Congress can not work together and do the honest hard work that needs to be done to fix the sequester .  Instead they take a whole week off, hoping things will calm down, they don't, people just get more frustrated with Congress. 

FreedomWorks has signed on to the following Memo to the Movement by the Conservative Action Project:

Current Event:

The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires on March 27, setting up an opportunity for Congress and President Obama to honor the bi-partisan sequester savings already agreed upon. It also presents an opportunity to achieve even more savings by defunding and stopping the implementation of Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance.

Conservatives cannot support a CR that is above the sequester level of $974 billion annually. While many conservatives would prefer reprogramming defense cuts to other areas of discretionary spending (dollar for dollar cuts in the same year), the current sequester savings are better than none at all.
Conservatives should not approve a CR unless it defunds Obamacare. This includes Obamacare’s unworkable exchanges, unsustainable Medicaid expansion, and attack on life and religious liberty.

A mere “date-change CR” is unacceptable. Although the Obama administration and others will argue the CR is not the appropriate legislative vehicle to defund Obamacare, it is easily done through a series of appropriation riders. Because the CR represents one of the best vehicles possible to delay the implementation of Obamacare, it must not be used to bargain on the upcoming sequester.

Issue in Brief:
On October 1, 2013, open enrollment begins for the federally backed health care exchanges. On January 1, 2014, new money from Washington will begin flowing to states and individuals, all but ensuring that these new entitlements will become a permanent fixture of life in America. The window of opportunity to stop the implementation of these massive new subsidies is closing.
Although many of Obamacare's provisions are now the law of the land, many of the law's most damaging and irreversible provisions do not take effect until 2014.

Once implemented, the new spending contained within Obamacare, primarily the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies, will cost taxpayers more than $1.6 trillion over the next decade, according to the latest CBO estimates. Given the history of federal entitlement programs and the back-loaded nature of Obamacare spending, some estimate the full implementation cost could reach $2.6 trillion over ten years. It will increase the federal government's health spending by 15 percent.

The issue is far from settled in the states, which are tasked with either implementing the wide-ranging mandates and invasive requirements put forth by Obamacare, or deferring such choices to the bureaucrats in Washington.

The fractured opinion amongst the states is one reason the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has continually pushed back the deadline for states to make a decision on the exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

The invasive elements of Obamacare are not set in stone; in fact, elements of the law are already under assault from Republicans and Democrats alike. The CLASS Act was repealed and there is bipartisan support for eliminating the devastating Medical Device Tax.

Blueprint to Defunding Obamacare

Obamacare’s funding mechanisms are as complicated as the law itself, but they can be stopped through the appropriation process, which includes the upcoming continuing resolution.
Federally Backed Exchanges. An appropriations rider must eliminate the refundable tax credits for premiums and the cost sharing subsidies that are essentially used to support insurance purchased in the Obamacare exchanges, which starts January 1, 2014.
Medicaid Expansion. An appropriations rider must eliminate the enhance match funding for the Medicaid expansion, which takes effect January 1, 2014.
Permanent Appropriations. Obamacare contains items called “permanent appropriations” which guarantee funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). An appropriations rider turns off funds for these so-called permanent appropriations, which are already in effect.
Implementation. An appropriations rider must block the implementation of Obamacare, covering salaries, rulemaking, enforcement, etc.
Life and Religious Liberty. Obamacare is an unprecedented attack on life and religious liberty. An appropriations rider must repeal the HHS mandate that attacks the religious values and principles of countless Americans.
Miscellaneous Programs. An appropriations rider must block all funding for newly authorized discretionary programs contained in Obamacare and return reauthorized programs back to their pre-Obamacare levels.


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My Journey From Palestine to Hollywood

By Emad Burnat  is co-director of the Oscar-nominated '5 Broken Cameras'

My wife and I had seen that look before -- on the faces of our kids, mostly. After all, like all Palestinian children living in the West Bank, ours have grown accustomed to the humiliation of ID checks and interrogations.

But we had never seen our youngest son, Gibreel, as disappointed as he was on Tuesday, when American immigration officials threatened to deny us entry to the United States and to the 85th Academy Awards for which we had traveled two days to attend.

As my friend and fellow filmmaker Michael Moore, who intervened to help secure my entry, tweeted after the episode: "Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee."

Well, I am an Oscar nominee. But more to the point, my film, 5 Broken Cameras -- which chronicles my village Bil'in's nonviolent struggle to resist Israeli occupation -- is about precisely the kind of humiliation my family and I experienced at Los Angeles International Airport. The only difference is that the victims where I come from number in the millions, and our stories have become so routine that what happened to my family and me yesterday pales by comparison.

That's because, on any given day, there are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and other obstacles to movement throughout the West Bank -- an area less than 2 percent the size of California on which some 2.5 million Palestinians live under a ubiquitous system of repression.

In my film, which I co-directed with Israeli Guy Davidi, you can see this repression up close.

You can see construction of what leaders of conscience (like Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu) have called an "apartheid" wall -- separating us from our land and providing cover for Jewish-only colonies to steal our resources. You can see my village's children shoved around by grown men in fatigues and armor. You can see unarmed civilians, including Israeli peace activists, being shot by occupation soldiers. And you can see that our response -- the Palestinian response -- has been dignified, nonviolent, and determined.

Above all, though, you can see just how ordinary these scenes have become for Palestinians. That ordinariness is why so many of us from Bil'in have been shocked by the film's success. People I never imagined I would ever meet -- actors, politicians, legendary musicians -- have told me how moved they were by it and, inevitably, how they "had no idea things were that bad" for Palestinians.

The truth is, they're far worse. Don't take it from me. Listen to Americans like former President Jimmy Carter or author of The Color Purple Alice Walker, who have spoken out about the injustices they have seen firsthand in Palestine.

Like them, the Americans who have seen my film and witnessed the effects of Israel's occupation have been moved to stand with us. Not against Israel, but on the side of Israelis and Palestinians who understand that the true meaning of peace, as the great American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.

As I was being questioned at LAX, members of the Academy were gathering for an event organized in honor of this year's nominees for best documentary. I had been invited, and when word got around that I had been detained, the group insisted on foregoing dinner until I arrived. Their solidarity reminded me of another King quote -- that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Acting on that principle, my dinner companions that night held fast for a farmer and his family from a little village in Palestine. Such acts of decency and moral courage, more than the pronouncements of politicians or pundits -- or the fear-driven acts of immigration officials -- are what will bring true peace to the Holy Land.

Emad Burnat, who co-directed the feature-length documentary 5 Broken Cameras, is in Hollywood this week to attend the 85th Academy Awards. Emad appeared on HuffPost Live this week to discuss his detention by Homeland Security at LAX:


In a new poll, Americans weigh in on what the nation's priorities should be going forward: dealing with the deficit, guns, immigration or climate change.

New Study Shows Independent Evidence Of Global Warming

Alex Knapp, Forbes StaffI write about the future of science, technology, and culture.


2/21/2013 @ 11:53PM

The solid line is the index of temperature proxies compared to the dashed line, which represents measured temperatures.
One of the biggest challenges of climate science seems like it should be one of the easiest; measuring temperatures. The fact is, regular measurements of temperature around the globe didn’t begin in real earnest until the late 19th century. So when scientists want to understand what temperatures were like prior to that era, they have to use proxies. For example, scientists can tell by the way ice crystallizes what the weather and temperature was like thousands of years ago in ice core samples from polar regions. In the modern era, although there have been steady measurements, they’ve taken place at different sites at different times with different technologies, which means some heavy math can come into play to normalize that data well enough to see clear trends.
That’s what makes this recent study pretty interesting. In it, a group of researchers applied those paleoclimatology techniques of finding temperature proxies to the modern era, where there is a clear temperature record. If those proxies match global temperature measurements, then it would provide independent confirmation of the global warming trend of the past couple of centuries, without being tangled up in some of the difficulties involved in normalizing the measurements.
To construct their temperature record, the researchers used 173 different proxy sources for temperature from around the globe. These proxies include coral, ice cores, mineral deposits in caves, lake and ocean sediments, as well as a few historical records like grape harvest dates. Additionally, the authors specifically excluded data, such as tree ring examinations, that have proved controversial in recent years.
They then used that proxy data, which they dubbed the Paleo Index (PI) and compared it to the merged land-ocean surface temperature (MLOST) records developed by the National Climactic Data Center. As you can see in the graph to the right, the temperature trends from the PI strongly correlate with that from MLOST.
As a secondary measure, the PI was also extrapolated back from 1880 (where the comparison to MLOST begins) back to 1730. Using that data, the authors found that global warming trends began in about the year 1800, just as the industrial revolution was gaining steam.
This is a significant finding because, as the authors of the paper note, “The global-average time series compiled from 170 temperature-sensitive paleo proxies indicates a significant warming trend from 1880–1995. Derived from multiple proxies with global distribution, the PI provides independent evidence of the warming observed in the thermometer-based record.”
This independent confirmation neatly side-steps some of the controversies around global warming centering on temperature measurements. That’s because many of the claims of skeptics to explain the effect – such as the “urban heat-island” – don’t apply to the proxies. What’s more, the fact that the proxies show large agreement with the measured temperature record provides additional reason to accept that despite the changes in temperature measurement that have occurred over the past century, climatologists have been pretty precise in adjusting for those changes when deriving global trends.
In other words, this is just one more piece of evidence on top the staggering pile of evidence demonstrating the simple fact that average global temperatures have been increasing over the past two centuries.
If you’re interested in learning more, here’s an interesting video provided by NOAA that explains the research:

Independent Study Confirms That Global Warming Exists
The Basic Science Of Climate Change Is Undeniable
Meteorologists Name Humans 'Dominant' Cause Of Climate Change
Accelerating Arctic Ice Melt Means Billions Need To Be Spent

  Independent Study Confirms That Global Warming Exists
(Credit: Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature)
10/24/2011 @ 1:35AM

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Group was established to provide a robust, open measurement of surface temperatures, in a manner that addresses previous criticisms that temperature trends had been “cherry picked” or that “urban heat islands” provided a false picture of how fast temperatures on the Earth’s surface were rising. The Group is led by Dr. Robert Muller, a physicist who in the past had been notably critical of climate science methodology. The group is funded by a number of different sources, including Bill Gates’ Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

BEST has now released their data, and determined that their findings are well within the range of previous research. BEST’s findings indicate that in the past 50 years, the average land surface temperature of the Earth has increased about 0.911 degrees Celsius. Moreover, BEST concluded that past research by NOAA, NASA, and other groups were accurate in their estimates of warming.

This finding, conducted by a noted climate research skeptic and funded by a variety of non-partisan sources, should hopefully end the debate over whether the Earth is warming. All the data points to the same conclusion. It is. I’ve no doubt that this will lead to another set of debates over the extent to which the cause is the result of CO2 and methane emissions, but I’m hopeful they will be much shorter. That CO2 and methane, when introduced to a mixture of gasses, allow for more heat to be trapped is indisputable – you can conduct an experiment on it yourself in your garage for a couple hundred bucks. While climate is certainly an extraordinarily complicated mechanism, the facts keep pointing back to this simple fact of chemistry. Increased CO2 and methane may not be the sole cause of climate change, but it’s definitely a cause and almost certainly a major one.

Now, what next? My Forbes colleague Tim Worstall argues that this is a serious situation, but one in which the human race can make “marginal changes and still survive and thrive.” I agree with him on this – as long as we act quickly. The technology is moving at a rapid pace, and the industries are catching up. Just take solar power, for example – it’s currently one of thefastest growing industries in the United States with total growth of 6.8% from 2010 – 2011. Over 100,000 people are employed in the solar industry domestically, and solar companies plan on hiring about 24,000 people in the coming year. That’s an amazing success story.

We can keep those successes going, and other alternative energy success stories like it, by making some common sense changes to current policies. It doesn’t require a drastic overhaul of the whole system, as long as we start taking the problem seriously now.