Man-Made Global Warming Links Challenged

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Done Deal?

Many media outlets — such as the recent Newsweek magazine cover story — portray man-made global warming as fact and those who deny it as conspirators. But skeptics are increasingly certain that the scare is vastly overblown.

A new study by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz contends that the Earth's climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the United Nations' recent climate study claims. Schwarz's work will be published in The Journal of Geophysical Eesearch.

The study is just one of several peer-reviewed scientific studies challenging global warming alarmism:

The Belgian Weather Institute concludes that carbon dioxide does not have a decisive role in global warming.

A study by two Chinese scientists says CO2's role in warming is "vastly exaggerated."

And new research by University of Washington mathematicians shows a correlation between high solar activity and periods of warming.

Meanwhile, what is billed as the first comprehensive analysis of global biofuel impact has concluded that their use may release between two and nine times more carbon gases than fossil fuels.

The study published in the journal Science says the clearing of forest land to grow biofuel crops will produce immediate carbon gas releases and also destroy habitats, wildlife and jobs. It says that while biofuels look good from a Western perspective, they will be harmful on a global scale. The study contends it will take about 40 percent of American and European agricultural land to grow enough biofuel crops to replace only 10 percent of fossil fuel use.

Rewrite Ordered

The BBC's plans for a storyline about Islamic suicide bombers in one of its popular dramatic shows have been overruled by the corporation's leaders, over fears of offending Muslims. British media report the episodes of the long-running medical series "Casualty" will substitute animal rights activists as the villains.

The Guardian newspaper reports the BBC's Editorial and Ethical Standards Department said the original storyline would have perpetuated stereotypes of young Muslims in Britain.

Rooms Available

We hear about jail overcrowding in many places. But in Norway it's the other way around: Too many empty beds in prison. That's because 20 percent of convicted criminals simply fail to show up to serve their sentences.

The news service Aftenposten reports almost 1,800 convicts were no-shows last year. One of the problems: It is not illegal in Norway to skip your prison time. Norway's parliament has passed a new law making it a criminal offense to blow off a sentence, but so far it has not been implemented.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.